After July's momentary celebration of 5% interest rates, August ended the month at six, then September just finished having crossed 7%. Only a few months ago, six and a quarter seemed like the absolute ceiling as the US continued its strong stance against the slowing global economy, but that didn't last. We saw European economies bear the brunt of Russia's war on Ukraine. Japan struggling with lower global demand for its manufactured goods and China's economic troubles thanks to its zero Covid policy. All of these strengthen the dollar while creating credible volatility for our mortgage bonds. The fight here in the United States is the fight against inflation. For the last few years, we've seen too many dollars chasing too few goods, pushing the price of those goods up as demand spiked.
The Federal Reserve's job now is to constrain the dollar spent. Think about this. 28% of all goods purchased are done with a credit card that doesn't even include car loans, home loans, or business loans. Buying on credit creates money, future money pulled forward, giving you access to a product or service today for payment in the future. For the Fed to control spending, they have to make the cost of borrowing higher, so it creates more pain. At the same time, the benefit of savings has also gone up as the Fed raised its Fed rate or overnight rate. So goes the one-year treasury. The safest of all investments is backed by the federal government. This rate is 4.01% today, which is significantly higher than the long-term average of 2.85% and will increase further after November 2nd.
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