As of 1:30 am AST, on the eve of a vote on impeachment, bond yields stay relatively flat…

RatesFederal Reserve as of 11 January 2021Bloomberg as of 13 January 2021 1:00 am AST
Federal Funds Rate0.080.08
Prime Rate3.253.25
3-month Treasury0.080.08
2-year Treasury0.140.14
10-year Treasury1.151.12
30-year Treasury1.881.87
Source: Federal Reserve, Bloomberg

House votes resolution asking Pence to use 25th amendment to remove Trump

Last night the U.S. House of Representatives passed the following House resolution in its attempts to remove President Donald Trump prior to the end of his term. House Res 21 reads as following:

This resolution calls upon Vice President Michael R. Pence (1) to immediately use his powers under section 4 of the Twenty-fifth Amendment to convene and mobilize the principal officers of the executive departments to declare that the President is unable to successfully discharge the duties and powers of his office, and (2) to transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of thHouse notice that he will be immediately assuming the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.

Vice-President Pence has reportedly said that he does not intend to invoke the 25th Amendment. This means that the House will likely move to the next stage of its strategy which is to vote articles of impeachment against Mr Trump. Given the Democrats majority in the House, passage is expected.

The articles of impeachment would then move to the Senate for a trial. Indications are that, unlike last year’s attempt to remove the President from office via impeachment where a Republican-controlled Senate voted not to remove the President, there may be enough support on the part of Senate Republicans to find Mr Trump liable for “high crimes and misdemeanors”, the standard under the U.S. Constitution for removal. Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell has signaled that Mr Trump’s behavior, where allegedly encouraged supporters to march last week on the Capitol, amounted to an impeachable offense.

The establishment wing of the Republican Party, now in damage control as a result of the storming of the Capitol by Trump supporters and the resulting deaths of five people, would like nothing more than to move on from the Trump era and start laying the groundwork for the 2022 mid-term elections.

I don’t expect impeachment actions to have any bearing on pending policy actions designed to impact the economy. With only seven days left until the change in government, attempts to remove Mr Trump are designed to score political points with an electorate, a significant amount of whom believe the actions of individuals storming the Capitol amounted to an insurrection attacking the country’s representative institutions of democracy.

As of 10:18 am AST, the dollar continues its weakening ways in light of job losses …

PairsFederal Reserve as of 4 January 2021OANDA as of 4 January 2021OANDA as of 8 January 2021 10:20 am AST
GBP/USD1.36621.36331.35822
USD/CAD1.27531.27261.26927
USD/CNH6.52506.45526.45624
USD/DKK6.08396.06576.05307
EUR/USD1.22301.22641.22875
USD/INR73.010072.936773.2355
USD/MXN19.892019.838219.8122
USD/JPY103.1900103.02103.53
USD/NOK8.57578.53008.42518
USD/SEK8.20958.20918.18760
USD/CHF0.88410.88150.88217
Sources: Federal Reserve, OANDA
RatesFederal Reserve as of 4 January 2021Bloomberg as of 8 January 2021 10:51 am AST
Federal Funds Rate0.090.08
Prime Rate3.253.25
3-month Treasury0.090.08
2-year Treasury0.110.14
10-year Treasury0.931.10
30-year Treasury1.661.87
Source: Bloomberg

Legal/Regulatory/Political Events Impacting Foreign Exchange Markets

An expected dire jobs report

The U.S. Department of Labor today reported that non-farm payroll employment fell by 140,000 jobs in December 2020. The unemployment rate remained at 6.7%, the same rate as reported in December 2020. Significant losses were in the retail and hospitality sectors, according to the Labor Department. Approximately 10.7 million people are out of work.

As of 10:44 AST, Fed Funds and Treasury rates

RatesFederal Reserve as of 4 January 2021Bloomberg as of 5 January 2021 10:44 AST
Federal Funds Rate0.090.08
Prime Rate3.253.25
3-month Treasury0.090.07
2-year Treasury0.130.11
10-year Treasury0.930.93
30-year Treasury1.651.67
Source: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, Bloomberg

Legal/Political/Regulatory News Impacting Rates

None at this time.

As of 9:46 am AST 3 December 2020, U.S. Treasury and Federal Funds rates indicate money is still cheap in America …

As of 9:46 am AST 3 December 2020, U.S. Treasury rates and Federal Funds rates are as follows:

3-month: .08%

6-month: .09%

12-month: .10%

2-year: .16%

10-year: .94%

30-year: 1.69%

Fed Funds Rate: 0.08%

Federal Reserve Target: 0.25%

Prime Rate: 3.25%

Source: Bloomberg

Major political/legal events impacting currencies

Federal Reserve releases its Beige Book finding moderate, modest US expansion

Yesterday, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System released its final Beige Book for 2020.  The Federal Reserve determined that US economic expansion is either moderate or modest at best.  A number of districts, including the Philadelphia district, have observed a slow down in growth with a spike in COVID-19 cases since early November.  Banks expect the number of borrower delinquencies to increase in 2021.  

Source: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System

Long term yields tick up in anticipation of Powell, Mnuchin testimony …

As of 10:27 am AST 1 December 2020, U.S. Treasury rates and Federal Funds rates are as follows:

3-month: .08%

6-month: .09%

12-month: .10%

2-year: .16%

10-year: .88%

30-year: 1.62%

Fed Funds Rate: 0.08%

Federal Reserve Target: 0.25%

Prime Rate: 3.25%

Source: Bloomberg

Major political/legal events impacting currencies

Today, Steven Mnuchin, Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, and Jerome Powell, Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, will testify before the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs.  Questions are expected to seek clarification as to Secretary Mnuchin’s request that remaining funds from the CARES Act be sent back to the Congress’ general fund.  Chairman Powell will reiterate the need for fiscal policy in the face of increasing COVID-19 infections and an economy that is still on the rebound.  

Source: U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs

So far, a quiet bond market …

As of 10:14 am AST 30 November 2020, U.S. Treasury rates and Federal Funds rates are as follows:

3-month: .08%

6-month: .09%

12-month: .10%

2-year: .15%

10-year: .85%

30-year: 1.58%

Fed Funds Rate: 0.08%

Federal Reserve Target: 0.25%

Prime Rate: 3.25%

Source: Bloomberg

Major political/legal events impacting currencies

On 27 November 2020, President Donald J. Trump nominated Brian P. Brooks as Comptroller of the Currency for a term of five years.  As Comptroller, Mr Brooks would be responsible for administering the United States’ national banking system as well as the branches of foreign banks doing business in the United States.  Mr Brooks is currently serving as acting Comptroller.  His nomination must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

Source: Executive Office of the President

As of 11:23 am AST 27 November 2020, U.S. Treasury rates and Federal Funds rates are as follows:

As of 11:23 am AST 27 November 2020, U.S. Treasury rates and Federal Funds rates are as follows:

3-month: .08%

6-month: .09%

12-month: .10%

2-year: .15%

10-year: .85%

30-year: 1.58%

Fed Funds Rate: 0.08%

Federal Reserve Target: 0.25%

Prime Rate: 3.25%

Source: Bloomberg

Major political/legal events impacting currencies

Basel Committee amends capital requirements for non-performing loan securitisations

The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision yesterday published the technical amendment Capital treatment of securitisations of non-performing loans. The rule, which the Committee started developing before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, closes a gap in the Basel framework by setting out prudent and risk sensitive capital requirements for non-performing loan securitisations.

The Committee consulted publicly on the technical amendment in June 2020. In contrast to the consultative proposal, the final rule permits banks to apply the external ratings-based approach to non-performing loans securitisation exposures, without the 100% risk weight floor. In addition, the final rule include discounts on tranche sales in the definition of discount incurred by the originating bank that factors in the capital requirements.

Committee jurisdictions agreed to implement the technical amendment by no later than January 2023. The Committee would like to thank all those who contributed time and effort to express their views during the consultation process.

Source: Bank of International Settlements

US Treasurys on eve of two-day holiday …

As of 12:01 pm AST 25 November 2020, U.S. Treasury rates and Federal Funds rates are as follows:

3-month: .08%

6-month: .09%

12-month: .10%

2-year: .16%

10-year: .86%

30-year: 1.59%

Fed Funds Rate: 0.08%

Federal Reserve Target: 0.25%

Prime Rate: 3.25%

Source: Bloomberg

Major political/legal event:

First-time unemployment claims increase

The number of first time unemployment claimants is still high. This morning the U.S. Department of Labor reported that 778,000 Americans filed for unemployment insurance for the first time during the week of November 21st, an increase of some 30,000 claimants from last week. Since the peak of 5,790,250 in April 2020, the moving average of total insured claimants has been trending toward the moving average level pre-Covid-19 but is still more than three times its March 14, 2020 pre-Covid-19 moving average level of approximately 232,500. The labor market still has a way to go before getting back to that point.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor

Bond yields relatively unchanged in light of Yellen pick as Treasury secretary

As of 9:58 am AST 24 November 2020, U.S. Treasury rates and Federal Funds rates are as follows:

3-month: .08%

6-month: .09%

12-month: .10%

2-year: .16%

10-year: .86%

30-year: 1.58%

Fed Funds Rate: 0.08%

Federal Reserve Target: 0.25%

Prime Rate: 3.25%

Source: Bloomberg

Major political/legal event in the United States

Biden to nominate Janet Yellen for Treasury secretary

Axios reports that presumptive U.S. president-elect, Joseph R. Biden, will announce later today his choice of Janet Yellen as U.S. Secretary of the Treasury.  Ms Yellen, 74, served as chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System from 2014 to 2018.

Source: Axios

President Trump releases statement on G20 leaders Summit; Latest Treasury yields …

As of 9:28 am AST 23 November 2020, U.S. Treasury rates and Federal Funds rates are as follows:

3-month: .07%

6-month: .09%

12-month: .10%

2-year: .16%

10-year: .85%

30-year: 1.55%

Fed Funds Rate: 0.08%

Federal Reserve Target: 0.25%

Prime Rate: 3.25%

Source: Bloomberg

Major political/legal event in the United States

On 22 November, the press secretary for the President of the United States issued the following statement at the G20 Leaders Summit:

“President Donald J. Trump participated in the second day of the virtual G20 Leaders Summit on November 22, 2020.  President Trump discussed the economic model he has enacted through cutting taxes and regulations, promoting abundant and affordable energy, and negotiating trade agreements grounded in the principles of fairness and reciprocity.  President Trump expressed the importance of policies that promote workers and families.  He also discussed the historic achievements made in the United States and around the world in empowering and investing in women, and called on all countries to do more.  President Trump thanked Saudi Arabia for its leadership during its G20 presidency and looked forward to working with Italy as incoming G20 president.  He also encouraged the G20 to continue to work together to achieve security, prosperity, and peace for all nations.”

Source: Executive Office of the President of the United States