Tag Archive: rate hikes

Nasty Number Five, Not Hawk Hiking CBs

It’s not recession fears, those are in the past. For much if not most (vast majority) of mainstream pundits and newsmedia alike, unlike regular folks this is all news to them (the irony, huh?) Economists and central bankers everywhere had said last year was a boom, a true inflationary inferno raging worldwide.

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Sorry Chairman Powell, Even FRBNY Now Has To Forecast Serious and Seriously Rising Recession Risk

At his last press conference, Federal Reserve Chairman Jay Powell made a bunch of unsubstantiated claims, none of which were called out or even questioned by the assembled reporters. These rituals are designed to project authority not conduct inquiry, and this one was perhaps the best representation of that intent. Powell’s job is to put the current predicament in the best possible light, starting by downplaying the current predicament.

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Prices As Curative Punishment

It wasn’t exactly a secret, though the raw data doesn’t ever tell you why something might’ve changed in it. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, confirmed by industry sources, US new car sales absolutely tanked in May 2022.

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No Pandemic. Not Rate Hikes. Doesn’t Matter Interest Rates. Just Globally Synchronized.

The fact that German retail sales crashed so much in April 2022 is significant for a couple reasons. First, it more than suggests something is wrong with Germany, and not just some run-of-the-mill hiccup. Second, because it was this April rather than last April or last summer, you can’t blame COVID this time.

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President Phillips Emerges To Reassure On Growing Slowdown

Just the other day, President Biden took to the pages of the Wall Street Journal to reassure Americans the government is doing something about the greatest economic challenge they face. Biden says this is inflation when that’s neither the actual affliction nor our greatest threat.

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Peak Policy Error

Another economic discussion lost to the eventual coronavirus pandemic mania was the 2019 globally synchronized downturn. Not just downturn, outright recession in key parts from around the world, maybe including the US.

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‘Unconscionably Excessive’ Denial

What would “unconscionably excessive” even look, legally speaking? More to the issue, who gets to decide what constitutes “excessive?”

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RRP (use) Hits $2T, SOFR Like T-bills Below RRP (rate), What Is (really) Going On?

You might not know it, but front-end T-bill yields are not the only market spaces which are making a mockery of the Federal Reserve’s “floor.” There are others, including the same money number the same Fed demanded the world (or whatever banks in its jurisdiction it could threaten) ditch LIBOR over.

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UST 2s & Euro$ Futures *Whites* Both Ask, Landmine At Last?

The 2-year Treasury right now is the key point, the spot on the yield curve which is influenced mostly by potential alternative rates including those offered by the Federal Reserve. Because of this, the market for the 2s is looking forward at what those alternate rates are likely to be, then pricing yields accordingly.

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Peak Inflation (not what you think)

For once, I find myself in agreement with a mainstream article published over at Bloomberg. Notable Fed supporters without fail, this one maybe represents a change in tone. Perhaps the cheerleaders are feeling the heat and are seeking Jay Powell’s exit for him?

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Who’s Playing Puppetmaster, And Who Is Master of Puppets

Cue up the old VHS tapes of Bill Clinton. The former President was renowned for displaying, anyway, great empathy. He famously said in October 1992, weeks before the election that would bring him to the White House, “I feel your pain.”What pain? As Clinton’s chief political advisor later clarified, “it’s the economy stupid.”

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China Then Europe Then…

This is the difference, though in the end it only amounts to a matter of timing. When pressed (very modestly) on the slow pace of the ECB’s “inflation” “fighting” (theater) campaign, its President, Christine Lagarde, once again demonstrated her willingness to be patient if not cautious.

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Collateral Shortage…From *A* Fed Perspective

It’s never just one thing or another. Take, for example, collateral scarcity. By itself, it’s already a problem but it may not be enough to bring the whole system to reverse. A good illustration would be 2017. Throughout that whole year, T-bill rates (4-week, in particular) kept indicating this very shortfall, especially the repeated instances when equivalent bill yields would go below the RRP “floor” and often stay there for prolonged periods....

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Some ‘Core’ ‘Inflation’ Difference(s)

The FOMC meets next week, with everyone everywhere expecting a 50 bps rate hike to be announced on Wednesday. Yesterday’s “unexpected” and “shocking” negative GDP is unlikely to deter anyone on the committee.

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I Told You It *Wasn’t* Money Printing; How The Fed Helped Cause, But Can’t Solve, Our Current ‘Inflation’

Trust the Fed. Ha! It’s one thing for money dealers to look upon Jay Powell’s stash of bank reserves with remarkable disdain, more immediately damning when effects of the same liquidity premiums in the real economy create serious frictions leaving the entire world exposed to the consequences. When all is said and done, the Federal Reserve has created its own doom-loop from which it won’t likely escape.

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You Know What They Say About The Light At The End Of The Tunnel

In any year when gasoline prices rise 18%, that’s not going to be good for anyone except maybe oil companies who extract its key ingredient from out of the ground (or don’t, as the case can be). Yet, annual rates of increase that size do happen.

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Concocting Inventory

The Census Bureau provided some updated inventory estimates about wholesalers, including its annual benchmark revisions. As to the latter, not a whole lot was changed, a small downward revision right around the peak (early 2021) of the supply shock which is consistent with the GDP estimates for when inventory levels were shrinking fast.

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Goldilocks And The Three Central Banks

This isn’t going to be like the tale of Goldilocks, at least not how it’s usually told. There are three central banks, sure, call them bears if you wish, each pursuing a different set of fuzzy policies. One is clearly hot, the other quite cold, the final almost certainly won’t be “just right.” Rather, this one in the middle simply finds itself…in the middle of the other two.Running red-hot to the point of near-horror, that’s “our” Federal...

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We Can Only Hope For Another (bond) Massacre

To begin with, the economy today is absolutely nothing like it had been almost thirty years ago. That fact in and of itself should end the discussion right here. However, comparisons will be made and it does no harm to review them.I’m talking about 1994, or, more specifically, the eleven months between late February 1994 and early February 1995.

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Inversion Is The Real March Madness, Just Don’t Take It Literally

With such low levels of self-awareness, it isn’t surprising that the FOMC’s members continue to pour gasoline on the already-blazing curve fire. March Madness is supposed to be on the courts of college basketball, instead it is playing out more vividly across all financial markets.

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