Ever since the financial crisis of 2008 and the election of President Obama and a Democrat Congressional sweep, the US has embraced Modern Monetary Theory (MMT or borrow, print and spend without consequence). And between the financial crisis and the Covid crisis of 2008, we have seen an increase in US public debt from $10.7 trillion in Q4 2008 to a staggering $30.6 trillion as of Q2 2022. That is a staggering increase of 186% in only 14 years.
How about US Money stock? M2 Money stock has grown by 162.5% since the beginning of 2009 and the “Blue Wave” of 2008. And nothing has been the same.
The Covid outbreak in early 2020, we saw Fed money printing that has never seen before … or since. But one thing is for sure, M2 Money Velocity (GDP/M2) is near all-time lows.
Then we have headline US inflation as a function of M2 Money growth YoY.
And it is the midterm election “silly season” where no politician will discuss the complete and utter mess they have made. According to US Debt Clock, US national debt is already up to $31.26 trillion (OMG!), but the REALLY scary number that not a single politician will address is UNFUNDED LIABILITIES OF $172.4 TRILLION.
Can we go back to the gold standard? Or silver standard? Or ANY standard for that matter??
Instead, we have porous borders and patently UNSOUND money, thanks to MMT.
In addition to rampant 40-year highs in inflation, we have the Clark Griswold of the economy, Fed Chair Jerome Powell, slamming his foot on the economic breaks to combat inflation created by Biden’s energy mandates and reckless Federal spending (like the aforementioned, laughable “Inflation Reduction Act.”
So, Biden helps creates massive inflation and Powell and the Gang counterattacked by raising their target rate with more to come (at least until May 2023). And with the implied Fed Funds rate soaring (red line), we are seeing the FANG stocks (Facebook or Meta, Amazon, Netflix and Google) falling more rapidly (white line) than the S&P 500 index. Which is also falling like a rock (yellow line). All this is happening as M2 Money YoY crashes and burns.
How about growth versus value under Cousin Eddie and Clark Griswold? The Vanguard Growth ETF and Vanguard Real Estate ETF are plunging with Fed tightening (red line). Vanguard’s Value ETV (yellow line) is down too, but not by as much.
Yes, Washington DC elites. The gift that keeps on giving … bad things.
Thanks to my former GMU student Andrew Edwards for the Cousin Eddie suggestion!
It has been a wild and mostly negative ride under Biden’s Reign of Error. 40-year highs in inflation (caused by Biden’s fossil fuel mandates and Federal spending) have left the US mortgage market FINALLY seeing positive REAL mortgage rates (now 0.32%), even though the REAL 10yr Treasury yield is still negative (-2.50%).
On a YoY basis, US Productivity is down for the 3rd straight quarter (and 4th quarter of the last 5).
On the mirror image of productivity, unit labor costs rose 3.5% QoQ (a notable slowing from the 8.9% QoQ growth in Q2). This was the 6th quarter in a row of rising unit labor costs (but was less than the +4.0% QoQ expected)…
However, on a YoY basis, that is the fastest growth since Q3 1982.
Yikes! The 2s10s Yield Curve Inversion Is the worst since the 1980s.
The Bank of England followed the Fed’s 75 basis-point increase with an equivalent hike on Thursday, but strongly pushed back against market expectations for the scale of future increases, warning that following that path would induce a two-year recession. The pound fell 1.8% to $1.1183.
Stocks and bonds fell as Jerome Powell’s warning that the Federal Reserve would raise interest rates more than previously anticipated sapped risk appetite. The dollar gained.
Futures on the S&P 500 fell 1% in the wake of Wednesday’s 2.5% drop. The selloff spread to Europe and Asia, where China’s affirmation of its Covid-Zero stance dashed hopes of a reopening. Lumen Technologies Inc., Peloton Interactive Inc., Moderna Inc. and Qualcomm Inc. tumbled in premarket trading, while Etsy Inc. and EBay Inc. rose.
So, the BofE, Fed and ECB are back to 2008/2009 era central bank rates.
But the US Fed is slow to shrink its enormous balance sheet.
The S&P 500 index tanked -2.35% after Powell and The Fed failed to pivot.
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell opened a new phase in his campaign to regain control of inflation, saying US interest rates will go higher than previously projected, but the path may soon involve smaller hikes.
Addressing reporters Wednesday after the Fed raised rates by 75 basis points for the fourth time in a row, Powell said “incoming data since our last meeting suggests that ultimate level of interest rates will be higher than previously expected.”
Powell said is it would be appropriate to slow the pace of increases “as soon as the next meeting or the one after that. No decision has been made,” he said, while stressing that “we still have some ways” before rates were tight enough.
“It is very premature to be thinking about pausing,” he said.
Fed Funds Futures data point now to a June peak in the target rate of 5.055%, then a decline.
US mortgage applications declined for the sixth consecutive week despite a slight drop in rates.
Mortgage applications decreased 0.5 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending October 28, 2022. This week’s results include revised data to reflect an update to last week’s survey results.
The Refinance Index increased 0.2 percent from the previous week and was 85 percent lower than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 1 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 2 percent compared with the previous week and was 41 percent lower than the same week one year ago.
This morning’s WIRP (Fed Funds Futures data) is pointing to a 75 basis point increase from The FED FOMC (open market committee) at 2pm EST, rising to over 5% by the May 2023 meeting before declining again.