Fed Financial Stability Report Highlights Risks

Federal Reserve Chairman Jay Powell ironically probably felt a tinge of relief upon seeing the non-farm payrolls number. Why? Because it gives him cover to continue the course the Fed has been pursuing of near-zero rates and copious asset purchases Minneapolis Governor and PIMCO veteran Neel Kashkari commented in the wake of the jobs number that now was absolutely not the time to be raising rates. He also poignantly added that he has ‘zero sympathy’ for Wall Street critics of the Fed. We sincerely hope from the bottom of our hearts that he didn’t hurt any of your feelings or dash your expectations for sympathy.

This is all pretty well and good for the Fed given that by many other signs other than today’s jobs report the Economy is well within the stride of re-opening. First quarter productivity rose 5.4% which blew away the expectations of only 4.3%. US junk-bond yields dropped to an all-time low of 3.88% on Monday. Spreads hit their tightest level in well over a decade at (+289 bps). While the Fed got an immediate reprieve because of the jobs report, inflation expectations and bond vigilantes are unlikely to make the Central Bank’s life easy over the coming quarters as the economy continues to get red hot.

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