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Tag Archives: Recession

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. From there, to try to get the...

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Curve Inversion 101: US CPI Politics Up Front, China PPI Down(ing) The Back

While the world fixated on the US CPI, it was other “inflation” data from across the Pacific that is telling the real economic story. Having conflated the former with a red-hot economy, the fact American consumer prices aren’t tied to the actual economic situation has been lost in the shuffle of the FOMC’s hawkishness, with markets obliged to price wrong-way Jay. The short end of the yield curve (USTs and elsewhere) is plotting like FOMC dots, whenever oil and crude...

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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. At a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 12.7 million, it was a quarter fewer than sales put down in May 2021 and 13% below the not-great level from the month prior in April 2022. Such puny results have typically been reserved for those...

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Can’t Blame COVID For This One

Late in March 2021, then-German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced a reverse. Several weeks before that time, Merkel’s federal government had reached an agreement with the various states to begin opening the country back up, easing more modest restrictions to move daily life closer to normal. But with case counts sharply rising once more, the whole thing was going to get shutdown instead. The government declared a holiday starting April 1 (no fooling) last year,...

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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. On the contrary, recession probabilities have sharply risen as the real economy slows down given the emerging downside to last year’s supply shock. One thing we might agree on, the...

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Weekly Market Pulse: Is The Bear Market Over?

Stocks had a rip snorter of a rally last week and a lot of people are pondering the question in the title over this long weekend. The S&P 500 was down 20.9% from intraday high (4818.62, January 4th) to intraday low (3810.32, May 20th). From that intraday low the market has risen 9.1% in just six trading days. That still leaves the market 13.7% from the intraday high and most investors still down double digits on the year (-11.5% for the standard 60/40 portfolio)....

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Macro and Prices: Sentiment Swings Between Inflation and Recession

(On vacation for the rest of the month.  Going to Portugal.  Commentary will resume on June 1.   Good luck to us all.)The market is a fickle mistress. The major central banks were judged to be behind the inflation curve. Much teeth-gashing, finger-pointing. Federal Reserve Chair Powell was blamed for denying that a 75 bp hike was under consideration. Bank of Japan Governor Kuroda was blamed for keeping the 0.25% cap on the 10-year Japanese Government Bond yield....

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Weekly Market Pulse: Welcome Back To The Old Normal

Stagflation. It’s a word that strikes fear in the hearts of investors, one that evokes memories – for some of us – of bell bottoms, disco, and Jimmy Carter’s American malaise. The combination of weak growth and high inflation is the worst of all worlds, one that required a transformational leader and a cigar-chomping central banker to defeat the last time it came around. Or at least that’s how it’s remembered. Whether the cigar-chomping central banker was really...

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Weekly Market Pulse: What Now?

The yield curve inverted last week. Well, the part everyone watches, the 10 year/2 year Treasury yield spread, inverted, closing the week a solid 7 basis points in the negative. The difference between the 10 year and 2 year Treasury yields is not the yield curve though. The 10/2 spread is one point on the Treasury yield curve which is positively sloped from 1 month to 3 years, negatively sloped from 3 years to 10 years and positively sloped again from 10 out to 30...

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The Short, Sweet Income Case For Ugly Inversion(s), Too

A nod to just how backward and upside down the world is now. The economic data everyone is made to pay attention to, payrolls, that one is, in my view, irrelevant. As is the consumer price estimates from earlier this week, the PCE Deflator. That’s another one which receives vast amounts of interest even though it is already old news. Yet, in the very same data release as the PCE, some other accounts importantly tied to labor, personal income, they slip unnoticed...

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