Category Archive: 5) Global Macro

2021 is Already Optimized for Failure

One sure way to identify a system "optimized for failure" is if all the insiders are absolutely confident the system is "optimized for my success". I often discuss optimization here because it offers an insightful window into how systems become fragile and break down.

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Drivers for the Week Ahead

Dollar weakness has resumed. This will be a very important data week for the US and the highlight will be November jobs data Friday; we will also get some important manufacturing readings for November; the Fed releases its Beige Book report for the December FOMC meeting Wednesday; Canada also has a busy week.

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Just Who Is, And Who Is Not, Selling T-Bills

Are foreigners selling Treasury bills? If they are, this would seem to merit consideration for the reflation argument. After all, the paramount monetary deficiency exposed by March’s GFC2 (and the Fed’s blatant role in making it worse) was the dangerous degree of shortage over the best collateral.

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Treasury Auctions Are Anything But Sorry Because They’ve Never Been Sorry About Solly

Twenty years ago, in November 2000, the Treasury Department changed one aspect of the way the government would sell its own debt. Auctions of these and other kinds of securities had been ongoing for decades, back to the twenties, and they had been transformed many times along the way. In the middle of the 1970’s Great Inflation, for example, Treasury gradually phased out all other means for issuing securities, by 1977 relying exclusively on...

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A Dimly Lit Thanksgiving

Our overweening faith and confidence in our wealth and power make this a dimly lit Thanksgiving. A public expression of gratitude by victorious sports stars, lottery winners, etc. is now the convention in America: coaches, teammates, family and mentors (or agents) are recognized as an expression of the winners' humility and gratitude for everyone that contributed to the success.

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In The World Change Process

The world is in the process of change. Especially in terms of health and economy, the world has experienced the biggest chaos of recent times. We are seeing signs of transition to the new economic order. What are the plans?

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Making Sense Eurodollar University Episode 32 Part 3

The Chinese currency is gaining against the dollar. That SHOULD be an 'all-clear' signal that reflation, global trade, and positive momentum are in place. But we DO NOT see corroborating evidence on the People's Bank of China balance sheet. Maybe the move is an engineered feint?

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Dollar Weakness Resumes as Short-Covering Fades

Sentiment is being buoyed by two incrementally positive stories; cross-markets implied volatility measures continue to trend lower; dollar weakness has resumed. President-elect Biden will reportedly officially name his first cabinet picks today; Fed manufacturing surveys for November will continue to roll out; Brazil and Mexico both reports mid-November inflation readings.

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Dollar Weakness Resumes as Markets Start Another Week in Risk-On Mode

Covid vaccine results from AstraZeneca and Oxford University brought another wave of optimism; dollar weakness has resumed; that said, we will refrain from making any longer-term calls for the demise of the dollar. Reports suggest President-elect Biden is pushing House Democrats to reduce the size of their fiscal package demands to unlock negotiations; Republicans have an interest in compromising.

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Our Frustrations Run Far Deeper Than Covid Lockdowns

The reality is the roulette wheel is rigged and only chumps believe it's a fair game. It's easy to lay America's visible frustrations at the feet of Covid lockdowns or political polarization, but this conveniently ignores the real driver: systemic unfairness.

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Why I’m Hopeful About 2021

What we need is not a return to the corrupt, tottering kleptocracy of 2019, but a re-democratization of capital, agency and money. I'm hopeful about 2021, and no, it's not because of the vaccines or the end of lockdowns or anything related to Covid. The status quo is cheering the fantasy that we'll soon return to the debt-soaked glory days of 2019 when everything was peachy.

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A Lesson In PMIs: Relative vs. Absolute

The bid for “decoupling” has never been stronger, and, unfortunately, this time actually represents the weakest case yet for it. According to the mainstream interpretations of the most recent sentiment indicators, the US and European economies appear to be going in the complete opposite directions.

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Deflation Returns To Japan, Part 2

Japan Finance Minister Taro Aso, who is also Deputy Prime Minister, caused a global stir of sorts back in early June when he appeared to express something like Japanese racial superiority at least with respect to how that country was handling the COVID pandemic.

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EM Preview for the Week Ahead

Most EM currencies were up last week, once again taking advantage of broad dollar weakness. In addition, EM equities also performed well, with MSCI EM up for the third week in a row and for seven of the past eight. We expect EM assets to continue benefiting from the global liquidity story as well as the weak dollar trend.

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Vaccines–Too Little, Too Late?

Trust in institutions, authorities and Big Pharma is scraping the bottom of the barrel, and rushing these vaccines into mass use with extremely high expectations of efficacy is setting up the potential for a devastating loss of trust in the vaccines should they fail to live up to the claims of 100% safety and 95% effectiveness.

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Dollar Bounce Likely to Fade

The negative virus news stream is taking a toll on market sentiment; the dollar is benefiting from the risk-off price action but is likely to fade. Weekly jobless claims data will be of interest; Fed manufacturing surveys for November will continue to roll out; Judy Shelton’s Fed confirmation is looking less and less likely.

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Turkey Central Bank Preview

We expect the Turkish central bank (CBRT) to deliver a substantial rate hike at Thursday’s meeting but not as aggressive as consensus. Bloomberg’s median expectation is for a 475 bp hike. Our call is for a somewhat less aggressive move (perhaps around 400 bp) because the recent price action is likely to afford the new CBRT administration the confidence not to have to surprise on the upside.

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Extending the Summer Slowdown

A big splurge in September, and then not much more in October. While it would be consistent for many to focus on the former, instead there is much about the latter which, for once, is feeding growing concerns. Retail sales, American consumer spending on goods, has been the one (outside of economically insignificant housing) bright spot since summer

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U.S. Healthcare Is Unraveling

The confidence that there will always be facilities and professionals to care for us is no longer realistic. I've covered the systemic problems of U.S. healthcare for over a decade, and as a result I've attracted numerous healthcare professionals as correspondents.

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Dollar Weakness Continues Ahead of US Retail Sales Data

The dollar continues to soften. October retail sales will be the US data highlight; Fed manufacturing surveys for November have started to roll out; Republican Senator Alexander opposes Judy Shelton’s nomination to the Fed.

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