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Tag: Consumer Spending

The Strange Spread No One’s Talking About

My three kids sang the lyrics to Surfaces’ “Sunday Best” over and over again during the 14 hours we spent in the car during their spring break vacation. And as I tried my best to take a break from work while I was with my family, the catchy pop tune still got me thinking about the mood of consumers right here … are we feeling good or not so much? After all, a lot has changed in the past six months.

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Get Ready for 2022’s “Big Short”

Originators handed out adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) like Halloween candy. Big banks packed them into MBS. They bribed agencies for AAA ratings. Then they sold them to unsuspecting investors. The shorts predicted that when ARMs began to reset in the second quarter of 2007, the MBS market would collapse like a Jenga tower .That’s exactly what it did. Their short bets earned them billions. The rest of the financial system collapsed. All through the movie, I kept asking myself one question … where’s the opportunity for today’s Big Short?

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The Fed’s Great Switcheroo

The narrative around the Fed’s increasingly hawkish stance is that it’s reacting to consumer price inflation. That’s part of it, but I’m convinced Powell & Co. are playing at a much bigger game. Ever since the great financial crisis, asset markets have become unhealthily dependent on easy money. Besides exacerbating inequality, artificially inflated asset markets are prone to bubbles and bust. That’s why the most incisive market watchers have been saying for a long time that the Fed’s biggest challenge is to end this dependency once and for all. If that’s what the Fed is doing, how’s it going to affect markets? More importantly, which assets will suffer, and which will prosper?

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