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Transitory Is Dead: Goldman Now Expects Fed To Double Pace Of Tapering In December, Hike Three Times In 2022

Transitory Is Dead: Goldman Now Expects Fed To Double Pace Of Tapering In December, Hike Three Times In 2022

Less than a month after Goldman…

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This article was originally published by Zero Hedge

Transitory Is Dead: Goldman Now Expects Fed To Double Pace Of Tapering In December, Hike Three Times In 2022

Less than a month after Goldman capitulated and finally admitted it was dead wrong about its “transitory” inflation thesis – a laughably fragile argument, as just one look at the bank’s linearly rising monthly inflation forecasts would immediately reveal…

… and the bank pulled forward its first rate hike forecast from by one year mid 2023 to July 2022, this morning Goldman has fully thrown in the towel on any pretense that inflation will drop in the next few months (or year).

As a result, after noting that not only the latest FOMC Minutes released yesterday hinted at faster than expected inflation if not outright stagflation, but that Several FOMC participants have signaled over the last couple of weeks that they are open to accelerating the pace of tapering – including Vice Chair Clarida and most recently San Francisco Fed President Daly …

… the bank concludes that “the increased openness to accelerating the taper pace likely reflects both somewhat higher-than-expected inflation over the last two months and greater comfort among Fed officials that a faster pace would not shock financial markets” – something Goldman’s highly paid economists clearly were unable to express until just weeks ago.

The increased openness to accelerating the taper pace likely reflects both somewhat higher-than-expected inflation over the last two months and greater comfort among Fed officials that a faster pace would not shock financial markets. Some Fed officials might be persuaded to accelerate the taper by the upside inflation surprises over the last two months, especially on the shelter component. Other Fed officials, especially in the leadership, might have already expected inflation prints to remain high through the winter, but—with market pricing of rate hikes in the first half of 2022 rising—might now feel more confident that accelerating the pace, which is already more than twice as fast as the pace last cycle, will not produce the sort of unexpected market turmoil that reductions in balance sheet accommodation have sometimes caused in the past.

So with the Fed now also conceding that a faster taper is in the works, Goldman which was dismally wrong in its Fed forecasts until last month, now expects the Fed to announce at its December meeting that it is doubling the pace of tapering to $30bn per month starting in January. 

In that scenario, “the FOMC would announce the final two tapers at its January meeting and implement the final taper in mid-March, several days before the March FOMC meeting”

And since the taper will now end in March, it also means that more hikes are coming: according to Goldman, while this faster pace of tapering would allow the FOMC to consider a rate hike as early as March, the bank’s best guess is that it will wait until June. By that point, a few additional employment reports will be available and will – perhaps – show a labor market that Fed officials feel more comfortable characterizing as having reached maximum employment. According to Goldman “The FOMC might say at its March meeting that it is evaluating the impact of tapering and will begin the discussion of rate hikes soon, then hint at its May meeting that a hike is coming soon, before ultimately hiking in June.”

In other words, Goldman now expects hikes in June, September, and December, for a total of three in 2022 (vs. two in July and November previously), followed by two hikes per year starting in 2023 (this is completely laughable as the market will crash long before then but let’s pretend Goldman knows what it is talking about for once).

It gets even funnier, because according to Goldman’s chief economist Jan Jatzius, there is also an alternative path of hikes at the May, July, and November meetings as a realistic possibility too.

Such an aggressive hawkish view from Goldman – which has been highly bullish on the state of the US economy in 2022 – is understandable, if odd especially when one considers that Morgan Stanley, which has a far more bearish outlook on the US economy in 2022 sees no rate hikes next year whatsoever.

In other words, 2022 is shaping up as a giant clash between the two most notable economist teams on Wall Street – Goldman, which sees three rate hikes, and Morgan Stanley, which sees zero. That’s also why as Hatzius concedes, the “largest risk to our expectation of an early liftoff is that some participants might find it hard to square a still-large employment gap relative to the pre-pandemic level with the guidance that the FOMC will not hike until the labor market reaches maximum employment… But we expect the unemployment rate to have fallen to 3.7% by June 2022, and we think that most participants, even many of the doves, will conclude that after a prolonged period in which job opportunities have been plentiful, any decline in the participation rate that remains by the middle of next year is likely to be mostly voluntary or structural.”

Actually there is an even larger risk: a recession next year as the economy collapses under its own weight since no more stimmies are propping up the US consumer. The largest risk, however, is a “catastrophic” 10%+ drop in the market which would put an immediate end to any tightening plans the Fed may have and lead to QE and potentially NIRP over the next 12 months. We will be sure to follow up on this post in 12 months to see who was right.

Tyler Durden Thu, 11/25/2021 – 15:10

Author: Tyler Durden

Economics

Retailers Open Pop-Up Container Yards To Bypass Savannah Port Jams

Retailers Open Pop-Up Container Yards To Bypass Savannah Port Jams

By Eric Kulisch of American Shipper,

Overflow lots set up by large retailers…

Retailers Open Pop-Up Container Yards To Bypass Savannah Port Jams

By Eric Kulisch of American Shipper,

Overflow lots set up by large retailers this month as temporary staging areas for imported containers have helped bring down congestion levels at the Port of Savannah, and Georgia officials expect further efficiency gains with this week’s opening of two more port-sponsored pop-up sites.

The Georgia Ports Authority, in partnership with the Norfolk Southern, will start accepting loaded containers on Monday at the freight railroad’s nearby Dillon Yard and later this week will begin routing shipping units to a general aviation airport in Statesboro, located about 60 miles west of Savannah, Chief Operating Officer Ed McCarthy told FreightWaves.

Moving containers to off-port properties is part of the recently announced South Atlantic Supply Chain Relief Program designed to reclaim space at the Garden City Terminal, where container crowding is making it difficult for vessels to unload and for stacking equipment and trucks to maneuver. In October, Savannah handled an all-time record of 504,350 twenty-foot equivalent units for a single month, an increase of 8.7% over October 2020. The volume surpassed the GPA’s previous record of 498,000 TEUs set in March.

Port officials began testing the Dillon Yard and Statesboro locations last week after renting top loaders for stacking and truck transfers, installing computer lines in order to track containers entering the gate with radio frequency identification, and laying extra pavement at the rail facility, McCarthy said. 

Four or five more pop-up container facilities are scheduled to open around Georgia by mid-December and the port authority is talking with freight railroad CSX about an auxiliary storage site in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, the COO said in an interview. 

The sites are mini-versions of inland ports where containers are brought to strategically located sites by intermodal rail, shortening the distance trucks have to travel to collect imports or drop off exports and reducing traffic in and around busy seaports. The concept essentially brings the seaport closer to manufacturing, agriculture and population centers. 

The GPA currently operates a large inland intermodal rail terminal in Murray County, Georgia, as well as an inland dry bulk facility. Construction on a second inland rail link for containerized cargo in northeast Georgia is scheduled to begin in April and be completed by mid- to late 2024, spokesman Robert Morris said. South Carolina also operates two inland ports, Virginia has one in the northwestern part of the state and the Port of Long Beach in California recently launched an effort to quickly flow cargo to Utah for distribution by converting truck traffic to rail.

Several users of the Port of Savannah this month have opened pop-up yards of their own where they can directly flow import containers to avoid waiting for longshoremen to sort through shipping units for their cargo and then retrieve them when space opens at one of their distribution centers. Each of the private spillover yards can accommodate 2,000 to 3,000 containers. 

“We’re starting to see some of our customer base do their own pop-ups. They’re contracting with some folks who have capabilities in the Savannah region and … taking their long-term destiny in their own hands,” McCarthy said in an interview.

The Rocky Mount intermodal facility being discussed with CSX will probably be used as an alternative storage location for empty containers. It could be running by early December, the COO said. Whether containers are diverted from other locations or whether empties are loaded up in Savannah and sent there remains to be determined. 

The Biden administration, which is focused on alleviating a nationwide supply chain crisis that is creating product shortages and contributing to inflation, helped fund the GPA’s emergency storage yards by reallocating $8 million in federal funds. Additional flexibility recently granted by the Department of Transportation allows port authorities to redirect cost savings from previous projects funded by port infrastructure grants toward mitigating truck, rail and terminal delays that are preventing the swift evacuation of containers from ports.

White House port envoy John Porcari, the liaison between industry and the White House Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force, said the government is looking to create more inland ports. 

“We’re encouraging other ports to do the same [thing as Savannah.] I think you’ll see a generation of projects in the short term around the country that will help maximize the existing on-dock capacity through interior pop-up sites,” Porcari said on Bloomberg’s “Odd Lots” podcast last week. 

“The fundamental issue is that the docks themselves are such valuable pieces of real estate that you don’t want the containers dwelling there a second longer than you have to. You want to get them to the interior or back on ships to their target markets overseas,” he said.

Better Fluidity

Improvements in rail handling, a dip in import volumes in line with seasonal patterns and the customer pop-up yards have combined to improve cargo flow and reduce the number of ships waiting for a berth at the Port of Savannah, McCarthy said. 

The port authority released an operations update last week showing the average dwell time for a container moving by rail after vessel unloading is two days, and that the average resting time within the terminal for import and export containers is about eight days, down from 11 and 10 days, respectively. The backlog of empty containers remains a problem, with boxes lingering an average of 17.8 days.

The improved performance is helping personnel work vessels faster and reduce Savannah’s cargo backlog. The number of ships at anchor in the Atlantic Ocean declined to 15 as of Monday morning from 22 two weeks ago, Morris said. There were 24 container vessels at anchor in mid-October. Total containers on the terminal also declined 13% and are down 16% from the peak of 85,000, according to the update.

McCarthy said there are about 225,000 TEUs currently on the water, a 10% to 12% reduction from early November that indicates “we are over the hump of the peak season.”

Last week, ocean carrier CMA CGM said its Liberty Bridge service from northern Europe to the U.S. East Coast would temporarily skip Savannah due to the congestion. According to the revised schedule, seven stops between late December and early February will be omitted. Shippers can send Savannah cargo to the Port of Charleston, South Carolina, until then, it said.

The GPA also noted that providers have increased the supply of chassis, the wheeled frames on which containers rest when pulled by truck, and are increasingly able to repair more chassis to help meet demand for cargo deliveries.

Mason Rail Terminal expansion. (Source: Georgia Ports Authority)

The Port of Savannah increased its near-dock rail capacity by 30% with the commissioning two weeks ago of a second set of nine tracks at the Mason Mega Rail Terminal. The port moved 550,000 containers by rail last year and now has more than 2 million TEUs of capacity with an eye toward future growth. The ability to discharge cargo from a vessel and ship it out by train in less than two days is best in class for the U.S., McCarthy noted.

A huge new container yard will come online in phases starting in December and culminate with about 820,000 TEUs of additional capacity by March. The project includes rubber-tired gantry cranes for sorting, stacking and transferring containers.

Construction of another berth is underway and scheduled to be complete in 2023.

Meanwhile, the federal dredging project to deepen the Savannah River to 47 feet (54 feet at high tide) is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2022. It has already allowed vessels with deeper drafts to enter the port, McCarthy said. The deepening translates to about 200 extra loaded containers per foot and a total of 1,000 per vessel when the project is finished.

Tyler Durden
Tue, 11/30/2021 – 19:45

Author: Tyler Durden

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Economics

If Not ‘Flow’, Then Has ‘Stock’ ‘Rigged’ The Flattening Curve In QE’s Favor?

Flatter. The yield curve continues to shrink in the important middle calendar spaces where growth and inflation expectations run the place. Treasuries…

Flatter. The yield curve continues to shrink in the important middle calendar spaces where growth and inflation expectations run the place. Treasuries have been doing this since around March, a peculiar (given monolithic mainstream reporting otherwise) eight-month reign of growing pessimism rather than inflationary confidence.

Did the market foresee omicron more than half a year ago?

No. That’s not really what this has been all about. As noted yesterday, the unnervingly steady flattening (deflation potential) in the curve wasn’t so specific – and it needn’t have been. What the “bond market” has been trading is this growing suspicion that, given how the actual situation was never better than weak and artificial, the chances of something, anything going wrong were rising.

If not delta or omicron, then almost certainly another even modest shock.

And whatever the something might end up being, it would be enough to upend the set of global circumstances. Like 2018, globally synchronized growth didn’t unexpectedly transform into a globally synchronized downturn and pre-COVID recession, the transition was made plain and available to everyone in real-time.

Yet, to this day there are those who adamantly oppose this. Through the monumental power of the “central bank’s” balance sheet and all the Treasury (and other) assets invited onto it, the might of QE, the yield curve has been tainted to the point of trash, they say. After all, central bankers have repeatedly and plainly stated how they want interest rates to be low.

Lo and behold, low they are.

Like so many other monetary fairy tales, it sounds plausible upon first hearing the scheme. We’ve already thoroughly debunked part of this “rigging” of the bond market; I say “part” because there is another means – in theory – for where or how the Fed’s power might remain unchallenged.

What we detailed a couple weeks ago was what is called the “flow” argument. This other is the “stock” version.

The case for flow rested upon the notion of central banks constantly “being in the market” buying up Treasuries (or other), thereby causing their price to rise concurrent to the flow of central bank purchases.

Sounds nice in theory; not a single bit of evidence from practice:

What about the so-called stock effect? If QE doesn’t influence bond prices as purchases happen, and it sure doesn’t, then perhaps there is some cumulative impact from all the purchasing done from beginning to end; fewer bonds overall for the market to have had to absorb.

To try to make the case on this side of the QE argument, you’ll often see this chart employed:

On the surface, it does seem as if the more bonds central banks buy, the more “valuable” those bonds have become. But is this explanatory, or is it committing the first sin of statistics?

Correlation does not imply causation.

In fact, during a period of tight money we would expect that the prices of safe and liquid instruments would rise at nearly the same time central banks respond in their predictable way to the same tight money condition. In a world of exogenous money, like the eurodollar system, the one does not cause the other, rather both are reactions to the same thing – the exogenous money.

The fact that central banks reply in the same way as the market to tight money/deflation by buying bonds is merely the byproduct of having only one tangible tool in the kit: bank reserves.

When real, effective money (exogenous eurodollar) tightens, quite naturally there will be rising, heavy private demand for safe, liquid instruments like Treasuries and global sovereign bonds first. Central banks (eventually) then react to the deflationary symptoms of that tight money by employing their one tool, bank reserves, which requires the purchase of these same assets in order to create them.

The bond buying merely an accidental fluke, an uninteresting artifact of officials being incompetent. Thus, bond prices rise because of market action, yields drop, and then officials pile on while the media claims – absent every bit of evidence – it must be the piling on which “tainted” the bond market’s already deflationary signal.

Even Dallas Fed’s Richard Fisher (FISHER!, for god’s sake) understood at its most basic level what the Fed was doing as it wasn’t money printing or even the holding down of bond yields:

MR. FISHER. In summary, I want to mention that, as I said earlier, most of these variations that have been suggested are very un-Bagehot-like. And what I mean by that is, twisting [or QE and yield caps] entails purchasing assets that investors are fleeing toward, not assets that they are fleeing from. [emphasis added]

Correlation, not causation.

As I have often written, the Fed’s balance sheet is actually the same things, the same sort of indication as falling yields (yes, you read that right), both adding up to negative, deflationary connotations. When the central bank’s balance sheet goes up, not only is this not the cause of rising bond prices, the QE’s, again, are a reaction to the same problem which further corroborates why and how bond yields have already sunk.

If that wasn’t enough debunking (and I haven’t even touched on the deflationary effects of QE in terms of its effects on collateral availability), the final bucket of nails in the “stock” idea gets hammered home repeatedly by what my brashly astute co-host Emil Kalinowski lustily points out time and again, this being the whole rest of the “bond market” – things like eurodollar futures, swap spreads, or just the dollar’s exchange value – which is neither stock-ed nor flow-ed by central bank purchases one way or another.

In other words, it’s not just Treasury yields or sovereign bonds which very strongly display rising deflationary potential during these specific times, with the Fed’s balance sheet joining in, it is an entire array of dependable and tested financial indicators which uniformly corroborate the same notion from every important monetary, financial, and economic angle.

Like flow, stock is merely an attempt to work around what is more than an inconvenience to those wishing to (repeatedly) sell you an inflationary story without evidence. A flattening yield curve – indeed this flattening yield curve happening as it has during the highest CPIs in decades – is trying to tell you something important, the same undiluted message as has been repeatedly and properly sent time and time again.

The problem is simply QE, meaning how these messages are interpreted and perceived (distorted and twisted). I mean that in a very different way than with what this article began. Central bank bond purchases or LSAP’s (whatever anyone calls them) have been the most tested, empirically-established policy programs in perhaps economic history. It’s just that no one knows, because it is in “central banks’” best interest for you not to know, what all those tests have uniformly showed.

Flow? No. Stock. Nah. None of it does what everyone says it does. It sure doesn’t “rig” the bond market in any way.

While a flat curve may not be able to tell you what will sour the situation, it does give you a reasonable, reliable approximation for how something is highly likely to at some not-distant time.












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Economics

Cannabis analytics startup Headset, led by Leafly founders, raises more cash

The news: Cannabis analytics company Headset on Tuesday announced that it raised $8.6 million in funding. That includes $3 million of venture capital from…

Headset co-founders, left to right: CEO Cy Scott, Chief Technology Officer Scott Vickers, and Chief Design Officer Brian Wansolich. (Headset Photos)

The news: Cannabis analytics company Headset on Tuesday announced that it raised $8.6 million in funding. That includes $3 million of venture capital from a round led by Althea, as well as the conversion of $5.6 million of bridge notes issued in August 2020 and this past April.

The Seattle-based company reports having more than 300 customers and 50 employees.

Headset has raised about $23 million, according to GeekWire reporting.

The tech: Headset provides data analytics for the cannabis industry on growers and product manufacturers; retail sales; food, health and beauty products; financial services; and hardware.

The company gathers information on market trends, top selling cannabis strains, market projections for states where recreational marijuana is newly legalized, ruminations on the impacts of inflation, and favored product brands in different regions.

The new funding will help Headset expand its analysis into new legal markets and launch additional services.

(Bigstock Photo)

The founders: Headset was founded in 2015 by CEO Cy Scott, Chief Design Officer Brian Wansolich and CTO Scott Vickers, who all previously co-founded Leafly, an online cannabis marketplace that is going public via a SPAC merger.

The tailwinds: While Washington and Colorado were the first states to legalize recreational marijuana use back in 2012, an additional 16 states plus Washington, D.C. have followed suit. More than a dozen others have approved cannabis for medical use.

When the pandemic forced businesses to close in order slow COVID-19’s spread, marijuana dispensaries in many states were deemed “essential” and allowed to remain open. The New York Times called it “official recognition that for some Americans, cannabis is as necessary as milk and bread.”

The sector: Competition in the cannabis analytics space include BDSA, which according to PitchBook has raised $16.2 million, and Cannabis Big Data. Both are based in Colorado.

There are big dollars flowing into online sales of cannabis. Oregon’s Dutchie has raised more than $600 million while Leafly is valued at nearly $400 million.

There is also continued momentum in delivery. Uber entered the cannabis market just last week, announcing plans to launch a delivery service in Ontario.

The investors: In addition to the private equity investment firm Althea, the VC round included two investors focused on the cannabis sector: Poseidon Investment Management and WGD Capital.

Track all of GeekWire’s in-depth startup coverage: Sign up for the weekly startup email newsletter; check out the GeekWire funding tracker and venture capital directory; and follow our startup news headlines.


Author: Lisa Stiffler

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