Fed’s Limbo Rock: Powell Rejects Negative Rates As A Policy Tool As Taylor Rule Suggests A Negative Target Rate Of -13.52%

Fed Chair Powell rejects using negative rates as a policy tool.

Speaking of Powell’s proclamation that negative rates are not appropriate for the US, the Rudebusch (SF Fed) specification of the Taylor Rule says that the Fed Funds target rate should be -13.52%.

That represents a spread of 13.77% over the current Fed Funds Target rate of 0.25%, the largest disconnect since 2000.

Apparently, Powell has gone as low as he will go.

Economists at the University of Chicago estimate that more than two-thirds of the workers on unemployment insurance are making more in jobless benefits than they did at work.  Some are even hauling in two to three times as much.

70% Chance Of Recession In Next Six Months (According To MIT and State Street Study)

According to a new study by MIT and State Street, there is a 70% chance of recession in next six months.

The researchers created an index comprised of four factors and then used the Mahalanobis distance — a measure initially used to analyze human skulls — to determine how current market conditions compare to prior recessions.

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Using this principle, the researchers analyzed four market factors — industrial production, nonfarm payrolls, stock market return and the slope of the yield curve — on a monthly basis. They then measured how the current relationship between the four metrics compares to historical readings.

This recession measure is at odds with other recession probability forecasts which forecast a recession in the next twelve months at only 28% or less.

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Recession is defined as two consecutive  quarters of negative GDP growth.  Well, it is possible that the coronavirus will damage China GDP and maybe US GDP, but the MIT/State Street study is based on Industrial Production, Non-farm payrolls, the stock market and the yield curve slope. Only the yield curve slope (orange line) and Industrial Production (yellow dashed line) are showing recession-like trends. 

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Unless of course, MIT/State Street are saying there is a stock market bubble that will burst.

Here is a visualization of the impending recession and Mahalanobis skull measure.

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