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Posts Tagged ‘review of economy’

Front End Springs a Leak

Posted by Larry Doyle on June 5th, 2009 4:57 PM |

In a manner of speaking, the management of our economy has been nothing short of a major overhaul of a tired old ship. When the tide went out, the base of our ship was exposed as being filled with holes.

Little did we know at the time, but through many of those holes a number of “pirates” were running off with a whole lot of booty. In the process, many market participants riding along on the main deck were thrown overboard by the economic storm that hit our economy and markets over the last two years.

We do not have the luxury of bringing our ship into port for an overhaul. We have had to continue to sail this ship while trying to repair it. In that spirit, by necessity we have had to add significant ballast (liquidity) in our hull. In so doing, we need to recognize that the ballast can itself be inflammatory if the engine generates a spark.

In purely economic terms, this morning’s non-farm payroll number of -345k jobs  was a hint of a spark. While various sectors of the market gyrated today, the front end of our ship, that is the front end of our yield curve, sprung a serious leak. How so? Interest rates on short term Treasury notes increased a DRAMATIC 35 basis points. Why?

Traders are already pricing in an expectation that the Federal Reserve will be forced to increase the Fed Funds rate prior to any hint of inflation or even the expectation of inflation gains a foothold. Bloomberg sheds color on this likelihood, Traders Begin to Speculate Fed Will Need to Tighten:

Traders are beginning to price in expectations the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates this year as the recession shows signs of abating.

Federal-funds futures contracts on the Chicago Board of Trade show a 70 percent probability the central bank will lift its target rate for overnight bank borrowing to at least 0.5 percent by November after a report today showed the U.S. economy shed the fewest jobs in May in eight months. Rate-increase odds were 27 percent yesterday.

The Fed cut the target rate to the record low range of zero to 0.25 percent in December as the economy lapsed into the worst recession in decades. President Barack Obama and Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke have committed $12.8 trillion to thaw frozen credit markets and ramped up government spending to revive growth. The Fed last raised borrowing costs in June 2006, when policy makers pushed the rate to 5.25 percent.

Fed governors and Fed chair Bernanke now face a serious quandary. Economic data will remain decidedly weak. Unemployment will continue to increase. Consumers are going to remain strapped. Corporations will face challenges. Municipalities will encounter an ongoing decline in tax revenues. Nobody is going to truly feel like the economy is improving to the point that the Fed should even think about increasing interest rates. Then why is the market starting to price that reality into the market? Let’s go back into the hull.

The bowels of our ship are flush with liquidity and given any sort of traction in the economy, the velocity and growth in the money supply will drive inflation.

What is Big Ben and team to do? The market is raising interest rates on him rather than his raising interest rates on the market. In the process, a very fragile economy will now be forced to deal with higher interest costs along with anemic growth.

What do I see on our economic horizon? In my opinion, today’s price action took us in the direction of the island known as Stagflation.

Please share your thoughts and comments.

LD

Navigating Sense on Cents

Posted by Larry Doyle on April 11th, 2009 7:29 AM |

As many people travel this weekend to be with friends and family, I would like to take an opportunity to navigate the highways and byways of links and material connected to Sense on Cents.

I hope this post will open more eyes and ears to wider avenues of information as we collectively try to make sense of the economy, markets, and world of global finance.

If I could beg your indulgence, if any of these links do not interest you but you feel they may help others, please pass them along. I thank you in advance.

With no further adieu, let’s travel around Sense on Cents . . .

Career Planning: I have always taken pleasure in providing career guidance. I provide a wealth of  Must Read articles from a variety of sources along with a Workshop for developing a game plan.

Market Data:  this page connects to real time market data from the Wall Street Journal. Every sector of the market is a mere point and click away. Stocks, bonds, currencies, commodities, economic data, international markets, historical graphs, and more…

Newsworthy: some stories have made headlines, while others are off the beaten path.  These stories come from your local papers and from posts around the world. I welcome sharing them with you.

No Quarter Radio: “Sense on Cents with Larry Doyle”  is my weekly Sunday evening radio program. I share insights and perspectives on the markets and economy while also hosting outstanding professionals from all corners of finance as my guests. All shows are archived and available as podcasts on iTunes. I also provide an audio player right here on Sense on Cents immediately after the completion of each show so that you can listen to a playback of the show right from this site.

The Reading Room is filled with a variety of books (pleasure, finance, inspirational, educational) that I have enjoyed and found impactful.

For those working their way up the learning curve (aren’t we all?), I have
Primers on the following topics:

Investing: anything you could ever possibly want defined or simplified.
Mortgage Market and Mortgage Finance
Financial Aid
Insurance
Debt Management

I also closely track a number of professional money managers, economists, and analysts. This collection of pro’s pros are my Economic All-Stars and include:

Laszlo Birinyi: outstanding equity manager and Wall Street veteran

Nouriel Roubini: highly acclaimed NYU economist

Jeff Gundlach: the highly acclaimed Chief Investment Officer of Trust Company of the West

Bob Rodriguez: along with his First Pacific Advisors colleague Tom Atteberry, named Morningstar’s 2008 Fixed Income Managers of the Year

Bill Gross: the highly acclaimed bond manager at Pacific Investment  Management Company

Greg Mankiw: widely respected Harvard Professor of Economics

John Mauldin: a true favorite of mine, this market analyst is amazingly well connected

Sheila Bair: the chair of the FDIC and, in my opinion, the preeminent regulator in the U.S. government today.

Carmen Reinhart: Professor of Economics at the University of Maryland

Thought Leaders: 22 of the finest economic minds in the world today  connected to Project Syndicate, an international association of 415 newspapers in 150 countries !!

If you are reading this post, I hope this trip has opened new avenues of interest for you. As the moderator, I actively engage readers, so please do not hesitate to ask questions and leave comments, or – as some may say –  sign the Guest Book!! Please share the site with friends, family, and colleagues.

Ultimately, I hope you enjoy coming to Sense on Cents as much as I do!

Have a blessed holiday ~

LD






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