Monday, December 13, 2010
Over the past few weeks US interest rates have risen dramatically. ( click here from FB) For example 10 year US treasuries have gone from a low of about 2.30% t0 3.32 %. That is a 30% rise!!! This is a problem for a country that is addicted to very low cost money. This has occurred despite hundreds of billions of purchases from the FED ( I cannot imagine how much money they lost). The FED's famous QE program met with much scrutiny, especially from free market players who see this as massively disruptive. The big question is what next? Further what are the reasons for the rise? Is it the economy is improving or that investors are demanding higher rates from the US because of concerns about lack of fiscal discipline? I have more questions then answers but when I step back what remains somewhat shocking to me is despite the rise, how low interest rates are. Despite this, despite it, we are not experiencing any real growth. Yes savings rates have gone up dramatically but we are still a country that is way to indebted. ( household and government) The corporate sector fairs better but investment on their part does not make sense unless the demand is there. How can there be demand when the consumer remains over-spent? I continue to think it will be a slow road to recovery for the US with the potential for some major bumps along the way.