Monetary Policy

/Tag: Monetary Policy

The Fed Has Successfully Destroyed The U.S. Housing Market

A few days ago a friend of mine sent me a link to some "insight" on the coming economic developments that we should be preparing for in terms of debts and deficits. The company providing this research piece has over a $trillion in assets under management. Since I have a healthy skepticism of anything the financial "services" industry is selling I decided to give it a read. It was very informative, partly due to a complete fundamental ignorance of basic economics, but also because of an obvious contradiction with the author's stated assumptions. As I [...]

Markets Wobbling As Fed Normalization Hits $30 Billion Per Month In Q2

The markets were wobbling again this week, but regardless, the Fed normalization will hit $30 billion per month in April. I must confess that I get a good laugh when I hear market apologists and real estate pundits talk up the magnificent economy and housing market we are blessed with in Texas. Yes, things are pretty good here in the Lone Star State, and the DFW housing market still seems to have legs. Unfortunately the real economy is not nearly as robust as many talking heads and sell-side practitioners would have you believe. The March employment [...]

U.S. New Home Sales Flat In February

The Census Bureau reported new home sales for February at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 618,000. This was slightly below expectations, but January was revised significantly higher so month over month the change was negligible. Compared to last year new home sales in February were up less than one percent. The median price for a new home contracted (signing of contract, not actually closing) was $326,800 while the average price of a new home last month posted at $376,700. The supply of new homes stood at 5.9 months in February, near the top of [...]

Why Is The Fed Protecting The Stock Market?

The $11 billion increase in the System Open Market Account Holdings report for February 14 has caught the attention of a number of intelligent market watchers for obvious reasons. The Federal Reserve is purportedly in the midst of a significant balance sheet normalization process whereby they are (and plan to to continue) selling large amounts of Treasuries and agency mortgage-backed securities. After amassing a portfolio of over $4.4 trillion, the Fed has used that massive hedge fund to artificially suppress interest rates and foster some serious asset inflation. The Fed was not alone in this [...]

Denton County New Home Prices Jump 10% In January

Denton County new home prices jumped to a new high in January. According to NTREIS data the price of closed new construction within Denton County Texas was 10.2 percent higher year-over-year with the average price per square foot of a new Denton County home hitting $151. The total price of a new home was up 11 percent to $436,571. These are some impressive price increases particularly for what is normally a slower part of the selling season. December was a banner month for new home sales throughout the DFW area, and January looks to be [...]

Fed Unwinds $21 Billion, Markets Puke On Higher Yields

The Federal Reserve System Open Market Account Holdings (SOMA) report for January 31st finally revealed the balance sheet unwind in action. Since the Fed announced their balance sheet unwind last year, the actual process had been proceeding at a snails pace, particularly with the mortgage-backed securities portfolio. The MBS instruments can take 2-3 months to roll off, so the MBS unwind has been virtually invisible until this week. With a $21 billion drawdown in the latest week, including over $10 billion in agency MBS unwind, it becomes increasingly clear why the markets were puking all [...]

Federal Reserve Sowed The Seeds Of The Next Housing Downturn

The Federal Reserve is poised to cause yet another housing downturn in the U.S. I'm not talking about a spectacular Lehman style apocalypse mind you, but an honest downturn that will be unavoidable. Today's S&P Case-Shiller home price index showed another rise in Dallas home prices in November. This is essentially lagged data confirming what most prospective DFW home buyers already knew, namely that Dallas area home prices are pretty damn high. The national index showed that U.S. home prices were up 6.2 percent, or roughly three times average U.S. hourly income growth. The BEA [...]

Fed Adds $705 Million Agency MBS With Un-Unwind

The Federal Reserve's balance sheet unwind was MIA again this week as agency MBS increased with latest System Open Market Account Account Holdings report. SOMA January 24 holdings reflected a magical $705 million INCREASE in agency mortgage-backed securities. This is rather strange behavior indeed for what was advertised as a balance sheet "unwind". It's looking more like the un-unwind, at least for the past two weeks. Much like the crony capitalist elite dining in Davos, the fine purveyors of bogus economic theory inhabiting the halls of the Marriner Eccles building are probably a tad bit [...]

Balance Sheet Unwind Hits Reverse As Interest Paid To Banks Soars

True to form, the Federal Reserve is taking a rather cautious approach to their balance sheet unwind with this week's System Open Market Account (SOMA) report showing an INCREASE of a $million in the Fed's bloated account holdings. So much for unwinding!  If you were wondering how equity markets could be marching to new highs every week in the face of tepid organic economic growth, you have your answer. Today's inflation numbers show that the Federal Reserve still can't seem to generate any inflation in the economy, with core inflation rising only 1.8% year-over-year. Home [...]

Another Fed “Senior Economist” Demonstrates Willful Ignorance

The Federal Reserve and its army of economists continue to demonstrate willful ignorance of their failed policies. This week it was the Kansas City Fed's Jordan Rappaport who penned another dose of misdirection on the housing market. Rappaport's piece, "Pent-Up Demand and Continuing Price Increases: The Outlook for Housing in 2018" is yet another example of how the Federal Reserve touts itself as a champion of real economy while they continue toe the line for Wall Street and wealthy investors. In the usual captured culture of Fed Mr. Rappaport lays out the theme of continued [...]