As I have noted previously bond yields continue to go lower, and Investment News reports that it has some bond managers worried that it means that the country will suffer a bout of deflation this year, which mean that the economy, might be, could be, holy cow, a little weaker than expected.
Wow. You don’t say?
Investment News reports that bond yields are a pretty accurate predictor of which way consumer prices will be going. And in this case the yields are saying consumer prices will be going down.
That’s good news for those of us who still buy things every day, like food and gas, but of course it’s the most painful news to Central Bankers.
Because it means that perhaps the economy isn’t recovering and perhaps they bought all those Treasury notes in the market to stimulate the recovery for no good reason.
Which means of course…wait… that they will likely do more Quantitative Easing.
Watch for the GDP announcement this week on the 30th.
If it’s bad expect QE talk to commence.
Well the moment we all have been waiting for happened.
And no-- not the State of the Union Address.
The US treasury announced that ANYONE--yes, even you-- can now sign up for a free MYIRA account-- as long as you have direct deposit. And you make less than a combined $191,000.
And here’s the really cool part: The government is going to start spending money to advertise the new MYIRA accounts (cough, hack).
No, no-- they don’t offer a tax write off, but you get the same return as the Thrift Savings Plan's Government Securities Investment Fund, which in 2013 paid 2%.
Oh, and you get to sleep well knowing that the money you invest is going to secure more advertising for the government on products like retirement accounts, where we already have so many choices that guys like me can stay employed for years just explaining what they are.
Thanks government again.
Oh, and the SOTU last week?
Yes, they want to raise your taxes again. Where do you think the government will get the 2% to pay investors?
As I predicted last week on Bucket Strategy Investing Pres. Obama has proposed raiding 529 college saving plans-- that is TAXING THEM-- in order to pay for his new “two years of community college free” plan.
That “free” college stuff is expensive.
Hey but it’s free.You can’t put a price on “free” education. Or "free" healthcare. So why try? Just tax people who have money.
That's right those hard-working responsible people who took the energy and resources to save for their own children's education get to double, triple and maybe even quadruple their fun by paying for another child's education. Who knows maybe they even can pay for an adult's education, too?
Why stop there?
Let's text everyone’s retirement account too to pay for a college education for those people who can't get a part-time job to pay for their own college education like I did.
I am ashamed to say that we are ruled by some of the stupidest people on earth.
With the Swiss leaving the euro, Greece about ready to implode, war in the Ukraine and plunging oil prices, an important question has now been answered.
What exactly does it take to stop gold’s “free-fall”?
Gold has been rallying as of late in response to bad news from Europe and bad news from the oil patch.
And that has some gold evangelist saying “See, I told you so.”
Never mind that gold is well off its high still, or that it took them so long to be right. So far.
Gold is a metal, not a strategy.
The World Bank says that falling oil prices will generate 15 to 20% more economic growth worldwide.
And that's more evidence that lower oil prices are better then—duh-- higher prices.
The winner in all this will be India, which is an importer of oil not an exporter of oil. Losers include economies like Venezuela, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria.
So if you have funds in any of those Emerging Dictator ETFs, may wanna rethink that.
Big winners will also be the United States and the Euro Zone which also rely heavily on petroleum products.
And a new survey of traders and analysts say that eventually OPEC will be forced to cut its oil production in the second half of the year while shale producers in the US keep up output.
So until that time you can even drink gasoline. A gallon gas is still cheaper than a gallon of milk.
Home sales were up for December despite finishing the year down.
Sales of existing homes rose 2.4% last month but overall sales fell 3.1% for 2014. Driving the decline was a lack of first time homebuyers.
Only 29% of sales went to first time homebuyers compared to an historic average of 40%.
One of the great casualties of the Slight Depression, or the Great Recession, has been the slowing of family formation. Lack of jobs amongst younger Americans, slow wage growth and student loan debt are hampering the ability of younger Americans to start families.
The chief economist at Trulia however believes that that pattern will start to reverse itself as Twenty-Somethings, who tend to rent in urban areas, move to the suburbs. Another reason for optimism is falling interest rates.
Lower borrowing costs however are offset by higher home prices right now. And your home price growth right now is 4.5%, a little above the historic average. And—importantly-- higher than inflation.
Good news for existing buyers, not good news for first time buyers.
Well if you're renting there's more bad news too: Rental prices continue to climb in December with cost rising rapidly in places like San Francisco and Denver according to the real estate firm Zillow.
In San Francisco rents jumped 15%, in San Jose 14 1/2%, in Denver 10 1/2% and in Kansas City 8 1/2%.
High rents mean that people who would like to buy a first time home have a difficult time saving to buy a first time home. I spoke on the radio about how first time home purchases are down quite substantially.
There's a lot of pent-up demand, interest rates are low, conditions are right for a housing rebound, but Washington just can't get its act together.
And high rents are just another symptom of a broken housing market. Home prices will not continue to rise if homeownership does not expand. We don’t need government sponsored subprime loans either.
Just let banks loan money again Washington.