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JP Morgan Predicts Crushing 8% Interest Rate Spike

JP Morgan Predicts Crushing 8% Interest Rate Spike

May 2, 2024

JP Morgan Predicts Crushing 8% Interest Rate Spike

In a recent development that has sent a ripple of concern across the financial sector, JP Morgan, the largest bank in the United States, has released a 61-page shareholder letter predicting an increase in interest rates to 8%—a figure that hasn't been seen since the era of the late eighties. This dire forecast comes on the heels of staggering stagflation numbers and warns of potentially catastrophic consequences for the economy and the banking system.

The last time the country grappled with 8% interest rates, it triggered the recession during the first Bush administration, resulting in mortgage rates soaring to 10% and ten-year bond yields hitting 9%. The implications of such rates in today's climate could be devastating. An analysis suggests that the housing market, already struggling, would face further decline, with a 7% rate hike serving as a crippling blow to prospective young American homeowners, increasing their purchasing costs by an estimated 50%.

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The spotlight, however, shines on the crucial ten-year bond yields, seen as the bedrock of the cost of capital that measures the cost of money across the economic cycle. A surge above 5% on these yields could set off a domino effect, leading to the collapse of commercial real estate and a repeat of the banking sector crash, accompanied by a surge in debt defaults ranging from credit cards to car loans and mortgages.

The shareholder letter points out that a sudden spike in the structural cost of borrowing would not only impact consumers but would also strain businesses, particularly those in interest rate-sensitive industries such as automotive, real estate, and banking. This could also spell doom for businesses that have thrived on the back of the Federal Reserve's policy of providing cheap money.

Last year, the financial world got a glimpse of the potential disaster when a minor increase in the ten-year bond from 2% to 4% set off a series of bank failures surpassing the cumulative failures of 2008. This precarious situation was only stabilized by the Federal Reserve's and Janet Yellen's intervention, which effectively pre-empted a total collapse through over $100 billion in loans based on questionable valuations. Additionally, there was a proposed $20 trillion expansion in FDIC bank account insurance, which, if required, could lead to funds being drawn directly from individual bank accounts.

With JP Morgan now projecting a climb to 8% interest rates, the financial world braces for what may come next. The broader message seems to be one of a slow-motion financial disaster that could strike unexpectedly, upending the banking system and economy in much the same way as the collapse of Lehman Brothers did in 2008.

As politicians in Washington and financiers on Wall Street navigate this looming crisis, the risk is that it becomes a game of musical chairs—postponing the inevitable and hoping for continued bailouts. Meanwhile, the general public is left to face the repercussions: inflation, job insecurity, and a burgeoning national debt.

JP Morgan Shareholder Letter


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