As I told my Chicago, Ohio State and George Mason University finance and real estate students, repeatedly, “Watch out when The Fed begins to tighten monetary policy. It will be a bloodbath for taxpayers.”
Well, here we are. I argue that Biden’ green energy knucklehead policies are driving inflation, or it could be the insane level of Federal spending that Obama economist Larry Summers warned us about, or rising wages (in part due to Federal spending) is to thank for inflation. Or all of the above.
Regardless of the cause, the bond market is enduring its worst selloff in a generation, triggered by high inflation and the aggressive interest-rate hikes that central banks are implementing. Falling bond prices, in turn, mean paper losses on the massive holdings that the Fed and others accumulated during their rescue efforts in recent years.
Rate hikes also involve central banks paying out more interest on the reserves that commercial banks park with them. That’s tipped the Fed into operating losses, creating a hole that may ultimately require the Treasury Department to fill via debt sales. The UK Treasury is already preparing to make up a loss at the Bank of England.
The Reserve balance has crashed into negative territory.
And Fed losses are skyrocketing.
Agency MBS prices are up today, but are down since August 2022. But risk measures duration and convexity are zooming upwards.