Morning Report: The Fed takes down its interest rate forecast 3/17/16

Markets are lower this morning after the Fed maintained interest rates yesterday. Bonds and MBS are up small.

Surprising that bonds aren’t rallying harder this morning as European rates are moving aggressively lower, with the German Bund yield down 8 basis points to 24 bp. The dollar is getting hit a bit, which might explain the lack of follow-through.

The Fed maintained interest rates and put out a relatively dovish statement. They took down their forecast for interest rates going out through 2018, which helped put a bid under bonds. In their updated economic forecasts, they took down their forecast for 2016 GDP to 2.2% from 2.4% and their estimate of 2016 inflation to 1.4% from 1.6%. They maintained their forecast for 4.7% unemployment. On the dot graph, the forecast looks for 2 more rate hikes this year, as opposed to their forecast of 4 in December.

After the FOMC statement, stocks and bonds rallied, with the 10 year yield dropping about 4 basis points and the 2 year yield dropping 11.

Initial Jobless Claims rose to 265k last week, while the Philly Fed Index improved.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index edged up last week to 44.3 from 43.8.

The Index of Leading Economic Indicators improved 0.1% in February, while job openings increased to 5.54 million.

CFPB Chairman Richard Cordray appeared before the House Financial Services Committee this morning. He said the CFPB will take a “sensitive” approach to TRID enforcement, meaning that if you are making a good-faith effort to comply, they won’t hammer you.

41 Responses

  1. Praise be to the Frist!


  2. Wondering how much further to go before Peak Trump Hysteria is hit:

    “The Electoral College could still stop Trump, even if he wins the popular vote
    Maybe — just this once — state legislators should use their constitutional authority and change how we elect the president.

    By Derek T. Muller
    March 17 at 6:30 AM”


    • Yeah, that’s going to happen. Seriously? No, not seriously.


    • Well that’s a recipe for real violence


      • Or endless litigation. Or both. Anyhoo, you want to talk about a president not having a mandate . . .

        Anyway, it’s consistent with my theory that most of the media and pundits woke up to the fact (in the last two weeks, or thereabouts) that Trump could actually win the election, despite what the polls say.


      • Oh, and the demographics. The changing demographics that guarantee there will never, ever be another Republican president ever again.


        • Yes, no one will ever be interested in the concept of freedom extending further than abortion and gay marriage ever again. No one will ever be interested in keeping more of their money or keeping government out of their business ever again.

          It’s over. Might as well just accept we will be living in #SJW internment camps.

          Seriously, the 3 Ms (mortgage, marriage, and munchkins) tend to push people to be more conservative… The “demographics” argument assumes the millennials will stay liberal. The boomers didn’t.


  3. This Kevin Williamson article at NR is creating quite a stir on the right. Lots of people unhappy with him.

    It is therefore strange to me that Dougherty so fundamentally misdiagnoses the conservative reaction to Trump: “A Trump win,” he writes in another piece, “at least temporarily threatens the conservative movement, because it threatens to expose how inessential its ideas are to holding together the party.” (Dougherty also equates the fundraising engaged in by conservative organizations with the Social Security fraud that sustains his fictional Mike, a characterization that indicates the emotional temperament at work here.) Of course there is careerism in the conservative movement, but to proceed as though it were impossible to imagine that conservatives oppose a man running (knowingly or not) on a Sam Francis platform because we oppose the loopy crackpot racist ideas of Sam Francis is to perform an intellectual disservice.

    It is also immoral. It is immoral because it perpetuates a lie: that the white working class that finds itself attracted to Trump has been victimized by outside forces. It hasn’t. The white middle class may like the idea of Trump as a giant pulsing humanoid middle finger held up in the face of the Cathedral, they may sing hymns to Trump the destroyer and whisper darkly about “globalists” and — odious, stupid term — “the Establishment,” but nobody did this to them. They failed themselves.

    If you spend time in hardscrabble, white upstate New York, or eastern Kentucky, or my own native West Texas, and you take an honest look at the welfare dependency, the drug and alcohol addiction, the family anarchy — which is to say, the whelping of human children with all the respect and wisdom of a stray dog — you will come to an awful realization. It wasn’t Beijing. It wasn’t even Washington, as bad as Washington can be. It wasn’t immigrants from Mexico, excessive and problematic as our current immigration levels are. It wasn’t any of that.

    Nothing happened to them. There wasn’t some awful disaster. There wasn’t a war or a famine or a plague or a foreign occupation. Even the economic changes of the past few decades do very little to explain the dysfunction and negligence — and the incomprehensible malice — of poor white America. So the gypsum business in Garbutt ain’t what it used to be. There is more to life in the 21st century than wallboard and cheap sentimentality about how the Man closed the factories down.

    The truth about these dysfunctional, downscale communities is that they deserve to die. Economically, they are negative assets. Morally, they are indefensible. Forget all your cheap theatrical Bruce Springsteen crap. Forget your sanctimony about struggling Rust Belt factory towns and your conspiracy theories about the wily Orientals stealing our jobs. Forget your goddamned gypsum, and, if he has a problem with that, forget Ed Burke, too. The white American underclass is in thrall to a vicious, selfish culture whose main products are misery and used heroin needles. Donald Trump’s speeches make them feel good. So does OxyContin. What they need isn’t analgesics, literal or political. They need real opportunity, which means that they need real change, which means that they need U-Haul.


    • Used to be all construction jobs, at least in the west, we’re done by Americans, with the exception perhaps of landscaping. I’m talking late ’80’s/ early ’90’s.

      Now, illegals for everything.

      You could make a living floating drywall or being a painter, not anymore. Some people aren’t ever going to be able to do anything more that float and tape drywall, what should be done? Where did those drywall jobs go that an American Citizen could get, or move to where they exist?

      KW assumes equal capabilities and that motivation is the obstacle. I don’t believe that for the most part.


      • Germany has faced the same pressures on a similar economy and handled them better, I think because their work force is better educated or trained, as may be the case.

        I have not studied this and do not know why it seems to be true. But more “bad families” may actually be a reason for more tarnished dreams in America. IDK.


        • Mark:

          Germany has faced the same pressures on a similar economy and handled them better, I think because their work force is better educated or trained, as may be the case.

          I am skeptical that more education is any kind of panacea. The existence of a more educated work force does not, in itself, create demand for educated workers. And if there was a significantly large, unfilled demand for more educated/trained workers, then why aren’t the businesses that need them undertaking to educate/train workers themselves?


        • “I am skeptical that more education is any kind of panacea.”

          A better education is. But it isn’t coming, so don’t hold you’re breath. 😉


        • KW:

          A better education is.

          From an individual point of view a better education is useful in that it distinguishes you within the labor force from others and therefore gives you an advantage. But if everyone is equally better educated, the education doesn’t give an advantage to anyone with regards to the labor market. And, like I said, the existence of the education doesn’t, in itself, create any new jobs.


      • Drywall hangers should be paid a living wage no matter what country they were born in.


        • yello:

          Drywall hangers should be paid a living wage no matter what country they were born in.

          So you think people should be outlawed from working for less than a “living wage” (whatever that is)?


        • Curious if you believe in open borders or if you think there should be some control on immigration?


    • I’ve never been a Kevin Williamson fan but the ‘let them eat cake’ derision implicit in that rant is revolting even by his standards.


    • everyone is more than welcome to vote for Gary Johnson. but bitching about an outside movement (trump) co-opting your own party and then deciding to do the same thing to someone else’s is dirty pool.

      Liked by 1 person

    • “Sure, having a semi-serious campaign this year led by someone like Rick Perry would raise public awareness of the LP,”

      Anyone who believes at this point that Rick Perry is a more serious candidate than Gary Johnson is an idiot.

      Maybe they could try and co-opt the Libertarian Party with Rand (or Ron) Paul, but that’s about it.

      Good luck running Jeb! as the Libertarian.

      Since it’s basically parts of the Party establishment revolting against Trump, the better outlet for them is an Anti-Trump SuperPAC to promote Johnson as the alternative. Much less effort to set up than trying to actually take over the party.


  4. Syracuse up by two at the half. Go, Orange!


    • Mich:

      Syracuse up by two at the half. Go, Orange!

      As an MSU fan, you are right to root for the Orange. They are so very horrible. Not sure if you have been watching, but it is terrible game. Orange have 10 turnovers already. Only bright spot for SU is Dayton is just as bad. Looks like a high school JV game out there. Really sloppy.


      • Actually, I was rooting for them because they’re your team. I root for all my friends’ teams. . . until they bump up against one of mine. Which is why MrsNoVA’s alma mater is going down tonight!

        And why, next round, I’ll be rooting against you. 🙂


    • Congrats on the Syracuse win! Pity about Sunday, though.


      • Thanks, it could be very ugly. If Orange can keep it within 15 they will be lucky.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Spartans better pick it up.


        • Mich:

          I can’t believe it. Huge bracket buster. Look for history to be made now. I don’t think a 15 seed has ever gone to the Sweet 16, but with Syracuse in the next round, Middle Tennessee could seriously do it.


      • O

        The Spartans are trying to kill me this year. I don’t think they’ve ever gone out in the first round under Coach Izzo before.



        • All 5 of my brackets had Sparty in the F4. One had them winning. It was my best guess.

          The 3 makes every team that can shoot it a potential winner, if hot. Beyond that, MTSU played smart aggressive ball, and Sparty did not defend the three all that well.

          Baylor took Yale for granted, and when they tried to pull it out of their butt at the end they had left too deep a hole.

          Underestimating almost any team is deadly, in recent years. This seems to be in part because the mid majors keep all their guys for 4 years and good players who have played together for years have a chance against great players who are underclassmen who leave early.

          But no excuse for MSU and Baylor.


        • I just read that Florida Gulf Coast made the Sweet 16 as a 15 seed in 2013, so no history opportunity for Middle Tennessee vs ‘Cuse. But I still wouldn’t be surprised if they did it.

          I had MSU winning it all in one bracket, but the one that is currently performing best does not have them in the Final Four, so I look OK at this point.


        • They made the same mistake that they made against Maryland in the Big Ten tournament–they came out complacent and didn’t take Middle Tennessee seriously. This time it hurt them big.


        • Mich:

          Just heard that MSU is only the second #2 seed in NCAA history to never lead in a tournament game. The first? Syracuse, 1992. I feel your pain.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Texas lost to a lower seed [6 to 11] on a desperation 44′ shot off the backboard from just beyond mid court with 1 sec left. Those guys will see that highlight film every year and relive that pain.


  5. This is funny.

    “More heavyweights are jumping in to stomp Trump, including Elizabeth Warren. Asked about her jabs, he pounced: “I think it’s wonderful because the Indians can now partake in the future of the country. She’s got about as much Indian blood as I have. Her whole life was based on a fraud. She got into Harvard and all that because she said she was a minority.”


  6. Dayum, Scott! Go Orange!!!


    • Pretty surprising. Orange could conceivably make the elite 8 by beating a 7, 15, and 11 seed. No matter what happens there will be a double digit seed in the elite 8.


  7. Cheer, Cheer for ole Norte Dame ..


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