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Tag Archives: 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. 2nd quarter was a giant downdraft and 3rd quarter saw an initial rapid climb out the giant hole dug by the shutdowns (an own goal of epic...

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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” always say and yet...

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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!!!! Each has been characterized as the handywork of master monetary tactician Jay Powell. There is some truth underlying, only stripped of all that hyperbole. These backups in...

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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 then no recovery....

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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. Back in March, while “it” was very obvious, even the New...

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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. That’s what’s ultimately going to matter the most, not what...

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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. The other one has been about this epically tight labor market, which, Jay Powell...

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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. The short version: monetary authorities as well as the “experts” describe almost perfectly risk averse behavior among the central money dealing system in outbreaks like September’s repo – but...

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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. For example, in the Fed’s main model ferbus there’s no way to input a global dollar shortage. Even if there was, to this statistical...

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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. As has been the pattern in these things, global synchronized downturns, the...

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