Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. Investing in a Bubble Mania Stock Market Trending Towards Financial Crisis 2.0 CRASH! - 9th Sep 21
2.Tech Stocks Bubble Valuations 2000 vs 2021 - 25th Sep 21
3.Stock Market FOMO Going into Crash Season - 8th Oct 21
4.Stock Market FOMO Hits September Brick Wall - Evergrande China's Lehman's Moment - 22nd Sep 21
5.Crypto Bubble BURSTS! BTC, ETH, XRP CRASH! NiceHash Seizes Funds on Account Halting ALL Withdrawals! - 19th May 21
6.How to Protect Your Self From a Stock Market CRASH / Bear Market? - 14th Oct 21
7.AI Stocks Portfolio Buying and Selling Levels Going Into Market Correction - 11th Oct 21
8.Why Silver Price Could Crash by 20%! - 5th Oct 21
9.Powell: Inflation Might Not Be Transitory, After All - 3rd Oct 21
10.Global Stock Markets Topped 60 Days Before the US Stocks Peaked - 23rd Sep 21
Last 7 days
INVESTING LESSON - Give your Portfolio Some Breathing Space - 4th Dec 21
Don’t Get Yourself Into a Bull Trap With Gold - 4th Dec 21
GOLD HAS LOTS OF POTENTIAL DOWNSIDE - 4th Dec 21
4 Tips To Help You Take Better Care Of Your Personal Finances- 4th Dec 21
What Is A Golden Cross Pattern In Trading? - 4th Dec 21
Bitcoin Price TRIGGER for Accumulating Into Alt Coins for 2022 Price Explosion - Part 2 - 3rd Dec 21
Stock Market Major Turning Point Taking Place - 3rd Dec 21
The Masters of the Universe and Gold - 3rd Dec 21
This simple Stock Market mindset shift could help you make millions - 3rd Dec 21
Will the Glasgow Summit (COP26) Affect Energy Prices? - 3rd Dec 21
Peloton 35% CRASH a Lesson of What Happens When One Over Pays for a Loss Making Growth Stock - 1st Dec 21
Stock Market Sentiment Speaks: I Fear For Retirees For The Next 20 Years - 1st Dec 21 t
Will the Anointed Finanical Experts Get It Wrong Again? - 1st Dec 21
Main Differences Between the UK and Canadian Gaming Markets - 1st Dec 21
Bitcoin Price TRIGGER for Accumulating Into Alt Coins for 2022 Price Explosion - 30th Nov 21
Omicron Covid Wave 4 Impact on Financial Markets - 30th Nov 21
Can You Hear It? That’s the Crowd Booing Gold’s Downturn - 30th Nov 21
Economic and Market Impacts of Omicron Strain Covid 4th Wave - 30th Nov 21
Stock Market Historical Trends Suggest A Strengthening Bullish Trend In December - 30th Nov 21
Crypto Market Analysis: What Trading Will Look Like in 2022 for Novice and Veteran Traders? - 30th Nov 21
Best Stocks for Investing to Profit form the Metaverse and Get Rich - 29th Nov 21
Should You Invest In Real Estate In 2021? - 29th Nov 21
Silver Long-term Trend Analysis - 28th Nov 21
Silver Mining Stocks Fundamentals - 28th Nov 21
Crude Oil Didn’t Like Thanksgiving Turkey This Year - 28th Nov 21
Sheffield First Snow Winter 2021 - Snowballs and Snowmen Fun - 28th Nov 21
Stock Market Investing LESSON - Buying Value - 27th Nov 21
Corsair MP600 NVME M.2 SSD 66% Performance Loss After 6 Months of Use - Benchmark Tests - 27th Nov 21

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

How to Protect your Wealth by Investing in AI Tech Stocks

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

© 2005-2019 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