Category Archive: Global Macro

Emerging Markets: Week Ahead Preview

EM FX ended on a mixed note Friday, but capped off a very strong week overall. Best performers over the past week were RUB, ZAR, and COP, while the worst were PHP, CNY, and TWD. There is not much happening this week that could disrupt the weak dollar narrative, and so EM FX should continue to rally.

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US IP On The Other Side of Harvey and Irma

Industrial Production in the US was revised to a lower level for December 2017, and then was slightly lower still in the first estimates for January 2018. Year-over-year, IP was up 3.7%. However, more than two-thirds of the gain was registered in September, October, and November (and nearly all the rest in just the single month of April 2017).

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Our emerging market currencies scorecard gives good marks to real and rouble

The scope of this note is to present a score card for Emerging Market (EM)currencies, designed to assess the attractiveness of a given currency over the coming 12 months. The scorecard (see chart), constructed using a rules - based methodology, suggests that the Russian rubble and the Brazilian real are currently among the most attractive EM currencies.

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Emerging Markets: What Changed

The National Stock Exchange of India will end all licensing agreements and stop offering live prices overseas. Philippine central bank cut reserve requirements for commercial banks. Egypt cut rates for the first time since 2015. Israeli police recommended that Prime Minister Netanyahu be charged. South Africa President Zuma resigned before a no confidence vote was held.

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China: Inflation? Not Even Reflation

The conventional interpretation of “reflation” in the second half of 2016 was that it was simply the opening act, the first step in the long-awaiting global recovery. That is what reflation technically means as distinct from recovery; something falls off, and to get back on track first there has to be acceleration to make up that lost difference.

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What Just Changed?

The illusion that risk can be limited delivered three asset bubbles in less than 20 years. Has anything actually changed in the past two weeks? The conventional bullish answer is no, nothing's changed; the global economy is growing virtually everywhere, inflation is near-zero, credit is abundant, commodities will remain cheap for the foreseeable future, assets are not in bubbles, and the global financial system is in a state of sustainable...

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Bi-Weekly Economic Review

Personal income for December was better than expected at up 0.4% on the month and 4.11% year over year. Wages and salaries were up 0.5%. Unfortunately, that rate of rise is not even up to the lower end of the range we’ve seen in past expansions when 5% income growth was a precursor to recession. Still, it is, sadly, about average for this expansion.

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Emerging Markets: The Week Ahead, February 12

EM FX ended Friday on a mixed note, as risk assets recovered a bit from broad-based selling pressures. Best EM performers on the week were ZAR, PHP, and CNY while the worst were COP, RUB, and ARS. Besides the risk-off impulses still reverberating through global markets, we think lower commodity prices are another headwind on EM.

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Three Crazy Things We Now Accept as “Normal”

How can central banks "retrain" participants while maintaining their extreme policies of stimulus? Human habituate very easily to new circumstances, even extreme ones. What we accept as "normal" now may have been considered bizarre, extreme or unstable a few short years ago.

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China: CNY, Not Imports

In February 2013, the Chinese Golden Week fell late in the calendar. The year before, 2012, New Year was January 23rd, meaning that the entire Spring festival holiday was taken with the month of January. The following year, China’s New Year was placed on February 10, with the Golden Week taking up the entire middle month of February.

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Emerging Markets: What has Changed

Reuters reported that China may loosen controls on outbound capital flows (QDLP). Samsung chief Lee was set free in an unexpected court reversal. Romania central bank hiked rates by 25 bp and raised its inflation forecasts for the next two years. South Africa President Zuma appears to be on the way out. Ecuador voters approved a referendum that reinstates term limits for the president. Venezuela central bank restarted FX auctions for the first time...

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Before You “Buy the Dip,” Look at This One Chart

There's a place for fancy technical interpretations, but sometimes a basic chart tells us quite a lot. Here is a basic chart of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the DJIA. It displays basic information: price candlesticks, volume, the 50-week and 200-week moving averages, RSI (relative strength), MACD (moving average convergence-divergence), stochastics and the MACD histogram. These kinds of charts are free (in this case, from StockCharts.com).

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COT Blue: Interest In Open Interest

For me, the defining characteristic of the late nineties wasn’t the dot-coms. Most people were exposed to the NASDAQ because, frankly, at the time there was no getting away from it. It had seeped into everything, transforming from a financial niche bleeding eventually into the entire worldwide culture. We all remember the grocery clerks who became day traders.

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Global Asset Allocation Update:

There is no change to the risk budget this month. For the moderate risk investor the allocation to bonds is 50%, risk assets 45% and cash 5%. Despite the selloff of the last week I don’t believe any portfolio action is warranted. While the overbought condition has largely been corrected now, the S&P 500 is far from the opposite condition, oversold. At the lows this morning, the S&P 500 was officially in correction territory, down 10% from the...

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US Imports: A Little Inflation For Yellen, A Little More Bastiat

US imports rocketed higher once again in December, according to just-released estimates from the Census Bureau. Since August 2017, the US economy has been adding foreign goods at an impressive pace. Year-over-year (SA), imports are up just 10.4% (only 9% unadjusted) but 9.3% was in just those last four months. For most of 2017, imports were flat and even lower.

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Is the 9-Year Long Dead Cat Bounce Finally Ending?

Ignoring or downplaying these fundamental forces has greatly increased the fragility of the status quo. The term dead cat bounce is market lingo for a "recovery" after markets decline due to fundamental reversals. Markets tend to bounce back after sharp declines as participants (human and digital) who have been trained to "buy the dips" once again buy the decline, and the financial media rushes to reassure everyone that nothing has actually...

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Emerging Markets: Week Ahead Preview

EM FX ended Friday on a weak note and capped off a week of softness. We felt that more and more EM policymakers were getting uncomfortable with FX strength and are likely welcome this recent weakening. However, that's only if their stock and bond markets hold up, which they are (for now).

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Is Congress Finally Pushing Back Against Security Agencies’ Over-Reach?

The last time the U.S. Congress pushed back against the Imperial Presidency and the over-reach of the nation's Security Agencies was 43 years ago, in 1975. In response to the criminal over-reach of the Imperial Presidency (Watergate) and to the criminal over-reach of the security agencies (FBI, CIA, et al.), the Church Committee finally resusitated the constitutional powers of the Congress to serve the interests of the citizenry rather than the...

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How Global And Synchronized Is A Boom Without China?

According to China’s official PMI’s, those looking for a boom to begin worldwide in 2018 after it failed to materialize in 2017 are still to be disappointed. If there is going to be globally synchronized growth, it will have to happen without China’s participation in it. Of course, things could change next month or the month after, but this idea has been around for a year and a half already.

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Political Correctness Serves the Ruling Elite

No wonder the Ruling Elites loves political correctness: all those furiously signaling their virtue are zero threat to the asymmetric plunder of the status quo. The Ruling Elites loves political correctness, for it serves the Elite so well. What is political correctness? Political correctness is the public pressure to conform to "progressive" speech acts by uttering the expected code words and phrases in public.

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