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Tag Archives: TIPS

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. The common forecast relies entirely on the subjective interpretation of the labor market....

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Gold: Big Difference Which Kind of Hedge It Truly Is

It isn’t inflation which is driving gold higher, at least not the current levels of inflation. According to the latest update from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation calculation, the PCE Deflator, continues to significantly undershoot. Monetary policy explicitly calls for that rate to be consistent around 2%, an outcome policymakers keep saying they expect but one that never happens. For the month of July 2019, the index increased 1.38% year-over-year....

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Monthly Macro Monitor: Market Indicators Review

This is a companion piece to last week’s Monthly Macro report found here. 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. That to me, is evidence that this move is overly emotional since the...

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A Day Later, No Takers Anywhere

I see it as reality intruding. The myth of the Fed continues to linger in the popular media, the mainstream press will dutiful parrot the idea that rate cuts and an end to QT are “highly accommodative.” The FOMC told them yesterday what to write and say: These changes in the anticipated path of interest rates have eased financial conditions and have supported the economy. For about half an hour yesterday, that’s how it looked. Yields jumped somewhat and eurodollar futures prices dropped more....

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Rate Cuts Will Not Be The Fed’s First Insurance Policy

I don’t think anyone really noticed the timing because nobody really noticed it had happened. What took place last year qualifies as a big deal in the world of central banking and moneyless monetary policy. The lack of clarity about it as well as what sure looks like indecision portrays an intellectual foundation at odds with public perception. First, the timing. The middle of 2018 should not have needed any shift toward the inflationary. As officials were quick to point out, the boom was...

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Monthly Macro Monitor: Market Indicators Review

The markets we use to monitor the economy (and those that influence it, which amounts to the same thing) have been tracking an economic slowdown since the 4th quarter of last year. That’s when interest rates, real and nominal, long term and short term, started to decline, credit spreads started to widen and the copper to gold ratio started to fall. Those are all classic market signals of an economic slowdown. Some of those have moderated since the beginning of the year though and today...

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Inflation Undershoots, Inflation Expectations Sketch Out Growing Downside

For the third time in the last five months, inflation expectations have matched record lows. To hear officials and Economists talk, you’d think they were at or nearing record highs. The unemployment rate, after all, is at a 50-year low point which by mainstream reckoning should mean the cusp of an epic wage-driven breakout. According to the University of Michigan’s Surveys of Consumers, it’s just not there. In fact, it’s never been there. Like bond yields, there has only been conspicuous lack...

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Janus Powell

Again, who’s following who? As US Treasury yields drop and eurodollar futures prices rise, signaling expectations for lower money rates in the near future, Federal Reserve officials are catching up to them. It was these markets which first took further rate hikes off the table before there ever was a Fed “pause.” Now that the Fed is paused, it’s been these same markets increasingly projecting not just a rate cut or two but an entire series of them. Playing from behind once more, Chairman...

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Major Asset Classes | Correlations Profile | 30 April 2019

Do lower and negative correlations between markets enhance diversification for building diversified portfolios and (potentially) earning higher risk-adjusted returns? If the answer is “yes,” Mr. Market has become moderately more generous in spots in recent months by expanding the opportunity set of relatively low and negative correlations across asset classes. Skeptics will note, correctly, that quantifying the degree of diversification (or the lack thereof) in assets is a task that...

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Is The Stock Market As Confused As You Are About A Recession?

Last week, Barron’s ran an article entitled “The Stock Market Is Just As Confused About A Potential Recession As You Are?” To wit: “Investors have long used where we are in the economic cycle to decide which stocks to buy and sell. New research from Nomura’s Joseph Mezrich flips that on its head by showing how investors can use stock performance to help determine where we are in the cycle. Too bad the market is sending mixed messages right now.” But let’s be clear here; no one wants the party...

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