Fed Carrying $330B In Unrealized Losses On Its Assets As of Q1 (Purchasing Power Of US Dollar And M2 Money Velocity Collapsing Like Dying Star)

Yikes! One of the unmentioned costs of Fed monetary tightening is the one to US taxpayers.

Fed carrying $330B in unrealized losses on its assets according to Q1 financial statement. Which US tax payers are on the hook.

Adjusting for the appreciation in its assets the Fed had seen through the end of last year, the unrealized losses were an even larger $458 billion.

This makes the Ukrainian relief bill of $30 billion look like chump change. Although it is about the same amount as Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan which would about to $321 billion.

Nobody spends other peoples’ money like politicians and now The Federal Reserve. Who are also DC-based politicians.

And yes, the purchasing power of the US Dollar and M2 Money Velocity (GDP/M2) appear to be collapsing like a dying star.

The Fed Is Pitting Wall Street Against Main Street, Investor Share Of Home Purchases Soars (How Far Will The Fed Go With “Tightening”?)

The Federal Reserve has been signaling a tightening of its loose monetary policy (essentially loose since the housing bubble burst of 2008 and the ensuing financial crisis). It is still loose as The Fed hasn’t really trimmed its massive balance sheet yet and has just raised it target rate to 1%.

So, potential home owners have to pay 5.10% for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage while the effective Fed Funds rate, the rate at which banks lend to each other, is a measly 0.83%. This puts consumers at a relative disadvantage to large Wall Street firms that are gobbling up houses at an accelerated rate.

RealtyTrac has a Attom-sourced table of investor purchases of housing from Q3 2021, before The Fed started helping to crank-up mortgage rates for consumers.

With the US housing market slowing (thanks to The Fed’s signaling of monetary tightening), the question now is how far will The Fed go in its “War on Inflation!”?

You can see a major cause of inflation in the US since 2000: Federal spending and Federal (public) debt. During The Great Recession of 2008-2009, we saw inflation (CPI YoY) collapse into negative territory as Federal spending and debt soared. But the mini-recession of 2020 caused by the Covid governments shutdowns led to TWO surges in Federal spending and debt: Covid relief followed by the infrastructure spending bill. Combined with Biden’s anti-fossil fuel executive orders and massive splash of Federal spending in to the economy, we have inflation soaring.

If surges in Federal spending (requiring surges in Federal debt) have gone away (except for $40 billion in Ukrainian relief and Biden’s possible student loan cancellation of $10,000 that will cost an estimated $321 billion … and help drive up college tuitions even further), we may be over the “twin gorgings” of the Covid spending spree. This alone may result is a decline in the inflation rate.

Where do we sit today with the REAL neutral rate? The REAL Fed Funds Target Rate (upper bound) is -4.41%. It was in positive territory during the Trump years. But then Covid struck.

So, we sit here today with Fed Monetary policy “loose as a goose.” And Wall Street investors “drunk as a skunk” on Fed Stimulus.

No wonder Wall Streeters like to go “Down To The Nightclub!” The Fed still has not taken the monetary stimulypto away, but have taken it away for consumers buying housing.

The Biden Bowl! US Personal Savings Declines -65% YoY In April As Inflation Rages (Credit Card Debt Soars As Personal Savings Collapses)

Americans’ Savings Rate Drops to Lowest Since 2008 as Inflation Bites.

Yes, inflation really bites. In fact, as US inflation is near the 40-year high, US personal savings declined -65% YoY as consumers try to cope with rising prices.

Its not only that personal savings is crashing in the face of inflation, revolving debt has soared as consumers try to cope with rising prices. I call this chart “The Biden Bowl.” Soaring consumer credit card debt with crashing personal savings.

Simply Unaffordable! Why The US Mortgage Foreclosure Scare Was Just … A Scare (Fed Policies Drove Home Prices Into Outer Space Making Default Less Likely, But Crushing Affordability)

I remember this headline from CNBC from THU, OCT 14 2021: Foreclosures are surging now that Covid mortgage bailouts are ending, but they’re still at low levels.

But the foreclosure surge never materialized.

If we look at 90+ days late for mortgages (yellow line), we see that the surge in unemployment with the Covid outbreak and subsequent government shutdowns (red line) did not lead to a surge in mortgage foreclosures.

This situation is quite unlike 2008 when collapsing home prices and the subsequent surge in the unemployment rate led to a 90+ days late surge on mortgages (yellow line).

Difference between today and 2008? The Federal Reserve’s asset purchase (green line) surge happened twice AFTER the 2008 housing crash. Once in late 2008 through 2014, then a second, bigger surge in March 2020 after the Covid outbreak. One big difference is the surge in home prices, home price growth was 3.69% YoY in December 2019 and skyrocketed to 19.80% as of February 2022. This translates to a massive increase in homeowner equity, leading to a lower probability of default.

So, there you go. Powell and The Federal Reserve made housing unaffordable for millions of Americans, but The Fed did help thwart another mortgage default crisis. BUT we will see what happens with future rate hikes from The Fed.

Here is Attom’s US Foreclosure Starts chart. Yes, that is hardly a surge, although foreclosure starts did rise in Q1 2022.

So, The Fed has helped make housing simply unaffordable. Look at the growth of REAL home prices relative to REAL average hourly earnings.

The kids at The Fed aren’t too sharp when it comes to making housing affordable.

AEI’s April Home Price Index UP 17.3% YoY As The Fed And “Slowhand” Powell Keep Monetary Stimulus In Place (Bostic Talking About A Pause?)

All I can say is “Wow.” Tobias Peter and Ed Pinto of the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) released their April housing report and it was a doozy. The AEI’s home price appreciation index came in at a blood curdling 17.3% YoY.

The reason why home prices are still raging at 17.3% YoY? The Fed’s monetary stimulypto is STILL in place! The Fed’s balance sheet (green line) is still staggering, and The Fed Funds target rate (white line) is a measly 1%.

Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic is talking about a pause in Fed tightening. Which they haven’t paused yet.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell is really “slowhand,” not Eric Clapton. Bostic is now a member of The Fed’s “Slowhand” strategy.

Mortgage Update! Mortgage Applications Fell 1.2% WoW, Refi Applications Down 75% YoY, Purchase Applications Down 16% YoY, Mortgage Rate UP 71% YoY

Mortgage applications decreased 1.2 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending May 20, 2022.

The Refinance Index decreased 4 percent from the previous week and was 75 percent lower than the same week one year ago. And under Biden, the refinance index is down -83.2%.

The good news? The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 0.2 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 1 percent compared with the previous week and was 16 percent lower than the same week one year ago. And the mortgage purchase applications index is down -12% under Biden.

While mortgage interest rates are up 71.7% than one year ago and mortgage rates are up 87% under Biden. As The Federal Reserve signals (but not yet accomplished) monetary tightening.

Once again, The Fed is dead set on cooling inflation caused by 1) Biden’s anti-drilling policies and 2) the remnants of the Federal government spending splurge to combat Covid. The Fed has been increasing their asset purchases (purple line) as inflation increase (blue line). Now they are signaling a decline in the balance sheet (green line) in the hope that it will cool inflation. Fat chance.

Let’s see how DEAD SET The Fed is about tightening monetary policy in the face of rising energy and food prices while a war rages in Ukraine and China in a Covid lockdown.

We are all goin’ down the road feelin’ bad under Biden.

Weekend Update! Commodities Versus S&P 500 Index (How To Hedge Against The Fed And Biden’s Policies)

We have a double whammy facing investors, The Federal Reserve wanting to take away the monetary punch bowl and Federal energy policies that are crushing middle-class households and lower-wages workers.

But how do you hedge against The Federal Reserve tightening and Biden’s reckless energy policies?

Take a look at investing in commodities (S&P GSCI Commodity-Indexed Trust and the Bloomberg Commodity Index) versus the S&P 500 Total Return index since The Fed began signaling that they would take away the monetary punch bowl.

Yes, commodities like food and gasoline/diesel prices are up dramatically under Biden’s energy policies (not to mention the USA’s proxy war with Russia).

The Fed seems determined to remove the Fed “Snake juice” from the economy.

Inflation Fightin’ Fed? Fed Can’t Fight Food And Energy Inflation, But They Can Crash The Housing Market (To Tame Total Inflation, Fed Would Have To Raise Rates To 21.38%!)

Inflation Fightin’ Fed?

Kansas City Fed President Esther George said The Fed isn’t focused on impact of rates on stocks (or pension funds, apparently).

The inflation that is crushing Americans is due to energy and food price increases. That is, the non-core inflation. Under Biden, food is up 63%, gasoline is up 92% and diesel prices are up 112%. But The Fed doesn’t consider food and energy prices, per se.

If we look at the Taylor Rule considering fighting inflation including food and energy, The Fed would have to raise their target rate to … 21.38%.

Now, The Fed can clearly cool-off the housing market by raising rates. In fact, my fear is that they go too far and crash the housing market. The Fed will NEVER get to 20% again like we last saw under Volcker in 1981. 20% rates certainly cooled home prices back then and Fed rate hikes helped crash the housing market in 2008.

So, when The Fed says they want to be the inflation-fightin’ Fed, we must be aware what The Fed can and cannot do. They can’t tame the inflation beast in the form of food and energy prices (unless they crash the economy), but they can crush home prices.

Inflation Inferno! Bidenflation Still Soaring, But Metals Dive -15% Since May 4th (Food UP 61.5% Under Biden, Gasoline UP 86%, Diesel UP 111%, Rents UP 16%)

Americans are suffering under Joe Biden. Call it Inflation Inferno!

Foodstuff are up 61.5% under Biden’s Reign of Error. Gasoline prices are up 85.8%, diesel prices are up 111%. Yet the government inflation index (aka, CPI) is up only 8.3% in April.

But while energy and food prices are soaring, the CRB Spot Metals Index has plummeted -15% since May 4 as Covid is ravaging the Chinese economy. Recession alter anyone?

And then we have soaring home prices and rents. But notice that Zillow’s Rent index is slowing down as mortgage rates soar.

We have a stalling Chinese market, down 28% since October. Is Biden President of China??

On the currency front, the Russian Ruble is soaring relative to the US Dollar while the Chinese Renminbi, the Japanese Yen and the Euro (or in this case, the Gyro) are sinking like a rock.

If I compare the Russian Ruble and Ukrainian Hryvnia, you can see Ukraine is losing the currency war with Russia.

Inflation Inferno thanks to Biden’s misguided energy executive orders and cancellation of Alaskan and Gulf of Mexico drilling leases.

Biden’s economic mismanagement team: American Gothics Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Fed Chair Jay Powell.

Dark Night! Consumer Sentiment And Home Buying Sentiment Plunge With Bidenflation And Fed Monetary Tightening

A picture is worth a thousand words.

Nothing has been the same since Covid and The Federal Reserve’s massive overreaction to the government shutdowns of the economy.

Notice how the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index (white line) has plunged since Covid and the ensuing rise in inflation. University of Michigan’s Buying Conditions for Houses has also plunged to new depths.

Yes, Bidenflation is just killing us.

Rising inflation (highest in 40 years) and hottest home price bubble (even hotter than the infamous housing bubble of 2005-2007) AND rising mortgage rates have placed a damper on home buying sentiment.

The theme song for the Biden economy is The Blasters’ Dark Night.

Meanwhile, the middle class is left with leftovers.