Here's another business news item for my collection of really important stuff that no one will read about: the yield curve.
You know, the yield curve ... the curve that's created when you line up the rates of interest for the different types of treasury notes and bonds.
When things are normal, shorter term treasury notes and bills tend to have lower rates of interest than their 10-year and 30-year cousins, right? After all, the longer you lend someone money, the more chance there is that you won't get the money back. So you want a higher rate of return to make the risk worthwhile.
But sometimes that curve inverts ... investors want more money in the short term than the long term. That's taken as a sign they see trouble dead ahead. Indeed, when yield curves invert, recessions typically follow a few months to a year later. Not all the time, but a lot of the time. (In a previous life, when I worked at a competitor, we did this really cool flash animation of the yield curve. Yeah, it's a competitor, but it's still cool enough to link to).