Markets & Economy

Falling interest rates reflect need for jobs, income growth

Bond investors are not idiots, so stick with the simplest answer

Many threads, much confusion. Most important, a simultaneous event and indicator: the 10-year T-note broke below 2.47 percent, mortgages to low-fours. The chart could not be more dramatic; if not a temporary head-fake, long-term rates can fall a long way. We will know next week. Next Thursday the European Central Bank meets, and will announce new stimulus of some kind. Next Friday we'll get U.S. May payroll data. A big 24 hours. Explanations for the drop in long rates are inventive. The favorite of gold bugs, central-bank haters, and inflation bogeymen: Bond investors are idiots. A more sensible thought, but likewise mistaken: "Geopolitical risks" have driven rates down. But Ukraine is suddenly off-screen: It has a new and capable president, and Vladimir the Stupid is in rapid retreat, covering failure with a giveaway gas deal with China. Today U.S. authorities confirmed Russian troops are headed back to their barracks. Stick with simplicity: Long-term rates follow long-ter...

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