Morning Report: Citi sees a 50% chance of a global recession this year

Vital Statistics:

S&P futures3,717-50.85
Oil (WTI)102.20-7.24
10 year government bond yield 3.17%
30 year fixed rate mortgage 6.07%

Stocks are lower this morning as investors get more bearish about the economy. Bonds and MBS are up.

Jerome Powell heads to the Hill for his Humphrey Hawkins testimony. The meat of the message is this quote from the prepared remarks:

Over coming months, we will be looking for compelling evidence that inflation is moving down, consistent with inflation returning to 2 percent. We anticipate that ongoing rate increases will be appropriate; the pace of those changes will continue to depend on the incoming data and the evolving outlook for the economy. We will make our decisions meeting by meeting, and we will continue to communicate our thinking as clearly as possible. Our overarching focus is using our tools to bring inflation back down to our 2 percent goal and to keep longer-term inflation expectations well anchored.

The Fed Funds futures still anticipate a 89% chance of a 75 basis point hike in July and a 11% chance of a 50 basis point hike. The central tendency for December is a Fed Funds futures rate of 3.5%, which means another 200 basis points are anticipated.

Citigroup sees a 50% chance of a global recession this year. Chief Global Economist Nathan Sheets said: “The global economy continues to be afflicted by severe supply shocks, which are pushing up inflation and driving down growth. But more recently, two further factors have burst onto the scene: Central banks are hiking policy rates with increasing vigor in their fight against inflation, and the global consumer’s demand for goods looks to be softening. We conclude that central banks face a daunting challenge as they seek to wrestle inflation down,” Sheets added. “The experience of history indicates that disinflation often carries meaningful costs for growth, and we see the aggregate probability of recession as now approaching 50%. Central banks may yet engineer the soft—or ‘softish’—landings embedded in their forecasts (and in ours), but this will require supply shocks to ebb and demand to remain resilient.”

Mortgage applications rose 4.2% last week as purchases rose 8% and refis fell 3%. “Mortgage rates continued to surge last week, with the 30-year fixed mortgage rate jumping 33 basis points to 5.98 percent – the highest since November 2008 and the largest single-week increase since 2009,” said Joel Kan, MBA Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. “All other loan types also increased by at least 20 basis points, influenced by the Federal Reserve’s 75-basis-point rate hike and commentary that more are coming to slow inflation. Mortgage rates are now almost double what they were a year ago, leading to a 77 percent drop in refinance volume over the past 12 months.”

Existing Home Sales fell 3.4% MOM and 8.6% YOY in May, while the median home price reached $400,000. “Home sales have essentially returned to the levels seen in 2019 – prior to the pandemic – after two years of gangbuster performance,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “Also, the market movements of single-family and condominium sales are nearly equal, possibly implying that the preference towards suburban living over city life that had been present over the past two years is fading with a return to pre-pandemic conditions.”

Inventory remains an issue, although it is improving. Unsold homes sat at a 2.6 month supply at the end of May. A balanced market is more like 6%. Lawrence Yun is bearish on sales going forward: “Further sales declines should be expected in the upcoming months given housing affordability challenges from the sharp rise in mortgage rates this year,” Yun added. “Nonetheless, homes priced appropriately are selling quickly and inventory levels still need to rise substantially – almost doubling – to cool home price appreciation and provide more options for home buyers.”

41 Responses

  1. Good read:

    “”Are You Now or Have You Ever Been a Trump Supporter”

    January 6th in Primetime is More McCarthy than Watergate
    Sasha Stone”


    • It never seems to have occurred to the media or the most powerful “elites” that smearing a whole group of people as “racists” might not be healthy for American Democracy.

      The left does not care about democracy when the other side might win. They only care about it if they win.

      Of course, because no one trusts the media anymore — and why would they — it’s hard to know what is true and what isn’t, but the point is, something looks fishy about Epps and Rhodes regarding January 6th. If we can’t trust media, and we can’t trust the FBI we need journalists whose jobs are to hold the powerful to account.

      Will never happen. The media is Pravda and the Party is always right

      But if we had an objective, honest press, they would see that violent protests against our government by the Left are never seen as seditious or treasonous. Rather, they’re applauded and admired, or they are simply ignored. Most of the political violence in this country’s recent history has come from the Left, not the Right.

      True, but complaining about the media is almost pointless these days. The double standard between left and right protests is visible from outer space.

      We get nowhere by dehumanizing each other. We need leadership to bring this country together under one roof before we go too far to turn back around.

      That ship has sailed.


      • “Will never happen. The media is Pravda and the Party is always right”

        You’re getting something like that on Substack which is why the media is so desperate to cancel Substack.


  2. Yep.

    Anyone have full access to the WSJ Editorial?


    • The dual mandate has been nothing but a string of asset bubbles and now inflation. So what would a triple mandate do?


    • jnc:

      Anyone have full access to the WSJ Editorial?

      Here you go:

      President Biden recently promised in these pages not to interfere with the Federal Reserve. Yet last week he endorsed a House bill that would add racial equity to the Fed’s dual mandate of price stability and full employment. How does the White House square this contradiction?

      The House bill passed last week 215-207 with little media notice. But it deserves attention because it reveals how the Biden Administration and Democrats plan to politicize monetary policy and financial regulation.

      Recall that Candidate Biden advocated making reducing racial disparities a third monetary mandate. You have to wonder if one reason the Fed was slow to tighten policy was because the central bankers agreed with him. Several Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) members promoted the goal of “inclusive” employment even as inflation began to creep up.

      Now House Democrats want to codify racial equity as part of the Fed’s mandate. Their bill would require the Board of Governors and FOMC to “exercise all duties and functions in a manner that fosters the elimination of disparities across racial and ethnic groups with respect to employment, income, wealth, and access to affordable credit.”

      The bill directs the Fed to include race in monetary policy, the operation of payment systems, and the supervision of banks and non-banks deemed by the Financial Stability Oversight Council to be systemically important.

      Central bankers have a hard enough time balancing full employment with stable prices. Adding a racial equity mandate could cause their models to go catawampus. How small would the black-white unemployment gap have to be, and how high would prices have to climb, before the Fed considers raising interest rates?

      The pandemic has been an informal experiment in this triple mandate. It hasn’t worked out for minorities. The Fed’s accommodative policies have driven up asset prices, mainly benefiting relatively well-to-do people who own homes and stock. Now a recession may be in the offing, which would compound the harm inflation has done to minorities.

      Requiring the Fed to incorporate race into bank (and potentially non-bank) supervision would likewise contradict its duty to protect financial stability. Would the Fed reduce the capital that banks must hold against loans to minorities? Would banks be graded based on the number of loans they make to minority businesses?

      Easing underwriting standards to boost minority credit and homeownership could cause defaults and foreclosures to spike in a recession, as happened during the last financial crisis. Democrats would then accuse banks of predatory lending.

      Most banks are trying to increase lending to minority communities, yet the bill would require financial regulators to rate banks on diversity and inclusion. Minority-owned banks would be exempt from these exams and automatically get the highest rating. The bill also instructs federal agencies to move deposits to minority-owned banks.

      Such racial favoritism almost certainly violates the Constitution. So potentially does the bill’s requirement that public companies disclose to the Securities and Exchange Commission the racial, gender identity and sexual orientation of directors and executives.

      Administrations don’t have to take a position on every bill, so the Biden team’s decision to support this one is revealing. Yet the White House statement glossed over almost all of the bill’s substance. The bill would ensure that all Americans “benefit fully from our Nation’s economic success,” the White House says.

      The bill would instead politicize monetary policy and financial regulation when the Fed’s focus should be slaying inflation while avoiding a recession. House Democrats who voted for the bill deserve to be called out for supporting racial favoritism and undermining Fed independence. As for the President, the progressive agenda is apparently a higher priority than controlling inflation.


  3. Shot:



    • Bowers making the same point Brent did…as bad as Trump might be, he isn’t as bad as any conceivable Dem nominee.


      • I agree. Of course I agreed in 2020. That said I hope for someone not Trump who expresses an interest in allowing America to produce energy and show a desire to improve the supply chain, through deregulation or whatever.


        • Don’t forget that rampant inflation in the 1970s led to the push for deregulation and ushered in Reagan.

          That said, we are probably in the 1974 stage.


  4. Good read:

    “How San Francisco Became a Failed City

    And how it could recover

    By Nellie Bowles
    June 8, 2022”


  5. Lol


  6. Taibbi’s latest:

    “Blue and Red Do Have Something in Common. They’ve Both Been Ripped Off, Repeatedly

    Our “transitory” inflation disaster and looming market crash mimic past bubble disasters, which all had the same feature: a few insiders won, and everyone else got creamed

    Matt Taibbi”


  7. Interesting piece by one of the vanguard of the populist right.



    Parents and community members in the deeply conservative city of Muskego, Wisconsin, are up in arms about a book recommended for use in a 10th-grade accelerated English class. The 2002 novel, When the Emperor Was Divine, is about a Japanese-American family during World War II, when some of its members were uprooted from their home in Berkeley, California, and sent to an internment camp in Utah.

    The book—winner of an Alex Award from the American Library Association, an Asian American Literary Award, and, earlier this year, the Phoenix Award—was written by Julie Otsuka, based in part on her own family’s experience. A committee that selects books for the Muskego-Norway School District in southeastern Wisconsin recommended buying 60 copies of the book at an estimated cost of $916.80.

    But the school board’s Educational Services Committee, at its June 13 meeting, decided to send the book recommendation back to the selection committee, from which it is not expected to return.


    • It’s funny in that of course elected officials want to defend other elected officials, as if criticizing government is the problem.


    • The idea that marketing irreversible and life changing lifestyles to children who are too young to hold a job, vote, smoke or drink in the name of letting a bunch of teachers and LGBTQ activists feel good about themselves is the epitome of false equivalence.


      • Also a statistically anomalous number of these “teachers” end up getting busted for child porn or relationships with minors. Which suggests their motivations aren’t typically about what’s best for the children.


    • lms:

      The headline is dishonest. Deciding not to use a particular book as part of a curriculum is not a “book ban”. If it were, most books in existence could be said to be “banned”.

      Beyond that, if this is the worst that they can come up with in regards to how conservatives run their school systems, we should all be so lucky to have such school administrators.

      Liked by 1 person

    • “ The book—winner of an Alex Award from the American Library Association, an Asian American Literary Award, and, earlier this year, the Phoenix Award—”

      This drives me nuts. So what? That has nothing to do with its value as an educational tool.

      The best algebra books don’t win pulitzers but a lack of self-congratulatory awards isn’t what makes teaching materials worthwhile.

      It doesn’t speak to quality. It’s using the implied expertise of those groups to assert something without objective evidence. Using social proof in this manner is common with companies that attempt to sell things where the value of what is being sold is not otherwise evident, or in con games.


      • If the awards were based on merit, then I’d say they would be relevant for it’s selection for an advanced English class.

        But much like ABA recommendations for judges, they are only as good as the organizations awarding them.


        • and these organizations are in the business of advancing leftist ideology


        • jnc:

          If the awards were based on merit…

          According to the article, the award the book received was an “Asian American Literary award”. So even if it was awarded based on merit, the pool against which its merit was judged was not.


        • Sure. But the inclusion of the awards in the article is an attempt at narrative-shaping.


    • Also could be lots of reasons for this. I’ve seen how budgeting in education works. The impetus could have little to do with the book. Could be it’s not from a favored publisher. Or. Luke be they were short on titles from favored publishers. Or any combination of things.


      • Taking the article at face value, it’s not an unreasonable decision:

        “According to Zielke, both school board president Chris Buckmaster and Terri Boyer, a school board member who serves on the Educational Service Committee, said they felt using the book would created a problem with “balance,” in part because the accelerated English class curriculum already includes a ten-page excerpt from Farewell to Manzanar, a nonfiction book about the internment camps.

        “So their claim is that having two texts in this class from what they’re terming is one perspective—meaning it’s the perspective of the Japanese who were interned—creates a balance issue,” Zielke says, and that the board members believe “we need to have more perspective from the American government about why they did this.”

        Buckmaster, she says, explained to her that the kind of balance he has in mind would include discussion of the Nanjing Massacre, the mass killing of Chinese civilians carried out by the Japanese army between December 1937 and January 1938. “So what he’s saying is, what you would need in this class is some sort of historical context of how horrible the Japanese were during World War II in order to understand the viewpoint of the American government in interning the Japanese.””

        And I think this quote gives a glimpse behind the curtain to the agenda at play in selecting the book in the first place:

        “Zielke, for her part, sees “no need for this type of false balance or both side-ism in telling the story of Japanese internment. The American government was wrong and has apologized for the racism that led to Japanese internment.””


        • jnc:

          Taking the article at face value, it’s not an unreasonable decision:

          Agreed. That is why I said that if this is the worst they can come up with to smear “the MAGA crowd”, we should all be so lucky to be burdened with such school administrators.


        • how much do you wanna bet the book claims Republicans forced Saint FDR to do this.


        • I read it as too much emphasis on Japanese internment elevates it to a level of evil that it wasn’t. It’s not the Holocaust or even the Trial of Tears. Also, government officials get prickly when government is criticized.


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