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…


Bi-Weekly Economic Review: Growth Expectations Break Out?

There are a lot of reasons why interest rates may have risen recently. The federal government is expected to post a larger deficit this year – and in future years – due to the tax cuts. Further exacerbating those concerns is the ongoing shrinkage of the Fed’s balance sheet. Increased supply and potentially decreased demand…


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…


A Possible First Step In Maryland

Though we deal mostly in data, it is always prudent to remain connected and aware of anecdotes. It may even be more so in these kinds of times, where something like conditioning can desensitize analysis. Context is always important for any data, whether market or macro. My colleague Joe Calhoun pointed out recently a program…


Woe Unto The First Decade Of A New Century

On February 8, 2007, exactly one decade ago today, shares of New Century Financial, a former darling of not just Wall Street but the mainstream, plunged 37% in panicky trading. The day before, February 7, New Century reported expectations for loan production for 2007 to be 20% below 2006 levels. But the real bombshell was…


Home Builders Are Not Very Busy

There is undoubtedly serious stratification in the housing market, as higher end homes have no trouble selling at greater and greater price points. That, in turn, has left those owing homes in the tiers below struggling, supposedly, to do what Americans of past generations have done – move up to bigger and better. Because these…


The (Non)Appeal of More Debt

While continuing to tout an economic recovery that is being missed by far too many, the government and economists say one thing and then move toward the other. The unemployment rate claims one economic version that is talked about openly, but then there are “little things” that various official capacities seek to carry out suggesting…


No Weather For Home Construction

As expected from home construction figures for February the level of starts has once again reverted toward permits. For some reason, especially in apartment construction, new starts of multi-family dwellings far outpaced permit levels in the “rebound” into the middle of 2014. There is no clear explanation for the divergence, especially since permit levels show…


Existing Home Sales Look Like Apartments

Existing home sales rebounded in December from a pretty ugly (and downwardly revised) November, but only slightly. That would seem to suggest that there are more lingering problems as the real estate market tries to find its way back to the path it was on before the word “taper” was injected into the MBS market….