First, banks are stashing cash with the New York Fed on an “overnight basis” although it is looking pretty permanent to me. Repos (or repuchase agreements) soared to $2.55 TRILLION as of 12/30/22.
But this morning we see the US Treasury 10-year plummeting -15 basis points. As I used to tell my University of Chicago, Ohio State and George Mason finance students, any 10 basis point shift (plus or minus) is a big deal. Something is happening.
The 10-year Treasury yield plunging -15 bps is a “good thing” for the mortgage market in that US mortgage rates will likely follow suit and fall.
(Bloomberg) — Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda just gave investors a glimpse of what to expect when the world’s boldest experiment with ultra-loose monetary policy comes to an end.
In the face of sustained market pressure, Kuroda shocked markets Tuesday by saying he’ll now allow Japan’s 10-year bond yields to rise to around 0.5%, double the previous upper limit of 0.25%.
Whether this is a strategic tweak to buy time for his yield-curve control settings until his decade-long term ends in Aprilor the start of the end for his unprecedented monetary easing remains to be seen.
Here are the BOJ’s rate. bands being widened.
And with the ECB, Fed and now Bank of Japan all tightening, we are seeing sovereign yields rising across the board.
The Japanese sovereign yield curve is upward sloping unlike the humped US Treasury yield curve.
The Federal Reserve forecast for the US economy is a dismal 0.50% YoY. Do I detect a trend?
The FOMC forecast for 2023 and 2024. Core PCE YoY (inflation) is forecast to drop to 3.50%, still considerably higher than The Fed’s target rate of inflation of 2%. And unemployment is forecast to be 4.60%.
To cope with Bidenflation, US personal savings rate as of October is -67.9% YoY. The “good” news is that rents YoY are crashing. But food prices under Inflation Joe remain very high. But most everything is slowing down, not due to Biden’s policies, but a global and US economic slowdown.
With a big slowdown coming our way, you can understand why The Fed’s December Dot Plot is showing declining Fed Funds Target rate starts declining in 2024.
Even US mortgage rates are headed down.
Speaking of going down, cryptos are down across the board with Cardano leading the decline at -6.91%.
Things are getting interesting in DC, to say the least. The US is 100% likely to face a recession in the next 12 months while The Federal Reserve is on its crusade to fight inflation caused by … The Federal Reserve, Biden’s green energy shenanigans and massive, irresponsible Federal spending that even Former Obama economist Lawrence Summers warned would cause inflation. So what will The Fed do? Lower rates and expand their assets purchases to fight the impending recession OR keep tightening to fight Bidenflation? But where we are now is that the fixed-income market could be in big, big trouble.
For months, traders, academics, and other analysts have fretted that the $23.7 trillion Treasuries market might be the source of the next financial crisis. Then last week, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen acknowledged concerns about a potential breakdown in the trading of government debt and expressed worry about “a loss of adequate liquidity in the market.” Now, strategists at BofA Securities have identified a list of reasons why U.S. government bonds are exposed to the risk of “large scale forced selling or an external surprise” at a time when the bond market is in need of a reliable group of big buyers.
“We believe the UST market is fragile and potentially one shock away from functioning challenges” arising from either “large scale forced selling or an external surprise,” said BofA strategists Mark Cabana, Ralph Axel and Adarsh Sinha. “A UST breakdown is not our base case, but it is a building tail risk.”
In a note released Thursday, they said “we are unsure where this forced selling might come from,” though they have some ideas. The analysts said they see risks that could arise from mutual-fund outflows, the unwinding of positions held by hedge funds, and the deleveraging of risk-parity strategies that were put in place to help investors diversify risk across assets.
In addition, the events which could surprise bond investors include acute year-end funding stresses; a Democratic sweep of the midterm elections, which is not currently a consensus expectation; and even a shift in the Bank of Japan’s yield curve control policy, according to the BofA strategists.
The BOJ’s yield curve control policy, aimed at keeping the 10-year yield on the country’s government bonds at around zero, is being pushed to a breaking point.
Well. Bidenflation certainly isn’t helping, but Statist Economist and Cheerleader Janet Yellen can’t bring herself to blame green energy policies, rampant Federal spending or irresponsible Federal Reserve policies for the crisis.
You will note the differences between today and the financial crisis of 2008-2009. The financial crisis gave us a massive surge in government securities liquidity thanks to then Fed Chair Ben Bernanke imitating Japan’s Central Bank and buying US government securities. Fast forward to today and the liquidity index hasn’t budged much since 2010 (except for a little blip around the Covid Fed intervention of early 2020), but we are now seeing near 40-year highs in inflation and a barely declining Fed balance sheet. And M2 Money YoY (mostly commercial bank deposits) are crashing.
I am guessing that The Fed will pivot given that stock futures are way up for Monday. The Dow Jones mini is up 770 points and the S&P 500 mini is up 88.75 points.
Bond market futures (specifically the US Ultra Bond) is down for Monday, meaning yields will be climbing.
I remember giving a speech at The Brookings Institute in Washington DC. Talk about stranger in a strange land. One person who I was debating got frustrated and said “You are such a … Republican!!!” As if that was the worst slur he could throw at me.
I feel sorry (sort of) for people like White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre who has to read ridiculous scripts in defense of awful Federal policies. For example, yesterday she touted Biden’s “accomplishments” of rising real disposable US income and declining gasoline prices. What? Doesn’t she read Confounded Interest?? /sarc
First, REAL disposable personal income growth for the US is NEGATIVE and has been since Biden and Congress embarked on their green energy crusade driving US inflation to its highest level in 40 years. Not exactly a great sales point for the midyear elections.
If we look at REAL average hourly earnings growth, a similar measure, we see that it is negative also. So, what on earth is Jean-Pierre talking about?
She also mentioned that gasoline prices are falling. Except that they are rising again. Apparently her talking points were from September.
Then we have diesel fuel prices, the backbone of the shipping industry, rising like crazy as Biden drains the strategic petroleum reserve.
Meanwhile, The Federal Reserve is tightening their uber-loose monetary policies (thanks Bernanke, Yellen and Powell). Will The Fed pivot to help with the midterm elections OR will The Fed keep trying to extinguish inflation by raising rates and withdrawing Fed monetary stimulus?
Inflation is a multi-headed hydra (from Greek Mythology). It is composed of 1) monetary stimulus (that The Fed is slowly withdrawing), 2) massive, reckless Federal spending and 3) Biden’s anti-fossil fuel mandates. So, when the inflation numbers are out later this week, it will be fun to dissect the damage being done to the US economy and middle-class/low-wage workers.
Take Los Angeles, for example. The life blood of the shipping industry, diesel fuel, is UP 176% under Biden, despite declining for a short period of time. And the DOE Strategic Petroleum Reserve is DOWN -34.7% under Biden.
Here is a photo of Jerome Powell (Fed Chair) trying to fight the inflation hydra. Unfortunately, one of the inflation hydra heads is The Federal Reserve itself.
Yesterday, I told my family “The good news is that Rotolo’s Pizza tastes even better reheated in the morning. The bad news? I ate the only two piece left.”
Which brings me to the September jobs report. The good news is that 263k jobs were added to the US economy. That means 10,521k jobs have been added in the 21 months under Biden! (Bear in mind that 12,100k jobs were added in the 7 months under Trump following the Covid economic shutdown, yet no media outlet trumpeted that accomplishment).
The bad news? While nominal average hourly earnings grew by 5% YoY, when I subtract Bidenflation from that number I get -3.06% growth. Or should I say that REAL wages are shrinking under Biden.
Now for the “Biden Miracle” of jobs being added. Here is a chart of NFP jobs added (white line) against M2 Money and headline inflation. Both The Fed and the Federal government pumped trillions into the economy leading to the highest inflation rate in 40 years. Once governments stopped with their Covid shutdown nonsense, jobs would return regardless of who was President. BUT Federal spending and Fed money printing went off the rails in early 2020.
As Paul Harvey used to say, “Here is the rest of the story.” Labor force participation fell in September and the U-3 unemployment rate fell slightly to 3.5%.
But labor force dropouts increased leading U-3 unemployment to decline. The number of people NOT in the labor force grew to nearly 100 million. Nothing has been the same since Covid.
So what will The Fed do? According to Fed Funds Futures data (WIRP), The Fed will keep raising rates until March ’23 then slowly start lowering interest rates again.
And with that “positive” jobs report, The Dow is down almost -500 points and the NASDAQ is down over -3%.
And with Fed tightening, we are seeing a collapse in M2 money supply.
With all the turbulence in markets thanks to the war in Ukraine and Biden’s green energy mandates and spending (not to mention Statists like Klaus Schwab screaming about a Great Reset), I was reminiscing about more simple times.