Category Archive: 5) Global Macro

Bi-Weekly Economic Review:

Is the rate hiking cycle almost done? Not the question on everyone’s minds right now so a good time to ask it, I think. A couple of items caught my attention recently that made me at least think about the possibility.  There has been for some time now a large short position held by speculators in the futures market for Treasuries.

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Global Asset Allocation Update

The risk budget is unchanged this month. For the moderate risk investor the allocation to bonds and risk assets is evenly split. There are changes this month within the asset classes. How far are we from the end of this cycle? When will the next recession arrive and more importantly when will stocks and other markets start to anticipate a slowdown?

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There Isn’t Supposed To Be The Two Directions of IP

US Industrial Production dipped in May 2018. It was the first monthly drop since January. Year-over-year, IP was up just 3.5% from May 2017, down from 3.6% in each of prior three months. The reason for the soft spot was that American industry is being pulled in different directions by the two most important sectors: crude oil and autos.

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Emerging Markets: Week Ahead Preview

EM FX was mixed on Friday but capped off a largely losing week. MYR, CLP, and CNY were the best performers over the last week, while ARS, TRY, and ZAR were the worst. We expect EM FX to continue weakening, but note that with very few fundamental drivers this week, we may see some consolidation near-term.

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Emerging Markets: What Changed

US-China trade tensions are rising. Pakistan devalued the rupee for a third time since December. Bulgaria will seek to join the eurozone banking union and ERM-2 simultaneously. The National Bank of Hungary appears to have tilted more hawkish. Newly elected Egyptian President El-Sisi shuffled his cabinet. Argentina has a new central bank chief after Federico Sturzenegger resigned.

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Here We Go Again: Our Double-Bubble Economy

The bubbles in assets are supported by the invisible bubble in greed, euphoria and credulity. Well, folks, here we go again: we have a double-bubble economy in housing and stocks, and a third difficult-to-chart bubble in greed, euphoria and credulity.

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Recent Concerning Consumer Credit Trends Carry On Into April

US consumers continue to recover from their debt splurge at the end of last year. Combined with still weaker income growth, the Federal Reserve estimates that aggregate revolving credit balances grew only marginally for the fourth straight month in April 2018. To put it in perspective, the total for revolving credit (seasonally adjusted) is up a mere $2.2 billion for all four months of this year combined, compared to +$5.2 billion in December 2017...

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Chinese Inflation And Money Contributions To EM’s

The People’s Bank of China won’t update its balance sheet numbers for May until later this month. Last month, as expected, the Chinese central bank allowed bank reserves to contract for the first time in nearly two years. It is, I believe, all part of the reprioritization of monetary policy goals toward CNY. How well it works in practice remains to be seen. Authorities are not simply contracting one important form of base money in China (bank...

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Bi-Weekly Economic Review – VIDEO

Interview with Joe Calhoun about BiWeekly Economic Review 15/06/2018.

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A Slight Hint Of A 2011 Feel

Whenever a big bank is rumored to be in unexpected merger talks, that’s always a good sign, right? The name Deutsche Bank keeps popping up as it has for several years now, this is merely representative of what’s wrong inside of a global system that can’t ever get fixed. In this one case, we have a couple of perpetuated conventional myths colliding into what is still potentially grave misfortune.

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Emerging Markets: Preview of the Week Ahead

EM FX ended Friday on a mixed note, capping off a roller coaster week for some of the more vulnerable currencies.  We expect continued efforts by EM policymakers to inject some stability into the markets. However, we believe the underlying dollar rally remains intact.  Central bank meetings in the US, eurozone, and Japan this week are likely to drive home that point. 

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Emerging Markets: What Changed

The Reserve Bank of India hiked rates for the first time since 2014. Malaysia’s central bank governor resigned. Czech central bank tilted more hawkish. Russia central bank tilted more dovish. Argentina got a $50 bln standby program from the IMF.

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The Three Crises That Will Synchronize a Global Meltdown by 2025

We're going to get a synchronized global dynamic, but it won't be "growth" and stability, it will be DeGrowth and instability. To understand the synchronized global meltdown that is on tap for the 2021-2025 period, we must first stipulate the relationship of "money" to energy:"money" is nothing more than a claim on future energy. If there's no energy available to fuel the global economy, "money" will have little value.

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US Trade Settles Down Again

US trade is further leveling off after several months of artificial intrusions. On the import side, in particular, first was a very large and obvious boost following last year’s big hurricanes along the Gulf Coast. Starting in September 2017, for four months the value of imported goods jumped by an enormous 8.3% (revised, seasonally-adjusted). Most of the bump related to consumer and capital goods.

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Does Anyone Else See a Giant Bear Flag in the S&P 500?

We all know the game is rigged, but strange things occasionally upset the "easy money bet." "Reality" is in the eye of the beholder, especially when it comes to technical analysis and economic tea leaves.

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Bi-Weekly Economic Review: As Good As It Gets?

In the last update I wondered if growth expectations – and growth – were breaking out to the upside. 10 year Treasury yields were well over the 3% threshold that seemed so ominous and TIPS yields were nearing 1%, a level not seen since early 2011. It looked like we might finally move to a new higher level of growth. Or maybe not.

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Emerging Markets: Preview of the Week Ahead

EM FX put in a mixed performance Friday, and capped off an overall mixed week. Over that week, the best performers were IDR, TRY, and INR while the worst were BRL, MXN, and ARS. US yields are recovering and likely to put renewed pressure on EM FX.

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Bi-Weekly Economic Review – VIDEO

Interview with Joe Calhoun about BiWeekly Economic Review 01/06/2018.

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Burrito Index Update: Burrito Cost Triples, Official Inflation Up 43 percent from 2001

Welcome to debt-serfdom, the only possible output of the soaring cost of living. Long-time readers may recall the Burrito Index, my real-world measure of inflation. The Burrito Index: Consumer Prices Have Soared 160% Since 2001 (August 1, 2016). The Burrito Index tracks the cost of a regular burrito since 2001. Since we keep detailed records of expenses (a necessity if you’re a self-employed free-lance writer), I can track the cost of a regular...

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Emerging Market Preview: Week Ahead

EM FX has started the week mixed.  Some relief was seen as US rates stalled out last week, but this Friday’s jobs number could be key for the next leg of this dollar rally.  On Wednesday, the Fed releases its Beige book for the upcoming June 13 FOMC meeting, where a 25 bp hike is widely expected.  We believe EM FX remains vulnerable to further losses.

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