bonds

Still No Reason to Jump Back Into IG Bonds

Total return on US investment grade (IG) corporate bonds has been negative all year. Half of IG bonds are rated BBB, which is one notch above junk. Deteriorating corporate credit conditions and upside inflation surprises suggest a poor risk/reward for incremental capital allocated to US IG bonds. This chart can be found here:

currencies

The Cost of Maintaining a Currency Peg

Hong Kong needs to mimic the US in raising short-term interest rates in order to maintain the currency peg with USD. This is causing strain on the Hong Kong economy as exemplified by 3m HIBOR climbing more briskly than it would independent of the peg. Some of the world’s most sky-high real estate prices are rolling over. This will accelerate […]

central banks

Why PCE is the Fed’s “Preferred Measure”

US from a year ago: – Export Price Index: 4.9% – Import Price Index: 4.3% – Shelter: 3.5% – Fuel oil: 25.3% – Transportation Services: 3.8% – Case Shiller Home Price Index: 6.8% – Retail Sales: 6% – Real Average Hourly Earnings: 0% (would be negative with a “less adjusted” index) Fed’s “preferred” PCE Index: still below 2%. Thank goodness […]

central banks

Bond Rally to Be Limited by Incoming Data and Treasury Issuance

Safe-haven sovereign bonds are experiencing a counter-trend snapback rally as the focus has shifted to a slew of troubling yet still mostly second-tier geopolitical events. The incoming populist Italian Five Star Movement/right-wing League political coalition is pursuing a shift away from painful austerity back toward the type of popular but damaging heavy borrowing and spending regime that led to Italy […]

central banks

Inflationary Upside Surprises Are on the Way and Still Underestimated

A perfect three-pronged storm is brewing:  oil, the labor market, and fiscal policy in the US will soon propel inflation notably higher than appreciated by overly complacent economists and analysts stuck in a delusion of “low-flation” recency bias. Just this past Friday afternoon–Friday afternoons being the most notorious time to quietly dump toxic news sludge into the market–Saudi Arabia went […]

central banks

Macro Snapshot – Where from Here?

Synchronized global growth heading into early 2018 has become more complicated. Global divergences are forming in growth and inflation. US Treasuries are not coming off the hinges just yet but an increased risk of (too) sharp of a rise in interest rates is clearly in the back of investors’ minds. China and Europe are decelerating somewhat but from elevated levels. […]

central banks

Why It Is Encouraging the Old Guard Still Doesn’t Understand Crypto Adoption

The current fiat-based monetary system is becoming insolvent from a dead-end Keynesian “debt and inflate” feedback loop paired with a lack of needed structural reforms, and it can only be kept intact going forward with capital controls and financial repression–which is what will eventually kill the current trickle-down system of centralized government fiat and precisely what spawned cryptos in the first place.