Cramer: A Relentless Rise in Treasuries
Editor's Note: This article was originally published at 7:08 a.m. EDT on Real Money on Aug. 20. To see Jim Cramer's latest commentary as it's published, sign up for a free trial of Real Money.
NEW YORK (Real Money) -- Maybe it really is just too thin a market. Maybe we aren't used to Treasury bonds being traded as thinly as they are in the middle of this August. I don't know what else could be responsible for a move up in interest rates like this -- other than if the Federal Reserve were dumping Treasuries, instead of buying them.
It is a little counterintuitive. We've got no real loan growth to write home about. Sure, we had a red-hot housing market, but I think we will find that the market has cooled by now. Before, buyers didn't have to think about what rate they were locking in, because all they ever got were lower rates. Now they do have to think about it, and that's an impediment to a process that's not easy to begin with, especially when you see housing prices going up right before your very eyes.
Still, though, you would think the volume of home sales would at least approximate half of what they were in 2006, before you saw this kind of actual demand moving up rates. The level is just not justified by the real economics we're seeing here.As I search for reasons, aided by my colleague Matt Horween, I think that perhaps Europe is turning faster than we think, and that the demand for money worldwide might be increasing. Maybe that's why the euro is so strong, too. Perhaps the eurozone can grow 1% to 2%, and that will pull up the world's interest rates. But I simply don't see any activity here that could justify this move. It's either artificial, or it is coming from overseas -- because no bank, not a single one I deal with, is saying there's newfound demand for credit. The good news? If interest rates could go up this fast, they could go down this fast, and everything that's getting killed will come back to life. The bad news? I don't believe the 10-year bond will go back to 2.5%. Instead, I believe it will go to 2.75%, down from 2.86%. I think that could happen later this week, in fact, as the Fed has to be horrified by the relentless nature of this new move. It's too fast, too furious and too unjustified by the facts.
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