Zoltan! Pozsar Says L-Shaped Recession Is Needed to Conquer Inflation (US 10Y-2Y Curve Inverts To -31.69 BPS)

  • Fed may have to hike to 5% or 6% as inflation now structural


The US economy may need to undergo a deeper and longer recession than investors currently anticipate before inflation can be brought under control, according to Zoltan Pozsar of Credit Suisse Group AG

Markets expect the surge in consumer prices will soon peak and central banks will become less hawkish, but there’s a high risk that global cost pressures will remain elevated, Pozsar, global head of short-term interest-rate strategy at Credit Suisse in New York, wrote in a client note.

The world is being wracked by an economic war that’s undermining the deflationary relationships that have prevailed in recent decades where Russia and China supplied cheap goods and services to more developed nations such as the US and those in Europe, he said.

Markets priced for inflation to come back down very fast

“War is inflationary,” Pozsar wrote. “Think of the economic war as a fight between the consumer-driven West, where the level of demand has been maximized, and the production-driven East, where the level of supply has been maximized to serve the needs of the West.” That pattern held “until East-West relations soured, and supply snapped back,” he said.

The result is that inflation is now a structural problem, rather than a cyclical one. Supply disruptions have arisen from the changes in Russia and China, along with tighter labor markets due to immigration restrictions and a reduction in mobility caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Pozsar said.

There’s now a risk the Federal Reserve under Chair Jerome Powell has to raise interest rates to 5% or 6% and keep them there to create a substantial and sustained reduction of aggregate demand to match the tighter supply profile, he said.

‘More Misguided’

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Pozsar’s warning that inflation will stay elevated puts him at odds with the Treasury market, which rallied last month as investors switched their focus to recession risks from inflation concern. While an economic slowdown typically weighs on consumer prices, the latest annual US inflation reading of 9.1% for June remains far above the Fed’s 2% goal, although the price surge is forecast to slow for the first time in three months to 8.8% in July according to a Bloomberg poll of economists. 

The bond market is more misguided now than at any other time this year as traders wager the US central bank will start cutting rates in early 2023, Bloomberg Economics’ chief US economist Anna Wong and her colleagues said this week. Money markets are wagering on almost one percentage point of hikes by year-end followed by a quarter-point cut by June.

“Interest rates may be kept high for a while to ensure that rate cuts won’t cause an economic rebound (an ‘L’ and not a ‘V’), which might trigger a renewed bout of inflation,” Pozsar wrote in his note. “The risks are such that Powell will try his very best to curb inflation, even at the cost of a ‘depression’ and not getting reappointed.”

Speaking of “recession,” the US Treasury 10Y-2Y yield curve has inverted even further to -31.69 BPS.


Inflation And The Fed Ahead of Wednesday’s FOMC Meeting (Will Fed 75 BPS Increase Tame Inflation With Inverted Yield Curve? Or Will Biden/Congress Raise Taxes To Fight Inflation?)

Hold on, The Fed is coming! To raise their target rate by 75 basis points at Wednesday’s FOMC meeting. Will this stem the tide of rising inflation?

Under Biden, we have seen regular gasoline prices rise 82% despite recent declines. Diesel fuel is up 121% and foodstuffs are up 46%. And house rents keep rising at a staggering 14.75% YoY. The recent declines is more due to the global economic slowdown and central bank rate increases than anything Washington DC is doing.

(Bloomberg) Investors are skeptical that the Federal Reserve can tame the worst inflation in four decades without driving the economy into a recession.

That’s bad news for Americans, who face the prospect of a downturn as their bills for food, rent and fuel swell. But to bond investors hit by deep losses this year, it may mean any further pain will be short-lived, as a recession will spark the US central bank to cut rates next year. That’s according to the results of the latest MLIV Pulse survey. 

Over 60% of 1,343 respondents in the survey said there’s a low or zero probability that the US central bank can rein in consumer-price pressures without causing an economic contraction. The survey was conducted July 18-22 and included retail and professional investors.

US inflation may be close to a peak, but it’s very likely to stay above 8% through year-end. Bloomberg Economics’ model assigns zero probability to a drop below 4% in 2023. Taken together with increasing recession risks, the Fed faces a tough balancing act as it attempts to bring stubborn price pressures under control without tipping the economy into contraction.

Of course, The Federal Reserve doesn’t really consider energy or food inflation, which are typically higher than core inflation. But going into Wednesday’s meeting, we see the US Treasury 10Y-2Y curve remains inverted (a signal of impending recession) and the Atlanta Fed GDPNow Q2 tracker at -1.6% after a negative Q1 reading.

Will raising the target rate (or ACTUALLY shrinking their balance sheet) reduce inflation? We shall see, but it has got to be better than Lawrence Summer’s suggestion to reduce inflation: raise taxes. Wait a minute, Larry. Inflation was caused by 1) overstimulus by The Fed combined with 2) massive Covid spending by Biden, Pelosi, Schumer and 3) Biden’s anti-fossil fuel policies. So instead of suggesting a decrease in Federal spending, Summer’s wants to give MORE of your money to Biden and Congress to spend. What an unbelievable nitwit.

Here is a picture of Larry Summers, Jay Powell and Janet Yellen attending the FOMC meeting in Washington DC.

Slipping Into Darkness! Bidenflation And Fed’s Reaction Causing Social Security And Pension Funds To Get Clobbered (Mortgage Rates Keep Climbing)

US President Biden went green and signed executive orders on his first day to limit oil and natural gas exploration of Federal lands and offshore (also, killed the Keystone Pipeline), helping to drive up energy prices and food prices. These orders begat inflation (also caused by the massive Covid relief by the Federal government). The highest inflation in 40 years begat The Federal Reserve signalling a tightening of Fed monetary policy … to fight the problem caused by The Fed in the first place … too much monetary stimulus for too long. Fiscal and monetary fanaticism and ignorance is forever busy and needs feeding

There was an interesting article on MarketWatch entitled “Bond rout exposes Social Security’s insanity.” The headline was “Every dollar of yours that’s invested in the Social Security trust fund is invested in low-yielding government bonds.”

Yes, another disastrous consequence of The Fed’s lax monetary policy since 2008, helping to push Treasury yields extremely low. And REAL Treasury yields into negative territory.

But here we sit today with The Fed threatening to trim their balance sheet and raise rates … to combat the inflation they helped create in the first place. Now we have the 10-year Treasury Note price falling like a paralyzed falcon with expected hate hikes going above rate hikes by February 2023 (based on Fed Funds Futures prices).

Most pension funds also invest heaving in US Treasuries, along with agency Mortgage-backed Securities (AgencyMBS).

Plus we have the Treasury curve slipping into darkness.

Speaking of “Slipping Into Darkness,” mortgage rates are soaring.

Meanwhile, Biden, Fed economists and Congress are merrily partying at some DC nightclub.

What is hip? NOT Biden, Pelosi, Schumer or Powell.