How To Totally Misinterpret Deflationary Impulses

Sometimes it pays to wait. Better to be sure than premature. In January 2014, the journal Central Banking handed out its inaugural awards. Among the recipients was Paul Volcker who was bestowed a lifetime achievement prize. The initial Governor of the Year honorific, something like a central banker MVP, went to Mario Draghi of the…


Curves Have Been Here The Whole Time, Not That Anyone Cared

Whether we notice them or not, there are a lot of things that do happen on a seasonal basis. Economists have tried to eliminate these patterns from our thoughts and analysis largely by smoothing them out with seasonal adjustments. But in money as markets there remain these bottlenecks. People have asked me from time to…


It Matters Which Error

We ended last week on a pretty sour note. The eurodollar futures curve has inverted ever so slightly, which isn’t a very good sign of things to come. Since the inversion has to do with different pressures pressing on different parts, convention pays all attention only to the front. It’s there where the Federal Reserve…


Good Reason To Fear The Futures

The eurodollar futures curve has already turned on them. That’s why the sudden interest in things like federal funds futures. If it seemed yesterday with the release of the last meeting minutes that the FOMC members appear to be getting nervous, there is good reason. The eurodollar curve is already slightly inverted. Remember, these contracts…


The Deeper Red of JPY and WTI

There are several factors missing from the latest eurodollar rout. Well, not really missing so much as sitting this one out to this point in time. We knew things were really getting serious in 2015 when the Japanese yen joined the currency parade. Only it didn’t fall as others had, JPY rather rose very much…


Already Back In The Red?

In July 2014, then-Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen testified before Congress. It was the usual Humphrey-Hawkins stuff, except in this instance at that particular time there was every reason to suspect things were finally changing. The unemployment rate, in particular, was sinking like a stone dropped in a pond. Some additional economic indicators signaled perhaps…


Global Asset Allocation Update

The risk budget is unchanged this month. For the moderate risk investor the allocation to bonds and risk assets is evenly split. There are changes this month within the asset classes. How far are we from the end of this cycle? When will the next recession arrive and more importantly when will stocks and other…


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…


And Now For Something Completely Different

Back in February, Japan’s Cabinet Office reported that Real GDP in Japan had grown in Q4 2017 for the eighth consecutive quarter. It was the longest streak of non-negative GDP since the 1980’s. Predictably, this was hailed as some significant achievement, a true masterstroke of courage and perseverance. It was taken as a sign that…

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If There Was No QE, How Could There Be QT?

How big should the Fed’s balance sheet be? It’s a topic that has taken over a lot of academic discussions. Recall that before 2008 the level of bank reserves was practically nil. They didn’t play much of a role in any money market, required reserves or not (this should be a big clue). After four…