Archive for the ‘Debt Market’ Category

Notes From Underground: Are You Ready When Delta Is?

July 19, 2021

I’ve been away minding my two Floridian grandsons (exhausting yet delightful). I did, however, have time to catch up on some reading, particularly W.E.B. Du Bois’s “Suppression of the African Slave Trade,” as recommended by Chris Whalen. Du Bois looks at how the large state-domiciled banks helped finance the importation of African black slaves. This is high quality prose written in 1896, a well documented and enlightening read about the politics of America at its early beginnings. We could all stand to learn from a genuine scholar rather than shouting at each other.

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Notes From Underground: From Tweets to Tweaks

June 20, 2021

Happy father’s day to all who are one and have had one. Just nine months ago the markets were experiencing convulsions as the then-U.S. president would unleash tweet after tweet at all hours. We certainly don’t miss the key-word-driven algos creating volatility with the tip of their finger. The markets got a jolt last Wednesday when the Fed tweaked its administered rates — interest on excess reserves and the offering yield on its reverse repo facility — by 5 basis points in an effort to prevent short-term rates such as TREASURY BILLS from pushing into negative territory on a SUSTAINED basis as cash continues to flood the market, a consequence of the central bank’s ongoing QE ($120 billion a month). Adding to the deluge is the U.S. TREASURY, which has been running down its cash balance from an all-time high of $1.8 trillion.

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Notes From Underground: How To Deal With Transitory Data

March 18, 2021

First, thank you to allĀ  who filled in for me as I spent nine full days packing up my life in Chicago. Raising four children and being the repository for many of my loved ones “stuff” resulted in a drowning in memories as well as material possessions that raised questions about what the HELL was that for and why? Our last post was March 1 but I am proud to point out that there were about 74 comments on that entry, all but mine being extremely valuable. Thank you to all for the way you raised the bar for discourse even higher.

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Notes From Underground: Bonds Talking Trash To the Central Banks

February 28, 2021

Last week the world’s bond markets experienced an assault propagated by the MISERABLE U.S. five-year Treasury note auction on Wednesday followed by a more dismal seven-year sale on Thursday. Also, the Australian and KIWI 10-year notes suffered massive bouts of volatility even as the RBA and RBNZ intervened with more QE to stem the rise on the long end. We at Notes From Underground have warned that the markets were attacking the FORWARD GUIDANCE motivations of the world’s monetary authorities by attacking the long end of the yield curve as the area of least resistance because central bank asset purchases around the world have been targeted at debt instruments of much shorter duration.

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Notes From Underground: Does the Market Care About Forward Guidance?

February 21, 2021

Forward guidance is a key tool in the Federal Reserve’s arsenal, promoted in a speech long ago by Columbia University professor Michael Woodford at the Jackson Hole Symposium. In a previous communication, the central bank said, “Forward guidance is a tool that central banks use to provide communication to the public about the likely course of monetary policy.”

This tool allows the FED to establish a time-directed path for interest rates so that the MARKET does not suffer shocks from an upward surprise move in rates.

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Notes From Underground: Extra! Extra! Read All About It

February 11, 2021

On Wednesday, FEDERAL RESERVE Chairman Jerome Powell emphasized, yet again, that he and the FOMC believe UNEMPLOYMENT in real terms using its broad measure is about 10%. The recent release of labor statistics revealed a 6.3% unemployment rate but Powell stressed in his Q&A at Economic Club of New York that “the statistic doesn’t capture the full extent of labor market slack.” Bloomberg’s Craig Torres finally gave credence to the idea that Jerome Powell is focused on ending the present disparity between minority and white employment as Powell used FED data to clarify the black unemployment rate was 9.2% versus 5.7%.

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Notes From Underground: Going Around and Around

December 13, 2020

There two issues whose headlines are creating intraday volatility: Brexit and Congressional tweets surrounding another covid stimulus package (or not). As it stands, so many workers are struggling due to job losses — though no fault of their own — and small businesses are trying to keep their doors open.

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Notes From Underground: Return of the Bond Vigilantes?

December 6, 2020

After the performance of the 30-year yield on Friday, we must ask this question. The overall release was on the weak side as jobs created were far less than expected, even though the RATE dropped to 6.7% and average hourly earnings increased by 0.3%, higher than forecasted. The AHE are difficult to measure as it can reflect lower wage earners being left out of the job market, as well as bonuses paid out to middle- and upper-level management.

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Notes From Underground: “Hoist With His Own Petard”

June 9, 2020

This quote from Shakespeare explains the position that the Jerome Powell-led Federal Reserve has created for itself. The U.S. central bank has been captured by its massive monetary stimulus in addition to its willingness of aiding and abetting the Mnuchin Treasury by purchasing of hundreds of billions of Treasuries. The FED has maintained that its dual mandate provides the theoretical and practical approach to keeping interest rates lower for longer.

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Notes From Underground: Just a Song Before I Go

April 5, 2020

At this time of great chaos in the world I am going to take a 10 day hiatus to sit back and reflect as it is the time of Passover and Easter. These holidays will take on special significance this year as the Covid-19 impacts our plans.

So as I retrench I put forward the words of the Prophet Micah for something to contemplate: “To Act Justly, and to LOVE MERCY and to walk HUMBLY with YOUR GOD.” Wishing all my readers a meaningful period of the holidays before us. I may post a podcast I recorded this morning with Anthony Crudele but that will be it, although I will respond to all questions in an effort to stay alert to critical issues in a rapidly changing global environment. Now to the issues before us.

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