Category Archive: 5) Global Macro

Here’s What It’s Like To Be a Bear in a Rigged Market

Central bankers and media handlers must be laughing at how easy it is to slaughter the Bears and doubters with another fake-news round of trade-deal rumors and another Fed parrot being prompted to repeat some dovish mumbo-jumbo. It's not just tough being a Bear in a market rigged by trade deal rumors, Federal Reserve dovishness, a tsunami of Chinese liquidity and $270 billion in stock buy-backs in the first quarter--it's impossible. 

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Trade Deal Follies: The U.S. Has Embraced the World’s Worst Negotiating Tactics

The world's worst negotiating strategy is to make a crazy tulip-bubble stock market rally dependent on a trade deal that harms the interests of the U.S. The world's worst negotiating tactics, the equivalent of handing the other side a loaded gun while waving a squirt gun around, are: 1. Declare a de facto political deadline for a deal. Constantly tweet that a deal is imminent. 

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Monthly Macro Chart Review: April 2019

The economic data reported over the last month managed to confirm both that the economy is slowing and that there seems little reason to fear recession at this point. The slowdown is mostly a manufacturing affair – and some of that is actually a fracking slowdown – but consumption has also slowed.

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China PMIs jump in March

Industrial gauges rebound on seansonality as well as policy easing.Chinese PMI readings moved back into expansion territory in March. The official Chinese manufacturing PMI rose to 50.5, up from 49.2 in February, and beating the Bloomberg consensus of 49.6, while the Caixin manufacturing PMI came in at 50.8, also up from 49.9 in February and beating the consensus expectation of 50.0.

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External Demand, Global Means Global

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) cut its benchmark money rate for the second straight meeting. Reducing its repo rate by 25 bps, down to 6%, the central bank once gripped by political turmoil has certainly shifted gears. Former Governor Urjit Patel was essentially removed (he resigned) in December after feuding with the federal government over his perceived hawkish stance.

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The Japanification of the World

Zombification / Japanification is not success; it is only the last desperate defense of a failing, brittle status quo by doing more of what's failed. A recent theme in the financial media is the Japanification of Europe. Japanification refers to a set of economic and financial conditions that have come to characterize Japan's economy over the past 28 years: persistent stagnation and deflation, a low-growth and low-inflation economy, very loose...

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Are the Rise of Social Media and the Decline of Social Mobility Related?

Social media offers hope of achieving higher online social status without having to succeed financially in a winner-take-most economy. I've often addressed the decline of social mobility and the addictive nature of social media, and recently I've entertained the crazy notion that the two dynamics are related. Why Is Social Media So Toxic?

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Retail Sales In Bad Company, Decouple from Decoupling

In a way, the government shutdown couldn’t have come at a more opportune moment. As workers all throughout the sprawling bureaucracy were furloughed, markets had run into chaos. Even the seemingly invincible stock market was pummeled, a technical bear market emerged on Wall Street as people began to really consider increasingly loud economic risks.

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Phugoid Dollar Funding

On August 12, 1985, Japan Airways flight 123 left Tokyo’s Haneda Airport on its way to a scheduled arrival in Osaka. Twelve minutes into the flight, the aircraft, a Boeing 747, suffered catastrophic failure when an aft pressure bulkhead burst.

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The Hidden Cost of Losing Local Mom and Pop Businesses

What cannot be replaced by corporate chains is neighborhood character and variety. There is much more to this article than first meets the eye: In a Tokyo neighborhood's last sushi restaurant, a sense of loss "Eiraku is the last surviving sushi bar in this cluttered neighborhood of steep cobblestoned hills and cherry trees unseen on most tourist maps of Tokyo.

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The Fed Guarantees No Recession for 10 Years, Permanent Uptrend for Stocks and Housing

A classified Federal Reserve memo sheds new light on the Fed's confidence in its control of the economy and the stock and housing markets. In effect, the Fed is guaranteeing that there will be no recession for another 10 years, and that stocks and housing will remain in a permanent uptrend.

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Monthly Macro Monitor – March 2019 (VIDEO)

Alhambra CEO discusses all the talk about the recent yield curve inversion and how he views it.

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Apple’s Rotten Core

Entering commoditized, fiercely competitive low-margin services cannot substitute for the high-margin profits that will be lost as global recession and saturation erode iPhone sales. Apple has always been equally an enterprise and a secular religion. The Apple Faithful do not tolerate heretics or critics, and non-believers "just don't get it."

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Is the World Becoming Wealthier or Poorer?

There is nothing intrinsically profitable about either robotics or AI. At the request of colleague/author Douglas Rushkoff (his latest book is Team Human), I'm publishing last week's Musings Report, which was distributed only to subscribers and patrons of the site.) The core assumption of Universal Basic Income (UBI) and other plans to redistribute wealth and income more broadly is that the world is becoming wealthier, and so the pool of income and...

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Monthly Macro Monitor: Well Worried

Don’t waste your time worrying about things that are well worried. Well worried. One of the best turns of phrase I’ve ever heard in this business that has more than its fair share of adages and idioms. It is also one of the first – and best – lessons I learned from my original mentor in this business. The things you see in the headlines, the things everyone is already worried about, aren’t usually worth fretting over.

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When Are We Going to Tackle the For-Profit Monopolies Which Censored RussiaGate Skeptics?

We either take down Facebook and Google and turn them into tightly regulated transparent public utilities available to all or they will destroy what little is left of American democracy. The RussiaGate Narrative has been revealed as a Big Con (a.k.a. Nothing-Burger), but what's dangerously real is the censorship that's being carried out by the for-profit monopolies Facebook and Google on behalf of the status quo's Big Con.

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The Media, Mueller, the Big Con and the Democratization of Narrative

Falling for a con is painful. The first reaction is to deny being conned, of course. The second is to blame skeptics for being correct in their skepticism. Here's the fundamental "story" of the Mueller Investigation: elites don't like "the little people" democratizing public narratives. 

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Politics Has Failed, Now Central Banks Are Failing

With each passing day, we get closer to the shift in the tide that will sweep away this self-serving delusion of the ruling elites like a crumbling sand castle. Those living in revolutionary times are rarely aware of the tumult ahead: in 1766, a mere decade before the Declaration of Independence, virtually no one was calling for American independence.

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February 2019 PBOC/RMB Update

This will serve mostly as an update to what is going on inside the Chinese monetary system. The PBOC’s balance sheet numbers for February 2019 are exactly what we’ve come to expect, ironically confirmed today on the domestic end by the FOMC’s dreaded dovishness. Therefore, rather than rewrite the same commentary for why this continues to happen I’ll just link to prior discussions.

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Which Nations Will Crumble and Which Few Will Prosper in the Next 25 Years?

Adaptability and flexibility will be the core survival traits going forward. What will separate the many nations that will crumble in the next 25 years and those few that will survive and even prosper while the status quo dissolves around them? As I explain in my recent book Pathfinding our Destiny: Preventing the Final Fall of Our Democratic Republic, the factors that will matter are not necessarily cultural or financial; being hard-working and...

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