201806.12
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What A Difference A Few Months Make, Highest Inflation in Six Years And Market Shrugs

What a difference a few months make. Perhaps given all that has happened since January people have regained some badly needed perspective. The core of inflation hysteria was the belief the economy was about to take off which would exacerbate underlying price pressures. That would necessitate more aggressive Federal Reserve reaction, corroborated by an epic…

201805.25
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Reframing Doves And Hawks

When the minutes of the March 2018 FOMC meeting were released on April 11, St. Louis Fed President James Bullard, a non-voting alternate member, immediately objected to one statement contained with them. According to Bullard’s version, the notation that “all participants” agreed further rate hikes were necessary was incorrect. He was and remains opposed to…

201706.16
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Haunting Yellen

I wouldn’t put it in the category of LBJ “losing Cronkite”, but it is at least a measure of amplified pressure (or just any pressure). This week has been utterly embarrassing for the Federal Reserve, a central bank that refuses to define clearly what it is attempting to do. It leaves questions even for who…

201705.19
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A Lousy State

I don’t pay much attention to the 2 year part of the UST curve because I think it is susceptible to information spoilage, distortions that aren’t strictly related to what a “risk-free” 2s should tell us. But as my colleague Joe Calhoun often reminds me, just because I don’t think it as important doesn’t mean…

201704.25
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More Small Things

On April 23, 2015, the US Treasury auctioned off $18 billion in inflation-indexed bonds maturing in April 2020. These 5-year TIPS stopped out at the lowest yield for that particular security class in almost a year before then. Coming as it did during the spring of 2015, it was met with the usual textbook applied…

201704.21
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TIPping Points?

The Federal Reserve’s complete change last year wasn’t something that happened all at once. There were several hints that a lot was going on behind the scenes that may never become public, including five years (now four) down the road when the full policy transcripts are released to the public. There was more interest in…

201703.23
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Stuck In Yesterday

It is understandable why everyone is right now fixated on Washington. The repeal, or not, of Obamacare is, to paraphrase former Vice President Biden, a big deal. In terms of market expectations, it is difficult to discern by how much. That was to be, after all, but one step of several reductions to the administrative…

201702.08
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The First Real Reality Check?

With several parts of the “reflation” trade rolling over, it is worth noting that one of the last of them to join in what may be growing reconsideration or doubt is inflation breakevens. In the 5-year and 10-year maturities, breakevens were at their lowest point on February 9, 2016, and have been moving higher ever…

201610.14
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Turning Again To Inflation Expectations

I generally shy away from sentiment surveys as almost a rule because I believe they are more often than not misleading. The various indices of consumer confidence fall into that categorization, especially over the past few years. According to many, consumer confidence is back to where it was during the housing bubble even though by…

201609.16 1

More Data For The ‘Data Dependent’ To Ignore

The University of Michigan released its September update for their surveys of consumers. The overall index of consumer “sentiment” was unchanged from August at 89.8, and up just 3% from last September. This “confidence” index peaked in January 2015 at 98.1 and has been sideways to lower ever since. Most of the internals were practically…