Category Archive: 5) Global Macro

Dollar Soft as Risk Sentiment Stoked Ahead of US Retail Sales

US-China relations appear to be thawing. Trading was volatile after the ECB decision; we are still dollar bulls. EM has benefitted from the shift in the global backdrop this week. The US data highlight is August retail sales. Vietnam cut rates 25 bp to 6.0%; Turkey reported July current account and IP.

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The Inevitable Bursting of Our Bubble Economy

All of America's bubbles will pop, and sooner rather than later. Financial bubbles manifest three dynamics: the one we're most familiar with is human greed, the desire to exploit a windfall and catch a work-free ride to riches. The second dynamic gets much less attention: financial manias arise when there is no other more productive, profitable use for capital, and these periods occur when there is an abundance of credit available to inflate the...

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Your Unofficial Europe QE Preview

The thing about R* is mostly that it doesn’t really make much sense when you stop and think about it; which you aren’t meant to do. It is a reaction to unanticipated reality, a world that has turned out very differently than it “should” have. Central bankers are our best and brightest, allegedly, they certainly feel that way about themselves, yet the evidence is clearly lacking.

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Turkey Monetary Policy Planting Seeds of Future Crisis

Turkey central bank meets September 12 and is expected to cut rates 275 bp.  With Erdogan talking about single digit rates and inflation, it’s clear that rates are headed significantly lower.  At some point soon, we think the risk/reward for investing in Turkey will send investors fleeing for the exits.POLITICAL OUTLOOK President Erdogan sacked central bank Governor Murat Cetinkaya on July 6, ostensibly for not cutting rates quickly enough.

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The Obligatory Europe QE Review

If Mario Draghi wanted to wow them, this wasn’t it. Maybe he couldn’t, handcuffed already by what seems to have been significant dissent in the ranks. And not just the Germans this time. Widespread dissatisfaction with what is now an idea whose time may have finally arrived.

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Dollar (In) Demand

The last time was bad, no getting around it. From the end of 2014 until the first months of 2016, the Chinese economy was in a perilous state. Dramatic weakness had emerged which had seemed impossible to reconcile with conventions about the country. Committed to growth over everything, and I mean everything, China was the one country the world thought it could count on for being immune to the widespread economic sickness.

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A Bigger Boat

For every action there is a reaction. Not only is that Sir Isaac Newton’s third law, it’s also a statement about human nature. Unlike physics where causes and effects are near simultaneous, there is a time component to how we interact. In official capacities, even more so.

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Is The Negativity Overdone?

Give stimulus a chance, that’s the theme being set up for this week. After relentless buying across global bond markets distorting curves, upsetting politicians and the public alike, central bankers have responded en masse. There were more rate cuts around the world in August than there had been at any point since 2009.

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EM Preview for the Week Ahead

Despite some positive developments last week, we think the three key issues for risk assets have not been resolved yet.  Hong Kong protests continue, while reports suggest the US and China remain far apart.  Even Brexit has likely been given only a three month reprieve.  We remain negative on EM until these key issues have been ultimately resolved.

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These Are Not Signs of a Healthy Market

The implicit narrative of the latest rally in stocks is that this is just another normal rally in the ongoing 10-year long Bull market. Nice, but do these three charts look "normal" to you? Let's take a quick glance at a daily chart of the S&P 500 (SPX), a weekly chart of TLT, the exchange-traded fund of the US Treasury 20-year bond, and silver.

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Just Who Was The Intended Audience For The Rate Cut?

Federal Reserve policymakers appear to have grown more confident in their more optimistic assessment of the domestic situation. Since cutting the benchmark federal funds range by 25 bps on July 31, in speeches and in other ways Chairman Jay Powell and his group have taken on a more “hawkish” tilt. This isn’t all the way back to last year’s rate hikes, still a pronounced difference from a few months ago.

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Will Everything Change in 2020-2025 or Will Nothing Change?

Any domino-like expanding crisis will unfold in a status quo lacking any coherent response. Longtime readers know I've often referenced The Fourth Turning, the book that makes the case for an 80-year cycle of existential crisis in U.S. history.

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United States: The ISM Conundrum

Bond yields have tumbled this morning, bringing the 10-year US Treasury rate within sight of its record low level. The catalyst appears to have been the ISM’s Manufacturing PMI. Falling below 50, this widely followed economic indicator continues its rapid unwinding.

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Copper Confirmed

Copper prices behave more deliberately than perhaps prices in other commodity markets. Like gold, it is still set by a mix of economic (meaning physical) and financial (meaning collateral and financing). Unlike gold, there doesn’t seem to be any rush to get to wherever the commodity market is going. Over the last several years, it has been more long periods of sideways.

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Latest Thoughts on the US Economic Outlook

The US economy is starting to show cracks from the ongoing trade war. While we do not want to make too much from one data point, we acknowledge that headwinds are building whilst US recession risks are rising.

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Big Difference Which Kind of Hedge It Truly Is

It isn’t inflation which is driving gold higher, at least not the current levels of inflation. According to the latest update from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation calculation, the PCE Deflator, continues to significantly undershoot. Monetary policy explicitly calls for that rate to be consistent around 2%, an outcome policymakers keep saying they expect but one that never happens.

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Drivers for the Week Ahead

We remain dollar bulls; this is an important data week for the US. Final August eurozone manufacturing PMIs will be reported Monday; UK reports August PMIs this week. RBA meets Tuesday and is expected to keep rates steady at 1.0%; BOC meets Wednesday and is expected to keep rates steady at 1.75%.

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Labor Day Reflections on Retirement and Working for 49 Years

What happens when these monstrous speculative bubbles pop? Let's start by stipulating that if I'd taken a gummit job right out of college, I could have retired 19 years ago. Instead, I've been self-employed for most of the 49 years I've been working, and I'm still grinding it out at 65.

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GDP Profits Hold The Answers To All Questions

Revisions to second quarter GDP were exceedingly small. The BEA reduced the estimate by a little less than $800 million out of nearly $20 trillion (seasonally-adjusted annual rate). The growth rate therefore declined from 2.03502% (continuously compounded annual rate) to 2.01824%.

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Dear Trump Advisors: Prop the Market Up Now and Lose in 2020, or Let the Market Crash and Win in 2020

One of the more reliable truisms is that Americans vote their pocketbook: if their wallets are being thinned (by recession, stock market declines, high inflation/stagnant wages, etc.), they throw the incumbent out, even if they loved him the previous year when their wallets were getting fatter. (Think Bush I, who maintained high approval ratings but ended up losing the 1992 election due to a dismal economic mood.)

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