Here is a chart (courtesy of Zero Hedge) showing reported payrolls and REVISED payrolls. Somehow, I don’t think Jean Pierre (Biden’s spokesperson, not the French chef) will be touting “Unlike Trump, our administration barely added any jobs in March, April, May and June 2022.
How will this revelation influence the Fed’s open market committee (FOMC) going forward knowing that the Biden Administrations job creation claims are wildly overstated?
Perhaps it doesn’t matter since Bernanke, Yellen and Powell don’t follow any rules (like the Taylor Rule), but generally with job creation almost nonexistant in March through June of 2022, The Fed should be cutting rates like mad. But wait! Can they with significant inflation?
The good news is that inflation is coming off its peak, but will take a while to get to The Fed’s 2% target. Hence The Fed may raise their target rate since they cannot achieve it will energy price up substantially since Biden became President.
Mortgage applications increased 3.2 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending December 9, 2022.
The Refinance Index increased 3 percent from the previous week and was 85 percent lower than the same week one year ago. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 1 percent compared with the previous week and was 38 percent lower than the same week one year ago.
You can see the impact of seasonalilty on mortgage purchase applications (white line). They peaked in the week of May 6, 2022 and have been generally declining since. While refi applications (orange line) increased over the past week, they have been pummelled by The Fed tightening.
It is quiet today as investors wait for The Fed to announce a 50 basis point rate increase. Fed Funds Futures point to almost another 100 basis point hike by May 5, 2023, then a slow decline in The Fed Funds target rate (upper bound).
And here is Sam Bankman-Fried and his high-powered legal defense.
In August 2020, the Federal Reserve unveiled its new strategic framework. One major objective of the Fed was to address its concerns over the potential consequences for the conduct of monetary policy when the policy rate was constrained by its effective lower bound. This article concludes that there are significant flaws in the new strategy and that it encourages a more discretionary approach to monetary policy and increases the risks of policy errors. The new framework is an overly complex and asymmetric flexible average inflation targeting scheme that introduces a significant inflationary bias into policy and expands the scope for discretion by broadening the Fed’s employment mandate to “maximum inclusive employment.” In a postscript, the article describes how quickly the flaws have been revealed and urges a reset toward a more systematic and coherent strategy that is transparent and broadly understood by the public.
I attended a speech by macoeconomist Gershon Mandelker at the National Association of Realtors where he called on the Federal Reserve to follow some observable rule rather than the complex (or seat of the pants) approach to monetary policy.
With today’s inflation report (core inflation YoY of 6%) results in a Taylor Rule estimate of The Fed Funds Target Rate of 12.07%. We are struggling to reach 5% as a “terminal” Fed target rate (currently at 4% and likely to rise 50 basis points at tomorrow’s Fed meeting).
The matrix of CPI and unemployment under the Taylor Rule shows that The Fed’s target rate isn’t at even 5% for any relevant combination of core CPI (inflation) and unemployment rate.
Note that since the financial crisis the Fed’s target rate (white line) has been consistely below the Taylor Rule implied rate (blue dashed line).
With an impending railroad strike that can torpedo the US economy (but if that is possible, why is the Biden Clan vacationing in Nantucket for Thanksgiving weekend when Joe should be talking with railroads and the unions to not let this happen?), let’s see what interest rates are telling us.
First, the US Treasury 10Y-2Y yield curve continues to descrend into the abyss (now at -80 basis points).
Second, the latest Fed Dot Plot (from September, new one will be issued during December) show that The Fed thinks that their target rate, while rising in 2023, will likely start falling again in 2024.
Third, since it is Thanksgiving Day, US bond markets are closed. But in Europe, the 10-year sovereign yields are falling, a sign that the ECB is reversing course by increasing monetary stimulus and/or a European are slow down.
Fourth, US mortgage rates have cooled since peaking (locally) at 7.35% on November 3, 2022 and now sit at 6.81%, a decline of 54 basis points. A clear sign of cooling.
Fifth, how about Fed Funds Futures data? It is pointing to a peak Fed Funds Target rate of 4.593% at the June FOMC meeting. Then a decline in rates to 2.301% by January 2024.
Now, go and enjoy your Thanksgiving dinner with friends and family (up 20% since last year), courtesy of Jerome Powell, Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer.
As I mentioned on Varney and Company on Fox Business, housing is going to suffer when The Fed starts to tighten their monetary policy. And here we are, folks!
US existing home sales fell a staggering -28.43% YoY in October as M2 Money growth grinds to almost a halt.
October’s existing home sales YoY of -28.43% is the WORST since The Great Recession and collapse of Lehman Brothers.
The median price of existing home sales slowed to 6.6% YoY. Inventory of EHS remains below pre-Covid levels.
Unrelated to housing, Prince Imhotep (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis President Neel Kashkari) said Friday that the whole idea of cryptocurrency is “nonsense” after the implosion of FTX revealed the industry’s shortcomings.
“This isn’t case of 1 fraudulent company in a serious industry,” Kashkari said on Twitter, commenting on an article about how investors fell for FTX. “Entire notion of crypto is nonsense. Not useful 4 payments. No inflation hedge. No scarcity. No taxing authority. Just a tool of speculation & greater fools.”
Or it could be that investors don’t trust The Fed or Federal government to act in their best interest.
Here is a crypto investor (in red fez) being lectured by Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari.
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%).
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.