5 Nov 2015

Interest Rates May Head Higher

Yellen’s comments yesterday definitely had an impact on the markets view of what could happen to interest rates in December.  The chart below shows what markets think are the odds of a rate hike at the December meeting since the beginning of the year. You can see that at the beginning of the year, markets thought that the odds of a hike were not particularly high, ranging from 20 to… Read More

5 Jun 2015

Interest Rates Rising

Long-term interest rates have moved up swiftly in recent weeks.  On April 20th, the 10-year German government bond had a yield of 0.06 percent. Around that time, I couldn’t stop writing about negative interest rates (see here and here) because the 10-year Swiss government bond yielded -0.13 percent along with the government bonds of a half-dozen other European countries at shorter maturities.  I read at one point that one-third of all outstanding… Read More

25 Mar 2015

And the Yields Keep Tumbling Down

Last year, one of the big stories was falling yields.  Much to everyone’s surprise the yield on the 10-year US Treasury note fell from an even three percent to 2.17 percent. After falling sharply early this year into mid-January, yields started to rise and ultimately retraced their steps just a month later. Just as people started to think, ‘Okay, this is it – now interest rates are going to rise,’ yields started… Read More

24 Mar 2015

ALM Insights – March 2015

ALM Insights is focused on banks and other institutions that use their portfolio to manage risk on both sides of their balance sheet. It takes an in-depth look at securities investment strategies, balance sheet and asset/liability strategies, regulatory topics and general economic information. To view this issue, click the image below. In This Issue: At Least We Aren’t Europe Bond of The Day – When Does 2% ≠ 2%? More Problems… Read More

15 Jan 2015

How High Should Interest Rates Go?

As recently as Christmas Eve, the market believed that there was a 92.4 percent chance that the Federal Reserve would raise interest rates in 2015. The probability is based on prices for Federal Funds futures price contracts at the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT). In the first few weeks of this year, I started hearing market chatter that the Fed may have to push off raising interest rates until 2015… Read More

12 Jan 2015

Finally, A Regulation You Can Opt-Out Of

In the December 2012 issue of ALM Insights, I wrote an article titled Basel III’s AFS Provision. At the time of the article, the provision detailing the effects of Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income (AOCI) on regulatory capital had been delayed due to a “wide range of views”, and the final outcome was still very much up in the air. Few in the banking industry thought that forcing banks of all… Read More

9 Jan 2015

Inflation Expectations in 2015

In my judgment, the biggest stories of 2014 were falling interest rates and oil prices. I’ve written that most people expected interest rates to rise and no one expected a major drop in oil prices. The combination of those two things, plus the unexpected rise in the U.S. dollar (a big story, but not as big as the first two) means that inflation expectations have fallen dramatically in the U.S…. Read More

18 Dec 2014

ALM Insights – December 2014

ALM Insights is focused on banks and other institutions that use their portfolio to manage risk on both sides of their balance sheet. It takes an in-depth look at securities investment strategies, balance sheet and asset/liability strategies, regulatory topics and general economic information. To view this issue, click the image below. In This Issue: King Dollar Finally, A Regulation You Can Opt-Out Of Reading The Tea Leaves

30 Oct 2014

Federal Reserve Ends Quantitative Easing

During the 2008 financial crisis, Warren Buffet compared the US economy to a heart attack victim lying flat on the floor. Buffet’s analogy has continued to be a useful analogy as the Federal Reserve pumped medicine into the economy in the form of buying bonds on the open market in a program known as quantitative easing, or simply QE. That program came to an end yesterday, so you could carry… Read More

21 Oct 2014

Lower for Longer

One of the interesting implications of the recent selloff in stocks and rally in bonds is that investors have quickly shifted gears regarding when they think that the Federal Reserve will begin to raise interest rates. Right now, the market expects the Fed to announce that they will end their bond-buying program, known as quantitative easing, at their meeting on October 29th. There has been some scuttlebutt that the Fed… Read More