Bonds & Interest Rates

The Economy Is Both Booming And Headed For Recession

“The economy at the moment is in a superposition of two states.”

A fixture of debates about the relative merits of Fed cuts in the current environment is the paradox of conflicting data, some of which suggests the US economy is rolling over, some of which suggests it’s not.

This is something that’s vexed Fed officials and while there are a number of ways to illustrate it, a simple visualization might simply show, on one hand, unemployment loitering at a five-decade nadir and, on the other, manufacturing surveys diving to Trump-era lows amid trade uncertainty.

Jerome Powell has, of course, spent quite a bit of time documenting the extent to which the data has a habit of sending conflicting signals. Trump’s trade policies cloud the outlook for corporate America and also for the Fed. With respect to the latter, there’s an argument to be made that the president is deliberately muddying the waters to engineer easier monetary policy….CLICK for complete article

The Fed Just “Came Clean” On Where the Next Crisis Will Start

For those how pay attention, the Fed has already broadcast what the next crisis will be…

Corporate bonds…CLICK for complete article

OK, I Get it, Markets Have Gone Nuts

When the economy goes into a downturn, even a plain-vanilla recession or near-recession and not a crisis, junk bonds behave badly. This is because over-indebted companies with iffy cash flows – those are the ones that are junk rated – begin to buckle….CLICK for complete article

Inflation Could Soar As The Trade War Intensifies

I’m not going to use the R-word here. All I’m going to say is that it might be time for investors to brace for a significant correction—especially with debt at record levels and the Federal Reserve left with very little firepower to combat a full-blown crisis….CLICK for complete article

Stephen Poloz’s dashboard: The latest charts that matter most to the Bank of Canada

When Statistics Canada publishes the Labour Force Survey early each month, the number that makes the headlines is the net change in employment, or maybe the jobless rate.

Stephen Poloz, the Bank of Canada governor, probably only glances at those figures. He’s interested in more granular elements of the report. For example, as an audience in Moncton heard on Sept. 27, the youth participation rate is an indicator he watches “particularly closely.” You never see…Click here for full article.

U.S. Trade Deficit With China Grows To Record High

China’s exports are down, and imports are down even further, which translates into a trade surplus for Beijing that could set Trump on an even more aggressive warpath.

With year-end 2018 data now in, China ended up with a $324-billion trade surplus with the U.S.—a trade surplus that is over 25 percent bigger than it was prior to Trump’s ascension to the throne in Washington, DC.

And that’s even with Chinese exports down. Based on Chinese data analyzed by the BBC, exports from China dropped 4.4 percent in December, compared to the previous year, and imports also fell 7.6 percent…..CLICK for complete article