Yield Curve Steepening Means No Recession

Incidentally Mark Hulbert is posting another bullish post “Ahead of the (yield) curve – Commentary: Post-Fed curve much steeper, a good sign for the economy”. I must say that everything of what he said about a smaller chance of recession based on the steepening of yield curve is correct on paper. However, I cannot agree that one can simply use only the yield curve to determine the odds of recession.

For one thing, because the long term bond markets are not collapsing or dropping dramatically after Fed raising interest rate, while the short term interest rates are falling, it appears to be a good sign that Fed still having everything under control for now, except on US dollar index cutting through multi-years support at 80. But based on Bob Hoye’s historical analysis (pg.2 at this link), such post-bubble yield curve steepening is more ominous rather than a bullish sign. Bob’s recent forecast has been quite accurate, and I would trust his words as a market historian rather than Mark Hulbert’s who has been putting out 8 to 9 bullish articles out of 10 this year. Such yield curve steepning according to Bob Hoye is simply part of the post-bubble credit contraction process. Certainly, if long term bond yields start to go up much more, they will simply deepen the housing recession. Now, I don’t care about how accurate the predicative power of yield curve. It is simply a black-and-white matter that housing markets will get worse if the bond yields go up. With the housing bubble unfolding, my only attention would be the absolute level of the long term bond yields, rather than whether the curve is inverted or not.

By the way, if I didn’t make it clear in my yesterday’s post on “is it 1998 or 1970?”, I will now. I believe that more of the emerging markets will be in the 1998-style progression, while more of the senior markets will be in the 1970-style. I think US stock market will be going thru an extended period of sideway with possibly a bullish slant, with $US falling gradually. The best thing for US dollar holders should be trading in this sideway market to make up the $US fall in purchasing power. But you do need to wait for a round of cleansing before jumping into it.

Best luck, and have patience.

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