Alleged rift between US Treasury and Federal Reserve a big to do about nothing; 10:04 am AST 20 November 2020, Foreign exchange rates between U.S. and select countries in East Africa, West Africa, the Caribbean, and Asia

As of 10:04 am AST, 20 November 2020:

How to read the chart:

CAD/USD: If you come to the United States with one Canadian dollar (CAD)and wish to sell it for a US dollar (USD), the market price is .76397 USD.

USD/CAD: If you take a US dollar (USD) to Canada and wish to sell it for a Canadian dollar (CAD), the market price is 1.30877 CAD

CAD/USD=0.76397   USD/CAD=1.30877

CNH/USD= 0.15209   USD/CNH=6.57371

EUR/USD= 1.18456   USD/EUR=0.84410

DKK/USD =0.15895    USD/DKK=6.28955

NGN/USD= 0.00261    USD/NGN=379.656

JPY/USD=0.00963     USD/JPY=103.87

INR/USD=0.01348       USD/INR=74.0790

JMD/USD=0.00673     USD/JMD=145.651

GYD/USD=0.00469       USD/GYD= 204.998

GHS/USD=0.17080     USD/GHS= 5.81113

XCD/USD=0.37037        USD/XCD= 2.70

KES/USD = 0.00906       USD/KES= 108.394

Source: OANDA

Major political/legal event in the United States

Yesterday, the U.S. Department of the Treasury released the following:

Today U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin sent a letter to Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors Jerome Powell requesting a 90-day extension of the Commercial Paper Funding Facility (CPFF), the Primary Dealer Credit Facility (PDCF), the Money Market Liquidity Facility (MMLF) and the Paycheck Protection Program Liquidity Facility (PPPLF). 

“With respect to the facilities that used CARES Act funding (PMCCF, SMCCF, MLF, MSLP, and TALF), I was personally involved in drafting the relevant part of the legislation and believe the Congressional intent as outlined in Section 4029 was to have the authority to originate new loans or purchase new assets (either directly or indirectly) expire on December 31, 2020. As such, I am requesting that the Federal Reserve return the unused funds to the Treasury. This will allow Congress to re-appropriate $455 billion, consisting of $429 billion in excess Treasury funds for the Federal Reserve facilities and $26 billion in unused Treasury direct loan funds,” said Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin.

“In the unlikely event that it becomes necessary in the future to reestablish any of these facilities, the Federal Reserve can request approval from the Secretary of the Treasury and, upon approval, the facilities can be funded with Core ESF funds, to the extent permitted by law, or additional funds appropriated by Congress. I am deeply honored to have worked on executing these programs and hope that because of our collective actions, Congress will show similar trust in Federal Reserve Chairs and Treasury Secretaries in the future.”

Source: U.S. Department of the Treasury

Foreign ownership of US Treasurys fall in September. Downtick in longer term rates …

As of 9:25 am AST 18 November 2020, U.S. Treasury rates and Federal Funds rates are as follows:

3-month: .08%

6-month: .08%

12-month: .11%

2-year: .17%

10-year: .85%

30-year: 1.59%

Fed Funds Rate: 0.08%

Federal Reserve Target: 0.25%

Prime Rate: 3.25%

Source: Bloomberg

Major political/legal event in the United States

Treasury releases data on foreign investment in the United States

Yesterday, the United States Department of the Treasury reported that “in September of all net foreign acquisitions of long-term securities, short-term U.S. securities, and banking flows was a net TIC outflow of $79.9 billion.  Of this, net foreign private outflows were $40.3 billion, and net foreign official outflows were $39.6 billion.”  The Treasury International Capital report also noted that there was a decline in foreign investor ownership of Treasury bills in the amount of $30.3 billion in September 2020.

Longer term yields tick up; Twitter’s Dorsey, Facebook’s Zuckerberg to testify before Senate.

As of 7:55 am 17 November 2020, U.S. Treasury rates and Federal Funds rates are as follows:

3-month: .08%

6-month: .08%

12-month: .11%

2-year: .18%

10-year: .88%

30-year: 1.64%

Fed Funds Rate: 0.08%

Federal Reserve Target: 0.25%

Prime Rate: 3.25%

Source: Bloomberg

Major political/legal event in the United States

President Trump nominates Joseph Barloon to the US Court of International Trade

Yesterday, President Donald Trump sent the name Joseph L. Barloon to the United States Senate as a nominee for a seat on the United States Court of International Trade.  Mr Barloon currently serves as general counsel to the United States Trade Representative and serves as the acting deputy USTR for China Affairs.

Source: Executive Office of the President

Facebook, Twitter CEOS to testify before Senate sub-committee

Today, Facebook chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter chief executive officer Jack Dorsey will testify before the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary.  The leaders and founders of the two social media giants will be asked questions about censorship during the 2020 general election.

Source: United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary

As of 10:39 am 12 November 2020, U.S. Treasury rates and Federal Funds rates

As of 10:39 am 12 November 2020, U.S. Treasury rates and Federal Funds rates are as follows:

3-month: .09%

6-month: .010%

12-month: .12%

2-year: .17%

10-year: .92%

30-year: 1.69%

Fed Funds Rate: 0.08%

Federal Reserve Target: 0.25%

Prime Rate: 3.25%

Source: Bloomberg

Major political/legal event in the United States

Federal Reserve Vice-chair Quarles testifies before House Financial Service committee today

Randal K. Quarles, vice-chair for supervision for the Federal Reserve, will testify today before the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services.  His testimony will focus on the Federal Reserve’s supervisory activities in the context of the ongoing pandemic.

The Democratic Party will maintain control of the financial services committee in the next Congress.  There will likely be signals as to where committee chairwoman, U.S. Representative Maxine Waters, Democrat of California, would like Congress and the Biden administration to focus legislative and regulatory initiatives.

Source: Federal Reserve  

Federal Reserve finds perception of quality of life worsening for lower, middle income…

The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta released a summary of a Federal reserve survey assessing the lower and middle income communities’ perception of quality of life during the pandemic. The summary has been reproduced below.

Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

For immediate release: November 9, 2020

A national Federal Reserve survey of organizations serving low- and moderate-income (LMI) communities shows that eight months into the pandemic, many aspects of life—from employment to education to public health—are deteriorating.

Perspectives from Main Street: The Impact of COVID-19 on Low- to Moderate-Income Communities and the Entities Serving Them” is the latest survey of government agencies, nonprofits, financial institutions, and other organizations. It was conducted in October and included 1,127 respondents who work on a range of issues within their LMI communities. Respondents represented a mix of U.S. urban, suburban, and rural areas across all 50 states as well as U.S. territories.

Key findings:

  • 55 percent of organizations said income lossjob loss, or unemployment impacts from COVID-19 got modestly or significantly worse in their LMI communities since August; 24 percent said these got modestly or significantly better.
  • 44 percent said impacts on basic consumer needs (changes in needs for housing, food, and other personal needs) worsened since August; 22 percent said things got better.
  • 51 percent indicated that disruptions to business (for example, short- or long-term closures, supply chain disruptions, or reduced demand) worsened since August; 26 percent said these got better.
  • 58 percent reported that impacts on education worsened since August, such as through disruptions to childcare, K-12, and higher education; only 19 percent said things got better.
  • 45 percent said pandemic-related impacts on health worsened; 19 percent said these got better. This includes changes in access to adequate health care and insurance or impacts on mental and physical health.

When asked how COVID-19 has affected their organization or agency, about two thirds said demand for their services has increased as a result of the pandemic. Meanwhile, more than a third noted a corresponding decrease in their ability to provide services in LMI communities. This was similar to findings from the same survey administered in August.

The full survey results from October, as well as previous surveys from August, June, and April, are available at frbatlanta.org/covidsurvey-communities.

The Federal Reserve seeks to promote the economic resilience and mobility of individuals and communities across the United States, including LMI and underserved households. Increasing economic opportunity is not only good for individuals and communities but also is vital to the overall economy. Amid the pandemic, the Fed is deepening its existing outreach to gather useful information as conditions evolve.

Contact: Karen Mracek | 470-249-8348

Federal Reserve Bank of New York releases survey on consumer expectations regarding the economy …

Yesterday, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York released its October 2020 Survey of Consumer Expectations. Overall, consumer expectations regarding inflation, employment, and income appear to be trending negative.

November 09, 2020

NEW YORK—The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Center for Microeconomic Data released the October 2020 Survey of Consumer Expectations, which shows a decline in income and spending growth expectations. Changes in labor market expectations were mixed showing declines in both average job loss and job finding expectations. Median inflation expectations declined at the short-term horizon, while remaining unchanged at the medium-term horizon. Uncertainty and disagreement about future inflation decreased slightly but remained at an elevated level.

The main findings from the October 2020 Survey are:

Inflation

  • Median inflation expectations in October decreased from 3.0% to 2.8% at the one-year horizon and remained unchanged at 2.7% at the three-year horizon. The decline was driven by higher-income respondents (household income above $100,000). Our measure of disagreement across respondents (the difference between the 75th and 25th percentile of inflation expectations) was unchanged at the one-year horizon but declined at the three-year horizon. Both remain substantially above their pre-COVID-19 levels.
  • Median inflation uncertainty—or the uncertainty expressed regarding future inflation outcomes—decreased at both horizons but remains elevated relative to pre-COVID-19 readings.
  • Median home price change expectations, which have been trending upward after reaching a series’ low of 0% in April 2020, were unchanged at 3.1% in October.
  • The median one-year ahead expected change in the cost of a college education declined from 5.2% to 4.9% in October. Median expectations for the cost of rent and medical care both increased from 5.4% and 6.8% to 5.7% and 9.1% in October, respectively.

           
Labor Market

  • Median one-year ahead expected earnings growth remained unchanged at 2.0% in October, for the third consecutive month. The series remains well below its 2019 average level of 2.4%.
  • Mean unemployment expectations—or the mean probability that the U.S. unemployment rate will be higher one year from now—decreased from 36.4% in September to 35.4% in October, its third consecutive decline. The decline was driven by respondents without a college education.
  • The mean perceived probability of losing one’s job in the next 12 months decreased from 16.6% in September to 15.5% in October, remaining above its pre-COVID-19 reading of 13.8% in February. This month’s decline was more pronounced among respondents with more than a high school education and those with household incomes above $50,000. The mean probability of leaving one’s job voluntarily in the next 12 months declined substantially from 20.3% in September to 17.8% in October. The decrease was broad-based across demographic groups.
  • The mean perceived probability of finding a job (if one’s current job was lost) declined from 49.9% in September to 46.9% in October, its lowest reading since April 2014. The decline was broad based across education and income groups. The series remains well below its 2019 average of 59.9% and its February 2020 level of 58.7%.

Household Finance

  • Median expected household income growth decreased by 0.3 percentage point to 2.1% in October. Since February, this series has moved within a narrow range from 1.9% to 2.3%, well below its 2019 average of 2.8%. The decrease was driven by respondents without a college education.
  • Median household spending growth expectations decreased from 3.4% in September to 3.1% in October, which was the same as its February 2020 level.
  • Expectations for year-ahead credit availability deteriorated in October, with more respondents expecting credit to become more difficult to obtain.
  • The average perceived probability of missing a minimum debt payment over the next three months decreased from 10.7% in September to 9.3% in October, remaining below its 2019 average of 11.5%.
  • The median expectation regarding a year-ahead change in taxes (at current income level) declined from 3.0% in September to 2.9% in October.
  • The mean perceived probability that the average interest rate on saving accounts will be higher 12 months from now declined from 27.6% in September to 24.3% in October, a new series low.
  • Perceptions about households’ current financial situations compared to a year ago were largely unchanged, while one-year ahead expectations about households’ financial situations deteriorated slightly with fewer respondents expecting their financial situation to improve and more respondents expecting their financial situation to worsen.
  • The mean perceived probability that U.S. stock prices will be higher 12 months from now decreased 3.3 percentage points to 40.8% in October, its lowest monthly reading this year.

 
About the Survey of Consumer Expectations (SCE)
The SCE contains information about how consumers expect overall inflation and prices for food, gas, housing, and education to behave. It also provides insight into Americans’ views about job prospects and earnings growth and their expectations about future spending and access to credit. The SCE also provides measures of uncertainty regarding consumers’ outlooks. Expectations are also available by age, geography, income, education, and numeracy. 

The SCE is a nationally representative, internet-based survey of a rotating panel of approximately 1,300 household heads. Respondents participate in the panel for up to 12 months, with a roughly equal number rotating in and out of the panel each month. Unlike comparable surveys based on repeated cross-sections with a different set of respondents in each wave, our panel allows us to observe the changes in expectations and behavior of the same individuals over time.

Contact
Shelley Pitterson
(212) 720-2552
shelley.pitterson@ny.frb.org

9 November 2020: Yields for 30-year Treasurys increase …

As of 11:31 pm 9 November 2020, U.S. Treasury rates and Federal Funds rates are as follows:

3-month: .09%

6-month: .09%

12-month: .12%

2-year: .17%

10-year: .91%

30-year: 1.69%

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 launches transition website

Presumptive president-elect Joseph R. Biden has launched a transition website that describes his initial initiatives he plans to address upon taking office in January 2021.  Mr Biden appears prepared to engage in a level of spending to address faults and inequities in the American economic infrastructure that were in place prior to the Covid pandemic.  Spending initiatives include:

  • Providing state, local, and tribal governments with financial assistance;
  • Extending Covid crisis unemployment insurance to people out of work;
  • Provide a financial package for small businesses and entrepreneurs;
  • Creation of a public health corps that puts the unemployed to work fighting the pandemic.

No discussion has been provided by the transition team yet on the costs of these packages and the impact they may have on money supply expansion/contraction, trade, or foreign exchange rates.

Source: BuildBackBetter.com

Treasury announces tax deduction for pass-through entities

Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury announced rule changes that clarify that State and local income taxes imposed on and paid by a pass-through entity are allowed as a deduction by the pass-through entity in computing its non-separately stated taxable income or loss for the taxable year of payment. 

Source: Treasury.gov

Federal Reserve maintains fed funds target range between 0 to .25%

The following is the announcement from the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System regarding the target range for its inter-bank overnight lending rate:

“The Federal Reserve is committed to using its full range of tools to support the U.S. economy in this challenging time, thereby promoting its maximum employment and price stability goals.

The COVID-19 pandemic is causing tremendous human and economic hardship across the United States and around the world. Economic activity and employment have continued to recover but remain well below their levels at the beginning of the year. Weaker demand and earlier declines in oil prices have been holding down consumer price inflation. Overall financial conditions remain accommodative, in part reflecting policy measures to support the economy and the flow of credit to U.S. households and businesses.

The path of the economy will depend significantly on the course of the virus. The ongoing public health crisis will continue to weigh on economic activity, employment, and inflation in the near term, and poses considerable risks to the economic outlook over the medium term.

The Committee seeks to achieve maximum employment and inflation at the rate of 2 percent over the longer run. With inflation running persistently below this longer-run goal, the Committee will aim to achieve inflation moderately above 2 percent for some time so that inflation averages 2 percent over time and longer-term inflation expectations remain well anchored at 2 percent. The Committee expects to maintain an accommodative stance of monetary policy until these outcomes are achieved. The Committee decided to keep the target range for the federal funds rate at 0 to 1/4 percent and expects it will be appropriate to maintain this target range until labor market conditions have reached levels consistent with the Committee’s assessments of maximum employment and inflation has risen to 2 percent and is on track to moderately exceed 2 percent for some time. In addition, over coming months the Federal Reserve will increase its holdings of Treasury securities and agency mortgage-backed securities at least at the current pace to sustain smooth market functioning and help foster accommodative financial conditions, thereby supporting the flow of credit to households and businesses.

In assessing the appropriate stance of monetary policy, the Committee will continue to monitor the implications of incoming information for the economic outlook. The Committee would be prepared to adjust the stance of monetary policy as appropriate if risks emerge that could impede the attainment of the Committee’s goals. The Committee’s assessments will take into account a wide range of information, including readings on public health, labor market conditions, inflation pressures and inflation expectations, and financial and international developments.”

Source: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve

Bond rates, Fed Funds rates … and ballot counting close to its climax

As of 10:57 am 5 November 2020, U.S. Treasury rates and Federal Funds rates are as follows:

3-month: .09%

6-month: .09%

12-month: .12%

2-year: .15%

10-year: .77%

30-year: 1.54%

Fed Funds Rate: 0.08%

Federal Reserve Target: 0.25%

Prime Rate: 3.25%

Source: Bloomberg

Major event in the United States:  Ballot counting is continuing in the U.S. presidential elections. Democratic presidential candidate Joseph R. Biden reportedly has 264 unofficial Electoral College votes while Republican candidate Donald J. Trump has 214 unofficial Electoral College votes.

The official declaration of President-Elect is scheduled for 14 December 2020.

Today, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System concludes their Federal Open Market Committee meeting.  The Board will report its fed funds rate decision at 2:00 pm EST.

Source: Bloomberg, Federal Reserve

Bond yields as Joe Biden inches closer to winning more Electoral College votes.

As of 3:14 pm 4 November 2020, U.S. Treasury rates and Federal Funds rates are as follows:

3-month: .09%

6-month: .10%

12-month: .12%

2-year: .14%

10-year: .76%

30-year: 1.54%

Fed Funds Rate: 0.08%

Federal Reserve Target: 0.25%

Prime Rate: 3.25%

Source: Bloomberg

Major event in the United States:  Ballot counting is continuing in the U.S. presidential elections. Democratic presidential candidate Joseph R. Biden is projected to win 227 Electoral College votes while Republican candidate Donald J. Trump is projected to garner 214 Electoral College votes.

In addition, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System conclude their Federal Open Market Committee meeting tomorrow.

Source: Reuters