Remember peeps, The Fed still have its staggering monetary stimulypto in place.
The Fed is signaling its withdrawal of stimulus, causing mortgage rates to soar.
Given the slowdown of the US and global economy, we shall see if The Fed keeps to its tightening plans. As of today, the market is expecting The Fed to raise its target rate from 1% to 3.819% by February 2023. That is a 291% increase in The Fed’s target rate.ng
The Federal Reserve is making up for Bernanke and Yellen’s “too slow to remove” Fed stimulus policies (QE1 – QE3) and Powell’s Covid-related QE4. Now The Fed is trying to remove the stimulus in a (misguided) attempt to cool inflation. Remember, the dramatic rise in prices was caused by more than Fed stimulypto, it was also caused by Biden’s executive orders driving up oil, gasoline and natural gas prices and the massive Federal spending bills signed by Biden.
The result of The Fed’s jawboning about undoing Fed stimulypto is take away the punch bowl. But the results are troubling. Both the total return indices for US Treasuries and Agency Mortgage-backed Securities (MBS) have declined dramatically since inflation has been rising (highest in 40 years) and The Fed is expected to crank their target rate by February 2023 to 3.448% (The Fed Funds Target Rate currently stands at 1%). That is almost a 250 basis point rise in the target rate in 8 months.
While the 10-year rate is rising rapidly, the 2-year Treasury yield is REALLY rising fast.
And the yield curve (10Y-2Y) is down to +8.819 basis points as The Fed signals tightening.
And with rising 10 and 2Y Treasury yields, we are seeing the fastest rise in mortgage rates since 1981.
Regular gasoline prices have breached the $5 a gallon barrier, the highest in recorded history. And it is even worse in states like California where regular gas prices have been above $7 per gallon.
Bankrate’s 30-year mortgage rate is now 5.78%, the highest since 2008. And rising really fast as The Fed tightens the monetary noose.
Speaking of noose tightening, the 2-year US Treasury Note yield is rising awfully fast.
The US Treasury 10Y-2Y curve slope just flattened to 8.819 bps and challenging the 0% grade awfully fast.
The US Dollar is soaring as US inflation soars, consumer purchasing power (green line) collapses along with M2 Money Velocity.
There is little doubt that soaring inflation, gasoline and food prices have hurt Biden’s popularity as well as the Democrats popularity ahead of the upcoming mid-year elections. People for the most part vote with their wallets.
Inflation, the bane of the middle class and working families, just rose to 8.6%.
Core inflation, that excludes energy and food, actually declined slightly to 6% from 6.2% in April. But since most families are concerned with gas prices and food, (not to mention home prices growing at 21.17% YoY), core inflation really underestimates the suffering.
Under Biden’s leadership in cooperation with eternal Fed stimulus (until now), inflation started at 1.4% YoY and has increased to 8.6% YoY. The Fed’s balance sheet has increased by 20.27% (more monetary Stimulypto!), Case-Shiller home prices started at 10.44% YoY and has now doubled to 20.55% YoY. Regular gasoline started at $2.57 and is now at $5.42, up 102%. Food is up 61%.
The Fed is expecting two half-point hikes followed by quarter-point increases.
As I line up my move from Fairfax VA to Columbus OH, I am getting a variety of quotes from moving companies. And wow! The cost of moving using a national moving company for a 4 bedroom house is $15,000 to $20,500. That includes International, North American and Bekins.
One of the reasons for the high cost of moving is the massive increase in diesel fuel used for trucking. Diesel fuel under Biden has risen 117%. And since it was revealed that natural gas often is used for electric charging stations, and NATGAS is up 281% under Biden (but there aren’t many electric moving trucks yet).
The other problem facing moving companies is labor scarcity. Despite our open borders with Mexico and millions flowing across the border, moving companies STILL can’t find crews. Both Mayflower and United refused to give me a quote for moves under $1,000.
And for any of you who say “Do it yourself!”, I am physically disabled and can’t do it.
I wonder if it would be less expensive if we used horse-drawn moving vans?
Here is my version of their chart since 2000 where you can seen the seismic shift in the balance sheet (toxic green slime line), particularly with The Fed’s response to Covid. The Fed is signaling a tightening in monetary policy to help reduce inflation (blue line).
But notice that M2 Money Velocity (GDP/M2) is now near the all-time low along with consumer purchasing power.
How BIG is The Fed’s balance sheet? Try more that a third of size of US GDP.
And as The Fed signals its inflation-fighting intentions, mortgage rates have shot up to 5.51%, the highest mortgage rate since June 2009.
Meaning that The Fed has kept monetary stimulus in play for too long since late 2008 helping to lower mortgage rates from over 6% in November 2008 to 2.98% in November 2021. Then came “The Missouri Boat Ride” as The Fed signaled monetary tightening, leading to mortgage rates skyrocketing to their highest level since 2010.
The result of rising home prices AND mortgage rates? Housing acquisition prices (home prices * 30 year mortgage rates) have skyrocketed.
Between rising home prices and rising mortgage rates, we see that number of prices reductions increasing at nearly 70% YoY (chart courtesy of WolfStreet.com).
Of course, Congress and the media will never ask Janet Yellen (former Fed Chair [2013-2018] and current Treasury Secretary) WHY she kept massive monetary stimulus around for so long. Or why current Fed chair Powell did the same with Covid-related monetary stimulus.