Saturday, June 11, 2005

Is there going to be another belly landing for the economy?

Bond Market Baffles Many Observers - Yahoo! News: NEW YORK - Bond prices are rising and yields have plunged to levels not seen in more than a year — and all this is happening as the
Federal Reserve has tripled short-term interest rates over the last 12 months.

The situation has baffled many market-watchers, who had forecast just the opposite would happen. Even Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan says he is puzzled by what is going on here and elsewhere around the world where bond yields are generally falling.
. . . .
That may help make sense of the recent bond-market moves — which Greenspan himself said this week are "clearly without recent precedent." In February he called the situation a "conundrum."

Just listen to what he had to say this week about all the confusion.

In remarks to the International Monetary Conference, he talked about how the plunging yields could be a sign that the economy's growth is slowing down. But he then backed away from that argument when he said that "periodic signs of buoyancy" in some parts of the world have not stopped the retraction in the yield.

He also said that should the yield curve become inverted — which happens when short-term yields exceed long-term yields — that won't necessarily be a "forward indicator for softening economic activity" as it has been before. "We would not automatically assume that it would mean what it meant in the past," he said.


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