(New York)

If you have been following the situation closely, you will have noticed that the Fed is pretty uniformly dismissing the risks of our almost-inverted yield curve. The central bank thinks that central bank bond buying has held long-term yields to artificially low levels, and accordingly, they think the only 30 bp spread between two- and ten-year Treasuries is of no concern. The problem is that this is almost the exact same logic the Fed used when the yield curve inverted in 2006. Then they said it was a global savings glut keeping long-term yields pinned. Soon after, the US went in to recession and the Crisis erupted.

FINSUM: A big part of the problem here is not just that higher rates could lead to a recession, but that low long-term yields drive investors into riskier investments (just as they did pre-Crisis), so the flat yield curve is actually very worrying. The Fed is sleeping walking into a bear trap.

(New York)

There has been a lot of speculation lately about the extent to which the current growing trade war may affect the economy and markets. Some expect a benign effect on both. Well, Bloomberg has run a piece arguing that the trade war may lead to a Chinese debt crisis, which could in turn lead to a global financial crisis. The impact of the tariffs on the Chinese economy could be serious. China is already seeing a very high level of defaults, and with the extra burden of tariffs coupled with a weaker Yuan, it could create credit chaos for Beijing. Bloomberg put it this way, saying “That the massive burden of debt will drag the economy into recession is as obvious as the empty towers that rise on every landscape … But on any metric, the amount of new lending each year grows faster than the economy, and the interest newly owed exceeds the incremental rise in GDP. In other words, the whole economy is a Ponzi scheme”.

FINSUM: It is hard to imagine a more forceful comment than that last one from Bloomberg. We don’t know if we would go so far, but given how indebted the Chinese economy is, and their reliance on exports, tariffs could spark a meltdown that then spreads overseas.

(New York)

Right now everyone seems to be focusing on the possibility of an inverted yield curve occurring between the 2 and 10-year Treasury. However, that might not be the best recession predictor after all. If you are strictly focusing on yields, then the 1 and 10-year is better, as it gives less false positives. But speaking more broadly, the M1 money supply and housing starts are other great places to look as both tend to peak well before a recession; M1 is usually about a year, and housing starts two years.

FINSUM: The reality is that if you take a broader view, things don’t look too bad. M1 is still growing, as are housing starts, so those indicators look healthy.

Page 4 of 11

Contact Us



Subscribe to our daily newsletter

We use cookies to improve our website. By continuing to use this website, you are giving consent to cookies being used. More details…