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…

201805.10
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Still No Plausible Path To Hysteria

The yearlong wireless data plan nightmare is officially over. For the second month in a row, the CPI for Wireless Telephone Services, which includes any unlimited data at fixed prices, was more stable in its annual comparison. In April 2018, the index was nearly flat to April 2017; down by less than 1%. It was,…

201805.02
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The FOMC Should Probably Cry For Argentina

Argentina was perhaps the biggest success story of “reflation.” Left for dead in global markets as the hammer of the “rising dollar” pounded down on everyone, the country elected new leadership and began taking the right steps toward modern economic integration. That’s the story, anyway. What really happened was a bit different. The country that…

201803.21
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No Hawks Nor Doves, Just Dollar

On January 24, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin either misspoke or let slip a Freudian sort of wish. Extolling a weak rather than strong dollar, it was seemingly a total break from longstanding official US policy. It’s not really a policy anyone takes too seriously, if for no other reason than the dollar isn’t really a…

201801.31
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(Chicken) Hawkish

You have to go back four years for some honesty. The FOMC in January 2014 could be more forthright simply because the committee’s members believed they wouldn’t ever have to explain themselves. They voted to taper QE at the end of 2013 with the expectation that the economy would perform as their econometric models laid…

201801.30
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You Know What They Say About Appearances

It used to be a big deal, the kind of move that would itself move markets all over the world. Very quietly, JPY has been trading higher over recent weeks and has reached a level of appreciation we haven’t seen since those rocky days in early September. Only then, a rising yen (falling dollar) was…

201801.19 5

What About 2.62%?

There’s nothing especially special about 2.62%. It’s a level pretty much like any other, given significance by only one phrase: the highest since 2014. It sounds impressive, which is the point. But that only lasts until you remember the same thing was said not all that long ago. Back last March, the 10-year yield had…

201712.14
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Inside and Outside, Market and Models Actually Agree On A Final Failing Grade For Yellen

It was another pretty embarrassing day for the Federal Reserve and its policymaking body the FOMC. The latter voted, as expected, to raise the federal funds corridor (or double floor, if you can’t get over IOER fail) by another 25 bps. The long end of the Treasury bond market, however, was bid pushing yields down…

201712.14
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Chinese Are Not Tightening, Though They Would Be Thrilled If You Thought That

The PBOC has two seemingly competing objectives that in reality are one and the same. Overnight, China’s central bank raised two of its money rates. The rate it charges mostly the biggest banks for access to the Medium-term Lending Facility (MLF) was increased by 5 bps to 3.25%. In addition, its reverse repo interest settings…

201709.25
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I Repeat

The nominal CMT yield on the benchmark 10-year US Treasury note hit its low on July 8 last year. It’s debatable, of course, as to what turned it around; I think “reflation” from there began in Japan and all those whispers of the “helicopter.” It didn’t really matter that the BoJ didn’t really consider the…