Mohamed El-Erian, the former CEO of PIMCO, said recently on CNBC that if you want to know what’s going to happen to U.S. long-term interest rates, then all you have to do is look to Germany. And so that is what I did.
It’s been a very busy three weeks of travel so I’m going to keep this one pretty short and sweet. And while I often write a thousand words or more, this post will hopefully support the adage that “a picture is worth a thousand words.”
The Federal Reserve finally responded to the market’s beseeching that it pauses its rate increases and not be on a “damn the torpedoes” path of raising interest rates and shrinking the balance sheet.
The Grateful Dead have a song called The Eleven. In many ways the lyrics are unintelligible. It was written during their psychedelic phase so the lack of comprehension makes some sense as their senses were non-sensical.
With the midterm elections kicking into high gear and political rhetoric heating up and true believers huddling in their echo chambers and cocoons, I thought it would be interesting to look at some research carried out with regard to the 2016 presidential election and some of the surprising findings.
Under most economic environments longer-term debt instruments yield more than shorter ones. This is the case in order to compensate investors for risks related to purchasing power eroding and more uncertainty and volatility that can increase the probability of default (outside Treasuries). In addition, our banking system is based on banks accessing short-term deposits and being able to make longer-term loans and investments which necessitates longer rates being higher than shorter ones so banks can be profitable.
I couldn’t stay away from interest rates for too long. Last week was very fascinating. There was a lot of news that should have been quite bearish for long-term bonds but instead, yields moved down by about 5 basis points for the week for the 10-year Treasury note.
The last few weeks have been a good representation as to why I have an aversion to fixed-rate loans when doing a refinance or an acquisition. Assuming fixed rate loans from sellers when acquiring properties, however, is a different story and worthy of its own write up so I won’t address the distinctions here.
What a difference one week makes. Last week I was concerned that the 10-year Treasury note yield had breached its previous cycle peak. I used some questionable, but fancy statistical analysis to justify that the peak I should really be worried about was 3.16% versus the previous cycle peak of 3.04%.