Markets & Economy

The bond market awakens from denial — and the Fed is coming

Fed will lift off from 0 percent this year unless the economy swoons

Last week began with a reverse-bang: The previous Friday’s payroll report was distinctly weak, and rates fell a lot that day, but last Monday morning, markets immediately undid themselves. Right back to where they were -- mortgages in the high threes, the 10-year T-note just under 2 percent. That trading is a clear sign that the bond market is gradually awakening from denial. The Fed is coming. Two if by land, one if by sea, but either way, they’re coming. Last week, the Fed released minutes of its March 17-18 meeting, which were widely described as “divided.” No, they’re not. The control group -- Chair Yellen and the governors appointed by the president and confirmed by Congress, joined by the capable regional Fed presidents (Dudley, Williams, Rosengren, Evans, Lockhart) -- is in complete agreement: The Fed will lift off from 0 percent this year unless the economy swoons. Most likely in summer, and at a very low slope. And without further warning. The warmer the ...