Best of the Week
Most Popular
1.Is the Stocks Bull Market Over? Dow Trend Forecast into End January 2015 - Nadeem_Walayat
2.Gold and Silver Stocks Apocalypse Now, Bear Market Review - Rambus_Chartology
3.NHS Baldrick Plan to Spread Ebola Across UK - Sheffield, Newcastle, Liverpool, London Hospitals - Nadeem_Walayat
4.Ebola Terror Threat Suicide Bio-Weapons Threatens Multiple 9/11's, Global Plague - Nadeem_Walayat
5.Second-Richest Man Says Mortgages Now a "No Brainer" - Dr. Steve Sjuggerud
6.Gold And Silver Still No End In Sight - Michael_Noonan
7.NHS Baldrick Plan to Spread Ebola Across UK - Sheffield, Newcastle, Liverpool, London Hospitals - Nadeem_Walayat
8.The Gold Bug is Set to Bite Back - EWI
9.How Alibaba Could Capitalize on the EBay-PayPal Split - Frank_Holmes
10.The Consequences of the Economic Peace - John_Mauldin
Last 5 days
Stocks Bear Market Indicator Is Off the Mark - 20th Oct 14
Stock Market Ideal Turning Point is at Hand - 20th Oct 14
Investors Quit Complaining, The Environment is Perfect Right Now - 20th Oct 14
Ebola Armageddon Could Trigger a Rebirth in Gold and Silver Prices - 20th Oct 14
Gold vs Euro Risk Due To Possible Return of Italian Lira - Drachmas, Escudos, Pesetas and Punts? - 20th Oct 14
Stocks Rebounded Following Recent Sell-Off, But Will It Last? - 20th Oct 14
U.S. Responsible for West Africa Ebola Outbreak Says Liberian Scientist - 20th Oct 14
Stock Market Intermediate B Wave has Started - 20th Oct 14
Gold Stocks Analysis – FNV, CG, NCM, SBM - 19th Oct 14
Stock Market Primary IV Wave Counter Trend Rally - 19th Oct 14
Gold And Silver - Financial World: House Of Cards Built On Sand - 18th Oct 14
Anatomy of a Stock Market Sell-Off - 18th Oct 14
Why OPEC Has Declared an Oil War on Russia - 18th Oct 14
Gold and Silver Extreme Shorting Peaks - 18th Oct 14
Bitcoin Price Fall to $350? - 18th Oct 14
Tesco Supermarket Crisis Worse To Come as Customers Vanish! - 18th Oct 14
Sheffield Roma Crisis School Place Application's Fraud Perfect Storm - 17th Oct 14
Stock Markets, Commodities and Indicators - 17th Oct 14
“Save Our Swiss Gold ” - Game Changer For Gold? - 17th Oct 14
How to Trade the Ebola Stock Market Sell-Off - 17th Oct 14
When... Not if... Crude Oil Price Drops Below $70 - 17th Oct 14
Either You're The Butcher or You're The Cattle - 17th Oct 14
Gold Benefits from Market Uncertainty - 17th Oct 14
Stock Market Pullback Underway, Euro downside, Commodities - 17th Oct 14
Stock Market Seven Year Cycle and A Correction Ahead? - 17th Oct 14
Three Ways to Play Uranium: Top Stock Picks - 17th Oct 14
America Flirts With Deflation - 17th Oct 14
Why the Fed Should Consider Delaying the End of QE - 16th Oct 14
Gold Prices Since 9-11 - 16th Oct 14
The Inflation Imputation, Dear Saver, May You RIP - 16th Oct 14
Flight To Safety - Gold Rises As Stocks, European Bonds Sink - 16th Oct 14
The March Of History And The End Of Nations - 16th Oct 14
Stocks Bear Markets Move Fast and Are Intensely Emotional - 16th Oct 14
Stocks Got Their Piece – Now It’s Our Turn - 16th Oct 14
Why This Stock Market Selloff Is the Next "Buy the Dip" Opportunity in Stocks - 15th Oct 14
Possible Stock Market Runing Correction - 15th Oct 14
Get Your Tactics Ready for the Ebola Stock Market Event - 15th Oct 14
Secret Scheme To Manipulate Silver Price - Lawsuits Against Banks Proceed - 15th Oct 14
Stocks Bull Market Over? Trend Forecast to End Jan 2015 - Video - 15th Oct 14
Stock Market Dow The Contrarian Play - 15th Oct 14
The Ukraine, As We Know It, Is Gone Forever - 15th Oct 14
We Can Police the Dark Web / Bitcoin - 15th Oct 14
The Safest Stocks in the World - 14th Oct 14
Building an Ark: How to Protect Public Revenues From the Next Financial Meltdown - 14th Oct 14
9 Ways to Retire Rich - 14th Oct 14
Silver, Warfare and Welfare - 14th Oct 14
Swiss Gold Referendum “Propaganda War” Begins - 14th Oct 14
What Happened To The Fourth Estate? - 14th Oct 14
How To Blow Up OPEC In 3 Easy Steps - 14th Oct 14
Investment Myth - Wars are bullish/bearish for Stocks - 14th Oct 14
Powerful Reversal and Shakeout in the Junior Gold Mining Stocks at May Lows Around $33 - 13th Oct 14
When The Economy Went Ponzi - 13th Oct 14
Stock Markets Get Ugly – and May Be Getting Uglier - 13th Oct 14
Cycle Failures Point to a Stock Market Correction - 13th Oct 14
Bill Ackman: I'm not a Crybaby Shareholder - 13th Oct 14
U.S. and World Stock Markets Chartology - 13th Oct 14
Stock Market Intermediate Downtrend Confirmed - 13th Oct 14
Gold and Silver Price To Rally Or Not To Rally - 13th Oct 14
Is the Stocks Bull Market Over? Dow Trend Forecast into End January 2015 - 12th Oct 14
Has Obama Changed His Mind About Syria? - 12th Oct 14
New Zero Bound Only Game In Town - 12th Oct 14
The 5–Year U.S. Treasury Bond is Emblematic of Careless Risk Taking in Bond Markets - 12th Oct 14

Free Instant Analysis

Free Instant Technical Analysis


Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Stocks Epic Bear Market

U.S. Fed Zero Interest Rate Policy Coming?

Interest-Rates / US Interest Rates Oct 31, 2008 - 07:34 AM GMT

By: Mike_Shedlock

Interest-Rates Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleThe Fed did not want to cut the Fed Funds Rate below 2%. And because Congress recently granted authority for the Fed to pay interest on reserves, Bernanke thought incorrectly that he could keep rates above 2%. So much for that academic theory. Now many are wondering if ZIRP (Zero Interest Rate Policy) is coming to the Fed.


The LA Times addressed the question today in The Fed's rate at zero? It's no longer a far-fetched idea .
Just a day after the Federal Reserve dropped its key short-term interest rate to 1% -- matching the generational low reached in 2003-04 -- the betting is intensifying on another cut.

Trading in futures contracts on the federal funds rate, the Fed's benchmark, implies a 51.4% probability that the central bank will slash the rate to 0.50% on or before its next meeting on Dec. 16, according to Bloomberg News data.

Rate expectations may be cueing off the government's report today that the economy shrank at an annualized rate of 0.3% in the third quarter. Although analysts figured the economy had contracted in the period, the details were ugly -- particularly the 3.1% decline in real consumer spending, the biggest drop since the vicious recession that began in 1980.

The Bank of Japan had to maintain its benchmark interest rate at or near zero for most of the 1999-2006 period, before policymakers finally felt comfortable that the economy was in a sustainable recovery.

December FOMC Meeting Implied Probability


Chart courtesy of Cleveland Fed .

Rate Cuts Counterproductive

There was an interesting discussion on Minyanville today about rate cuts. Minyan Peter offered the following thoughts.

" With Fed Funds already trading at 1.00% prior to the announcement, it will be critical to watch whether other short term indices drop by 50 bps, particularly LIBOR and, probably most importantly consumer deposit rates.

If short term bank liabilities do not reprice down by at least the 50 bps cut in the prime, contrary to public perception, banks will now be worse off than they were before yesterday's announcement. … If yesterday's rate cut in any way squeezes margins, further cuts will only compound the problem. … I would offer that future Fed Funds cuts are off the table. "

It seems that those rate cuts are squeezing margin and will continue to do so, especially on those taxpayer funded capital injections. The terms on the preferred shares were 5% escalating to 9%! (See Compelling Banks To Lend At Bazooka Point for more details on the capital injections)

The prime lending rate is now 4%. Banks are guaranteed to lose money on that $250 billion Paulson forced down their throats if they lend it out to their least risky clients at prime.

Is it any wonder banks are reluctant to lend it? Instead banks are opting for mergers where they can cut employees to reduce costs. The NY Times made this sound like a conspiracy (See NY Times Lending Conspiracy Madness ) To me it sounds like unintended consequences of the bailout plan.

Key Interest Rates



Chart courtesy of Bloomberg .

So banks are paying 3.65% on one year CDs. Prime rate is 4.0%. Where is the profit? Take overhead into account and there isn't any. So why the high rates on deposits? The answer is banks are all competing with each other for capital. They need it to cover future losses on credit cards, foreclosures, REOs (bank owned real estate), commercial loans, etc.

ZIRP did not help Japan and it will not help US banks either. In fact, the rate cuts appear to be counterproductive. However, one cannot rule out the Fed cutting rates to 0% anyway. Bernanke is in academic wonderland and appears to be hell bent on sticking with his models regardless of how poorly those models perform in actual practice.

By Mike "Mish" Shedlock
http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com

Click Here To Scroll Thru My Recent Post List

Mike Shedlock / Mish is a registered investment advisor representative for SitkaPacific Capital Management . Sitka Pacific is an asset management firm whose goal is strong performance and low volatility, regardless of market direction.

Visit Sitka Pacific's Account Management Page to learn more about wealth management and capital preservation strategies of Sitka Pacific.

I do weekly podcasts every Thursday on HoweStreet and a brief 7 minute segment on Saturday on CKNW AM 980 in Vancouver.

When not writing about stocks or the economy I spends a great deal of time on photography and in the garden. I have over 80 magazine and book cover credits. Some of my Wisconsin and gardening images can be seen at MichaelShedlock.com .

© 2008 Mike Shedlock, All Rights Reserved

Mike Shedlock Archive

© 2005-2014 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

Free Report - Financial Markets 2014