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Tag Archives: Yield Curve

Weekly Market Pulse: A Most Unusual Economy

The employment report released last Friday was better than expected but the response by bulls and bears alike was exactly as expected. Both found things in the report to support their preconceived notions about the state of the economy. I do think the bulls had the better case on this particular report but there have been plenty of others recently to support the ursine side of the aisle too. My take is that everything about the economy right now, and really since...

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Weekly Market Pulse: Things That Need To Happen

Perspective: per·​spec·​tive |  pər-ˈspek-tiv b: the capacity to view things in their true relations or relative importance Merriam-Webster Perspective is something that comes with age I think. Certainly, as I’ve gotten older, my perspective on things has changed considerably. As we age, we tend to see things from a longer-term view. Things that seemed so important at the time, years ago, turned out to be nothing more than bumps along the road of life. That is as...

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Update The Conflict of Interest Rate(s)

What changed? For over a month, the Treasury market had the Fed and its rate hiking figured out. Rising recession risks had been confirmed by almost every piece of incoming data, including, importantly, labor data. It is the jobs market where much of the official “inflation” jawboning is centered, all that Phillips Curve stuff. So, whatever might seriously undermine Phillips would put the end to the rate hikes in sight. Short-term Treasuries therefore ignored...

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Simple Economics and Money Math

The BLS’s most recent labor market data is, well, troubling. Even the preferred if artificially-smooth Establishment Survey indicates that something has changed since around March. A slowdown at least, leaving more questions than answers (from President Phillips). That as much because of the other employment figures, the Household Survey. April and May, in particular, not just a slowdown but a drop in overall employee count. As I pointed out last Friday, a 2-month...

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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? 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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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. Why? For one thing, she noted how Europe produces a lot of stuff that, at the margins of its economy, make the whole system go. Or don’t go, as each periodic case may be: Europe in...

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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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Yield Curve Inversion Was/Is Absolutely All About Collateral

If there was a compelling collateral case for bending the Treasury yield curve toward inversion beginning last October, what follows is the update for the twist itself. As collateral scarcity became shortage then a pretty substantial run, that was the very moment yield curve flattening became inverted. Just like October, you can actually see it all unfold. According to the latest FRBNY data taken from Primary Dealers, repo fails during the week of April 6 (most...

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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. After August 2017 up to and including August 2018, the BLS’s CPI registered a seasonally-adjusted 20.5% year-over-year gain in its motor fuel component. Economic pain followed thereafter, though not entirely the fault of...

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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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