Bonds & Interest Rates

  1. Economic growth
  2. Raising taxes
  3. Inflation
  4. Reduction of government services.

Cuts aren’t on the table and no indication that economic growth is a priority…so that leaves taxes and inflation…be prepared.

“A country can’t inflate its way out of debt. Inflation raises the cost of living, reduces the real value of incomes, harms creditors at the expense of debtors, raises interest rates. Inflation destroys the value of a currency. Stable money is as important as the Constitution.”
Brian Wesbury, Chief Economist, First Trust Portfolios

 

New Study Finds The Fed Put Is Very Real And Dates Back To The Mid-90s

For some of us, the idea of a Fed put hasn’t even been up for debate over the last several decades. We know it exists and, in fact, most of us believe it is the Fed’s main (and perhaps only) actual mandate: making sure markets only go up.

But that doesn’t mean the rest of the “straights” aren’t catching on a little late. And to them, we say better late than never.

And so now, a new study called “The Economics of the Fed Put” featured in Barron’s appears to show conclusively that the Fed put actually exists. The study’s authors, Anna Cleslak, a finance professor at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, and Annette Vissing-Jorgensen, a finance professor at the University of California, Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, found “compelling evidence” of the Fed put dating all the way back to the mid 1990’s.

For their research, the authors looked at “decades’ worth of minutes and transcripts of meetings of the Federal Open Market Committee, the stock market’s performance between those meetings, and the federal-funds rate.” CLICK for complete article

Interest Rates Can’t Rise EVER Again

 

Since the onset of the pandemic, the Fed has entered into the most aggressive monetary campaign. Its goal was to bolster asset markets to restore confidence in the financial system. However, the trap is the Fed is in a position where they can never stop QE as interest rates can’t rise ever again.

As we discussed previously, Jeremy Siegel already declared the end to the 40-year bond bull market.

“History has shown that this liquidity has to come out somewhere, and we’re not going to get a free lunch out of this. I think ultimately, it’s going to be the bondholder that’s going to suffer. That’s certainly not the popular notion right now.” – J. Siegel via CNBC

However, this is not a new sentiment, but it has existed since I started calling for rates to fall below 1% as far back as 2013. The reasoning then, and is the same today, is the linkage between the debt and economic growth.  Read More

 

Which countries might implement negative interest rates next?

The world is currently navigating through uncharted economic waters as the coronavirus lockdown has sent many economies globally into a significant recession. Historic monetary and fiscal policy has been deployed these last few months, which seems to be far from over.

Now many economies are beginning to consider negative interest rates due to the lack of options to combat a recession. Historically, Central Banks would have the option to dramatically cut rates to help stimulate the economy, but today throughout all major economies, interest rates are already at extreme lows. Read More

“The Bond Market Hasn’t Been Overcome By The Same Optimism As Stocks”

In a word: Gilead. It’s the optimism associated with the company’s experimental Covid-19 therapy which has supported risk assets as this week nears the final stretch. Overnight, equity futures hit new post-crash highs (2965 for the S&P) as investors take solace in the progress being made to combat the outbreak. While Remdesivir (we’re never going to correctly pronounce that) isn’t a vaccine nor a silver-bullet to end the pandemic, the development of such a drug has shifted investor sentiment and points toward a potential path back toward a version of normality. While risk assets have benefited on the margin from this news, Gilead cannot be credited for the rally in domestic equities which has trimmed the year-to-date losses in the S&P 500 to just 9%. It’s well within the realm of conceivable outcomes that May is the month stocks breakeven for 2020; leaving behind the volatility of March and April. For context, the Nasdaq is already effectively flat on the year…CLICK for complete article

European Bank Stocks Collapse to March 2009 & 1988 Levels

Just how much lower can they go? To Zero. And the ECB’s negative interest rates are driving them closer to it.

Over the past three weeks, stocks in Europe have plunged by 22.5%, their worst decline since the collapse of Lehman Brothers. The sell-off has been across the board but the worst of it has been reserved for the banking sector, whose shares have been relentlessly crushed and re-crushed for 13 years.

On Monday, the Stoxx 600 Banks index, which covers major European banks, plunged 13%. Today, after a knee-jerk bounce-back that then fizzled, the index closed essentially flat, back where it had been in March 2009. It has collapsed in a nearly straight line by…Click for full article.