Tag Archive: rate hikes

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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The Fed Inadvertently Adds To Our Ironclad Collateral Case Which Does Seem To Have Already Included A ‘Collateral Day’ (or days)

The Federal Reserve didn’t just raise the range for its federal funds target by 25 bps, upper and lower bounds, it also added the same to its twin policy tools which the “central bank” says are crucial to maintaining order in money markets thereby keeping federal funds inside the band where it is supposed to be. The FOMC voted to increase IOER from 15 bps to 40 bps, and the RRP from 5 bps to 30 bps.

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Media Attention All Over FOMC, Market Attention Totally Elsewhere

The Federal Reserve did something today, or actually announced today that it will do something as of tomorrow. And since we’re all conditioned to believe this is the biggest thing ever, I’ll have to add my own $0.02 (in eurodollars, of course, can’t be bank reserves) frustratingly contributing to the very ritual I’m committed to seeing end.We shouldn’t care much about the Fed.

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Another One Inverts, The Retching Cat Reaches Treasuries

As Alan Greenspan’s rate hikes closed in, longer-term Treasury yields were forced upward as the flattening yield curve left no more room for their blatant defiance. By mid-2005, though, the market wasn’t ready to fully price the downside risks which had already led to that worrisome curve shape (very flat). While all sorts of bad potential could be reasonably surmised, none of it seemed imminent or definite.

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Consumer Prices And The Historical Pain(s)

The 1947-48 experience was truly painful, maybe even terrifying. The US and Europe had just come out of a decade when the worst deflationary consequences were so widespread that the period immediately following quickly erupted into the worst conflagration in human history.

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Houston, We Have An Oil (and inventory) Problem

If only, like in the aftermath of the Apollo 13 explosion, we could just radio Houston to get started in figuring out just the way out of our fix. Mission Control would certainly buzz all the right people with the right stuff, summoning the best engineers and scientists from their quiet divans to the frenzied and dangerous work ahead.

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For The Fed, None Of These Details Will Matter

Most people have the impression that these various payroll and employment reports just go into the raw data and count up the number of payrolls and how many Americans are employed. Perhaps the BLS taps the IRS database as fellow feds, or ADP as a private company in the same data business of employment just tallies how many payrolls it processes as the largest provider of back-office labor services.That’s just not how it works, though. In fact,...

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The Red Warning

Now it’s the Russian’s fault. Belligerence surrounding Donbas and Ukraine, raw materials and energy supplies to Europe threatened by Putin’s coiled bear. Why wouldn’t markets grow worried?There’s always a reason why we shouldn’t take these things seriously, or quickly dismiss them out of hand as the temporary product of whichever political fear-of-the-day.

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After Today’s FOMC, Yield Curve Is Already As Flat As It Was In Mar ’18 **Without A Single Rate Hike Yet**

It’s not hard to reason why there continues to be this conflict of interest (rates). On the one hand, impacting the short end of the yield curve, the unemployment rate has taken a tight grip on the FOMC’s limited imagination. The rate hikes are coming and the markets like all mainstream commentary agree that as it stands there’s nothing on the horizon to stop Jay Powell’s hawkishness.

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