The TED spread is an indicator of liquidity risks in the interbank market. It is the difference between the 3-month interest rate on interbank loans and the yield on 3-month US Treasury Bills. Any rise in the indicator would lead the banks to ask for more Treasuries and be more reticent about granting loans.
US interest rates
We can expect a rise in interest rates in 2017, driven up by the Fed, but fuelled by doubts over Europe. And I would bet the dollar will appreciate against the euro and the yuan – and sterling – although I am not normally a betting man.
Janet Yellen intends to hold firm against market pressure as her press conference showed yesterday. The 0.25% rise in federal funds was downgraded to a modest move, wholly anticipated by investors, while hinting at a moderate path in rate hikes over the next couple of years.
Why does the Fed continue to be a glutton for punishment, repeatedly announcing for over a year that it is going to raise interest rates, then having to put the decision on hold? Yet again it has announced it will have to hike rates before end-year, possibly twice, and perhaps, once more, it will have to back down.
At Jackson Hole, Janet Yellen dwelt extensively on the challenges raised by low neutral rates, recognizing the need to broaden the unconventional toolkit for compensating for the subdued impact rate cuts might have in future. By hinting the Fed should reinforce its weaponry, just in case there is an unexpected and most unlikely bout of recession, Janet Yellen is sending the wrong message.
Stock market analysts have turned the annual central bankers’ meeting in Jackson Hole into a boiling pot of speculation regarding what message Fed Chair Janet Yellen will transmit. The markets are not expecting a rate hike in September, but are hoping for some guidance from Yellen’s speech today about how she sees the US economy, the key factor which will determine whether there will be a rate move before year-end.
In the good old days, financial and economic observers used to worship Alan Greenspan’s deliveries as if they were Moses’ Tables of the Law. Many even earned their living interpreting his messages. This has no longer been the case since the first moment Janet Yellen took office. Most acknowledge that reading the Fed minutes is tantamount to a sheer waste of time. What we want to know, and the sooner the better, is the degree of commitment the Fed will demonstrate in hiking rates and reducing the liquidity glut.
On the eve of the Jackson Hole Fed gathering, the San Francisco Reserve Bank Chairman, John Williams, has launched an enlightening debate on the challenge raised by protracted natural interest rates. The so-called r-star would rank now close to zero in the US and below that threshold in the Eurozone.
By Peter Lundgreen via Caixin | The turmoil on world financial markets has more to do with global changes that need to be noted than recent volatility in China’s stock exchange.
The Fed’s wavering over addressing the matter of its announced rate hike has badly affected the markets, increasing their volatility. It should act now, curbing any further speculation, and disregard recent calls from the IMF and the World Bank to further delay this move.