The curious case of low U.S. money velocity

From the Federal Reserve’s definition of Money Velocity and Money Supply,

Money Velocity

The velocity of money is the frequency at which one unit of currency is used to purchase domestically- produced goods and services within a given time period. In other words, it is the number of times one dollar is spent to buy goods and services per unit of time. If the velocity of money is increasing, then more transactions are occurring between individuals in an economy. Continue reading “The curious case of low U.S. money velocity”

Can the US government really cope with rising bond yields?

The US government has around $20.5 trillion in debt and pays around $558 billion in interest payments a year (an effective interest rate of 2.72%).

Bond yields have been rising recently in the US on the back of a strong economy. The 10-year bond yield topped 3% (up 0.66% over the past year) recently, the highest since January 2014. The 2-year bond yield topped 2.5% (up a massive 1.18% over the past year), the highest since July 2008 (Read more here). Continue reading “Can the US government really cope with rising bond yields?”

Here’s how banks in the US earned over $25 billion in 2017 by lending money to the Federal Reserve and why that number could double in 2018

Banks in the US can hold excess reserves with the Federal Reserve. In 2008, as part of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 it was mandated that interest would be paid on reserve balances held with the Federal Reserve. What is of significance is the interest rate on excess reserves.

Since 2015, the Federal Reserve has set the interest rate on excess reserves equal to the top of the target range for the federal funds rate. Why is this important? Look at the graphs below.

Excess Reserves of Depository Institutions
Excess Reserves of Depository Institutions; Source: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (US)

Continue reading “Here’s how banks in the US earned over $25 billion in 2017 by lending money to the Federal Reserve and why that number could double in 2018”

On Equities – Do as they say, not as they do? On Bond Yields – some things from the FOMC minutes

Goldman Sachs computer model warns a bear market is near, but the firm’s analysts don’t believe it (read here). So, if a bear market arrives – they were right (well their computer model was), no bear market – they were still right.

JP Morgan has said investors are ‘overreacting’ and investors should buy the market dip for a big rally ahead (read here). How big? 13%. Which would just about take us back to the highs the market hit at the end of January. Will they do as they say? Who knows.

Meanwhile, 10-year US bond yields have fallen 12 bps (to 2.78%) in the past week since the 0.25% Federal Funds rate target increase. As the Federal Reserve pares back its bond holdings, the US government is bringing more to market, yet yields have been falling.

Here are some interesting things from the FOMC releases (text in italics are our comments), Continue reading “On Equities – Do as they say, not as they do? On Bond Yields – some things from the FOMC minutes”

The ECB balance sheet is now over 4.5 trillion Euros, some 45% of Eurozone GDP

The European Central Bank (ECB) is by far the biggest holder of European bonds and the biggest (possibly the only) buyer of the weaker Eurozone (Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece) countries debt.

ECB bond purchases
Asset purchase programme monthly net purchases, source ECB

Bond yields are being held artificially low by the buying programme. Continue reading “The ECB balance sheet is now over 4.5 trillion Euros, some 45% of Eurozone GDP”