I have been firmly in the “second derivative is good” camp for some time. Green shoots were few and far between – but the economy no longer appeared to be in free-fall. When the free-fall stopped it was time to buy equities – and whilst it was not time to ease up on the looser monetary and fiscal policies – it may have been sensible to limit them somewhere near the levels that they now are.
The data I considered most persuasive was the delinquency data at Fannie and Freddie. It gets worse every month, but until the last data point it was getting worse at a decreasing rate (especially if you adjusted for the foreclosure moratoriums they implemented).
Today I am more worried. My favourite data point (rate of increase of Freddie Mac delinquency) has deteriorated – especially in their insured portfolio. Its not sharp deterioration – and it is possible – even likely – that Freddie Mac will have end credit losses considerably lower than the bears anticipate. But as a second derivative bull I am feeling just that little bit less certain.
Contra: the usually bearish calculated risk has a fairly good data point here.
For the real masochists – here is the monthly data from Freddie Mac. The brilliant interest rate management I identified recently has continued albeit not with the panache of the previous month.
Finally BondInvestor has not contacted me as requested. I really would appreciate it.