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A Week in the Life of Schizophrenic Bond Investors

Schizophrenic Bond Investor

What a difference a week makes. Last week I wrote about how the Fed starting to unwind its balance sheet shouldn’t cause us much worry in terms of triggering a meaningful increase in interest rates. Of course, yields spiked higher over a few days to seemingly contradict my sanguine outlook.

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The End of QE I, II, & III – The Fed Portfolio Reduction

Fed reduces bonds

The Fed’s balance sheet is comprised of approximately $2.5 trillion in Treasury securities and $1.8 trillion in mortgage backed securities.  The following graph shows how its balance sheet has grown since 2009 through 2014 when it stopped its bond-buying program.

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Housing – Is It The Best Long-Term Investment?

housing long-term investment

In some ways, it is understandable why the subprime meltdown took place. Prior to 2006 home prices in the United States in the post World War II era rarely, if ever, declined materially on a sustainable basis. Based on this rearview mirror modeling investors in mortgages were led to believe that default rates would be manageable and if they did default then losses would be negligible because recovery rates would be strong because home prices kept rising.

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What Will High-Income Blue Staters Do? New Tax Regime

high income new tax laws

Now that there is a new tax regime in place I thought I would discuss it one more time with some additional thoughts. It does appear that while most parts of the country will not be significantly impacted by the mortgage interest deduction being reduced to $750,000 for future home purchases,

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How Could The New Tax Laws Impact Housing?

Tax Housing

I typically wouldn’t discuss Tax Reform until it has passed since it would usually be speculative, I am making an exception given that many of the parameters are known and because of its potential impact on housing. The basis of the plan was to cut the corporate tax rate first and then work around the constraints that Senate rules and supposed deficit hawks impose on the process.

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Psychopaths Don’t Always Finish First

psychopathShakespeare said, “[a]ll the world’s a stage.” All of us are actors in the plays of our lives.

The best actors make us believe they are not acting by morphing into whatever role they play with the totality of their humanity. The worst ones are not very believable.

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The B.I.S. vs. Japan – Increase In Global Interest Rates?

Japan Global Interest Increase

A few weeks ago I wrote about a B.I.S. report that hypothesized that global interest rates would rise over the next few decades as global demographics shift from a labor supply shock to a shortage as labor forces shrink in many developed countries.

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Focus on the Task at Hand – Big, Audacious Goals

Goals

Some people are big proponents of setting big, audacious goals. Dream big because if you don’t then you will just get the same old ordinary results as everyone else. The reality is, however, that most people are just like everyone else. And there is nothing wrong with that.

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Maybe I’m Wrong? Slowing Trend In The Advanced Economies

Economies

One of the key premises that I have with regard to interests rates staying low for a very long time relates to demographics. The United States is projected to grow more slowly in the future and as a result the labor force growth will also slow which will make the productive capacity of the country lower than it otherwise would be absent material gains in productivity.

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The Case Against The Phillips Curve

Phillips Curve

The unemployment rate is the most important indicator for people who are believers in the Phillips Curve. Phillips Curvers believe that there is a trade-off between unemployment and inflation. The less slack in the labor markets (lower unemployment rate) the more inflation there will be as labor can bargain for higher wages and this,

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