Tag Archive: Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy

Weekly Market Pulse: Inflation Scare?

Bonds sold off again last week with the yield on the 10 year Treasury closing over 1.6% for the first time since early June. The yield is now down just 16 basis points from the high of 1.76% set on March 30. But this rise in rates is at least a little different than the fall that preceded it.

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Tapering Or Calibrating, The Lady’s Not Inflating

We’ve got one central bank over here in America which appears as if its members can’t wait to “taper”, bringing up both the topic and using that particular word as much as possible. Jay Powell’s Federal Reserve obviously intends to buoy confidence by projecting as much when it does cut back on the pace of its (irrelevant) QE6.

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What’s The Real Downside To Some of These Key Commodities?

Last night, Autodata reported its first estimates for September auto sales in the US. According to its own as well as those compiled by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (the same government outfit which keeps track of GDP), vehicle sales have been sliding overall ever since April.

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Surprise: It Isn’t Consumers Keeping American Factories Busy

US factories are humming along, constrained only by supply issues which might occasionally limit production. That’s the story, anyway. There’s too much business because of them, manufacturers taking in only more orders by the day leaving them struggling to catch up.But what kind of stuff is it that is being ordered from our nation’s factories?

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More About Less New Orders

The inventory saga, planetary in its reach. As you’ve heard, American demand for goods supercharged by the federal government’s helicopter combined with a much more limited capacity to rebound in the logistics of the goods economy left a nightmare for supply chains. As we’ve been writing lately, a highly unusual maybe unprecedented inventory cycle resulted (creating “inflation”).

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An Economy Dividing By Inventory And Labor

Is it delta COVID? Or the widely reported labor shortage? Something has created a soft patch in the presumed indestructible US economy still hopped up on Uncle Sam’s deposits made earlier in the year. And yet, there’s a nagging feeling over how this time, like all previous times, just might be too good to be true, too.

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Revisiting The Last Overhang

One reason why I still believe the US most likely would have entered a recession at some point in 2020 even without COVID wasn’t just the yield curve inversion that popped up several months before then. In August of 2019, the small part of the Treasury curve most people pay attention to (2s10s) did send out that dreaded signal, suggesting already to expect contraction in the intermediate term ahead of then. 

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August Avoids Zero In JGB’s

Central banks and their staffs have long been accused of trying to hide inflation. This allegation had been a staple of their critics, those charging reckless monetary policies for creating “too much” money that had allegedly been causing price imbalances all over the financial map.

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Weekly Market Pulse: Not So Evergrande

US stocks sold off last Monday due to fears over the potential – likely – failure of China Evergrande, a real estate developer that has suddenly discovered the perils of leverage. Well that and the perils of being in an industry not currently favored by Xi Jinping. He has declared that houses are for living in not speculating on and ordered the state controlled banks to lend accordingly.

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All Eyes On Inventory

You’ve heard of the virtuous circle in the economy. Risk taking leads to spending/investment/hiring, which then leads to more spending/investment/hiring. Recovery, in other words. In the old days of the 20th century, quite a lot of the circle was rounded out by the inventory cycle. Both recession and recovery would depend upon how much additional product floated up and down the supply chain.

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Weekly Market Pulse: Time For A Taper Tantrum?

The Fed meets this week and is widely expected to say that it is talking about maybe reducing bond purchases sometime later this year or maybe next year or at least, someday. Jerome Powell will hold a press conference at which he’ll tell us that markets have nothing to worry about because even if they taper QE, interest rates aren’t going up for a long, long time.

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August Retail Sales Surprise To The Upside, Because They Were Down?

According to the movie The Princess Bride, the worst classic blunder anyone can make is to get involved in a land war in Asia. No kidding. The second is something about Sicilians and death. There is also, I’ve come to learn, an unspoken third which cautions against chasing down and then trying to break down seasonal adjustments in economic data.Some things are best left just as they are published.

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What’s Real Behind Commodities

Inflation is sustained monetary debasement – money printing, if you prefer – that wrecks consumer prices. It is the other of the evil monetary diseases, the one which is far more visible therefore visceral to the consumers pounded by spiraling costs of bare living. Yet, it is the lesser evil by comparison to deflation which insidiously destroys the labor market from the inside out.

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Taper *Without* Tantrum

Whomever actually coined the term “taper”, using it in the context of Federal Reserve QE for the first time, it wasn’t actually Ben Bernanke. On May 22, 2013, the central bank’s Chairman sat in front of Congressman Kevin Brady and used the phrase “step down in our pace of purchases.” No good, at least from the perspective of a media-driven need for a snappy one-word summary.

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Weekly Market Pulse: Happy Anniversary!

Today is the 50th anniversary of the “Nixon shock”, the day President Richard Nixon closed the gold window and ended the post-WWII Bretton Woods currency agreement. That agreement, largely a product of John Maynard Keynes, pegged the dollar to gold and most other currencies to the dollar.

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CPI’s At Fives Yet Treasury Auctions

A momentous day, for sure, but one lost in what would turn out to be a seemingly endless sea of them. October 8, 2008, right in the thick of the world’s first global financial crisis (how could it have been global, surely not subprime mortgages?) the Federal Reserve took center stage; or tried to.

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A Real Example Of Price Imbalance

It’s not just the trade data from individual countries. Take the WTO’s estimates which are derived from exports and imports going into or out of nearly all of them. These figures show that for all that recovery glory being printed up out of Uncle Sam’s checkbook, the American West Coast might be the only place where we can find anything resembling Warren Buffett’s red-hot claim.

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The Two Big Anniversaries of August: The Lost Decade (plus) Of The ‘Fiat’ Half Century

As my esteemed podcast co-host Emil Kalinowski has already mentioned (recurrently), we have, this year, two major anniversaries during these dog days of summer circled on our calendar. Today is, obviously, August 9 and for anyone the slightest familiar with the eurodollar story, that date is seared into their consciousness for as long as it will take to rebuild from the ashes created by the monetary fire lit that day. It has been, sadly, fourteen...

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Weekly Market Pulse: What Is Today’s New Normal?

Remember “The New Normal”? Back in 2009, Bill Gross, the old bond king before Gundlach came along, penned a market commentary called “On the Course to a New Normal” which he said would be: “a period of time in which economies grow very slowly as opposed to growing like weeds, the way children do; in which profits are relatively static; in which the government plays a significant role in terms of deficits and reregulation and control of the...

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Sophistry Dressed (as) Reallocation

Stop me if you’ve heard this before: About US$275 billion (about SDR 193 billion) of the new allocation will go to emerging markets and developing countries, including low-income countries.

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