Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Bank lending update

It's been a few months since I last highlighted total bank lending but not much has changed since late October. Just to make sure you don't think I forgot here's an update.

Total bank loans and leases as per the Fed continues its steady decline economic recovery notwithstanding.  As you can see there was a large recent spike but this was due to an accounting change in bank's loans and not a sudden increase in lending.  This lack of new lending may be one reason broad money supply is so sluggish of late.

Like last update the banks are buying US Treasuries instead of lending. If you wondering who is buying those hated T bonds look to your corner mega-huge bank.   Considering their funding costs and capital requirements are pretty much zero you could say banks would rather just play golf and clip Treasury coupons.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Money Money + Money -- Money supply update

The broadest money supply figures available (M2 + institutional money market funds) turned positive a few months ago but is only growing slowly.  Furthermore this money measure has not exceeded its pre crisis peaks.

Looking back in the mid 2000's you can see broad money supply was also very sluggish. With QE 2 ending in June we'll see if this data series can keep expanding.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Inflation expectations in the bond market

Here's an update on inflation expectations as expressed by the bond market.   While much is being said right now about inflation expectations becoming unglued the 10 year [Treasury - TIP] difference is not showing anything exceptional yet.   As you can see from the chart inflation expectations (as expressed by nominal yields - 'real' TIPS yields) are getting back to their 'normal' range of around 2.5 percent.

10 year TIP yields are near the low end of the range but some of that is due to nominal yields slowly dropping over time, pushing the TIPS yields down so the difference remains relatively constant.  With QE2 slated to end and oil prices (as well as other base commodities) rising it will be interesting to see if the implied breakeven inflation rate rises above long term resistance of ~2.6 percent.