Like the poem, Casey At The Bat, the US economy struck out with a shockingly bad jobs report for September.
Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright; The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light, And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout; But there is no joy in Mudville USA—mighty Casey Biden has struck out.
The U.S. economy added fewer jobs than forecast for a second straight month in September. Nonfarm payrolls increased by just 194,000 last month after an upwardly revised 366,000 gain in August, Labor Department figures showed Friday. 500K was expected.
The U-3 unemployment rate declined to 4.8% (meaning that the labor force shrank due to people dropping out of the labor force). In fact, 338,000 people dropped out of the labor force.
Average hourly earnings YoY rose to 4.6%. While that is an improvement, but it is lower than the inflation rate of 5.25% YoY and house price inflation of 20% YoY.
This miserable jobs report is a victory for Fed doves that don’t want to raise rates or slow down the balance sheet growth.
Where were the jobs created? Leisure and hospitality, as usual, leads in job gains.
Only a multi-millionaire like Powell would call it frustrating. Most US consumers would call it “devastating.”
Look at home prices, natural gas, gasoline and food prices since The Fed turned on the money pump to combat the Covid shutdown by government. Well, at least food price growth has slowed, but that is more that offset by natural gas (heating) costs skyrocketing.
Rent? That too has zoomed upwards, although Powell likely isn’t worried about his rent rising by 11.5%.
I wonder if Powell is frustrated by banks parking their money at the Fed’s reverse repo facility? Ninety-two participants on Thursday placed a total of $1.605 trillion at the Federal Reserve’s overnight reverse repurchase agreement facility, in which counterparties like money-market funds can place cash with the central bank. The previous record, set the day before, was $1.416 trillion. Thursday’s leap was the biggest one-day increase in usage since mid-June.
Biden blames “greed” for rising prices, Powell is “frustrated” by bottlenecks. But why pump trillions into the economy when you know there are bottlenecks? Or meatpacking firms are “greedy”?
So much for the transitory inflation that The Federal Reserve keeps spouting on about.
(Bloomberg) — The pace of rent increases is heating up in the U.S.
Rent data for the past two months show no sign yet of the usual seasonal dip at this time of year, following peaks early in the summer, when many lease renewals come due.
A Zillow Group Inc. index based on the mean of listed rents rose 11.5% in August from a year earlier, with some cities in Florida, Georgia and Washington state seeing increases of more than 25%.
Since the start of the pandemic, the median rent for a two-bedroom apartment has soared 13.1% to $1,663, Zumper data show.
But rent on newly-signed leases rose 17% from the previous tenant’s lease.
For the New York market, landlords are raising rent prices as much as 70% now that people are flooding back into the city as offices and entertainment venues open up. In July, the median asking rent in New York City surged to $3,000, compared with the pandemic low of $2,750 in January 2021, data from StreetEasy showed.
Of course, rent surge is not surprising given that home prices have surged since Covid given limited inventory and massive Fed stimulus.
Perhaps if The Fed and Federales (Federal government) start reducing their apocalyptic-level stimulus, THEN we will see inflation as transitory.
A national mortgage lender has just introduced a 105 Loan-to-value (LTV) ratio loan and a lowering of FICO scores from 660 to 620.
Now, the loan still requires 97% LTV with downpayment assistance and gift funds permitted to boost CLTV to 105%.
With The Fed helping to raise home prices at a whopping 20% YoY, …
lenders are trying to find loan products for lower-income households so they can get in on the bubble! Hence, a 105% CLTV mortgage product with reduced credit requirements and increased Debt-to-income requirement rising from 43% to 45%. Also, borrowers can avoid the 3% downpayment requirement and put down only $500.
This is lending into the storm: softening of underwriting requirements as the house price bubble surges. Sound like 2005. This was not supposed to happen. After the housing bubble burst and the financial crisis, The Fed was supposed to encourage counter-cyclical lending (tighten credit standards as a housing bubble worsens). Instead, lenders are lowering credit standards, feeding the house price bubble.
If this was just one lender, I would have barely noticed. But this mortgage is being offered by most banks. And then sold to our GSEs: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Speaking of lending into a storm, as part of the raft of new legislation designed to spur first-time homeownership in America, a remarkable bill has joined the fray: its sponsors propose creating a new subsdizied 20-year-fixed-rate mortgage program through Ginnie Mae, HousingWire reports.
According to the bill, Ginnie Mae in tandem with the Department of the Treasury would subsidize the interest rate and origination fees associated with these 20-year mortgages, so that the monthly payment would be in line with a new 30-year FHA-insured mortgage. The move – which is an explicit subsidy of one share of the population by another – could, in theory, “allow qualified homebuyers to build equity-and wealth- at twice the rate of a conventional 30-year mortgage.” Instead, what it will do is lead to is an even bigger housing bubble.
Now, it is September 28, so this is a report of happenings two months ago. Well, now you know why The Fed ignores housing despite being the largest asset is most household’s portfolio.
A measure of prices in 20 U.S. cities gained 19.9% in July. Phoenix led the way with a 32.4% surge. New York (17.8%), Boston (18.7%), Dallas (23.7%), Seattle (25.5%) and Denver (21.3%) were among the cities that posted record year-over-year increases.
Central banks are turning “hawkish” in the face of inflation.
(Bloomberg) — Treasuries fell, sending 10-year yields to a three-month high, as traders braced for a testing week of heavy bond auctions and continued to digest the prospect that central banks in the U.S. and Europe will step up the pace of policy tightening.
The yield on 10-year Treasuries reached 1.51%, the highest since June, before settling at 1.48%. The yield has climbed 16 basis points over the past week as the Federal Reserve signaled it may start reducing its asset purchases in November and raising rates as soon as next year. Yields on two- and five-year Treasuries hit their highest levels since early 2020, with a combined $121 billion of the securities set to be sold Monday. A seven-year auction is due Tuesday.
While Treasuries briefly extended the selloff after a report showed durable goods orders exceeded economists’ forecasts, they started to pare losses after U.S. equity futures soured.
Bond yields increased across the globe last week as central banks move to reduce pandemic stimulus. The Bank of England surprised markets by raising the prospect of increasing rates as soon as November, and Norway delivered the first post-crisis hike among Group-of-10 countries. In the U.S., traders pulled forward wagers on an interest-rate increase to the end of 2022 following last week’s Fed meeting.
On the equity side, FAANG stocks trail the S&P 500 as 10-year Treasury yield climb.
We have the 10-year Treasury yield climbing above the S&P 500 dividend yield.