Tag: Commentary

Weekly Commentary: Weird | Seeking Alpha

The President is diagnosed with COVID-19, with rapidly worsening symptoms prompting a Friday evening Marine One flight to Walter Reed Medical Center. By Monday, he is back to the White House apparently feeling spryer than when he was a man 20 years younger. Reversing course on Tuesday, the President abruptly calls off stimulus negotiations “until after the election.” Negotiations were back on Wednesday, with the administration pursuing piecemeal stimulus (airlines, individual stimulus checks). By midweek the President was referring to his COVID infection as “a blessing from God.”

Thursday President Trump was calling for a “skinny” stimulus package. Friday morning saw the White House suddenly “open to going with something bigger,” and by lunchtime Larry Kudlow was on Fox News saying, “The President has approved a revised package. He would like to do a deal.” Appearing with Rush Limbaugh later in the afternoon, it was “I would like to see

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Weekly Commentary: Summer Of 2020

QE fundamentally changed finance. What commenced at the Federal Reserve with a post-mortgage finance bubble, $1 trillion Treasury buying operation morphed into open-ended purchases of Treasuries, MBS, corporate bonds and even corporate ETFs holding high-yield “junk” bonds. Markets assume it’s only a matter of time before the Federal Reserve adds equities to its buy list.

For years now, Treasury bonds (and agency securities) have traded at elevated prices – low yields – in anticipation of an inevitable resumption of QE operations/securities purchases. Conventional analysis has focused on persistent disinflationary pressures as the primary explanation for historically depressed bond yields. While not unreasonable, such analysis downplays the prevailing role played by exceptionally low Federal Reserve interest rates coupled with latent (and escalating) financial fragility. Meanwhile, near zero short-term rates and historically low Treasury and agency securities yields have spurred a desperate search for yields, significantly inflating the demand and pricing for

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