Memorial Day Update! US Dollar Declining, Gasoline UP 92.4% Under Biden, Food UP 60%, Rents UP 14.75x (Traveling Will Cost A Lot More! But So Does Renting)

Memorial Day weekend is one where families often travel to meet relatives and friends, or travel to Washington DC to remember those who have died in the service of our country.

But traveling has gotten a lot more expensive under Biden. Gasoline prices are up 92.4% under Biden, while food prices are up 60%. Those hamburgers and hot dogs for grilling are being replaced by … pizza? Or maybe plant-based products.

Zillow’s Rent Index All Homes YoY was only 0.6234% in February 2021, and has soared to 16.36% YoY under Biden. That is an increase of 14.75x. So, not only is it much more expensive to travel on Memorial Day weekend, but it is far more expensive to stay home in your rental property.

On the currency front, we are seeing the US Dollar falling (greenback line), along with the Yuan/USD cross currency. West Texas Intermediate Crude Cushing OK spot is at $115.07.

At least Venezuela and Iran are benefiting greatly by Biden’s energy policies, even if Americans are suffering. Perhaps this is the new foreign policy of Wynken (US VP Harris), Blynken (US SecState), and Nod (Biden).

Remembering my Uncle Jack Sanders who served in the Battle of The Bulge during World War II, winning an individual Silver Star for bravery and two Purple Hearts. He rose from “buck” private to First Sergeant by the end of WWII.

Fed Carrying $330B In Unrealized Losses On Its Assets As of Q1 (Purchasing Power Of US Dollar And M2 Money Velocity Collapsing Like Dying Star)

Yikes! One of the unmentioned costs of Fed monetary tightening is the one to US taxpayers.

Fed carrying $330B in unrealized losses on its assets according to Q1 financial statement. Which US tax payers are on the hook.

Adjusting for the appreciation in its assets the Fed had seen through the end of last year, the unrealized losses were an even larger $458 billion.

This makes the Ukrainian relief bill of $30 billion look like chump change. Although it is about the same amount as Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan which would about to $321 billion.

Nobody spends other peoples’ money like politicians and now The Federal Reserve. Who are also DC-based politicians.

And yes, the purchasing power of the US Dollar and M2 Money Velocity (GDP/M2) appear to be collapsing like a dying star.

Inflation Fightin’ Fed? Fed Can’t Fight Food And Energy Inflation, But They Can Crash The Housing Market (To Tame Total Inflation, Fed Would Have To Raise Rates To 21.38%!)

Inflation Fightin’ Fed?

Kansas City Fed President Esther George said The Fed isn’t focused on impact of rates on stocks (or pension funds, apparently).

The inflation that is crushing Americans is due to energy and food price increases. That is, the non-core inflation. Under Biden, food is up 63%, gasoline is up 92% and diesel prices are up 112%. But The Fed doesn’t consider food and energy prices, per se.

If we look at the Taylor Rule considering fighting inflation including food and energy, The Fed would have to raise their target rate to … 21.38%.

Now, The Fed can clearly cool-off the housing market by raising rates. In fact, my fear is that they go too far and crash the housing market. The Fed will NEVER get to 20% again like we last saw under Volcker in 1981. 20% rates certainly cooled home prices back then and Fed rate hikes helped crash the housing market in 2008.

So, when The Fed says they want to be the inflation-fightin’ Fed, we must be aware what The Fed can and cannot do. They can’t tame the inflation beast in the form of food and energy prices (unless they crash the economy), but they can crush home prices.

Let’s Get Ready To Stumble (Into Recession)! Gasoline Prices UP 89% Under Biden, WTI Crude Oil UP 115% (As REAL Wage Growth Declines)

Let’s get ready to stumble!

Seriously, with soaring energy prices and soaring EVERYTHING prices (except for real wage growth), it is difficult to see how the US will avoid a recession.

Yes, everything is seemingly rising in price, yet REAL average hourly earnings growth keeps falling. Rising price + declining real earnings growth = eventual recession.

So, let’s get ready to stumble … into recession.

Good News! Flexible Price Inflation Cools To … 20%, Export Prices Cool To 18% YoY As Jerome “Slowhand” Powell Reappointed As Fed Chairman (Taylor Rule Suggests Fed Rate Of 13.89%)

The US Senate yesterday confirmed the reappointment of Jerome “Slowhand” Powell as Federal Reserve Chairman.

The good news? Atlanta Fed’s Flexible CPI YoY cooled to 20% in April. The bad news? Flexible prices are still growing at 20% while wages are growing at 5.5% YoY.

On the export front, export prices are cooling and were at 18% YoY in April, down slightly from March. Import prices cooled to 12% YoY as The Federal Reserve has slowed asset purchases.

I would have preferred President Biden appoint a serious Federal Reserve Chairman liked Stanford University’s John Taylor (of Taylor Rule fame). In his honor, here is the Mankin version of the Taylor Rule which calls for a Fed Funds Target Rate of 13.89% while the current Fed Funds Target Rate under Powell and the Gang is … 1%.

Call it the Powell Boogie. At a very slow speed.

Powell is indeed “Slowhand.”

Putting Cryptos In A Crypt? Bitcoin Rallies, Ethereum Down As Cryptos Collapse (Microstrategy Bond Plunges To $78.34)

Call this “Nobody’s Everything.” Crytpocurrencies are getting clobbered. But then again, the S&P 500 is not doing so well. But crypto stalwarts Bitcoin and Ethereum have down even worse.

At the dollar strengthens, Bitcoin has gotten pummeled.

But at least Bitcoin rose this morning along with Bitcoin Cash. And XRP. But the others are getting clobbered.

Microstrategy bonds are getting crushed.

Weekend Update! Mortgage Rates UP 87% Under Biden, Gasoline UP 80%, Food UP 59%, Commodities UP 63%, WTI Crude UP, Rents UP 17% YoY (Ain’t That A Kick In The … Head!)

As crooner Dean Martin once said, “Let ’em have it!” Ain’t this a kick in the … head.

Perhaps Joe Biden and Fed Chair Jay Powell are channeling Dean Martin by letting us have it.

Since Obama’s 3rd term as President (aka, Biden’s installation as President on January 20, 2021), mortgage rates have risen 87%, regular gasoline prices have risen 80%, CRB foodstuffs are up 59% and Commodities are up 63%.

And don’t forget about America’s energy life force, WTI Crude Oil. It is UP 123% under Biden.

Rents? Rising at a 16.8% rate.

Rents rising, food costs rising, energy costs rising, Biden and The Fed are taking us higher. In terms of prices and cost of living.

Cooler Kings! As Biden Keeps Going Green And Fed Raises Rates, Everything Is Cooling (Mortgage Rates UP, Venture Capital Down 53%, Stocks Crushed, Etc)

The Biden Administration and The Federal Reserve together should be called “The Cooler Kings” in that their policies are putting a Big Chill on the mortgage market and equities.

Mortgage rates are skyrocketing thanks to the Federal Reserve.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 5.27% for the week ending May 5, according to data released by Freddie Mac  FMCC, -1.62% on Thursday. That’s up 17 basis points from the previous week — one basis point is equal to one hundredth of a percentage point, or 1% of 1%.

House price growth to wage growth is below the all-time high, but remains above housing bubble levels of 2005-2007.

The Refinitiv Venture Capital Index is down 53% since November ’21 as The Fed cranks up interest rates.

Well, at least commodities are soaring under “The Cooler Kings.” Pretty much everything else is sucking wind.

Home prices are actually falling in some cities, like Toledo Ohio, Detroit Michigan, Rochester NY, and Pittsburgh PA. Even La-La Land (Los Angeles CA) is seeing a drop in median listing price since 2021 of -5.0%.

The question, of course, is whether The Federal Reserve will back off its plans to aggressively raise interest rates in lieu of crashing stock market, venture capital, and possibly home prices.

This is Scorcher VI: Global Meltdown.

Does Biden and The Fed Feel Like We Do?

Powell-Yellenburg Omen? Dow Drops 1,000+ Points, NASAQ Down 5%, Commodities Rally After Lunch As Fed Fear Strikes

It has been a miserable day for markets as The Federal Reserve struggles to get inflation under control.

The Dow fell over 1,000 points today and NASDAQ was down a cool 5%.

Is the Hinderburg Omen back in fashion? Better yet, the Powell-Yellenburg Omen?

While equity markets have gotten clobbered by Powell and the Gang, commodities at least rallied in the afternoon.

Don’t Panic! NASDAQ Plunges 5% As 10Y T-Note Yield Rises +16.1 BPS (NASDAQ Simply Back To Before Fed Announcement, But Treasury Rates Higher)

The headline screamed “NASDAQ PLUNGES 5%!

True, it did, but it simply lost the gain’s from yesterday’s surprisingly mild Fed announcement.

But the 10-year Treasury yield is rising faster than my blood pressure. The 10-year Treasury yield is up to 3.09%.

Cryptos? Bitcoin is down -7.27% and Dash is down -8.23%.

Watch out mortgage rates!!

Don’t panic … about the NASDAQ. EVERYBODY PANIC about rising mortgage rates.