Fed Funds Rate to the S&P
This is how we imagine the conversation between the Fed Funds Rate (FFR) and the Equity Markets going from post-GFC to today.
FFR: “Hey guys, it’s been a rough few years so I’m gonna hook you up with a little ‘extra energy’. Be careful though because I’m kind of addictive when I’m really low and if you get too amped up, I’m gonna have to cut you off and that’s not fun for anyone.”
Markets: “Yeah for sure. Let us just have little to mend our wounds and see how things work out. We’re super responsible with stuff like this, don’t worry, there’s no chance we overextend ourselves or do anything that could cause a repeat of ’08. That was pretty rough on all of us…”
*FFR goes on a long walk on the beach, comes back in 2016*
FFR: “Woah! Guys! WTF. I said take it easy! You promised you wouldn’t overextend yourselves. Look at you, you snorted yourselves up like 300%!”
Markets: “Hahah, no no! It’s not what it looks like! Our earnings are just that good and the underlying economic environment totally supports these valuations! Seriously!”
FFR: “Sorry guys, I gotta cut you off for a bit. You did this to yourselves.”
Markets: “You’re seriously trying to cut us off? DGAF, there’s some new stuff on the streets called the Trump Pump, which is just as sweet but comes with tax cuts and a trade war. Make. All-time. Highs. Great. Again.”
FFR: “You degenerate junkies! Trump Pumps will kill you faster than my nectar ever would! Just lay off that junk and I’ll hook you back up.”
Markets: “LOL! Just buy the dip and get out of our way!”
FFR: “Dear SPY, there is a chance that at some point I may have to cut you off again…”
Yields & Mortgages
Yes, we’re all sick of hearing about yields and waiting to see if the Fed delivers on their hawkish promise to taper QE and raise rates. This conversation is everywhere, but, for good reason. Rates are that important as the entire global monetary system is greased by debt, and to be more specific, US dollar-denominated debt.
So, without piling on, we wanted to look at the monster that people are just starting to talk about but may be too scared to really dig into because it’s only been about 14 years since the last time this one imploded: the US Real Estate market.
Depending on the source, the combined value of the US Residential and Commercial Real Estate market is somewhere around ~$25 trillion, or $4 trillion larger than the entirety of US GDP (alternatively, a Zillow study found that every home in the US has a combined value of $33 trillion… which makes it an even scarier monster).