• Tag Archives Interest Rates
  • The Federal Reserve’s Unspoken Truth

    Originally posted at Briefing.com
    The Federal Reserve’s latest policy announcement has generated a lot of opinions about its implications for the capital markets. What it didn’t generate is a lot of movement in the stock market.
    The September Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting was a two-day affair that concluded on September 20 with the issuance of an updated policy directive, the release of updated economic and policy rate projections, an announcement that the Federal Reserve will start its balance sheet normalization process in October, and a press conference by Fed Chair Yellen to discuss it all.
    Check out Interview: Louise Yamada on Stocks, Tech, and Interest Rates
    There was a whole lot of information to digest. The key talking points from the Fed Day bonanza included the following:
    The target range for the fed funds rate was left unchanged at 1.00% to 1.25%. The vote was unanimous. The Federal Reserve said it will start its balance sheet normalization process in October in accord with the framework laid out in the June 2017 Addendum to the Committee’s Policy Normalization Principles and Plans

    This post was published at FinancialSense on 09/22/2017.


  • The forthcoming global crisis

    The global economy is now in an expansionary phase, with bank credit being increasingly available for non-financial borrowers. This is always the prelude to the crisis phase of the credit cycle. Most national economies are directly boosted by China, the important exception being America. This is confirmed by dollar weakness, which is expected to continue. The likely trigger for the crisis will be from the Eurozone, where the shift in monetary policy and the collapse in bond prices will be greatest. Importantly, we can put a tentative date on the crisis phase in the middle to second half of 2018, or early 2019 at the latest.
    Introduction
    Ever since the last credit crisis in 2007/8, the next crisis has been anticipated by investors. First, it was the inflationary consequences of zero interest rates and quantitative easing, morphing into negative rates in the Eurozone and Japan. Extreme monetary policies surely indicated an economic and financial crisis was just waiting to happen. Then the Eurozone started a series of crises, the first of several Greek ones, the Cyprus bail-in, then Spain, Portugal and Italy. Any of these could have collapsed the world’s financial order.

    This post was published at GoldMoney on September 21, 2017.


  • Interview: Louise Yamada on Stocks, Tech, and Interest Rates

    While we normally see markets face pressure around this time of the year, it appears we may have dodged a bullet. This time on Financial Sense, we spoke with technical analyst Louise Yamada of LY Advisors about her take on equities, the tech sector, and what she looks for to determine market direction.
    Markets Healthy
    From the long-term perspective, markets appear to be healthy, Yamada stated. The advance-decline lines are confirming the new highs, she noted.
    Some indicators have been showing negative divergence over the year, such as new highs versus new lows. While these have come back into positive territory recently, they haven’t exceeded the readings of the past year, leaving the negative divergences in place to possibly be overcome if things improve, Yamada noted.

    This post was published at FinancialSense on 09/21/2017.


  • Traders Yawn After Fed’s “Great Unwind”

    One day after the much anticipated Fed announcement in which Yellen unveiled the “Great Unwinding” of a decade of aggressive stimulus, it has been a mostly quiet session as the Fed’s intentions had been widely telegraphed (besides the December rate hike which now appears assured), despite a spate of other central bank announcements, most notably out of Japan and Norway, both of which kept policy unchanged as expected.
    ‘Yesterday was a momentous day – the beginning of the end of QE,’ Bhanu Baweja a cross-asset strategist at UBS, told Bloomberg TV. ‘The market for the first time is now moving closer to the dots as opposed to the dots moving towards the market. There’s more to come on that front. ‘
    Despite the excitement, S&P futures are unchanged, holding near all-time high as European and Asian shares rise in volumeless, rangebound trade, and oil retreated while the dollar edged marginally lower through the European session after yesterday’s Fed-inspired rally which sent the the dollar to a two-month high versus the yen on Thursday and sent bonds and commodities lower. Along with dollar bulls, European bank stocks cheered the coming higher interest rates which should help their profits, rising over 1.5% as a weaker euro helped the STOXX 600. Shorter-term, 2-year U. S. government bond yields steadied after hitting their highest in nine years.
    ‘Initial reaction is fairly straightforward,’ said Saxo Bank head of FX strategy John Hardy. ‘They (the Fed) still kept the December hike (signal) in there and the market is being reluctantly tugged in the direction of having to price that in.’
    The key central bank event overnight was the BoJ, which kept its monetary policy unchanged as expected with NIRP maintained at -0.10% and the 10yr yield target at around 0%. The BoJ stated that the decision on yield curve control was made by 8-1 decision in which known reflationist Kataoka dissented as he viewed that it was insufficient to meeting inflation goal by around fiscal 2019, although surprisingly he did not propose a preferred regime. BOJ head Kuroda spoke after the BoJ announcement, sticking to his usual rhetoric: he stated that the bank will not move away from its 2% inflation target although the BOJ “still have a distance to 2% price targe” and aded that buying equity ETFs was key to hitting the bank’s inflation target, resulting in some marginal weakness in JPY as he spoke, leaving USD/JPY to break past FOMC highs, and print fresh session highs through 112.70, the highest in two months, although it has since pared some losses.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 21, 2017.


  • Questions Remain as the Fed Finally Begins to Reverse QE

    Today the Federal Reserve announced that it will finally begin the process of reversing quantitative easing. Following the process it outlined earlier this year, the Fed will start allowing assets (Treasurys and mortgage-backed securities) to mature off its balance sheet, rather than re-investing them as had been its prior policy. The current plan is to start with a $10 billion roll off in October, and increasing quarterly until it reaches $50 billion by October of next year. Considering the Fed’s balance sheet currently stands $4.5 trillion, the Fed is envisioning a slow, multi-year process. As Philadelphia Fed president Patrick Harker described it earlier this year, the goal is for it to be ‘the policy equivalent of watching paint dry.’
    Of course the old saying about the ‘best laid plans of mice and men’ also applies to central planners, and as Janet Yellen once again noted today, ‘policy is not on a pre-set course.’ Should markets react negatively, as they did when Bernanke hinted at reducing their purchases in 2013, the markets have reason to expect the Fed to act. In fact, when asked, Yellen kept the door open to both lowering interest rates and stalling its roll off should market conditions worsen. In fact, it appears that markets are already betting on the Fed to not follow through on its projected December rate hike.
    As the Fed has been signaling for months now that a taper was in the works, the mainstream narrative suggests that tapering has been priced in (though stocks dropped on the news.) There are still major questions left unanswered.

    This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on September 21, 2017.


  • Will The Fed Really ‘Normalize’ It’s Balance Sheet?

    To begin with, how exactly does one define ‘normalize’ in reference to the Fed’s balance sheet? The Fed predictably held off raising rates again today. However, it said that beginning in October it would no longer re-invest proceeds from its Treasury and mortgage holdings and let the balance sheet ‘run off.’
    Here’s the problem with letting the Treasuries and mortgage just mature: Treasuries never really ‘mature.’ Rather, the maturities are ‘rolled forward’ by refinancing the outstanding Treasuries due to mature. The Government also issues even more Treasurys to fund its reckless spending habits. Unless the Fed ‘reverse repos’ the Treasurys right before they are refinanced by the Government, the money printed by the Fed to buy the Treasurys will remain in the banking system. I’m surprised no one has mentioned this minor little detail.
    The Fed has also kicked the can down the road on hiking interest rates in conjunction with shoving their phony 1.5% inflation number up our collective ass. The Fed Funds rate has been below 1% since October 2008, or nine years. Quarter point interest rate hikes aren’t really hikes. we’re at 1% from zero in just under two years. That’s not ‘hiking’ rates. Until they start doing the reverse-repos in $50-$100 billion chunks at least monthly, all this talk about ‘normalization’ is nothing but the babble of children in the sandbox. I think the talk/threat of it is being used to slow down the decline in the dollar.

    This post was published at Investment Research Dynamics on September 20, 2017.


  • Federal Reserve Will Continue Cutting Economic Life Support

    I remember back in mid-2013 when the Federal Reserve fielded the notion of a “taper” of quantitative easing measures. More specifically, I remember the response of mainstream economic analysts as well as the alternative economic community. I argued fervently in multiple articles that the Fed would indeed follow through with the taper, and that it made perfect sense for them to do so given that the mission of the central bank is not to protect the U. S. financial system, but to sabotage it carefully and deliberately. The general consensus was that a taper of QE was impossible and that the Fed would “never dare.” Not long after, the Fed launched its taper program.
    Two years later, in 2015, I argued once again that the Fed would begin raising interest rates even though multiple mainstream and alternative sources believed that this was also impossible. Without low interest rates, stock buybacks would slowly but surely die out, and the last pillar holding together equities and the general economy (besides blind faith) would be removed. The idea that the Fed would knowingly take such an action seemed to be against their “best self interest;” and yet, not long after, they initiated the beginning of the end for artificially low interest rates.
    The process that the Federal Reserve has undertaken has been a long and arduous one cloaked in disinformation. It is a process of dismantlement. Through unprecedented stimulus measures, the central bank has conjured perhaps the largest stock and bond bubbles in history, not to mention a bubble to end all bubbles in the U. S. dollar.

    This post was published at Alt-Market on Wednesday, 20 September 2017.


  • Stocks and Precious Metals Charts – FOMC Tomorrow – One Step Enough For Me

    ‘That’s just the way: a person does a low down thing, and then he don’t want to take no consequences of it. Thinks as long as he can hide it, it ain’t no disgrace.’
    Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
    “Beware the fury of a patient man.’
    John Dryden, Absalom and Achitopel
    Janet and her Merry Pranksters at the Fed will be making their latest interest rates announcement from their two day September meeting tomorrow at 2 PM.
    The SP 500 continues to dribble higher, while the tech heavy Nas 100 is now chopping sideways.
    I don’t have any short positions on at the moment. There would be an event-driven drop no doubt, although the markets managed to shake off quite a bit of ‘risky’ news at the end of last week.

    This post was published at Jesses Crossroads Cafe on 19 SEPTEMBER 2017.


  • Market View Update – September 2017

    When thinking about how to start a market view update, it is often helpful to pick up where the last one left off. Alas, that is what we will do.
    In mid-June, we wrote that the stock market has continued to defy calls for a correction and has held its ground time and again in the face of scary-sounding headlines due to the stabilizing force of strong earnings growth and the persistence of low-interest rates.
    We said at the time that, if there were to be a destabilizing force for the stock market, it would be disappointing earnings growth and/or rising interest rates that lessen the relative appeal of owning equities. That was an observation by the way and not a forecast.
    Since that time, market participants have learned that second-quarter earnings increased 10.4%, per FactSet, well above the estimated growth rate of 6.6% in front of the reporting period, and have seen the yield on the benchmark 10-year note tick up slightly to 2.20%, which is still 28 basis points lower than where it started the year.

    This post was published at FinancialSense on 09/19/2017.


  • Diwali, Lord Rama, and the Return of Gold from Exile

    October 19, 2017 marks an important holiday in the Indian culture. Diwali begins.
    Diwali is one of the biggest festivals for Hindus, Sikhs, and Jains. It is a lavish celebration of the victory of light over darkness with its gleaming candles, luxurious works of art, and opulent feasts. Diwali is also characterized by gift giving. Buying and gifting gold is considered auspicious during Diwali.
    Given the nature of the holiday and the number of people who celebrate it, according to CNBC, the past few years have seen a tendency for the gold price to rise around Diwali. Last year during Diwali, Mihir Kapadia, founder & CEO of Sun Global Investments, said ‘As heavy consumers, the festive seasons always tend to surge the demand, and considering the current low prices, this should increase the market activity and thus push the prices a little.’ Kapadia continued, ‘We do not expect it to boost prices significantly as the overall market is subdued due to the worries about rising interest rates.’
    There is no shortage of economic analysis during the buildup to this year’s celebration as The Economic Times reported ‘bullion has climbed almost 10 percent on the Indian market this year as world prices increased on… reduced chances of a further hike in U. S. interest rates in 2017.’

    This post was published at GoldSeek on Tuesday, 19 September 2017.


  • Yesterday, All My Market Troubles Seemed So Far Away…

    We’re finally here. About 9 years after QE1 began, QT is about to start. If one believes that the stock market still is a discounting mechanism, then have nothing to fear with QT and that maybe it will actually be like ‘watching paint dry’ as Fed members so desperately want it to be. After all, the S&P 500 is at an all-time high. If you think, like me, that the stock market is not the same discounting tool as it once was because of the major distortion and manipulation of markets via central market involvement and the dominance of machines that are reactive instead of proactive in response to news, then we must review again the previous experiences when major Fed changes took place. After all, they were all well telegraphed as this week’s likely news has been.
    Before I get to that, let me remind everyone that the 3rd mandate of QE was higher stock prices. Ben Bernanke in rationalizing the initiation of QE2 in a Washington Post editorial back in November 2010 said in regards to QE1 and the verbal preparation for QE2: ‘this approach eased financial conditions in the past and, so far, looks to be effective again. Stock prices rose and long-term interest rates fell when investors began to anticipate the most recent action.’ He then went on to say ‘higher stock prices will boost consumer wealth and help increase confidence, which can also spur spending. Increased spending will lead to higher incomes and profits that, in a virtuous circle, will further support economic expansion.’ Yes, the belief in the wealth effect which hasn’t worked in this expansion. Hence, the record high in stocks last week and the 2.9% y/o/y rise in core August retail sales, both below the 5-year average and well less than the average seen in the prior two expansions.

    This post was published at FinancialSense on 09/18/2017.


  • LIES, LIES & OMG MORE LIES

    ‘There are three types of lies – lies, damn lies, and statistics.’ – Benjamin Disraeli
    Every month the government apparatchiks at the Bureau of Lies and Scams (BLS) dutifully announces inflation is still running below 2%. Janet Yellen then gives a speech where she notes her concern inflation is too low and she needs to keep interest rates near zero to save humanity from the scourge of too low inflation. I don’t know how I could survive without 2% inflation reducing my purchasing power.
    This week they reported year over year inflation of 1.9%. Just right to keep Janet from raising rates and keeping the stock market on track for new record highs. According to our beloved bureaucrats, after they have sliced, diced, massaged and manipulated the data, you’ve experienced annual inflation of 2.1% since 2000. If you believe that, I’ve got a great real estate deal for you in North Korea on the border with South Korea.
    ‘Lies sound like facts to those who’ve been conditioned to mis-recognize the truth.’ ‘ DaShanne Stokes

    This post was published at The Burning Platform on Sept 17, 2017.


  • Riding The ‘Slide’: Is This What the Next Bear Market Looks Like?

    Submitted by ffwiley.com
    Even as the Fed’s decision makers are beginning to worry less about recession and more about bubbly stock prices, we’re not yet moved by their attempts to curb the market’s enthusiasm. After all, the fed funds rate sits barely above 1%, which not too long ago qualified as a five-decade low. And other indicators, besides interest rates, aren’t exactly predicting the next bear, either. Inflation is subdued, credit spreads are tight, banks are mostly lending freely and the economy is growing, albeit slowly. It just doesn’t feel as though we’re close to a major market peak.
    All that being said, we’re not so much about feelings as we are about delving into history (nerds that we are) and seeing if there’s anything we can learn. Let’s look at the last 90 years to see if any bear markets began under similar conditions to those today.
    We’ll consider thirteen bears, as listed in the table below. (Our list may be different to yours, mainly because we use Robert Shiller’s monthly average S&P 500 prices, instead of daily prices, but also because we reset the cycle whenever the market falls 20% from a peak or rises 20% from a trough.)

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 16, 2017.


  • SWINDLING FUTURITY

    ‘The principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale.’ ‘ Thomas Jefferson

    Yesterday the government reported a ‘modest’ August budget deficit of $108 billion. That’s one month folks. This is another example of how the government and their mainstream media mouthpieces portray horrifically bad, extremely abnormal financial data as normal and expected. They pretend everything that has happened since 2008 is just standard operating procedure. They follow the Big Lie theory to the extreme. The masses have been so dumbed down, desensitized, and taught to believe delusions, they can’t distinguish the abnormal from the normal.
    Those in power pretend near zero interest rates eight years after the recession was supposedly over is normal. They pretend $500 billion to $1.4 trillion annual deficits are normal. They pretend 20% unemployment is really 4.4%. They pretend the stock market is at all-time highs due to an improving economy rather than central bank easy money and corporate stock buybacks. They pretend $20 trillion of debt and $200 trillion of unfunded welfare promises is no problem. We are living in the grand delusion.

    This post was published at The Burning Platform on Sept 14, 2017.


  • Trying to Save the Euro from Total Disaster

    European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has now come out in a very desperate move telling that those members of the EU who are non-euro countries should introduce the euro ASAP. ‘The euro is destined to be the single currency of the EU as a whole,’ Juncker declared. Juncker then proposed a ‘euro preparation instrument’ to provide technical and financial assistance to make this transition.
    The Euro is in serious trouble because of the total mismanagement of the ECB. Low to negative interest rates have totally failed to stimulate the economy after almost 10 years. Now that rates must rise to try to avoid a massive pension collapse in Europe, the ECB could suffer a major default and will need to be bailed-out itself by the government since it owns 40% of euro-zone debt.

    This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Sep 15, 2017.


  • Markets Ignore North Korea Missile Launch; Send Pound Soaring, Yen Tumbles

    S&P futures are slightly lower (ES -0.1%) as traders paid little attention to the latest missile test by North Korea on Friday, with shares and other risk assets barely moving, gold lower and focus rapidly returning to when and where interest rates will go up. Most global market are mostly unfazed, and the Korean Kospi actually closed up 0.4%, by the latest geopolitical escalation after a North Korean ballistic missile flew far enough to put the U. S. territory of Guam in range. European stocks edged fractionally lower while Asian shares advanced.
    As reported on Thursday evening, the main overnight event was North Kore’s launch of a missile which passed through Japan’s airspace and over Hokkaido, before landing in the Pacific Ocean. This initially prompted Japan to issue an emergency warning for its residents to seek shelter, while there were also reports that South Korea conducted its own missile firing test as a show of readiness. US military stated North Korean missile did not pose a threat to Guam and that the launch was an intermediate range ballistic missile. South Korean President Moon said will not sit idle on North Korea provocation and that South Korea has power to pulverize should
    North Korea provoke. On Friday morning, Russia also denounced the ‘provocative’ N. Korea missile test, according to the Kremlin. Meanwhile, North Korea stated that it will take stronger actions for its self-defence if the US continues to walk on current course.
    Still, markets are showing clear signs of habituation to missile launches and other provocative actions from North Korea, which has fired more than a dozen missiles this year and tested a nuclear device. Global equities climbed to a record high this week as earnings and confidence in economic growth overshadowed tensions on the Korean Peninsula. The MSCI All Country World Index is poised for its third week of gains in four. Meanwhile, recent economic data has been supporting of bullish positions, with yesterday’s CPI prints suggesting inflation may again be on the rebound. While China data this week softened, the signals from DM financial markets remain optimistic. As such, investors will look to U. S. retail numbers today for more clues about the policy path.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 15, 2017.


  • Higher Interest Rates May Force Higher Inflation Rates

    Summary:
    1) Financial analysis of the three way relationship between interest rates, inflation and the U. S. national debt.
    2) Higher interest rates causing higher interest payments on the $20 trillion national debt would ordinarily cause soaring deficits over time.
    3) Detailed analysis of the “loophole”, which is that if inflation even moderately increases – then interest rates can rise without exploding the real debt.
    4) This simultaneous increase in interest rates and inflation would have a major impact on all markets, as well as long term retirement planning.
    5) The logical response to rising interest rates may be to sharpen one’s focus on how to better deal with higher rates of inflation over the long term.
    Because of the $20 trillion size of the total U. S. national debt, the Federal Reserve acting to increase interest rates would ordinarily create severe financial problems for the government over time, due to sharply rising interest payments on the debt. There is, however, a loophole for the federal government.

    This post was published at GoldSeek on September 14th, 2017.


  • Rising Interest Rates Would Crush US Budget Under Interest Payments

    With the stroke of Pres. Trump’s pen, the national debt officially surged past the $20 trillion level. That number alone is staggering, but the increasing debt has further ramifications analysts seldom talk about. For every dollar the debt increases, the amount of money the government has to fork out every year just to service the interest payment goes up as well.
    We’re talking staggering amounts of money.
    Trump just signed a bill raising the debt ceiling limit for the next three months. It instantly added approximately $318 billion to the national debt, raising it to $20.16 trillion. And Trump wants to do away with the debt ceiling altogether.
    According to numbers calculated by the SRSrocco Report, that $318 billion increase in the debt will require an extra $7 billion interest payment annually.

    This post was published at Schiffgold on SEPTEMBER 14, 2017.


  • Julian Robertson: The Stock Market Is a Bubble and It’s the Fed’s Fault (Video)

    Bankers and investors around the world have started to express concern about the rapidly inflating stock market bubble, and its future impact on the world economy. You can add Tiger Management co-founder Julian Robertson to that list.
    Robertson appeared on CNBC with Kelly Evans and unequivocally called the stock market a bubble. Not only that, he said it was the Federal Reserve’s fault.
    Robertson said he thinks low interested rates have inflated stock market valuations. There simply isn’t anyplace else for money to flow.
    Well, we’re very, very high – have very high valuations in most stocks. The market, as a whole, is quite high on a historic basis. And I think that’s due to the fact that interest rates are so low that there’s no real competition for the money other than art and real estate. And so I think that’s why the valuations are so high. I think when rates do start to go up and the bonds become more attractive to investors, it will affect the margins.’

    This post was published at Schiffgold on SEPTEMBER 13, 2017.