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Tag Archives: Yield Curve

Bi-Weekly Economic Review: Markets At Extremes

Economic Reports Production Production ended the year on a strong note but early readings from January are not as positive. The December industrial production report headline was strong at a 0.9% gain but a lot of that strength was in the mining (oil drilling) and utility sectors. Mining has actually led the way the last year as rig count has risen with drilling activity. I’d love to see our economy less dependent on the price of oil but that is what we’ve become over the decade...

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What About 2.62%?

There’s nothing especially special about 2.62%. It’s a level pretty much like any other, given significance by only one phrase: the highest since 2014. It sounds impressive, which is the point. But that only lasts until you remember the same thing was said not all that long ago. Back last March, the 10-year yield had then, like now, broke above 2.60%. In doing so, it surpassed the previous recent high set in December 2016. So, on March 13, 2017, the media was filled with stories about the...

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Nothing Goes In A Straight Line

A decade ago, the financial world was alive. I don’t mean alive in the same way much of humanity was at the fall of the Berlin Wall or on VE Day in 1945. Rather, people at that particular moment had their eyes pulled opened just a bit for the first time in a very long time, maybe in the same way as an animal startled to realize that it is potentially prey. The burst of adrenaline not drawn from joy but instead terror. Ten years ago this weekend, on Monday, January 21, 2008, the FOMC members...

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Bi-Weekly Economic Review: A Weak Dollar Stirs A Toxic Stew

Economic Reports Employment We received several employment related reports in the first two weeks of the year. The rate of growth in employment has been slowing for some time – slowly – and these reports continue that trend. The JOLTS report showed a drop in job openings, hires and quits. The Fed has been talking about a tight labor market but this report peaked last July so that may not be as much a concern as they think. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time the Fed got...

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China Doesn’t Want UST’s? I’ve Heard That Somewhere Before

For quite a long time I obsessed over November 20, 2013. It was a day that for the vast majority of humanity was like any other, nothing too far out of normal and certainly nothing that would seem to mark it for remembrance. But in my realm of yield curves and interest rate swaps, the things that tell us a little something about the eurodollar’s world, the one we all actually live in, November 20 was an earthquake or a volcanic eruption. For one, swap spreads collapsed – by a lot. For a...

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No, No, This 2% Is Different From All Those Others

The TIPS market corollary to interest rate case impatience is overhyping any round number that might in isolation appear to confirm the bias. To reiterate the mistaken assumption: if you believe that economic growth just happens, then given how much time has passed since that was true or apparent you have to believe each long end selloff is the one that you’ve been waiting for. The result is an almost comical overreaction to regular market action; nothing ever goes in a straight line but...

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No, No, This Time They Mean It

I thought he might wait awhile longer given how things have played out. I guess not. Bill Gross, the former “bond king” at PIMCO, was back to advertising his position that the great bond bull market of the past quarter century is finished. In a tweet from his new employer Janus (h/t ZeroHedge) it seems there is no level for long UST yields he can’t hate. This time, it’s the 10-year crossing the 2.50% threshold for the sixth time since Reflation #3 started in the second half of 2016. There...

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Global Asset Allocation Update

There is no change to the risk budget this month. For the moderate risk investor the allocation to bonds is 50%, risk assets 45% and cash 5%. The extreme overbought condition of the US stock market persists so I will continue to hold a modest amount of cash. There are some minor changes within the portfolios but the overall allocation is unchanged. There have been two major developments since our last asset allocation update. First, the Fed raised rates at its December meeting and the Fed...

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The Great Risk of So Many Dinosaurs

The Treasury Borrowing Advisory Committee (TBAC) was established a long time ago in the maelstrom of World War II budgetary as well as wartime conflagration. That made sense. To fight all over the world, the government required creative help in figuring out how to sell an amount of bonds it hadn’t needed (in proportional terms) since the Civil War. A twenty-person committee made up of money dealer bank professionals and leaders was one of the few no-brainers of that day. Outside of that, over...

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COT Blue: Nobody Buys a Dead Horse

FRBNY’s December 2017 Primary Dealer survey results aren’t yet published, so we will have to wait a few days for the collection of those banks’ economists to tell us what they think their own traders likely won’t do. It’s a mess in that situation, but one as old as the crisis. Nevertheless, Economists for some reason still occupy prime slots in mainstream commentary opining about a great many things often year after year (after year). One such is Blackstone Group’s Byron Wien. Mr. Wien is...

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