Interest Rate Roundup

Friday, July 20, 2007

Something stinks out there...

You can see it in the action in Treasuries. Bond prices are rising sharply, yields are falling sharply, despite ostensibly poor fundamental events, like Ben Bernanke's delivery of hawkish testimony on inflation.

You can see it in the dollar. It's been falling for a while on subprime spillover concerns. Now, the Dollar Index is plunging through its 2004 low, leaving its April 1995 low at 80.05 as the next level of support. Another index of the dollar's value -- the U.S. Trade Weighted Major Currency Index -- is at its lowest level since 1971, when the index was conceived.

You can see it in the financial stocks, which have been getting beaten with the ugly stick for weeks.

You can see it in the stock IPO and bond markets, which are seeing more postponed deals and poorly performing deals.

Is there something ugly lurking out there? Is this the wholesale repricing of risk we've all been afraid of, but somehow managed to keep avoiding? Unclear. But judging by the smell of napalm in the air, it could be. Time will tell.


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