We always seem to discuss recessions and expansions in the “post War World II era.”

When you consider this period, you need to understand two major factors that occurred after the war: 1) the impact the returning GIs (and the entire Baby-Boom population) had on our economy, and 2) the often overlooked huge round trip that interest rates have taken.

To look more closely at the latter, check out this chart, via Casey Research, showing a half century rise and fall in US interest rates:


Chart courtesy of Casey Research


Casey Research has a free “chart of the day” type service worth exploring.

Category: Fixed Income/Interest Rates, Markets, Technical Analysis

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

176 Responses to “US Interest Rates Since 1950s”

  1. Mannwich says:

    Where’s Evel Knievel?

  2. Whammer says:

    Just eyeballing — sure looks like a big spread between the corporate and the 10-year Treasury rates recently. Maybe they don’t make Baa like they used to?

  3. Tradebum says:

    He lost all his money in the stock market while riding his motorcycle down, so he kieled(?) over and died!

  4. dead hobo says:

    I’m looking forward to locking in some of that 17% money in a bank CD in a few years.

  5. Tradebum says:

    The rise in 10 yr Tresury yields have left me suspicious. Anyone think this is the way to get China to buy our debt again? So they keep fudging the employment, CPI, etc., numbers? Or am I a cynic.

  6. SavetheWhales says:

    @Onlooker from Troy Says (earlier thread):

    Then it hits the resistance levels (even for the year, approaching the 200 day MA) coincident with the sell the news event. Then the cycle can tip over and do essentially the same thing on the way down, with those who bought long bailing out for fear of a new low being set. Combined with a sinking realization that the green shoots were truly an overreaction to the second derivative.>

    Tipping over and running a similar loop would be possible in a friction-less system. In the messy equities markets, I think a more likely event is the grinding down of both the ultra-longs and ultra-shorts within the current loop. The “friction” of the ultra-shorts is evident in the trend-down of the sum of a index ultra-short + ultra-long. If these vehicles were friction free and perfectly accurate in their amplification, then I could see alternating loops or oscillations.

    Of course, all this is predicated on the inherent deep uncertainty about equity valuations. Without clear anchors, all that is left is speculation.

  7. Doc at the Radar Station says:

    Very interesting chart indeed. It would be nice to see personal indebtedness as % of GDP popped in there as well. The first half of the chart looks like a charcoal fire that’s flaming up and needs to have water dowsed on it frequently. The latter half of the chart looks increasingly like someone vigorously fanning the flames and getting extra cans of charcoal starter to get it to burn again.

  8. Darmah says:

    Sorry, this is kinda off-topic but I’m watching CNBC clips of Arianna Huffington and Eliott Spizer on Squawk Box and I am simply astounded at the inanity and stupidity of these folks. Arianna and Spitzer know more about the topic than these bozos. No wonder CNBC Sucks rails and most of you only watch for the giggles. Just pathetic.

  9. cvienne says:

    @ dead hobo

    The banks won’t have to pay you 17% to hold your deposits…

    This go around, BHO will hand the deposits over to them and TAX YOU out out of it

  10. cvienne says:

    @ Tradebum

    Probably has nothing to do with China…Bernanke is probably quietly letting it creep up so when the FED goes in there to buy more he gets a better price.

  11. Darmah says:

    Oh and a bit more on topic — somewhere, maybe here, I read about 3 years ago a great article regarding market returns based on population dynamics which basically said forget real of the past; ain’t gonna happen based on population trends. And now that we’ve gutted manufacturing and let the banksters loot the treasury, I’m not very sanguine about the future.

    I need to up my meds.

  12. Hondo says:

    Higher rates is what’s going to bail out the pensions. They’ll all be able to earn their assumed rate (who cares about the real rate) as pension viability is more about nominal than real. Real is what the members will have to suffer with. And don’t think that the Fed and Tsy don’t understand this is the way to solve many problems.

    Also note that this is the first time TSY and FF moved in opposite direction of credit. My vote is that when spreads narrow it will come from TSY yields rising faster than Corporate yields.

  13. rootless_cosmopolitan says:

    The title in the figure is very misleading.

    [BR: The 10 year and Corporates are also included in the chart]

    The Fed Funds Rate does not represent the “US Interest rates.” Fed Funds Rate and market interest rates are two different pairs of shoes. You can see it a little bit for corporate bonds in the figure. They certainly are not at the levels of the 1950s. They are more at the levels of the 1970s, since credit has tightened and rates have increased, recently. Many types of consumer credit would probably show something similar, if they were displayed in the figure. Any strong causal link between the Fed Funds rate and the market interest rates has still to be proven, anyway.


  14. hopeImwrong says:

    Even today it looks like the shorts will halt this down move. They are just salivating to catch the next move down.

  15. cvienne says:


    Next week is options expiry week (and also marks the midway point in the quarter)…

    I’m thinking that a lot of fund managers who finally saw some decent quarterly gains may take profits (or the ones who got back closer to even will elect to take some skin out of the game)…

    Collectively, the market may decide to take a breather until around the end of the quarter…

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see one last blowout to the upside between now and next Friday, but I’d also be prepared that it will come off just as quickly and start the correction phase…

    I don’t think that if the market corrects here we’ll test the March lows just yet…Maybe that will happen in the August-September timeframe (so we’ll get a small “W” that starts around now and lasts for 4 months)…Except I don’t think we’ll end up seeing the last leg up on that W…That’s when the “shorts” will get paid…

  16. alwysaprice says:

    Overlaying mortgage rates would also be an interesting addition. Now that uncle sam truly backs fannie and freddie, the spread against the 10 yr has plummeted

  17. The Curmudgeon says:

    If you overlaid real interest rates with nominal rates, you’d see that real interest rates turn negative during inflationary episodes–there’s so much loot floating around that they pay you to borrow it.

    so DH, you might get 17% on a CD in the near future, but only if the real interest rate (nominal less inflation rate) is something like -2%, i.e., if expectations are for 19% inflation. Still beats doing nothing.

  18. The Curmudgeon says:

    and one more…dear God man! I see red on Bloomberg! Where’s GS? But it’s early yet. Once the dip goes below 1%, I fully expect the turn back to even or better to start at about 2:00 pm Eastern.

  19. dead hobo says:

    Hmmm, The S&P is down and rates on the 10 & 30 year are up a bunch. Maybe a better than expected Armageddon is on the way a couple of years early. Maybe a decent rate on cash funds won’t be too far off?

  20. cvienne says:

    & Curmudgeon

    GS can still happily idle around until 895 on the S&P…

    They’re still probably at the 4 Seasons spending the TARP $$ that the USG refuses to let them pay back

  21. globaleyes says:

    INTEREST RATES are so low thay can only go higher, right? Inflation seems to be The Fed’s goal because higher prices would alleviate or solve our problems. Expect more “inflation-is-a-good-thing” type stories. Gold might not be an investment but now’s the time to buy it!

  22. Mannwich says:

    TBT starting to take off a bit. Uncle Ben, where are you? We need you to print and buy some Treasuries!

  23. DL says:

    Mannwich @ 1:35

    Oil’s not doing so bad either.

  24. dead hobo says:

    No, GS has to make it look good and dip occasionally. This will entice a few shorts to enter and give GS someone to squeeze tomorrow. It’s a sucker dip.

  25. Mannwich says:

    The FAZ up 10% today. Ditto SRS.

  26. cvienne says:


    FAZzy Wuzzy was a bear…

  27. dead hobo says:


    oil’s back in bubble mode. It’s only limit to the upside is the availability of funds. Are contracts rolling forward yet to keep the bubble inflating?

    On a separate note, this will be bad for the Obama Put. Rising oil prices and rising gas prices are generally considered negatives with respect to consumer spending ex gas products. Oops. Guess they fucked up on this detail.

  28. Mike C says:

    Good post from Dr. Brett that reminded me of many of the comments the past few days as the market has risen:


    “* To reiterate an observation that I’ve found to be a truism: You don’t find traders who are making money talking about “manipulated” markets. Markets may or may not be manipulated, but many traders feel manipulated by markets when they’re losing money.

    * I’ve never seen a trader sustain success who blames markets for their losses. It’s tough to work on yourself and your trading when you’re casting blame (and assigning responsibility) elsewhere.

  29. Mannwich says:

    The feds’ actions are like bailing out the Titanic with dixie cup.

  30. cvienne says:

    @dead hobo

    Yeah, I was noticing that the price at the pump in my area had crept all the way back up to $2.20 a gallon.

  31. The Curmudgeon says:

    Dollars are priced in oil. Maybe the Ben and Timmy show are laying back to see the effect their effusive money-printing will have on the price of the dollar (in oil). But that may be giving them too much credit for knowing what’s real. They at least pretended not to understand that 2007′s $150 price of oil was a monetary phenomenon.

  32. dead hobo says:

    Mike C,

    Your poster is an idiot. I’m 100% cash. And proud of it.

    Even with manipulation, this market will eventually dip. I’ll jump back in and then ride the next artificial wave, selling to suckers who are buying at the top. Knowing about GS and the SLP will just keep me in longer next time.

  33. Mannwich says:

    @Mike C: Nice lecture but many of us here aren’t really “traders” per se and don’t want to be. We were forced into this game. We just want some sanity returned to the markets, economy and country. We would prefer the game not be gamed at our expense at least once in a while.

  34. call me ahab says:

    looks like leftback’s purchase of FAZ at the close yesterday was a good move

  35. leftback says:

    As you know, I am a bond watcher and consider the stock market an amusing diversion.

    Timmy and Ben have to start to buy Tsys soon, they CANNOT let the long bond break out very far to the upside. Otherwise mortgage rates will run away and hide, and kill any green shoots associated with the recycling of CA-NV-FL foreclosed homes into the market. Then need I mention the impact on option-ARM resets and other goodies that remain ahead of us?

    Look for a rally in all maturities before too long, and an equity sell-off. This thing is going to proceed in a zig-zag manner as money is stolen from the taxpayers in order to alternately prop up different asset classes. There is no free market so you just have to think slightly ahead of the puppeteers. Normally I would agree with Mike C but there is ample evidence that this market is rigged, not that I would ever use that as an excuse.

  36. cvienne says:

    @Mike C

    Despite Dr. Brett’s comments, Who said anyone on this blog was TRADING this market?…

    Sure, a lot of us have probably put on a few small positions here and there waiting for the market to correct (and astonished at its resilience)…

    But if there is LAMENTING going on, I don’t really see a lot of REMORSE…

    So yeah…if you’re TRADING this market and getting clobbered, perhaps it’s time to review your strategy…But if you’re NET SHORT at these levels (and patient), I think there is a good possibility that you’ll get paid at some point going forward…

  37. Mannwich says:

    @leftback: On that mortgage topic, I got a cold call from TCF bank here in Minny a couple of days ago and they tried pitching a re-fi to me (we have an ARM at 5.25% that reset in ’12). He told me the best he could do was low 5′s on the interest rate and I basically told him the only way I’d even consider a re-fi with $6,000 in re-fi fees tacked on was if he could get into the 4′s, to around 4.75% or lower. He said he’d “check with his manager” and call me back. Our credit score is around 800, we carry now credit card debt and nearly have both cars paid off (one is already and the other will be in 8-9 months). I’m still waiting for his follow up call. I get the feeling that there are others like me who won’t re-fi unless the thing stays below 5%.

  38. Mannwich says:

    That’s “we carry NO credit card debt”.

  39. cvienne says:

    @ leftback

    Speaking of RIGGED…Do you suppose that Bernanke is letting the 10YR slip a little just so he can then go give a tip to some of the Banking desks to buy the Tsy’s cheaper (just before he steps in), so the profit will show on their next quarters balance sheet?

  40. Mannwich says:

    @cvienne: I think you may be onto something there. Of course that’s what will happen. Don’t be silly.

  41. leftback says:

    Manny: I would go ahead and do it on the next wave down. If there are more write-downs, then there is more QE coming, and eventually crude and CPI will break out, and the long bond will escape. At that point, the combo of high interest rates and lower assessed valuations will make refi’s painful if not impossible. This summer may be the Last Chance Saloon for refis. Who the hell knows where rates will be in ’12? I couldn’t sleep at night.

  42. cvienne says:

    That would qualify as “better than expected!”

  43. HCF says:

    @Mike C:

    It’s not blaming the markets for going against me… Potential for government intervention is ALWAYS an important consideration in any investment/trading thesis. Failure to take that into consideration is an investor’s fault for not building enough robustness into his system.

    I believe the majority complaints on this board are more of the philosophical variety… Good traders can separate out “the government SHOULD do X” from “the idiots in the government WILL most likely do Y.” I, for one, believe I’ve been naive to how much the government is willing to pump into dying companies at the expense of taxpayers, so I have rightfully punished in recent weeks. But my investment position is logically separate from what I believe is the most moral, ethical, and best course of action for sustained recovery and growth of our economic system…


  44. Mannwich says:

    @leftback: I agree and am headed towards doing that (also have a broker I trust shopping around on our behalf), but we’re not sure about the stability of my wife’s company/job, so we may ultimately sell this place and move on. I just wish we could get some clarity on that sooner rather than later so we can make some long term decisions like that one. I don’t want to necessarily move (we like it here) but part of me wouldn’t mind selling our house to a “greater fool” while we can and get the heck out of dodge for a while. Where we’d go, I have no idea.

  45. HCF says:

    >That’s “we carry NO credit card debt”.

    Heehee, for a second there I was thinking “The National Organization for Women now issues credit cards???” Sure gave me a smile to get me through my work day…


  46. The Curmudgeon says:

    You guys are such cynics. Really now, Ben and Timmy pushing prices down to benefit their banking portfolio? That would be like manipulating the mortgage market to churn a few more fee dollars out of refi’s to fill some capital holes in banks they own/guarantee. They’d never do that, would they?

  47. Marcus Aurelius says:

    Mike C:

    Not to pile on, but by the time I read your comment DH and Mannwhich had already commented.

    Your comment assumes that the market is not capable of taking money from you, at will. It’s kind of like corporate profits vs. executive pay, or holding a worthless MBS that was rated AAA when you purchased it. Somebody’s making big money on the markets, but it’s not the small traders. The market today is nothing more than a casino, and traders are gamblers. Some win, some lose, but the losers far outnumber the winners, and the house always takes a profit, because the odds are in their favor (either by rule, or because the game is fixed). That’s why buy and hold isn’t a good idea anymore.

    Never confuse luck and skill.

    Keep trading. Maybe you’ll hit the Power Ball.

    This comment didn’t appear the first time. If this is a double post, my apologies.

  48. cvienne says:


    I hear ya bro…

    I’ve been AMAZED with the latitude that the new Administration has been allowed to work with because the MSM never questions anything they do…

    12 months ago who would have thought:

    -The President would be firing CEO’s
    - Handing Chrysler over to the UAW and snubbing bondholders
    - Setting CEO pay limits
    - Cramming down mortgage contracts
    - The list goes on

    I too have always factored in the effect of modest political involvement into private capital, but a whole new set of parameters have been established…

    I suppose R. Emmanuel was right…”never let an economic crisis go to waste”

  49. cvienne says:


    If the present policy fails and BHO needs a scapegoat, he can toss Bernanke in ’10 and appoint Anthony Mozillo as the new Fed Chief

  50. The Curmudgeon says:

    “This summer may be the Last Chance Saloon for refis.”

    Bingo! I’m in the business… all the major mortgage market players (BAC, WFC, etc.) were told to hire lots of temp help beginning Feb/March for a “busy summer”.

    Banks have never hired in anticipation of increased demand, and never hired temp workers, so that they all did this at the same time (if they were on the TBTF list) and for six months, no more, tells me Ben and Timmy told them they would push rates down such that refi’s boomed.

    They have succeeded thus far in getting them a bit below 5%, but still haven’t got them down to the 4-4.25% that Bill Gross anticipated would be necessary. Who knows if they will, before it all blows up in their faces.

    But LB is dead on correct. This is the last chance at the refi rodeo. I’ll be looking for work come September.

  51. Patrick Neid says:

    Ultimately the Bond and Dollar markets are bigger than the intervenor’s. Bernanke and crew do not have enough ink to buy the market if the market decides their trillion dollar buyouts are nonsense.

    People like to think that the free market is dead because it suits their political agendas/solutions but the bond market will teach otherwise. The fact that Bernnke, Geithner, Summers, Paulson, Bush, Obama pretend to think otherwise is the real scary story. Bubbles come and go, no matter how large, but thinking that the aftermaths can be managed is the real dangerous lunacy. We are probably in the early stages of finding out.

  52. leftback says:

    “Speaking of RIGGED…Do you suppose that Bernanke is letting the 10YR slip a little just so he can then go give a tip to some of the Banking desks to buy the Tsy’s cheaper..”

    cvienne @ 1:57: If I were Uncle Ben or Tiny Tim and I was going to manipulate the markets (something that they would never do, not even with their bald buddy Lloyd’s prop trading desk), then I would have bought the XLF in early March, to suck in first the sharp traders, and then the long-short hedge fund momentum guys, before the lumbering dumb-ass pension funds and eager retail InvestTools™ waded in at the end, killing the shorts.

    About the time that I was ready to reveal the Stress Test results, I would instruct the smart money to leave the building, before buying a considerable amount of Treasuries. I would then yell “FIRE” in a crowded theatre and watch in amusement.

    Our goal here at Schadenfreude is to imagine the activities of Mephistopheles and try to trade slightly ahead.

  53. ben22 says:

    not sure if anyone here reads Grantham but his latest update is pretty interesting. You can get it for free at GMO.

    Appendix at the end of it ends like this:

    Chances that this is the start of a lasting bull market destined to take us to new highs within three or four years (after inflation) .15!

    Therefore, chances we face a long, drawn-out period to reach a new high (up to 20 years) .85

  54. cvienne says:


    I’m sure that anyone that has been involved trading the NIKKEI for the past 20 years are saying “Amen to that”

  55. dead hobo says:

    With the 10 & 30 year bond rising, does this mean that mortgage rates will soon start to suck dog dick? That would make the t-rates a black swan for the SLP. First oil, now mortgage rates. There goes housing, again. It looks like you can even manipulate a good market any more. Glad I’m cash.

  56. leftback says:

    hobo @ 2.24: I think that the next object for (GS) Government Scores will be to prevent that outcome.

  57. The Curmudgeon says:

    “With the 10 & 30 year bond rising, does this mean that mortgage rates will soon start to suck dog dick?”

    I think: Yes. I can almost see some little green shoots curling over dead. If all Ben’s money can’t paper over an underwater, over-supplied housing market, and T-bill rates get out of hand because of his incessant money printing, then mortgage rates will lead us back ’round to where we were, before all the green shoots. The problem is that money is fungible, and therefore its price (interest rate) can’t be decreased for one sector (housing) without it affecting all the others.

  58. karen says:

    ben22, thanks for mentioning grantham… i’m signed up there and have been meaning to check for the latest quarterly… he is one to take seriously. i do hang on his every word : ) i might mention, i’m seeing leftback’s view on the dollar now.. which means, gold could sell off again.. it’s not impressing me today…

  59. Bruce N Tennessee says:

    Hooray, I found you guys!

    Ok…the 10 year is amazing…what I would like you to bring me up to speed on is why? China, Fed quit buying, money into equities…somebody smart tell me the underlying reason…


    B in T

  60. dead hobo says:

    The Curmudgeon Says:
    May 7th, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    The problem is that money is fungible, and therefore its price (interest rate) can’t be decreased for one sector (housing) without it affecting all the others.

    Where there’s a will and a printing press, there’s a way. Think outside the box.

  61. Mannwich says:

    More green shoots in commercial mortgages? Better than expected?


  62. Marcus Aurelius says:

    BR: Please publish a list of words or terms that’ll get our comments kicked out. I can see from an earlier comment that “dog dick” isn’t on the list, but it looks like Cas*no is.

  63. karen says:

    Bruce, i think the supply was greater than the demand due to a “whiff of inflation’ in the air… not sure how long that will last..

  64. leftback says:

    B in T: Who the hell knows? The demand at the auctions has been decent, and the “indirect bid” nothing to be alarmed about, I am just happy I have been long TBT. In fact LB is feeling like a dog with two…. biscuits.

    But there is no way Uncle Ben is going to let this trend continue. China already made a statement last night that could be read as: “what the f*** is happening to our Treasury holdings, Tim?”. The Fed have to get a hold of this thing and that probably means equities will be sold. I am thinking about buying some 5s and 10s here, for a trade.

  65. ben22 says:


    no problem. Sometimes young kids like me are good for a few things. I haven’t looked at gold all day, told myself to wait until Friday to look again. I’m all out just watching. Obviously it crossed my target today of 919.70, I’m gonna have to look again.


    Couple thoughts on the long bonds:

    1. Doesn’t this show once again that investing in accordance with the Fed and govt actions can be hazardous to one’s financial health.

    A buddy of mine tipped me off to a decent way to try to figure out the bonds next changes:

    Use the spread between the Moody’s Coporate BAA bond yield and the 30 year Treas. yield to successfully assess credit market movements.

    It also seems like, since he told me about this, it’s an alright way to forecast stock trends too, wider spread between the two often then leads to a downturn in stocks.

    Really, ever since March 20, which was two days after the biggest tbond rally ever prices are down.

    Maybe it’s too early to say but it looks like the Fed will go 0/2 on the QE attempt.

  66. Itiswhatitis says:

    Uh, you dumb idiots do know that the bankers aren’t “buying” long term treasuries? I mean you DO know that?

    Maybe they will in the future, but at this time, it is not happening.

  67. DL says:

    dead hobo @ 2:24

    “…does this mean that mortgage rates will soon start to suck dog dick?”

    HEY! This is a “family” website.

  68. dead hobo says:

    DL Says:
    May 7th, 2009 at 3:00 pm

    dead hobo @ 2:24

    HEY! This is a “family” website.

    Sorry. I won’t mention mortgage rates again. I didn’t realize they affected you so strongly. House problems?

  69. dead hobo says:

    Mannwich …. the last 1/2 hour. Call it now. I say sideways or slight down. This is a sucker dip.

  70. karen says:

    Grantham says 1000-1100 by year end… the effects of the financial stimulus (and moral hazard.) “we are likely to have a remarkable stock rally, far in excess of anything justified by either long-term or short-term economic fundamentals.” This is exactly what i’m betting on.

  71. leftback says:

    The “dumb idiots” understand that government is issuing long term Treasuries – the Fed has threatened to buy.

    But the “dumb idiots” also understand that the Treasury has to get someone to buy them, and the US does now “own” some broker-dealers. In other words, things that you think “can’t happen” may already be happening.

  72. Mannwich says:

    @dh: Tough one today. Higher volume so we could get a down day unless Goldman pumps a little harder. Of course, maybe they’re selling today?

  73. cjcpa says:

    so what’s the outlook? FAZ up today on ‘fears’
    and FAZ down tomorrow on better than expected Stress Test Results?

  74. leftback says:

    For those who have followed Mish’s pieces on “Peak Credit”, this next piece of data is not very reflationary:


    Green chutes.

  75. cjcpa says:

    Yes, I am back to watching the market today and tomorrow on account of “events”

    might get out of a qid and srs position as it is in the money by a few tens of cents. (since 4/29)

  76. Mannwich says:

    @cjcpa: Stress test results likely baked in already with the leaks, I’m guessing. One we get some quiet in the coming weeks, that’s when I think we’ll see a fairly sizable dip/pullback.

  77. call me ahab says:

    buy the rumor sell the news

  78. cvienne says:

    @ dead hobo

    Over 895 and the rally is safe as a baby…

    Remember, next week is options expiry week, so over these next few days I’d expect to see a lot of straddling the uptrend line…

    I’m going to start looking at where the banks are with respect to options pinning…

  79. dead hobo says:

    Mannwich Says:
    May 7th, 2009 at 3:07 pm

    Of course, maybe they’re selling today?

    If they’re selling into the dip, this means it’s over. I suspect they’ve been buying the dips above last price, sucking in the rubes, and selling to them at the top of the range they manufactured. Selling into this means it’s time to short to the bottom. OK by me. I don’t mind if they manipulate as long as I know the game and I can get in on it. I bet they give it another go upward tomorrow or Monday for a couple of days, just to see if there’s any cash left on the table.

  80. ben22 says:


    What did you think of his description of the V L recovery? I suppose in some ways that might look like the Soros inverted square root.

    I thought that was pretty good. Short and simple. I like to see him interviewed along with reading him. He’s one of the few people that actually seem to think before they speak. He’s clearly very wise.

    Despite that 1k to 1.1k call, he also lowered fair value to $880 this time around on the S&P and he did talk about the long road ahead.


    I don’t think there are many “dumb idiots” watching the bond markets, they watch reality tv, and unless I missed it nobody even hinted that the Fed was buying right now. We are all just watching, whats the problem?

  81. ben22 says:

    @ lb,

    You need to copyright that one:

    Green chutes.


  82. cvienne says:

    Speaking of options…

    There was A LOT of volume on the JAN 22.50 strike “puts” on the IYR…

    That’s pretty far out of the money (and right on the March low print)…Cheap insurance? Or are they making new bets on a leg down?

  83. leftback says:

    Wonder if someone is about to default on some debt or if it was the spike in Treasury yields?

    Green chutes was invented by someone else, hobo or ahab.

    Expecting a bounce off the 50 DMA, which is about 890. Tomorrow. I like SRS a lot going forward especially if we see modest volatility. The SEF might be a good play if the XLF has peaked – and save the FAZ for swing trades.

  84. Mannwich says:

    This chart does NOT look inflationary to me. I remain confused and not ashamed to admit it.


  85. karen says:

    ben22, i will print it out and read it carefully later.. just skimmed it.. remember these titles from 2007?

    The Blackstone Peak and the Turning of the Worms
    Jeremy Grantham – Published 7/25/2007

    It’s Everywhere, In Everything: The First Truly Global Bubble
    Jeremy Grantham – Published 4/24/2007

  86. dead hobo says:

    Green Chutes

    Not from me. Too wholesome.

  87. cvienne says:


    yeah…SRS just broke a little above the downward trendline from march 9th…

    And with the JANUARY “out of the money” PUT action in the IYR…You may be onto something there

  88. ben22 says:


    I’ve got both of those printed out in my GMO folder at the office! Helpful indeed. Even his most recent “Reinvesting When Terrified” was posted on the day the market hit it’s low.

    Here is one thing that is interesting you’ll see when you read it fully:

    “Since 1988, we have been offered 8 or 10 2-Sigma events. (A 2-Sigma event is our definition of an important bubble or bust.) All of these events were bubbles, and all behaved themselves by bursting. Now, sadly, there are probably none. Government bonds are the one serious candidate. In our opinion, they are badly overpriced but probably not by enough to justify the bubble title.

    This is a major contrast to Faber. I also enjoy reading him at gloomboom however, that costs a little money each year.

  89. Bruce N Tennessee says:

    Mannwich Says:

    May 7th, 2009 at 3:24 pm
    This chart does NOT look inflationary to me. I remain confused and not ashamed to admit it.

    ….No problem…Franklin should be by any minute and I’ll have him straighten you out…

    You are welcome in advance…

    B in T

  90. HCF says:

    >This chart does NOT look inflationary to me. I remain confused and not ashamed to admit it.

    Just turn that frown upside down and it becomes a smile and it’ll be inflationary and make perfect sense =)


  91. davver1 says:

    The rise and fall in interest rates is the real story of the post war period. It has shaped our economic development more then any other factor.

    The instability of rates (really the instability of prices) basically destroyed the regulated banking model (moreso then any political actions, it was DOA by the end of the 70s). Consistent falling rates since that time have given bondholders and banks huge incentives to lend to ever more indebted consumers refinancing at ever lower rates. Unfortunately, rates don’t get lower then zero.

  92. Transor Z says:

    1. I’m thinking the famous hamburger bets are pretty one-sided these days.

    2. Anybody see the Consumer Credit number for March?

  93. Mannwich says:

    More on consumer credit. Me-thinks the feds are going to need to send out more tax refunds, you know, based on future estimates. Maybe they can speed up next year’s refunds to this summer?


  94. cjcpa says:

    ben22, thanks for your responses previously.
    re HYX, to clarify, I meant you didn’t have to watch it during the day, or every day.

    I decided to set some stops at break even, and then see what happens.
    “You get The Best of Both Worlds. ”
    or you get beaten by a gap down at the open only to see the fund you no longer own go green for the remainder of the day…..

  95. dead hobo says:

    Yup, it looks like the S&P will hold and try again tomorrow. If somebody still has some change in their pockets, then it still need to find a proper home. OOOh. See this tempting looking dip. It’s real. It’s going down some more. C’mon shorts. It’s so vulnerable now.

  96. The Curmudgeon says:

    “Unfortunately, rates don’t get lower then zero”

    Nominally true, in reality, not. Massively oversupply the money, and real rates (nominal minus inflation rate) will drop below zero, as they have in virtually every inflationary period we’ve had. Real rates in 1981 were about -3%.

  97. leftback says:

    Transor: Bruce has cooked a few too many burgers to make any new bets with LB … ;-)
    The consumer credit number is definitely not indicative of a vibrant economic recovery.

    I have trailers on my FAZ and SRS now – pretty wide, 15-25% seems to work, have to give yourself a chance.
    JNK is getting killed today, someone in the credit markets must know something interesting. They always do.

    hobo: I think you are losing it. LOL.

  98. Bruce N Tennessee says:

    I refuse to bet any longer with Lefty…once we make the bet, he calls his uncle at the Fed who has a helicopter…not exactly sure who it is…but I am certainly thinking he has been having help….

  99. cvienne says:


    GS will figure out a way to GAP you down on the open to search and destroy that 15% margin :-)

  100. Mannwich says:

    Lispy Lloyd not buying today. Maybe tomorrow.