201709.07
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Wherefore Art Thou Collateral?

The US Treasury as a result of the government’s bloated response to the Great “Recession” has been forced in notes and bonds to reopen their auctions each and every month. Before then, reopenings were less frequent. They weren’t infrequent, but the Treasury wasn’t just auctioning 10s every month. In 2007, for example, the Department conducted…

201707.18
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A Decade of Fallacy

Ten years ago yesterday, Bear Stearns sent a letter to shareholders of two specific hedge funds that it sponsored. Whenever anyone brings up the name now, you immediately know where this is going. That wasn’t the case in 2007, however. Whatever the world may think of Bear in hindsight, a decade ago it was a…

201707.10
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No Luck China, Either

Former IMF chief economist Ken Rogoff warned today on CNBC that he was concerned about China. Specifically, he worried that country might “export a recession” to the rest of Asia if not the rest of the world. I’m not sure if he has been paying attention or not, but the Chinese economy since 2012 has…

201704.04 3

‘Nowhere To Go But Up’ Survives Because The Fed Refuses To Be Honest About Its Assessment of the Output Gap

The Federal Reserve under Ben Bernanke committed several unforgivable mistakes during his tumultuous tenure, but cumulatively they could be easily summarized as “they really don’t know what they are doing.” Time and again whoever followed monetary policy and the conventions built upon it were led either off a cliff or somewhere just less dramatic. Federal…

201611.30
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Another Line to Cross Before Reflation; Nuns and Neutrality

Talking with my colleague Joe Calhoun yesterday, he was eager to share with me something he found in the (virtual) pages of the Wall Street Journal, a perfect sign of the times. In a story about a group of nuns in Germany taking their financial future into their own hands, Joe couldn’t help but shake…

201609.12
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More Bond Market Confusion

The yield on the 10-year US Treasury closed at around 1.68% today, but judging by the haughty commentary surrounding global bond markets you would be forgiven if you thought it was 2.68%. Since the low in July around 1.37%, that +30 bps apparently seems like it to many people. Going back to the end of…

201609.06
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More Indications of Labor Slowing

The Federal Reserve’s Labor Market Conditions Index (LMCI) fell to contraction again in August. After rebounding in July for the first positive reading of 2016, the LMCI dropped to -0.7 in the latest update. As usual, revisions have reshaped the levels of indicated problems throughout the past two years, but overall the trend remains. From…

201609.06
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The Real Economy: What The Interest Rate Fallacy Truly Means

Just a little over a year ago, the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) released its purchasing manager index for the services sector for August 2015. Though the level was down slightly from July, coming amidst the immediate aftermath of the “shocking” financial quakes starting in China and spreading to markets all over the world, the…

201608.22
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The Inequality of Logic Behind The Increasingly Emphasized Magic Numbers

It is a basic element of logic that if A = B and B = C, then A must also equal C. In terms of action, if I do a thing and that thing always leads to a predictable outcome, not seeing that outcome causes one to question whether or not one actually did that…

201608.19
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MacroVoices Podcast for August 18, 2016

Jeffrey Snider: All Signs Point to Global Systemic Reset