As The Treasury Curve Pancakes Again, Bank Profitability Goes Out Of The Window (Making The Curve Flatter Still)

On November 14, we took full liberty of mocking ourselves and our call for a flattening of the long end (10s30s) over and above the din of virtually every sell-side analyst and so-called pundit out there, who, with the exception of Morgan Stanley, all were screaming that the 10s30s was about to embark to levels of unseen steepness. To wit: "After recently the market took all calls of a flattening in the 10s30s to task, one would think that those anticipating a curve flattening (Zero Hedge included) would finally have learned their lesson." Luckily we persisted in our obstinacy. And as the chart below shows it appears that was a very good decision: since that day, the 10s30s has collapsed by almost a quarter from a high of 160 bps to 124 bps. That said, in our opinion, the curve has much more flattening to undergo still: after all virtually the entire world was long the 10 Year, and short the 30 Year, expecting that Brian Sack would be able to maintain at least the belly, if not the long-end. To everyone chagrin, groupthink has once again proven to be a disastrous trade. Furthermore, keep in mind that the 10s30s was trading sub 100 bps as recently as this summer, which implies that technicals are favorable. And lastly, the drubbing in the curve means that that mythical bank profitability (thank you Dick Bove) is once again delayed, which also means that the broader economic prospects are deteriorating, making QE3 for Long End Treasurys (those securities that are not going to be monetized municipal bonds) very likely to be purchased next as the Fed realizes that it will have no option but to buy much more of the 30Y as it will already be full to the gills with all other sections of the curve. Bottom line: we expect the flattening to persist and in fact accelerate once the always late CNBC pundit crowd realizes that a 23% flattening in the curve (not to mention record low market volume) means that bank Q4 EPS are once again going to suck.