Is a July rate increase back on now because of the strong June jobs report? If not July, then September?
June’s unexpectedly strong 287,000 gain in nonfarm payrolls – more than 100,000 above Street forecasts – has some people believing that the Federal Reserve will now once again change its mind and increase interest rates sometime this summer, either later this month or at its September conclave.
But the bond market isn’t buying it, and neither am I. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note ended last Friday at a new record low of 1.36%, down eight basis points for the week. That doesn’t sound like bond investors believe that a rate increase is imminent. And it’s hard to believe that the Fed, which won’t make a move unless the sun, moon and stars are in perfect alignment, will suddenly take the big rebound in nonfarm payrolls as the green light to raise rates. It will take a lot more than that. Continue reading "The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight"→
No matter the debates over inflation vs. deflation, increasing employment vs. sound monetary policy or systemic health vs. fragility (and whatever else is flying around in Jackson Hole this week), the CPI marches onward and upward. That is the system and it is predicated on creating enough money out of thin air while inflation signals are (somehow) held at bay.
The Straw Man* in this argument lives in the idea that inflation is not always destructive, that inflation can be used for good and honed, massaged and targeted just right to achieve positive ends to defeat the curse of deflation that is surely just around the next corner. Currently, the Straw Man is supported by the reality of the moment, which includes long-term Treasury yields remaining in their long-term secular down trend.
People argue over inflation’s effects and the expectations thereof but the CPI, which is the ultimate measure of inflation’s lagging effects, has never stopped to take a breather. 2008′s liquidation of the system? Child’s play. Inflation, which is what the Fed has been hysterically promoting since 2007, will always manifest in rising prices somewhere. As luck would have it, this time it is manifesting in the stock market to a greater degree than the CPI. ‘All good!’ think our policy makers if the right prices are rising. Continue reading "Deflationary Straw Man"→