The Federal Reserve, the only central bank in the G7 economies and China to raise rates and the only central bank to lead a tightening cycle, is also the only central bank to get it right. As counter-intuitive as that may sound, higher rates in a world of negative rates and massive monetization is the only viable solution to stimulate growth. To understand the irony, we must delve into credit markets and assess what’s broken.
Cheap Credit Expensive Growth
One of the arguments espoused by critics of monetary stimulus, whether it’s negative interest rates or quantitative easing, is inflation. But in reality the real cost of a ultra-loose monetary policy is the exact opposite—deflation; prices in most of the world and, in fact, in most products are either falling or stagnating. The reason is that when the policy is ultra-loose inefficient sectors of the economy are kept artificially afloat. As long as interest rates are close to zero failing sectors can keep on piling debt and thus contribute less and less to growth while leaving less available capital to the more efficient sectors that really need to grow. Continue reading "Fed Tightening Will Unleash U.S. Growth"
By: Gary Tanashian of Biiwii.com
We have been using the Semis as a one of several economic signposts, and as an investment/trading destination since the Semi Equipment ‘bookings’ category in the Book-to-Bill ratio began to ramp up several months ago. But those who say that Semiconductors are subject to pricing pressures are correct. It is a segment in which people need to be discrete with their investments. NFTRH 410 updated some details about this market leader.
Semi has been a leader for our overall market and economic view, which has been bullish since noting that a trend of three straight months of increased bookings was established in April. The Book-to-Bill for July came in strong once again, with a new high in the key ‘bookings’ category. Continue reading "Semiconductor Sector, Updated"
Despite the Federal Open Market Committee voting last week to maintain all of the Federal Reserve’s current rates, some market experts — including this one — are projecting that a rate hike is coming soon, and the Foreign Exchange market could see significant volatility because of it.
Indeed, as we suspected back on July 1, the Federal Reserve, in its release about the policy meeting held July 26-27, signaled that headwinds from Brexit are waning and pointed to diminishing near-term risks. But what does that mean, in practical terms? It means that the Fed is back in business: delivering mildly hawkish rhetoric, while preparing for the next rate hike. Continue reading "FX Volatility To Pick Up With Growth"
The Federal Reserve's interest rate liftoff schedule for this year is slowly but surely slip slidin' away, like a space launch aborted by bad weather. It makes you wonder which government agency is directing U.S. monetary policy, the Fed or NASA.
The minutes of the Fed's June 16-17 monetary policy committee meeting released July 8 were a lot more dovish than the announcement that immediately followed the meeting. It now looks like a September rate liftoff isn't as baked in the cake as many previously believed just a few weeks ago.
Since then, of course, a lot has changed, almost all of it conspiring against an early rate increase. September is a lot less likely to happen now, and even December looks doubtful. I didn't think the Fed was courageous or confident enough to make a move this year anyway, so the events of the past few weeks make me more comfortable with that position. Continue reading "Slip Slidin' Away"
It was back on 13 April that I highlighted the breaking point for the dollar, which could lead to a dollar correction after a prolonged rally. What was that breaking point? If inflation gauges showed that the strong dollar weighed on the inflation outlook, then the dollar would begin its correction. And so indeed, shortly after, the dollar began to plunge against its European peer, the euro, as investors switched into euro longs and dollar shorts. The reason? Data suggested that the US economy wasn't growing as quickly as expected, and most inflation gauges suggested that inflation still wasn't returning.
And then, two weeks ago, the tide turned once again and investors began dollar buying once more as core inflation nudged up and the Eurozone, with the looming Greek crisis, seemed weak again. But is the dollar correction really over? Don't count on it… Continue reading "Dollar Correction Not Over"