Monday, September 19, 2016

The SBA and Pangloss

noun: One who is optimistic regardless of the circumstances.
adjective: Blindly or unreasonably optimistic.
After Dr. Pangloss, a philosopher and tutor in Voltaire's 1759 satire Candide. Pangloss believes that, in spite of what happens -- shipwreck, earthquake, hanging, flogging, and more -- "All is for the best in the best of all possible worlds." The name is coined from Greek panglossia (talkativeness).

A Pangloss appetite drives the restaurant industry.

Although same-store sales and customer traffic levels remain somewhat uneven, the National Restaurant Association's Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) registered a modest increase in July.

The PRI is a monthly composite index that tracks the health of and the outlook for the U.S. restaurant industry. Launched in 2002, the RPI is released on the last business day of each month.  The RPI consists of two components – the Current Situation Index (measuring current trends) and the Expectations Index (measuring restaurant operators' six-month outlook) – and tracks the health of and outlook for the U.S. restaurant industry.  Although sales and traffic results softened in recent months, restaurant operators continued to report positive capital spending activity.

Restaurants are the largest recipient of SBA financial assistance based upon SBA loan volume data sorted by NAICS codes.

If you would like a copy of the latest National Restaurant Association's Restaurant Performance Index report, let me know.

SBA LIBOR Base Rate September 2016 =3.52%
SBA Fixed Base Rate September 2016 = 4.85%
SBA 504 Loan Debenture Rate for September  
The debenture rate is only 2.03% but note rate is 2.066% and the effective yield is 4.082%.

Only a Pangloss would want to raise interest rates right now.

The Federal Reserve’s next meeting on interest rates will end on September 21st, the last day of summer.

The $13.6 trillion Treasuries market is sending a signal it hasn’t flashed in years.  Last week’s auction of $12 billion in new 30-year Treasuries saw weak demand.   The yield on the 30-year note advanced 7.3 basis points to 2.469%.  Low end-investor interest meant that dealers had to step in and take down a large 37.5 percent of the $12 billion offered, their biggest share since August last year. The high yield awarded was 20 basis points higher than in the previous auction and matched the highest rate since May.  The extra yield that investors demand to own 30-year rather than five-year obligations, a measure of the yield curve, rose for almost two straight weeks.  That’s the longest streak since 2012. 

A Fed on hold is seen as potentially stoking inflation, which erodes the value of long-term debt. Futures signal barely a one-in-five chance that the Fed will tighten policy this month amid tepid economic growth and restrained inflation.

Eurodollar futures settle at a three- month lending rate that has averaged about 22 basis points more than the Fed's target over the past 10 years.

Here is a summary of what the market expects for Eurodollar futures based upon the pit-traded prices at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange:

DEC16- 0.93
DEC17- 1,09
DEC18- 1.23
DEC19- 1.39
DEC20- 1.57
DEC22- 1.931

What does all this mean?

I don’t know.

Eurodollar futures currently imply a federal funds rate that really is not going to be moving up all that much any time soon.

Impecunious concerns will motivate the Federal Reserve.  They don’t want to enervate the economy. 

Did you ever wonder why Oktoberfest occurs in September and not October? 

It goes back to when the Pangloss prince of Bavaria, Ludwig married a princess back in 1810.  The citizens of Munich were invited to attend the festivities held on the fields in front of the city gates to celebrate the royal event.  Everyone had such a good time that the decision to repeat the celebrations in 1811 launched what is now the annual Oktoberfest tradition.

Ludwig would go to become king.  Not understanding anything about his people, Ludwig decreed a tax on beer.  Splenetic presentiment erupted into the beer riots of Bavaria.  Crowds of urban workers beat up police while the Bavarian army showed reluctance to get involved. Civil order was restored only after the King decreed a ten percent reduction in the price of beer.  Friedrich Engels was so appalled that he wrote about it in the Northern Star newspaper and then co-authored the Communist Manifesto with Karl Marx.

The first day of fall is September 22, 2016.  The September equinox marks the moment the Sun crosses the celestial equator – the imaginary line in the sky above the Earth’s equator – from north to south.  The length of day and night is nearly equal but then the days will continue to be shorter and shorter and night will be longer and longer until we plunge into almost eternal darkness.  Eventually the days will then start to get longer again giving the Pangloss in all of us something to look forward to.

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