Dog ate your Benjamins? Call the Bureau of Mutilated Currency! They process 24K claims annually for about $30M in ruined $$. Why? Money is only valuable if people believe in. A farmer once mailed in his cow’s stomach to recover lost funds.
If the U.S. didn’t guarantee that its currency is valuable and durable, the rest of the world might lose faith in it. Hence the gloved hands picking apart sediment-caked bills, FedExed to Washington, D.C., by someone whose grandmother stashed her life savings, which have weathered mouse nests and termite bites, in the drywall of her decrepit family home.
Rates – the 10 year US treasury yield had another rough week, dropping further. The 2 year and the 10 year treasury notes were momentarily inverted (you could get a better return on the 2 year). Historically a 10 and 2 year inversion has been an early signal of economic recession (indicator – not cause!). Stocks also struggled this week and rates improved. The 10 year is approaching an all-time low and the 30 year has already hit one.
Home Builders – are confident, especially on the West Coast. Current sales and Expected sales are at 73 and 70 respectively & buyer traffic is at 50 (anything at 50 or greater signals expansion).
Jobs – the number of people filing for unemployment for the first time ticked up this week. Overall it is still a good level but if this figure continues to trend up it would be another signal of recession.