Morning Report: More hawkish Fed-speak

Vital Statistics:

S&P futures4,077-22.50
Oil (WTI)75.94-2.57
10 year government bond yield 3.89%
30 year fixed rate mortgage 6.52%

Stocks are lower this morning as markets digest hawkish comments from Fed speakers. Bonds and MBS are down.

We had some hawkish Fed-speak yesterday, and markets are in a risk-off mode.

Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester gave a speech yesterday. “The FOMC has come an appreciable way in bringing policy from a very accommodative stance to a restrictive one, but I believe we have more work to do.  Precisely how much higher the federal funds rate will need to go and for how long policy will need to remain restrictive will depend on how much inflation and inflation expectations are moving down, and that will depend on how much demand is slowing, supply challenges are being resolved, and price pressures are easing.  At this juncture, the incoming data have not changed my view that we will need to bring the fed funds rate above 5 percent and hold it there for some time to be sufficiently restrictive to ensure that inflation is on a sustainable path back to 2 percent.  Indeed, at our meeting two weeks ago, setting aside what financial market participants expected us to do, I saw a compelling economic case for a 50-basis-point increase, which would have brought the top of the target range to 5 percent

In a separate speech, James Bullard said: “I was an advocate for a 50-basis-point hike and I argued that we should get to the level of rates the committee viewed as sufficiently restrictive as soon as we could….Inflation remains too high but has declined,” adding that “continued policy rate increases can help lock in a disinflationary trend during 2023, even with ongoing growth and strong labor markets.”

The March Fed Funds futures are now factoring in a 21% chance of a 50 basis point hike at the March meeting. The 10 year yield has moved up dramatically in the past 2 weeks.

Mortgage originations came in at $498B in Q4, according to the Fed. This resembles pre-pandemic volumes. Delinquency rates ticked up as well. Total household debt rose to $16.9 trillion.

The Index of Leading Economic Indicators declined again in January, according to the Conference Board. “The US LEI remained on a downward trajectory, but its rate of decline moderated slightly in January,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, Senior Director, Economics, at The Conference Board. “Among the leading indicators, deteriorating manufacturing new orders, consumers’ expectations of business conditions, and credit conditions more than offset strengths in labor markets and stock prices to drive the index lower in the month. The contribution of the yield spread component of the LEI also turned negative in the last two months, which is often a signal of recession to come. While the LEI continues to signal recession in the near term, indicators related to the labor market—including employment and personal income—remain robust so far. Nonetheless, The Conference Board still expects high inflation, rising interest rates, and contracting consumer spending to tip the US economy into recession in 2023.”

37 Responses

  1. It’s always interesting when the mask slips:

    “An Anti-racist Professor Faces ‘Toxicity on the Left Today’

    “I worry that left political discourse today takes social movements, or even just an individual who has suffered, as conversation stoppers rather than conversation starters.”

    By Conor Friedersdorf

    In the U.S. and probably beyond, we are at a turning point in how we understand racial diversity. For a half century, we were comfortably multiculturalists, celebrating the variety of peoples, each with their own tasty food and colorful clothes, each facing their own sorts of struggles which we can support, but ultimately all part of the shared life of a community, institution, or nation. The justice claims coming out of social movements in the last decade reject this framework. Anti-Black racism, they charge, is qualitatively different from other forms of racism (though similar claims are made around Indigeneity and other categories as well). Black justice requires interrupting both habits and institutions, and beginning again in new ways.”

    and this is self evidently not true:

    “I want a world free of domination. I think we all do.”

    No, they just want to change who is dominating. There’s no “we” here.


    • The original piece is worth reading too:

      “In the 2022 anti-racism workshops, the non-black students learned that they needed to center black voices—and to shut up. Keisha reported that this was particularly difficult for the Asian-American students, but they were working on it. (Eventually, two of the Asian-American students would be expelled from the program for reasons that, Keisha said, couldn’t be shared with me.)”


  2. Glenn Greewald on the NYT letter


  3. What dudes won’t do to get laid.


    • Simpin ain’t easy.


    • I don’t believe that gets them laid. Most of the time anyway.


      • Simping is the express route to the friend zone


      • Not funny IMO


        • Hi Lms! Hope you, Walt and your family are well!


        • are you offended by that?


        • Not offended at all…………..I just think in the battle for women’s rights, and yes it’s on again, to pretend that this is what women want isn’t that funny or interesting. You guys have a free reign here to say what you want so have at it, but I am checking in occasionally and remembering why you chased most of the women here away! No big deal…………..we’ve moved on……………LOL


        • lms:

          to pretend that this is what women want

          What are you talking about? What is “this” and who is “pretending” that women want it?

          I just think in the battle for women’s rights, and yes it’s on again…

          If so, they are “battling” a phantom. There are no “rights” enjoyed by men that women do not already enjoy. Indeed, it is more accurate to say that women enjoy more legal rights than men do. For example, sex discrimination against women in hiring and firing decisions is against the law. Sex discrimination against men in those same decisions occurs every day without ever being prosecuted.

          …and remembering why you chased most of the women here away!

          I’m reminded of the last time I visited my aging Dad, who also tends to “remember” all kinds of things that never actually happened.


        • And thanks McWing…………we’re doing fine. Walter has tons of health issues but hanging in there and I’m still hiking, lifting weights and getting to CO whenever I can to see my grandsons! Work is still happening here too!


  4. New classic Taibbi turn of phrase:

    “If Dick Nixon sniffed glue, this is what his enemies list might have looked like”


  5. Gotta love Elon:


  6. I respect Project Veritas and I’m curious what will happen to it going forward, especially if O’Keefe starts a new organization.

    Also, his girlfriend is racked.


  7. Tough out there for these broads.


    • Men are falling behind in college education. Women most affected.


      • Men refuse to make themselves marriageable, out of misogynistic spite. What men won’t do to thwart women and their own access to sex.


        • Hypergamy is real, whether women want to admit it or not. A women’s studies major won’t marry a plumber even if she is a barista and makes 20% of what he does.

          The Boss Babe Phenomenon works better on paper than in real life. Women who finally get the degree and get settled in their career are usually 30 or above. But the investment bankers they want to marry get more ass than a toilet seat in Central Park and aren’t interested in them. They are dating the hot 24-year-olds who are much more fun to be around, have less baggage and aren’t asking where the relationship is going every 5 minutes.

          And that makes them madder than a wet hen.

          It also raises some fascinating questions about consumer spending going forward. Men with families were always the economic engine, and single guys can get by on very little. We are going to have a nation of bitter spinsters and perma-boys.


        • At least internet porn is free.


        • There are basically two buckets for guys: either be in the top 10% or go home.


        • I’m thinking these women will end up pursuing men 20-30 years older who are on their 2nd or 3rd wife. But since her husband will be supporting two to three previous families there is not going to be a lot of child support and alimony left for them.

          At least he’ll be vaxxed and claim to vote correctly.


        • Younger men are red-pilled about family courts and how anti-male they are. They get it and aren’t going to play.

          The older dudes just want peace and quiet. They aren’t going to be on the dating scene to begin with.

          These women will unfortunately have to marry the government and their jobs.


        • There was an old Sex and the City plot line around this where the high powered lawyer, Miranda, had to lie and say she was an airline stewardess to get dates with the guys she wanted to go out with.

          In the show, she ended up marrying, then divorcing a bartender.


      • Brent:

        Men are falling behind in college education. Women most affected.

        Hahahahahaah. That was excellent.


  8. Ouch! But funny.

    Many noted that he’d been to Ukraine more than he’d been to East Palestine or the border.


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