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Federal Reserve

Delta-Variant, Soft Data Bode Ill for Near-Term Growth

The markets waited all week for Fed Chair Powell to speak at the Kansas City Fed’s Annual Jackson Hole Symposium.  Due to the Delta-variant, like many other business meetings, this one was held virtually.  There was growing market concern that Powell would turn somewhat more hawkish, especially since some Regional Fed Presidents appear to have done so in recent speeches and media appearances.  As a result, interest rates, as measured …Read More

Growth Risks To The Economy Intensify

Mask mandates now are a reality in many parts of the country. That can’t be good for economic growth in Q3. The first pass at Q2 GDP came in light, with growth of +6.5% where the consensus was north of 8%. Despite that disappointment, markets seemed to like the number, even as Amazon, the poster-child company for pandemic America, disappointed. Growth Some street economics departments are now seeing Q3 and Q4 with jaundiced …Read More

Why Interest Rates Are Falling

#*!? CRASH BAM @#$ Suddenly, markets (well, at least the bond market) now see falling interest rates in the short and intermediate term. The 10-Year U.S. T-Note fell from 1.47% on June 30 to close at 1.29% on Thursday July 7 (a big move in just four market sessions). Some of the rapid fall was due to short covering, so the slight give back on Friday (to 1.36%) wasn’t a surprise. For context, …Read More

The Fed ‘Dots’ Put Financial Markets In A Tizzy

Financial markets became temporarily unglued with the release of the Fed’s post-meeting statement on June 16 and the publication of its “dot-plot” table. The dot-plot, originated in the Bernanke Fed in 2012, represents the 18 individual policy committee member views as to what the Fed Funds Rate level will be on December 31 of the next three years and then a longer-run view.  Despite Chair Powell’s reiteration at the post-meeting press …Read More

The Rate Spike Will Damage the Recovery

Fed Intervention Needed There was quite a spike in interest rates the last week of February with the 10-Year T-Note spiking from a 1.36% level as of the close on Wednesday to as high as 1.60% intraday with a close of 1.55% on Thursday.  Friday’s close was 1.45%.  But, a lot of damage was done. It is naïve to think that this spike was caused by the inflation narrative, i.e., …Read More

Despite Wall Street Hype, Inflation is Not Imminent

Retail sales rose a record 5.3% M/M in January after three months in a row of decline.  No doubt the $600 checks from the late December “helicopter” money drop played a large role.  The Atlanta Fed now says that their GDP model pegs the current quarter’s growth at +9.5% (Annual Rate (AR)).  In addition, Industrial Production was up nearly 1% (0.9%) in January.  So, why worry?  Infections and hospitalizations are …Read More