Interest Rates

Bank of Japan Beefs Up Policy With Three More Letters

09/21/2016

The Bank of Japan’s latest monetary gimmick doesn’t change much.

Low Bond Rates Don’t Yield Low Stock Returns

06/17/2016

Historically low global bond yields don’t mean stocks are in trouble.

Do Rate Hikes Spell Trouble for Bonds?

12/17/2015

Assessing the impact of rate hike cycles on fixed income investments.

Hip-Hip Hooray! The Fed Hiked

12/16/2015

The US Federal Reserve announced a 0.25 percentage point rate hike Wednesday, the first since 2006.

Junk Bonds’ Funk Does Not Mean Stocks Are Sunk

12/08/2015

Recent weakness in high-yield bonds doesn’t necessarily mean stocks are destined for a fall.

The US Can Afford Its Debt

10/01/2015

US deficits and debt are not problematic for the economy.

Big Theories, Small Moves

05/29/2015

Pundits offer plenty of explanations for bond market volatility, but bond markets aren’t very volatile by historical standards.

What Does This Messy Chart Say About Rate Hike Fears?

03/12/2015

Here is the history of market action pre- and post-initial rate hike, in a very messy line graph.

Diverging to Normal

02/10/2015

Do diverging global central bank policies really spell trouble for the bull market?

Cloudy, With a Chance of Rate Cuts?

02/04/2015

Trying to guess what central bankers will do next is a fruitless endeavor. 

What to Glean From Contradictory Coverage

01/30/2015

When all news is bad, it's a sign stocks have more wall of worry to climb. 

Considerable Wrangling Over Considerable Time

12/17/2014

Did the Fed just tell you when short-term rates will rise?

Fun With Mark and Janet

10/03/2014

The punditry has taken to diagramming central bank chiefs’ sentences to figure out their next move. We do the same to show you why it’s all poppycock.

The FOMC’s Rorschach Test

09/19/2014

It was a Fed-filled week, here’s a look back.

Words, Words, Words

09/16/2014

Don’t waste your time overthinking Fed forward guidance—it is merely marketing spin. 

The Magic of Rising Rates

02/19/2014

Interest rates are up, but so is household lending.

Will Rising Rates Ding Demand?

11/19/2013

Will rising long-term interest rates choke the US economy?

Rising Rates, Stocks and the Myth of the Yield Chaser

08/20/2013

What do rising interest rates mean for stocks?

Much Ado About Bonds

08/12/2013

Some headlines say a bond bear market is in the offing. What should long-term investors do?

Thinking About Bonds

07/15/2013

As the Fed eyes QE tapering, how should investors think about bonds?

Piquing Interest in US Debt

07/05/2013

Interest rates may be up a bit, but the US’s debt is still plenty affordable.

Interest-ingly Rising Rates

06/13/2013

Though interest rates have been rising lately, we don’t see this as cause for concern.

Rational Rates

05/08/2013

Lower rates at Portugal’s bond auction seem the rational response to improving conditions.

Moody’s Muddled French Markets

11/21/2012

Economic reality doesn’t seem to have influenced Moody’s downgrade of France as much as political pressures likely did.

Behind Global Bond Yield Gyrations

03/23/2012

Amid rising rates globally, recently elevated Spanish and Italian yields Thursday might not mean what many folks think.

Behind the Fed Curtain

01/27/2012

The Fed’s increased transparency is an incremental positive, but we reserve judgment on whether it has any material impact.

Forecasting Fed Forecasting

01/05/2012

The Fed announced it will begin releasing its forecasts and longer-term plans for interest rates starting this month—but is this move positive, negative or somewhere in between?

Bonds and Banks

12/21/2011

Spanish yields, the ECB and Hungarian politics dominated European news on Tuesday.

Weighing Italy’s Debt

12/13/2011

An alternate perspective of Italy’s debt costs shows today’s levels are low by historical standards.

Molto Mario?

11/15/2011

A look at what’s in store for Italy’s new Prime Minister, Mario Monti.

Jawboning, Speculation and Hot Air

08/23/2011

With the Fed holding its annual Jackson Hole symposium, talk of QE3 is escalating.

Corrective Action

08/05/2011

Understanding and separating the negatives from the positive realities can help guide your investing decisions.

Half Full or Half Empty?

08/03/2011

Debt ceiling dramatics came to a conclusion Tuesday, leaving many frustrated in its wake. Here’s a look around the news at what’s poking that frustration—and largely unnoticed remedies.

New Lunar Year, Same Rising Inflation

02/09/2011

China increased interest rates again in its ongoing battle with rising inflation.

Eyeing the Exit

01/18/2011
Inflation was up in 2010, but 2011 shouldn't bring materially higher prices.

Winter Credit Thaw

12/31/2010
US bank lending to smaller and medium-sized firms is on the rise.

Indian Infrastructure

12/28/2010
China continued tightening economic policy Monday. But Chinese growth should continue even as other Emerging Markets increasingly realize their potential.

A Flight from Safety?

12/13/2010
Recent bond yield bumps allude to investors wanting more bang for their bucks.

LIBOR and TED’s Bogus Journey

05/25/2010
Upticks in interbank borrowing rates are alarming some—but rates remain near historic lows.

Little Inflation in Big China

05/13/2010
Does an April uptick in Chinese inflation mean its explosive growth is unsustainable? Not just yet.

Greece Got Your Goat?

04/08/2010
Greece is once again making headlines, with government bond yields hitting historical highs this week.

Bonds in Red

01/05/2010
Bonds can lose value too. 2009 was an example.

Charge It, Please!

12/21/2009
Credit card interest rates are rising in advance of a new law—a good example of regulation gone awry.

Yields Signs

12/15/2009
The US yield curve steepened to its biggest spread in decades last week—bullish for economic growth.

The Name Is Bond

06/01/2009
The 10-year US Treasury bond yield recently spiked to a six-month high. Rather than cause for concern, it could be a sign of improving conditions ahead.

The Crooked Road to Recovery

05/14/2009
Don't be discouraged if the market takes a breather after two months of climbing. Many underappreciated positives can move markets higher in the months ahead.

It Was No Grilled Cheese

02/13/2009
Members of Congress grilled top bank executives Wednesday on why their institutions haven't been lending.

Deep Into the Playbook

12/05/2008
In yet another attempt to address housing market concerns, the feds announced a plan hoping to aid new homebuyers and support housing prices.

Fighting the Financial Crisis

10/09/2008
Central banks and governments around the world have taken up the call to arms.

Too Hot, Too Cold, or Just About Right?

02/19/2008
Folks generally associate steep yield curves with inflation—should they?

Surveying Lending

02/06/2008
The recent Loan Officer Survey paints a dour picture on lending, but a closer look reveals far different results.

But Wait, There’s More

12/12/2007
America's and Europe's central banks have coordinated in an innovative way to make capital available to troubled banks, which highlights the variety of liquidity sources available today for banks.

Super Ben, Part Deux

12/03/2007
As the FOMC prepares to meet, the media predicts they'll drop rates again to help "save” the economy from a credit crunch. We continue to view credit crisis fears as overblown and largely psychological.

The Real Credit Story

10/22/2007
Long-term rates have been moving lower lately, a remarkable story almost entirely ignored by the media.

Chinese Inflation

09/24/2007
China's inflation rate is soaring. While that's unlikely to derail China's economy in the near term or infect the global economy with higher prices, the problem underscores a still fragile and developing nation fraught with peril for investors.

Ben to the Fake Rescue!

09/19/2007
Yesterday's Fed action won't have much impact, which is good news, since our healthy economy requires no rescuing.

Saving the Day (And Not Much Else)

09/18/2007
Today's semi-surprise rate cut of 0.5% by the Federal Reserve featured some bewildering messages, but on balance the move will probably do little to bolster or hinder the economy other than provide a short-term psychological boost.

Small Cuts Don’t Much Matter

09/14/2007
Expectations for a Fed interest rate cut to "save” the economy next week are overblown. Cut or no cut, it makes little economic difference—today's fervor over Fed meetings is more about psychology than reality.

Are We There Yet?

08/20/2007
What do corrections and family vacations have in common? Way too much.

The Fed’s Talisman

08/17/2007
Today's rate cut from the Fed is more symbolic than it is potent…but it may prove to be just the antidote for today's skittish investor sentiment.

Blood in the Alleys

08/09/2007
The freak-outs continue. Dread that credit blood is flowing in the streets of the global economy received another seeming affirmation today.

Debt Disambiguation

07/26/2007

News of a faltering credit environment persists, but fundamentals still appear conducive to a robust cash-based M&A market. This week's equity sell-off is likely normal turbulence and not a harbinger of a credit crunch, or a new bear market.

Befuddled Bond Bears

06/27/2007
Today's bond market is not what the bears would have you believe.

Runaway Rates?

06/15/2007
The 10-year US Treasury has hit a five-year high.

Yield Mandala

06/11/2007
For millennia, yogis, sages, Buddhas, and general seekers of wisdom have contemplated the labyrinthine passages of life's mysteries through meditation with mandalas.

When You Get to the Fork in the Road…

05/09/2007
Yogi Berra made this quote famous: "When you get to the fork in the road, take it.

Critical Invasion

03/21/2007
The scramble has begun! More art than science, more augury than empiricism, the pundits and pinheads are dissecting the Fed's newest statement, fresh off the presses.

Fight the Fed

02/01/2007
FOMC meetings are some of the most closely watched market events.

When Normal Feels Weird

12/21/2006
The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage in the United States is 6.

A Hawkish ECB

11/28/2006
The European Central Bank (ECB) is a strange animal.

Oh Fools, Where Art Thou?

09/22/2006
Here's a familiar refrain among our investing peers (tell us if you've heard this one before): The number of outstanding high-risk loans (specifically in the mortgage arena) will eventually lead to an unprecedented number of defaults once we hit the next recession.

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