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Tag Archives: FOMC

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? Whatever the case, there’s truth to what’s written if only because interest rates haven’t been rising based on rising inflation/growth expectations. Quite the contrary, actually. It’s all FOMC and the...

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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. There was, as I wrote...

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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. Most have already dismissed it as nothing more than quirky, temporary factors, not unlike when they did the same to Q1 2014’s similarly negative result. At least that one had the Polar Vortex (uh oh). Jay Powell’s group can’t see beyond the US border, doesn’t...

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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. What’s worth noting about the figures now is how much of a problem there is in terms of petroleum. By that I mean two ways. First,...

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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 Reserve. The FOMC minutes...

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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. Live look at Jay Powell’s press conference.#ratehikeshttps://t.co/leCyV8Wak4...

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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. Thus, between July 2005 and June 2006, the entire curve...

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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. Then, suddenly, consumer prices skyrocketed and it left many Americans wondering if there would ever be an end to the massive volatility. At its peak in March 1947, the US CPI had gained 19.67%...

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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. Sadly, in this context all we could ever turn to is Economists. And from Houston, we aren’t like to extract any more oil. The US...

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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, sampling and...

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