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Posts Tagged ‘Federal reserve buying Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities’

The All Powerful Federal Reserve: Part II

Posted by Larry Doyle on June 12th, 2009 12:19 PM |

Is the All Powerful Federal Reserve omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent? Any institution that purports to be transparent but ultimately clouds itself in a shroud of “financial intrigue” deserves serious questioning. Congressional efforts on this front regularly fall woefully short. With a few exceptions, serious media analysis of the Fed is also deficient. Fortunately, the Wall Street Journal provides a reasonable overview of recent Fed maneuvers, Fed to Keep Lid on Bond Buys. Let’s navigate the inner workings of the Fed and play devil’s advocate in the process.

The WSJ highlights:

Fed officials have become more confident recently that they have stabilized the economy and set the stage for recovery. But divisions are brewing within the Fed over whether it should do more to speed the healing, pause, or start pulling back to avoid an outbreak of inflation.

Those crosscurrents are likely to inhibit bold new strokes by the Fed at its next meeting, in contrast to earlier in the year, when a bleak outlook spurred aggressive action.

At long last, a hint of sanity on the inflation front emanates from within the hallowed halls of the kingdom of the Federal Reserve.

Please recall that when the Fed announced its increased level of aggressive quantitative easing, the 10 yr Treasury rallied 50 basis points from a 3.1% to a 2.6% in one day. That sort of move is unprecedented. The 10yr, even with the Fed’s support, has since retraced 1.2% in the last three months. Where would the 10yr Treasury be without Fed support? 4%, 4.25%, 4.5%? Who could estimate for sure? (more…)

Let’s Meet the 2008 Bond Manager of the Year

Posted by Larry Doyle on April 8th, 2009 3:09 PM |

One of our Economic All-Stars is Bob Rodriguez of First Pacific Advisors. In the spirit of being totally equitable, I should have also posted Tom Atteberry’s name next to Bob’s. Bob and Tom were jointly named 2008 Morningstar Fixed Income Managers of the Year.

Bob is currently taking a leave of absence from First Pacific but Tom is equally outstanding. I had the pleasure of making his acquaintance while I worked at JP Morgan. Tom Atteberry is a pro’s pro. He spoke to Bloomberg earlier today and made these comments, which I took in longhand, so I am not quoting but I listened very carefully. Tom opined:

1. The current environment is the worst time to get into bonds. Why?

2. The creditworthiness of individuals and companies across the economy will only get worse from here and that deteriorating credit is not currently priced into the market.

3. U. S. government debt (Treasuries) represent NO value at current levels. If a fair expected rate of return is between 2-3% and a longer term rate of inflation is also between 2-3%, the rate on a 10 yr. maturity Treasury note should be in the vicinity of 5%. That note is currently trading at 2.85%. Don’t overpay for an asset just because somebody else is, in this case the Federal Reserve. (more…)






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