Wednesday, December 3, 2008

FED has Already Lowered the Target Rate

Special meeting announcement? No. Insider News? No.

Please just pay attention to FED Funds Rate: 0.38%, and 2 weeks before it had dropped to 0.5%. Last friday, before the finish of rebound, FED funds rate did touch 0.38%. It rebounded on Monday to 0.5%. But last night it touched 0.38% again and now sits there.

FED Funds Rate is the actual rate that the banks "borrow" the surplus of the counter party bank in the FED balance. FED can adjust and usually adjust this rate close to the Target Rate (now 1%) through open market operation.

Yet, ever since 2008, FED has not followed their own Target Rate tightly. The spread has been about 200pts. But ever after the black October and November, the spread has expanded to 400-500 pts, and now even 620pts.

Another observation is on the 3-month T-bill. The Monday auction hits 0.05% discount rate, a huge drop from 0.15% from last auction. Apparently FED cannot wait until another week.

Despite the "advanced drop" of interest rate, the risk premium charged on corporate (3A banking and finance rate) and on mortgage do not fall in proportion: 5-yr: 543 pts -> 552 pts; 10-yr: 611 pts -> 652pts; 30-yr fixed: 483 pts -> 514 pts;1-yr ARM: 499 pts -> 548 pts.

Market has not hit the bottom yet. Most experienced investors currently will adopt Mr. Cho's method (a small percentage for "gambling" and others in cash or cash equivalent vehicles). Thus, there are money rolling in the market and fluctuating it. Nevertheless, since these money targeting on making profits through both long and short position, coupling with the overall continuous economic downturn the rebirth of the equity market is still not in the recent future.


Felix Kan said...

0.05%... crazy bond yield!

David TW Chan said...

This is the discount rate (which means more crazy...). The yield of 3-month T-bill has dropped to 0.01%.

6-month yield is 0.35%; 12-month yield is 0.69%.