Tag Archive: Interest rates

More (Badly Needed) Curve Comparisons

Even though it was a stunning turn of events, the move was widely celebrated. The Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee, the FOMC, hadn’t been scheduled to meet until the end of that month. And yet, Alan Greenspan didn’t want to wait. The “maestro”, still at the height of his reputation, was being pressured to live up to it.

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Three (Rate Cuts) And GDP, Where (How) Does It End?

The Federal Reserve has indicated that it will now pause – for a second time, supposedly. Remember the first: after raising its benchmark rates apparatus in December while still talking about an inflationary growth acceleration requiring even more hikes throughout 2019, in a matter of weeks that was transformed into a temporary suspension of them.

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Monthly Macro Monitor: Market Indicators Review

Is the recession scare over? Can we all come out from under our desks now? The market based economic indicators I follow have improved since my last update two months ago. The 10 year Treasury rate has moved 40 basis points off its low. Real interest rates have moved up as well but not quite as much. The difference is reflected in slightly higher inflation expectations.

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Head Faking In The Empty Zoo: Powell Expands The Balance Sheet (Again)

They remain just as confused as Richard Fisher once was. Back in ’13 while QE3 was still relatively young and QE4 (yes, there were four) practically brand new, the former President of the Dallas Fed worried all those bank reserves had amounted to nothing more than a monetary head fake. In 2011, Ben Bernanke had admitted basically the same thing.

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Just Who Was The Intended Audience For The Rate Cut?

Federal Reserve policymakers appear to have grown more confident in their more optimistic assessment of the domestic situation. Since cutting the benchmark federal funds range by 25 bps on July 31, in speeches and in other ways Chairman Jay Powell and his group have taken on a more “hawkish” tilt. This isn’t all the way back to last year’s rate hikes, still a pronounced difference from a few months ago.

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Why You Should Care Germany More and More Looks Like 2009

What if Germany’s economy falls into recession? Unlike, say, Argentina, you can’t so easily dismiss German struggles as an exclusive product of German factors. One of the most orderly and efficient systems in Europe and all the world, when Germany begins to struggle it raises immediate questions about everywhere else.

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FX Weekly Preview: In Bizzaro Beauty Contest, the US is Still the Least Ugly

Our hypothesis that the market had reached peak dovishness toward the Fed remains intact after the employment data.  Job growth was the strongest since January.  The participation rate and the unemployment rate ticked up. Average hourly earnings edged 0.2%  higher, and, with revisions, maintained a 3.1% year-over-year pace, which is a bit disappointing.  

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FX Weekly Preview: Macro Update: Melodrama Subsides but Capriciousness Remains

Since President Trump declared the end of the tariff truce with China in early May, an important focus for investors was the G20 meeting. It was only as it drew near was a meeting between the two heads of state confirmed. What was billed as an extraordinary meeting reportedly lasted less than 90 minutes, and the results were broadly as expected.

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Cool Video: Sketch of Bullish Case for Gold

I know some people who are always bullish gold. I am not. In fact, I often think I can find higher returning assets. However, I have recently have turned bullish gold, and while in Toronto on business, I was invited to the set of Bloomberg to discuss my change of heart.

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FX Weekly Preview: Cutting to the Quick

Central banks are prepared to take fresh measures to strengthen and extend the business cycle primarily because price pressures are below what their predecessors thought would be acceptable levels. Draghi, speaking for the ECB, the Federal Reserve, and the Bank of Japan ratcheted up their concerns, which, even without new initiatives, were sufficient to drive interest rates lower.

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Europe Comes Apart, And That’s Before #4

In May 2018, the European Parliament found that it was incredibly popular. Commissioning what it calls the Eurobarameter survey, the EU’s governing body said that two-thirds of Europeans inside the bloc believed that membership had benefited their own countries. It was the highest showing since 1983. Voters in May 2019 don’t appear to have agreed with last year’s survey.

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FX Weekly Preview: The Green Shoots of Spring

Investors have worked themselves into a lather. Equities crashed in Q4 last year amid on corporate earnings and concerns about growth. The Fed’s tightening decision in December was made unanimously. The above-trend growth, the preferred inflation measure was near target, unemployment was the lowest in a generation and real rates were historically low.

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FX Weekly Preview: The Week Ahead

The combination of the dovish hold by the Federal Reserve and the eurozone's miserable flash Purchasing Managers Index casts a pall over the economic outlook.  Japan's flash PMI remained stuck at February's 48.9, while core inflation unexpectedly eased.  Three months after the European Central Bank stopped buying bonds, the German 10-year Bund yield fell below zero for the first time since 2016.

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Sinking Shippers Signal Global Goods Troubles

It infects every boardroom across the world. Big business requires decent forecasting, yet time and again it seems they are deprived of what they desperately need. Instead, even after this last decade, the world’s largest companies continue to be surprised by weakness that is far more prevalent than strength.

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FX Daily, February 13: QT is not the Opposite of QE

The Federal Reserve has long been clear on the sequence of events as it innovated the playbook during the Great Financial Crisis. There would be a considerable period between when the Fed would finish its credit easing operations that involved purchasing Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities (MBS) and its first-rate hike.

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Bond Curves Right All Along, But It Won’t Matter (Yet)

Men have long dreamed of optimal outcomes. There has to be a better way, a person will say every generation. Freedom is far too messy and unpredictable. Everybody hates the fat tails, unless and until they realize it is outlier outcomes that actually mark progress. The idea was born in the eighties that Economics had become sufficiently advanced that the business cycle was no longer a valid assumption.

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Monthly Macro Monitor – January 2019

A Return To Normalcy. In the first two years after a newly elected President takes office he enacts a major tax cut that primarily benefits the wealthy and significantly raises tariffs on imports. His foreign policy is erratic but generally pulls the country back from foreign commitments. He also works to reduce immigration and roll back regulations enacted by his predecessor.

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Living In The Present

It’s that time of year again, time to cast the runes, consult the iChing, shake the Magic Eight Ball and read the tea leaves. What will happen in 2019? Will it be as bad as 2018 when positive returns were hard to come by, as rare as affordable health care or Miami Dolphin playoff games? Will China’s economy succumb to the pressure of US tariffs and make a deal?

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Insane Repo Reminds Us

It was only near the quarter end, that’s what made it so unnerving. We may have become used to these calendar bottlenecks over the years, but they still remind us what they are. Late October 2012 was a little different, though. On October 29, the GC repo rate for UST collateral (DTCC) surged to 52.6 bps. The money market floor, so to speak, was zero at the time and IOER (the joke) 25 bps. We also have to keep in mind the circumstances of that...

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Monthly Macro Monitor – November 2018

Is the Fed’s monetary tightening about over? Maybe, maybe not but there does seem to be some disagreement between Jerome Powell and his Vice Chair, Richard Clarida. Powell said just a little over a month ago that the Fed Funds rate was still “a long way from neutral” and that the Fed may ultimately need to go past neutral.

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