Last Friday, stocks soared as Yellen dropped hawkish hints that The Fed would raise rates "because it was appropriate" implying everything is awesome. One week later - following a terrible Fed-narrative-imploding jobs print - Hillary Clinton-donor and Fed member Lael Brainard goes back to full dove-tard: BRAINARD: U.S. JOBS IN MAY REPORT SUGGESTS LABOR MKT HAS SLOWED, SEES BENEFITS TO FED WAITING FOR ADDITIONAL DATA. Nothing would surprise us less to see stock go green today on this dovish news - just as they did last Friday on hawkish sentiment. If (Fed speaks) THEN (Buy).
"As stock prices rise, the gains are disproportionately distributed to the wealthy. Lower- and middle-income families who are also wealth-poor are less likely to expose their savings to the higher risks of equity markets.... gains in the stock market tend to benefit those in the wealthiest portion of the income distribution, who have better access to and higher participation in these asset markets."
You have to love it when one of Donald Trump’s wild pitches sends the beltway hypocrites into high dudgeon. But his rumination about negotiating a discount on the Federal debt was priceless. No sooner did the 'unschooled' Trump mention out loud what is already the official policy of the US government than a beltway chorus of fiscal house wreckers commenced screaming like banshees about the sanctity of Uncle Sam’s credit promises.
For the sake of argument, let’s just say we need government employees for maintenance of fisheries, mail delivery, and invading Middle Eastern countries. Fine. Can we at least dispense with the misnomer public servant? A servant who makes more money than those “served” (by threat of force), provides subpar service, takes away jobs, and is immune to firing cannot be accurately titled servant.
Does the deployment of helicopter money not entail some meaningful risk of the loss of confidence in a currency that is, after all, undefined, uncollateralized and infinitely replicable at exactly zero cost? Might trust be shattered by the visible act of infusing the government with invisible monetary pixels and by the subsequent exchange of those images for real goods and services? To us, it is the great question. Pondering it, as we say, we are bearish on the money of overextended governments. We are bullish on the alternatives enumerated in the Periodic table. It would be nice to know when the rest of the world will come around to the gold-friendly view that central bankers have lost their marbles. We have no such timetable. The road to confetti is long and winding.
The last thing Democrats want to contend with just a week before the 2016 presidential election is an outcry over double-digit insurance hikes as millions of Americans begin signing up for Obamacare. But that looks increasingly likely as health plans socked by Obamacare losses look to regain their financial footing by raising rates.
In an asset management context, US Treasury interest rates tend to trend lower when there is an output gap and trend higher when there is an output surplus. This simple, yet overlooked rule has helped to guide us to stay correctly long US Treasuries over the last several years while the Wall Street community came up with any reason why they were a losing asset class. We continue to think that US Treasury interest rates have significant appreciation ahead of them. As we have stated before, we think the 10yr US Treasury yield will fall to 1.00% or below.
America’s ongoing labour productivity slump has created a new impossible trinity – policymakers can only choose two of the following three desirable outcomes: higher nominal wage growth, steady inflation and high corporate profits. The theory behind this new ‘impossible trinity’ is intuitively simple. If workers’ wages rise faster than their productivity, the companies paying those higher wages face two choices. They can either pass on the extra costs to customers, thereby leading to higher overall prices and rising inflation, or they can absorb the extra costs resulting in lower profit margins.
Joining the ranks of "broke lawyers" who can cancel their student debt, "Americans with disabilities have a right to student loan relief,” now according to Ted Mitchell, the undersecretary of education, said in a statement. Almost 400,000 student loan borrowers will now have an easier path to a debt bailout as Obama primes the populist voting pump just in time for the elections.
Only during the halcyon economic days of the 1960s have we seen a longer recovery; but that record, too, will be eclipsed sometime in 2019—if we don’t see a recession first. And note that we were growing at well over 3% in the 1960s, not the anemic 2% we have averaged during this recovery and certainly not the positively puny 1.5% we have endured lately. Global growth is slowing down. Given the limited number of arrows left in the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy quiver, the US is going to have a difficult time dealing with the fallout from a recession. Even worse, a number of factors are coming together that will require serious crisis management.
The unintended consequences of a minimum wage hike in a weak economic environment are not inconsequential. Furthermore, given that businesses are already fighting for profitability, hiking the minimum wage, given the subsequent “trickle up” effect, will lead to further increases in productivity and “off shoring” of jobs to reduce rising employment costs. So much for bringing back those manufacturing jobs.