Big Move By the Bank of Canada

What a week we’ve had…  Yesterday the US Fed did something they hadn’t done since oct 2008.  Oct 2008, for some reason that time period stands out but I can’t quite put my finger on why, OH YA, Lehman Brothers went belly up & the global financial system was in shambles!    

​So what did the Fed do?  The Fed had a scheduled meeting for 2 weeks from now but decided to ​do an emergency rate cut of not 0.25% but 0.5%.  

Fast forward to this morning & the Bank of Canada matched them with the same 0.5% drop.  This was the first time Canada has done such a move since spring 2009.  Not very encouraging precedents…

The reason for the big move was due to the corona virus.  Regardless of whether you think this is overblown hype or a legitimate concern, the reality is covid19 brought China’s economy to its knees.  China consumes about half of the world’s resources so that alone poses a problem for a commodity based nation like ours. 

But what can Central Banks really do to interest rates that are going to counter that?  They’re not buying oil.  They’re not buying plane tickets.  Earlier in the week we saw the Bank of Japan step in with 500 BILLION yen in liquidity injections, followed by the Bank of Australia cutting rates, but both their respective markets, just like the US, rose briefly then fell.  What we are seeing is Central Banks losing their ability to actually impact markets & growth. 

So what happens from here?  Is this big move the only we’ll see?  If you’ve been following these summaries of mine then you’ll know that I’ve been expecting lower rates since the summer.  The US has a dollar shortage & strength problem they’re trying to fix.  You’ve got the eurozone on the brink.   I think this is going to be a race to the bottom.  And all that was before coronavirus.  

I’ve been following this virus since mid January & it was pretty clear even back then that this is an incredibly contagious virus.  Anyone who looks at how exponential growth works can see how quickly this can overwhelm a country’s resources, particularly healthcare, & that, to me, is the big risk here at home.  Call me a fear monger or buying into the hype, or whatever… a country like China doesn’t completely shut down if it wasn’t absolutely necessary.

So in summary, big rate drop today.  Bond yields are either at or near all time lows. The loonie is weak.  Business investment is down.  It’s not a pretty sight & it appears this could just be the beginning. 

How’s that for a happy morning update?  I’m Ryan, thanks for watching & have a great day.

Bank of Canada Rate Announcement: UNCHANGED

Goooood morning & welcome back from summer,

A LOT has happened. First thing’s first: the Bank of Canada held rates steady this morning but the expectation is that will only last until Oct or Dec at the latest before hopping on the rate drop train.

Global momentum has slowed & commodity prices have drifted down accordingly. The trade war has escalated over the summer & is now turning into a currency war. It’s something like ¼ of all government bonds, $15 TRILLION dollars worth, are negative yielding. Take a moment to consider what that really means.

Bonds have traditionally been where you place money for safety. A negative yielding bond means you are PAYING for the privilege of lending a government money. Think about that. You are guaranteed to lose money if you carry the bond to maturity. This is bananalands. What happened to save your money & be rewarded by having more tomorrow than you’ll have today? What are the implications when you lose money keeping it in what has traditionally been the safety trade? It’s very difficult to wrap your head around how backwards this has become & what impacts this is going to have to the world. Central banks are losing the fight against deflation.

The Bank of Canada expects economic activity to slow in the second half of the year. From what I’m reading, the US needs to drop 50bps at their next meeting & I’ve read as much as 100 bps by the end of the year. That is going to put pressure on Canada to start heading in the same direction. That all sounds great on the mortgage front but when you consider that central banks traditionally need 5% worth of rate cuts to pull an economy out of a recession & we’re a hair under 2%, it’s worrisome to imagine how this is going to end.

I love talking about this stuff so if you have any questions please get in touch. Otherwise, have a lovely day.

Here is a link to the Bank of Canada release: