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Fed Panic

The Fed will cut a minimum of 25 basis points on July 31.

The CME Fed fund futures model jumped to 71% Chance of a 50 Basis Point Cut as New York Fed president John Williams said “When you have only so much stimulus at your disposal, it pays to act quickly to lower rates at the first sign of economic distress.”

Williams attempted to downplay that statement with a subsequent and obviously transparent excuse: "This was an academic speech on 20 years of research. It was not about potential policy actions at the upcoming FOMC meeting."

Yeah. Right.

Let's call this for what it really is: Fed panic with a hedge.

Earnings Recession Warning

James Bianco at Bianco research says Market needs a deep rate cut to prevent an earnings recession

I had to read that twice.

  • Is the Fed supposed to be worried about S&P 500 earnings?
  • Is that part of the Fed model?

Yet, here is the same call in a Bloomberg interview: Only a Half-Point Rate Cut From the Fed Will Do

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"The sooner the Fed fixes it, the better. A 50 basis-point cut fixes it better than a 25 basis-point cut" says Bianco.

Triple Wow

I have met Bianco. He is a very bright guy.

But I have a deep philosophical difference of opinion with his statements on Wednesday.

I believe

  1. The Fed ought not be making assessments based on stock market performance.
  2. The Fed blew obvious bubbles and keeping them alive and zombie corporations alive is a serious kick-the-can mistake.
  3. More importantly, the overall notion the Fed can micromanage the economy via policy decisions is a proven falsehood.
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Yield Curve

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On June 25, when I last presented these charts, the yield on the 3-month T-Bill was 2.136% and the yield on the 10-Year note was 1.992%.

The spread then was -14.4 basis points. It's now +1.1 basis points.

What If?

If the Fed cut 50 basis points the Fed Funds Rate would drop to 1.91 assuming perfect correlation.

If the 10-year yield dropped a mere 15 basis points in response, the Fed Funds Rate to the 10-Year note would still be inverted.

But let's assume an un-inversion.

So What?

The idea that the yield curve is a problem is complete silliness.

The yield curve is a symptom of a problem, not a problem.

The problem is the economy is a bubble-laden environment that's choking on debt, zombie corporations, and unwarranted credit expansion fueled by interest rates that were far too low, for far too long.

Rate Cuts Don't Matter

Un-inverting the yield curve does not fix the problem, does it?

I stand by my assessment earlier today: Half-Point Rate Cut Odds Explode to 71% - So What? It Doesn't Matter!

Looking ahead: Deflation Up Next.

Importantly, this obvious Fed panic by NY Fed President John Williams implies one of two things, and possibly both: A recession has already started and/or the consequences of a recession are far bigger than the Fed wants you to believe.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock