(New York)

The flattening yield curve is an indicator of a recession and bear market to come. The last six US recessions have all been preceded by an inverted yield curve. Now it is happening again. The gap between two- and ten-year Treasuries was just 34 basis points last week, the lowest since 2007, or the eve of the worst American recession in almost 80 years. A few factors seem to be guiding the flattening. The first is the Fed’s bullish outlook on the economy and hawkishness on rates. The others are very weak inflation expectations over the long term as well as large demand for even modest long end yields, both of which have combined to keep ten-years pinned for some time now.

FINSUM: Yes a flattening yield curve is a bad sign, but remember that it takes, on average, several months (i.e. ~18 months) from when the yield curve inverts to when the economy actually goes into recession, with stocks historically continuing to rise along the way.


The Chinese stock market is now in a bear market and there is a great deal of pressure on its currency. Last time there was this much pressure, in 2015, the market broke, with stocks plunging and the yuan devaluing by 7% over the year. US stocks even plunged in fear. Now, the situation looks like it might occur again, causing some to call the yuan the next “big short”. The currency is already down almost 1% since Friday, and is in negative territory for the year. A burgeoning trade war with the US is adding pressure.

FINSUM: So the one big support for the yuan is the current strength of the Chinese housing market, which has been strong recently (a big contrast to 2015). That seems like it will keep a blow out from happening.

(New York)

Investors beware, the strongest predictor of recession has just rung its bell. An inverted yield curve has predicted all six of the US recessions going back 60 years. And while all of investors’ focus has been on whether the Treasury yield curve will invert, the global yield curve already has. The yield on the ICE Bank of America index of government bonds due in 7 to 10 years has already inverted, with such yields being lower than for 1 to 3 year bonds. While the US economy is currently looking strong, there is growing weakness in Europe, China, and emerging markets, which seems to have inverted the curve. The IMF says the clouds over the world’s economy are “getting darker by the day”.

FINSUM: It is seeming more and more like we will have a global recession. Though, the US seems like it will be the last to succumb to it. One thing to remember—in the US it takes an average of 18.5 months from when the curve inverts to when we reach the peak of the growth cycle.

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