Lock Watch for the Week of 12/31/2018
Another short week, but therefore more potential for volatility and amid a stalemate in Washington.
Economicalendar (all times are Pacific):
Mon, 12/31: Dallas Fed Mfg Survey (7:30am).
Tues, 1/1: Markets Closed.
Weds, 1/2: PMI Mfg Index (6:45am).
Thurs, 1/3: ADP Employment (5:15am), Jobless Claims (5:30am), ISM Mfg Index and Construction Spending (7am).
Fri, 1/4: Employment Situation (5:30am) and Jerome Powell Speaks (7:15am).
10-Year Treasury History
2.72% Market Open
2.77% One Week Ago
3.05% One Month Ago
2.48% One Year Ago
We were driving to South Lake Tahoe over the holiday week and at points alongside Route 50 I noticed that the navigation system picked up broken sections of the old Pony Express route. I hadn't really thought of the Pony Express outside of folklore so I decided to look into it a bit more.
Basically, back in the late 1800's, if you wanted to send a letter across the US, it had to go around South America. So, it was going to take a while to arrive --- if it arrived at all. And I hope you weren't expecting a speedy reply. Anyway, several entrepreneurs decided that fast mail service from Missouri to Sacramento might meet high demand and so in 1860, they launched the Pony Express, with an advertised 10-day mail time from point to point. Commandeering and creating 185 way stations along the route, riders (more on them below) would ride, relay and rest along the route, a course which entailed significant enough peril that risk of death was part of the job description and help wanted ads for riders encouraged orphans to apply.
Horses were lightweight, hearty and varied in breed as the terrain dictated. Riders fit the same first two descriptions and it is thought that most were teenagers. The total weight of the rider, mail and all accoutrements could not exceed 165 pounds, and when you consider that the mailbag itself (called a mochilla) weighed in at 20 or so, it didn't leave room for any non-essentials --- though a revolver was considered one of those. Riders would typically put in a 75-mile stretch while the horses were relayed out at 10- to 25-mile intervals.
Ah, that the Wild West lore could be the whole truth, but in fact, the Pony Express was a money loser. Maintaining the stations, the salaries of the riders, the livestock, etc., could not be supported even by the rich cost to send a letter via the service. But a slow death would not be the fate of the Pony Express. Prior to even its second birthday, telegraph lines were strung from east to west, rendering the arduous, if glamorous, route obsolete. And the rest...is history.
Happy New Year, Happy Trails,
Robert J. Spinosa
Vice President of Mortgage Lending
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