Tag Archive: Yield Curve

Monthly Macro Monitor – September 2020

The economic data over the last month continued to improve but the breadth of improvement has narrowed. Additionally, while most of the economic data series are still improving, the rate of change, as Jeff pointed out recently, has slowed. I guess that isn’t that surprising as the initial phase of the recovery comes to an end.

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Re-recession Not Required

If we are going to see negative nominal Treasury rates, what would guide yields toward such a plunge? It seems like a recession is the ticket, the only way would have to be a major economic downturn. Since we’ve already experienced one in 2020, a big one no less, and are already on our way back up to recovery (some say), then have we seen the lows in rates?Not for nothing, every couple years when we do those (record low yields) that’s what “they”...

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Powell Would Ask For His Money Back, If The Fed Did Money

Since the unnecessary destruction brought about by GFC2 in March 2020, there have been two detectable, short run trendline upward moves in nominal Treasury yields. Both were predictably classified across the entire financial media as the guaranteed first steps toward the “inevitable” BOND ROUT!!!!

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Accusing the Accused of Excusing the Mountain of Evidence

Why not let the accused also sit in the jury box? The answer seems rather obvious. While maybe the truly honest man accused of a crime he did commit would vote for his own conviction, the world seems a bit short on supply of those while long and deep offering up practitioners of pure sophistry in their stead.

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From QE to Eternity: The Backdoor Yield Caps

So, you’re convinced that low rates are powerful stimulus. You believe, like any good standing Economist, that reduced interest costs can only lead to more credit across-the-board. That with more credit will emerge more economic activity and, better, activity of the inflationary variety. A recovery, in other words. Ceteris paribus. What happens, however, if you also believe you’ve been responsible for bringing rates down all across the curve…and...

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No Flight To Recognize Shortage

If there’s been one small measure of progress, and a needed one, it has been the mainstream finally pushing commentary into the right category. Back in ’08, during the worst of GFC1 you’d hear it all described as “flight to safety.” That, however, didn’t correctly connote the real nature of what was behind the global economy’s dramatic wreckage. Flight to safety, whether Treasuries or dollars, wasn’t it.

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Three Short Run Factors Don’t Make A Long Run Difference

There are three things the markets have going for them right now, and none of them have anything to do with the Federal Reserve. More and more conditions resemble the early thirties in that respect, meaning no respect for monetary powers. This isn’t to say we are repeating the Great Depression, only that the paths available to the system to use in order to climb out of this mess have similarly narrowed.

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Like Repo, The Labor Lie

The Federal Reserve has been trying to propagate two big lies about the economy. Actually, it’s three but the third is really a combination of the first two. To start with, monetary authorities have been claiming that growing liquidity problems were the result of either “too many” Treasuries (haven’t heard that one in a while) or the combination of otherwise benign technical factors.

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The Greenspan Moon Cult

Taking another look at what I wrote about repo and the latest developments yesterday, it may be worthwhile to spend some additional time on the “why” as it pertains to so much determined official blindness, an unshakeable devotion to otherwise easily explained lunar events.

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Was It A Midpoint And Did We Already Pass Through It?

We certainly don’t have a crystal ball at the ready, and we can’t predict the future. The best we might hope is to entertain reasonable probabilities for it oftentimes derived from how we see the past. Which is just what statistics and econometrics attempt. Except, wherein they go wrong we don’t have to make their mistakes.

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US Sales and Production Remain Virus-Free, But Still Aren’t Headwind-Free

The lull in US consumer spending on goods has reached a fifth month. The annual comparisons aren’t good, yet they somewhat mask the more recent problems appearing in the figures. According to the Census Bureau, total retail sales in January rose 4.58% year-over-year (unadjusted). Not a good number, but better, seemingly, than early on in 2019 when the series was putting out 3s and 2s.

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Don’t Forget (Business) Credit

Rolling over in credit stats, particularly business debt, is never a good thing for an economy. As noted yesterday, in Europe it’s not definite yet but sure is pronounced. The pattern is pretty clear even if we don’t ultimately know how it will play out from here. The process of reversing is at least already happening and so we are left to hope that there is some powerful enough positive force (a real force rather than imaginary, therefore...

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With No Second Half Rebound, Confirming The Squeeze

It’s a palpable impatience. Having learned absolutely nothing from the most recent German example, there’s this pervasive belief that if the economy hasn’t fallen apart by now it must be going the other way. The right way. Those are the only two options for mainstream analysis (which means it isn’t analysis).

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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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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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Never Attribute To Malice What Is Easily Explained By Those Attributing Anything To Term Premiums

There will be more opportunities ahead to talk about the not-QE, non-LSAP which as of today still doesn’t have a catchy title. In other words, don’t call it a QE because a QE is an LSAP not an SSAP. The former is a large scale asset purchase plan intended on stimulating the financial system therefore economy. That’s what it intends to do, leaving the issue of what it actually does an open question.

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Monthly Macro Monitor: Doom & Gloom, Good Grief

When I first got in this business oh so many years ago, my mentor told me that I shouldn’t waste my time worrying about the things everyone else was worrying about. As I’ve related in these missives before, he called those things “well worried”. His point was that once everyone was aware of something it was priced into the market and not worth your time.

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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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Monthly Macro Monitor: Market Indicators Review

The Treasury market continues to price in lower nominal and real growth. The stress, the urgency, I see in some of these markets is certainly concerning and consistent with what we have seen in the past at the onset of recession. The move in Treasuries is by some measures, as extreme as the fall of 2008 when we were in a full blown panic.

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