The world of fixed income trading has been extremely volatile lately. Rates have not only spiked in the Treasury market but borrowing costs in money markets have also become extremely disconcerting. The residual effects from Quantitative Tightening, which ended just this past July, are wreaking havoc on the liquidity in bond markets. Ironically, the Fed’s erstwhile rate hikes and its QT program–what Fed Chairs described as running in the background and like watching paint dry—turned out to be the catalyst for a freeze in the junk-bond market in December of 2018 and is now causing major disruption in the Repo market.
This illustrates clearly the tenuous nature of the bond bubble and that it will someday implode like a supernova—sending yields skyrocketing on a long-term basis. However, it most likely does not yet mark the start of the epoch debt bubble debacle that is in store. We will need a surge of inflation expectations, or the credit markets to shut down on a protracted basis for that to occur. We are moving closer to that eventuality every day….CLICK for complete
The US treasury yield curve, as represented by the spread between the 10-year and two-year bond yields, is currently the flattest since December 2018.
As of writing, the spread is seen at 0.097 basis points – down more than 17 basis points from the high of 27.5 basis points seen on July 18.
Notably, the benchmark 10-year yield, which stood at 2% on July 31, fell to 1.59% on Wednesday and is now trading at 1.70%, meaning the yield is down 30 basis points on a month-to-date basis.
Investors have rushed for the safety of government bonds amid escalating US-China trade tensions….CLICK for complete article
In the international finance system, U.S. debt can be bought and held by virtually anyone.
In fact, if you hold a U.S. Treasury bond or a T-Bill in your portfolio right now, you are already a creditor to the United States government.
And as you can see in today’s chart from HowMuch.net, foreign countries like China and Japan can also accumulate large positions in U.S. Treasurys, making them significant players in the overall United States debt pie….CLICK for complete article
“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