Posts filed under “Federal Reserve”
After almost seven years, the beginning of the end of ultralow rates is here.
What’s that you say? The Fed is going to raise rates?
Remember the so-called taper tantrum in 2013, when some traders dumped Treasuries to express their ire at the Federal Reserve for having the temerity to suggest that rates can’t stay at zero forever? Today it’s hard to imagine anyone left who doesn’t understand a rate increase is coming, most likely sooner (2015) rather than later (2016). Still, there’s a whole generation of traders who have never seen a rate increase, the last of which was a 25 basis-point bump in the fed funds rate way back on June 29, 2006.
Regardless, normalization of interest rates can’t get here soon enough for me, if for no other reason than to end this incessant game of “Will they or won’t they?” Higher borrowing costs are a small price to pay to shut up the ninnies who feel compelled to engage in the semantic game of parsing each and every word of every speech, Q&A session, and most especially the latest Federal Open Market Committeestatement.
Instead of hanging on every Fed utterance, let me suggest you take a different approach. Take one phrase from the Fed as your mantra: data-dependent. The rest of the Kremlinology over the incessant communications from, by or about the Fed should be ignored with prejudice. Instead, step back and take the 30,000-foot view to understand what is happening today, and what is most likely to occur in the future. That does a far better job communicating what is likely to happen than anything Fed Chair Janet Yellen will say in a news conference.
The big picture is simply this: The Fed has a dual mandate to keep inflation under control – check! – and to increase U.S. employment –check! When the Fed says any interest-rate decision is data-dependent, this is it’s talking about. If you want to put some flesh on those bones, let’s consider a few bullet points about the present environment
Continues here: Pay Attention, Ignore the Fed
From Deutsche Bank: A striking feature of my ongoing discussions with clients is that many still believe that as a result of secular stagnation “long rates will never go up”. The problem is that holding onto that view has been expensive for the past seven weeks. Long rates in the US are driven by 1)…Read More
The never ending sturm und drang over the state of Greek debt, membership in the euro zone and the potential shocks of a debt default have moved from tragedy to comedy to monotony. The solution is simple. It won’t be fast, it won’t be easy, but it will be a huge improvement for all concerned….Read More
Over the years, I have spilled far too many pixels on how overhyped the monthly nonfarm payroll report is. What matters isn’t any single month, given how noisy and subject to future revisions the provisional release actually is. The recency effect makes you place a greater emphasis on what just occurred in a data series, a sign of the evolutionary leftover code hanging around your wetware….Read More
The Fed Raising Rates? David Kotok Cumberland Advisors, May 26, 2015 It’s not about when; it’s about the path to get there. Suppose the Fed lifts rates on the short end of the yield curve by a quarter point in September. Or December. Will it really make a difference? Suppose the Fed’s…Read More
Why Are Interest Rates So Low? Marco Del Negro, Marc Giannoni, Matthew Cocci, Sara Shahanaghi, and Micah Smith Liberty Street Economics, May 20, 2015 In a recent series of blog posts, the former Chairman of the Federal Reserve System, Ben Bernanke, has asked the question: “Why are interest rates so low?” (See part 1, part…Read More