Short Term Rates
The cyclical case for raising short term interest rates is in place, although it is not a table
pounder as cyclical pressures although present are not that powerful. So, the US is finally
in an era of rate suppression. Because of the technical difficulties in raising rates during
a period of substantial QE, the issue probably remains tabled until the QE program ends later
this year. The 2yr Treas. note shows signs that investors are putting biases on an end to
ZIRP and some upward pressure on the inflation rate. US2Yr.
Banks are expanding the scope of lending. There have even been upticks in home mortgage
and home equity balances. The broad measure of credit driven funding (excluding QE) is
up 6.5% yr/yr through May which is strong enough given inflation of only 2%. The monthly
growth of private sector liquidity funding now exceeds that of QE as the cycle edges into a
more mature phase. With the dollar value of industrial output rising at 6.5%, the Fed is likely
reasonably satisfied with progress in 2014 to date. Still, the responsiveness has been a long
time in coming, and the balanced growth and funding will have to continue after QE is retired
for the tapering program to be a success and for the Fed to have leeway to begin a return to
more nearly normal operation of monetary policy.
- Peter Richardson
- Retired chief investment officer and former NYSE firm partner with 50 plus years experience in field as analyst / economist, portfolio manager / trader, and CIO who has superb track record with multi $billion equities and fixed income portfolios. Advanced degrees, CFA. Having done much professional writing as a young guy, I now have a cryptic style. 40 years down on and around The Street confirms: CAVEAT EMPTOR IN SPADES !!!