Tag Archives: Commentary

Do we value everything and understand nothing?

On reflection, the ‘mechanism’ established to rescue or save the Euro is indicative of the fact that we still understand very little and can control and short-circuit systems to some extent, yet we think we value everything.

Inflation, and dare we state it openly, serious inflation of double-digit proportions must now surely be back on the cards?

We realise that we are not the only and first publication to come up with this analysis.

Bloomberg reported on 30 September 2011 that European Inflation had unexpectedly jumped to 3%, up from 2.5% in August.  Yet, this is still a long way off a double digit scenario, however, the factors mentioned in the Bloomberg report included, the Greek Default (possibility) and the ECB actions still possible in terms of containing European wide inflation.

Although most economists predict that inflation will start to wane next year, we believe that actions like the Greek Debt haircut and the increase in the EFSF’s bailout fund to €1tr sends signals to the market that the value of money is now seriously ‘delinked’ from operational reality.

We will not comment here in depth on monetary policy, as it is currently applied, however, we are beginning to get the impression that inflation as ‘the silent and stealth’ taxation it really is, is now firmly (yet behind closed committee room doors) on the agenda to help “manage” the size of the European Debt mountain.

It is worth keeping an eye on the real drivers of inflation and then there is some value in keeping an open mind.

theMarketSoul ©2011

US Treasuries – Expanding the confidence time horizon

In our previous analysis piece on the Erosion of Confidence in the Capital Market, we discussed the downward trend in US T-Bill since 2006. In today’s brief analysis piece we have expanded the time horizon to the last 10 years from the beginning of 2001 to the end of the second quarter in 2011 (being June 2011). The view is each quarter end point for both 1 and 10 Year US T-Bills for this 10 year period.

 

What is interesting about both the 1month, 1 Year & 10 Year charts is the steady rise in rates (and economic confidence since the Iraq war in 2003 for both 1month and 1Year T-Bills). The Iraq war was declared on 19 March 2003 and this is the low point of the yield curves, followed by a steady rise in yield rates to their highest point (1 Year T-Bills) on 27 June and 18 July 2006 at 5.28% respectively.

The other point to note is the steady state of the 10 Year T-Bills between 2001 to 2006 bouncing around between 4% and 5% and then the steady erosion in returns since Q3 2006. As of 19 August 2011, 10Year T-Bills yielded a nominal 2.07% or a real (inflation adjusted) return of 0.02%.

The flight to more traditional bullion assets or other currency classes has been marked, with currencies such as the Swiss Franc, Canadian Dollar, Sterling Pound & Australian Dollar appreciating in value relative to the US Dollar as the flight to perceived safer haven assets classes and categories continue.

Our sister site (theVirtuousContinuum, launching on 26 August 2011) will have a more detailed briefing and analysis regarding the lack of Global coordinated Financial and Economic Leadership in order to stem the tide of confidence ebbing away in the global capital, commodities and wealth markets.

 theMarketSoul ©2011

Source Material:

US Treasury web site at: http://www.treasury.gov

The source input data is available by clicking on this link

The US Treasury Yield Curves #2 – Do you factor inflation into the deal?

In the previous article we posted, mention was made of the (0.72)% [negative 0.72%] real return US Treasury investors can currently expect on 5 Year Treasury Bills.  The Nominal (quoted) Yield Curves and Real (Inflation adjusted) Yield Curves for two specific points in time, namely Friday 29 July 2011 and 30 July 2006 are listed below.

Yield Curve 1

What is interesting to note is the very flat nature of the Yield Curve for all T-Bills at the end of July 2006, at around a 5% Nominal Return for investors.  Yet the most significant fact is that the Real Yield was around 2.37% on 5 Year Treasuries, versus today’s (0.72)% on 5 Year or (0.18)% 7 Year T-Bill yields.  In order to generate a very small Real Return, you have to be looking at purchasing a 10 Year T-Bill to obtain a modest 0.38% Real Return in today’s market.

A cynic might make this remark:

“Not only do you pay your taxes, but with the negative Real Yields on both 5 & 7 Year T-Bills, you are paying the government to hold on to your cash too”

They win both ways!

theMarketSoul ©2011

Source Material:  US Treasury web site:

http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/Historic-Yield-Data-Visualization.aspx