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Published by: alphathesis on Aug 21, 2013
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Tapering Uncertainty Means Volatile But Range-Bound 10-Year Rate Leuthold Weeden Capital Management By Chun Wang

August 20, 2013 The U.S. 10-year yield was pretty much trapped within a 25 bps range between 250 and 275 in July (Chart 1), but intra-day volatility has picked up noticeably. In the last three months, there were 21 days of greater than 5 bps daily moves and 7 days of greater than 10 bps daily moves on the U.S. 10-year yield, the most in the last one and a half years.

The Fed, of course, deserves all the credit for creating this volatility. The market seems to be sufficiently confused about what the Fed is trying to do. The probability of a 25 bps fed funds rate hike by Dec 2014 surged to 100% shortly after the June FOMC meeting. But since then the Fed has substantially tapered the taper talk, and the probability of a 25 bps hike has dropped below 80% (Chart 2). Although the bias is still towards a September taper, it is not a certainty.

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©Advisor Perspectives, Inc. All rights reserved.

we stated that “the Fed has a great track record of overestimating economic growth. If interest rates keep going higher from here. Chart 3 shows a clear negative relationship between Real GDP growth and the interest rate drag (proxied by the difference between the 10-year yield and nominal GDP growth). In our last report. . the Fed already guided the outlook for economic growth lower from “moderate” to “modest. we would run the risk of derailing a still-fragile recovery. “the dip in inflation should be a concern to the Fed” and “this should at least give the Fed pause when it comes to tapering decisions.” Apparently Bernanke read our report and Page 2 ©Advisor Perspectives. we also mentioned. All rights reserved. In their July FOMC statement.” We never thought we’d be proven right so quickly. Inc.” This is more consistent with our “muddle through” view. a slowgrowth economy simply can’t afford high interest rates.In our last report. In other words. This is another reason we think the upside for interest rates is limited.

All rights reserved. We believe the Fed knows that QE1-3 have not been as effective as they hoped. Page 3 ©Advisor Perspectives. Inc. Having seen what happened to Greenspan in the last few years.S. . Chart 6 shows the 10-year and 30-year treasury yields since QE1.” Both the CPI and PPI numbers showed a moderate uptick in June (Charts 4 and 5). Even with massive bond purchases. and around the world. We believe he cares about his reputation enough to want to start tapering as long as the economic picture does not deteriorate significantly. Is the inflation picture bad enough to change the Fed’s view on tapering? We don’t think so. This is true for both the U. long term yields are now higher than they were before QE1 started. but we haven’t seen strong evidence that inflation pressure is building up fast. But the fact that Bernanke is stepping down after this year certainly is a factor.promptly added a new sentence in the July FOMC statement that addressed the threats of “very low inflation” which “increases the risk of outright deflation.

(c) Leuthold Weeden Capital Management leutholdfunds. As long as the Fed tapering uncertainty exists. All rights reserved. Inc.Bernanke would certainly feel safer with tapering than not. we expect higher volatility on the 10-year yield to persist. .com Page 4 ©Advisor Perspectives.

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