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Tag Archives: Yield Curve

The Speed of Sour: LIBOR Now Inverted, Too

Last week, for the first time since February 2008, the LIBOR curve inverted. The 3-month tenor has been on the move downward for some time. The 1-month rate has been gentler in its slope. Last Thursday, the two finally crossed. As unnatural as inversion in the UST curve or elsewhere, it’s another sign of imminent rate cuts. I am somewhat reluctant to point out how it was on August 9, 2007, when this same thing happened for the first time last time around. It doesn’t mean we are repeating...

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Globally Synchronized (Bond Yields)

If you have nothing left, it can sound like a winning argument but you have to really try hard enough. In October 2015, with another false dawn dawning on the public, former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke wrote and op-ed published in the Wall Street Journal. As had become his habit, it was full of praise – for his own work. Though he likely didn’t choose the title, it reflected his article nonetheless; and it tells you all you need to know about it. How the Fed Saved the Economy. How...

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Behind The Blame Game, A Nastier #4

After what is all but certain to be the final “rate hike” in this cycle, Bloomberg reported that President Trump had previously explored all possible legal ramifications of demoting Federal Reserve Chairman Jay Powell. The issue has become a major one, in the media, anyway, now that Mr. Powell has indicated his error. There will be no further hikes this year, rate cuts now pretty much a done deal from here. Given the situation, it’s at least understandable how no one is in much of a...

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Payrolls: Rate Cuts Not Of Their Choice

It’s never just one payroll report. The month-to-month changes in the Establishment Survey barely qualify as statistically significant, let alone meaningful. What that means is one good monthly headline is nothing to get excited about, just as one bad month shouldn’t get anyone too worked up. May 2019’s jobs report, however, isn’t in isolation. The headline for the Establishment Survey was +75k, well below expectations. On top of that, last month’s blowout (or what passes for one these days)...

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Bills, Beige, And the Consequences of the Disappeared Labor Shortage

Early last month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the unemployment rate in the United States had fallen to just 3.6%. It was the lowest in half a century, seemingly an amazing feat for the most puzzling boom ever conceived. Everyone says it is going gangbusters, but is everyone saying so simply because everyone says so? This one statistic is the key piece of evidence for something more tangible. The problem is that it is not unassailable. There are flaws in its design,...

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Bad Steepening Bills and Europe’s Possible Self-Reinforcing Recession Processes

Normally, it’s a very good sign when the yield curve steepens. If longer-term rates are rising faster than those on the shorter end of the curve, it would say the bond market is forecasting a better probability of normal. Given where interest rates have been the last decade plus, this kind of steepening is what should’ve happened in 2017 if globally synchronized growth had been a real thing. There’s another kind of steepening curve – the bad kind. This one is pretty much the best recession...

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RIP: BOND ROUT!!!!

Reality has begun to dawn across Wall Street’s Economists. This year isn’t going to go the way everyone thought. Even as late as last November and December, the optimism was still sharp about how what was taking place at that moment would be nothing more than a transitory soft patch. They still listened to Jay Powell. In its projections for this year, 2019, JP Morgan’s strategists were not truly dissuaded. Given a Fed that continues to tighten against the backdrop of increasing Treasury...

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How Do You Get A September Rate Cut?

When the eurodollar futures curve first inverted a year ago in the wake of May 29, 2018, it was the market beginning to hedge against serious and rising risks of something that would force the Federal Reserve to turn around. When that might happen, or how many cuts would eventually follow, those were questions the immediate inversion couldn’t answer. All the curve said at that point was a serious chance Jay Powell was going to be forced into an involuntarily U-turn at some indeterminate...

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More and More The Economic Inflection

You do wonder sometimes whether the person responsible for writing these things ever cringes while they do so. Are they ever shocked by a sudden bout of conscience? Then again, most of it is bland boilerplate language and when it’s not the difference is hidden under a maze of intentionally induced complexity or misdirection. The statement the FOMC released after its April/May policy meeting started out with the following: Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in...

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Trade Wars Will Be The New Subprime

Trade wars are rapidly turning into subprime mortgages. A few billion in tariffs will have wrecked the entire global economy, they’ll claim. Just like all that toxic waste subprime mortgage fiasco led inevitably to the Great “Recession” and global panic. Neither will be true, except insofar as both were symptoms of the far greater cause. The other thing actually responsible for messes. Both of them. For one of the few times, I have to agree with what Ben Bernanke said when he told the...

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