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Treasury Yields Drop As “Taper Talk” Gets Closer

This week saw a parade of Fed officials simultaneously calming markets on one hand while preparing for the inevitable reduction in monthly bond purchases. Prices have risen across a broad spectrum of commodities: lumber, steel, copper, aluminum, gasoline, corn, chickens and entry level wages. The officials, including SF Fed President Mary Daly and Vice Chair Richard Clarida are sticking to the view that the recent inflation is transitory. Issues regarding supply chain and labor market bottlenecks need to work themselves out. The thinking is that we need to see sustained inflation with normally functioning supply chains until a true assessment can be made. Only then will the Fed start “removing the punch bowl” in a measured and well telegraphed process. For now, its working as the 10 year T dropped to as low as 1.55% this week after hitting 1.70% in early May. But note that one prominent Fed official is “tolling the bell” as he said, “It’s time to start talking about tapering bond purchases.” Stay tuned. By David R. Pascale, Jr. , Senior Vice President at George Smith Partners