Category Archive: 5) Global Macro

EM Preview for the Week Ahead

EM remains vulnerable to deteriorating risk sentiment as the coronavirus spreads.  China announced a series of measures over the weekend to help support its financial markets, but this may not be enough to turn sentiment around yet.  China markets reopen Monday after the extended Lunar New Year holiday and it won’t be pretty.

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History Shows You Should Infer Nothing From Powell’s Pause

Jay Powell says that three’s not a crowd, at least not for his rate cuts, but four would be. As usual, central bankers like him always hedge and say that “should conditions warrant” the FOMC will be more than happy to indulge (the NYSE). But what he means in his heart of hearts is that there probably won’t be any need.

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Three Straight Quarters of 2 percent, And Yet Each One Very Different

Headline GDP growth during the fourth quarter of 2019 was 2.05849% (continuously compounded annual rate), slightly lower than the (revised) 2.08169% during Q3. For the year, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) puts total real output at $19.07 trillion, or annual growth of 2.33% and down from 2.93% in 2018. Last year was weaker than 2017, the second lowest out of the six since 2013.

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Second-Order Effects: The Unexpectedly Slippery Path to Dow 10,000

Dow 30,000 is "unsinkable," just like the Titanic. A recent Barrons cover celebrating the euphoric inevitability of Dow 30,000 captured the mainstream zeitgeist perfectly: Corporate America is firing on all cylinders, the Federal Reserve's god-like powers will push stocks higher regardless of any other reality, blah blah blah.

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Dollar Firm Ahead of BOE Decision

The World Health Organization called an emergency meeting today; the dollar continues to climb. The FOMC meeting was a non-event; US advance Q4 GDP will be reported. Risk-off sentiment has derailed curve steepening trades. Implied rates still suggest that today’s BOE meeting is a coin toss.

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Could the Coronavirus Epidemic Be the Tipping Point in the Supply Chain Leaving China?

Everyone expecting a quick resolution to the epidemic and a rapid return to pre-epidemic conditions would be well-served by looking beyond first-order effects. While the media naturally focuses on the immediate effects of the coronavirus epidemic, the possible second-order effects receive little attention: first order, every action has a consequence. Second order, every consequence has its own consequence.

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With No Second Half Rebound, Confirming The Squeeze

It’s a palpable impatience. Having learned absolutely nothing from the most recent German example, there’s this pervasive belief that if the economy hasn’t fallen apart by now it must be going the other way. The right way. Those are the only two options for mainstream analysis (which means it isn’t analysis).

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Tentative Stabilization

Risk-off continues in Asia, but moves have been less dramatic. European market jittery but stable. Implied rates now pricing in a full Fed cut by September. The UK will announce its decision on Huawei’s access to the country’s 5G network.

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Sharp Sell-Off on Virus Concerns

Global stocks lower on virus fears, yen appreciates, and yield curves flatten. Oil prices continue to fall while gold rises. Italian assets outperform on favorable election results for ruling coalition. German IFO survey disappoints, trimming nascent green shoots.

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EM Preview for the Week Ahead

The spread of the coronavirus continues and is likely to weigh on risk assets and EM.  Most markets in Emerging Asia are closed for all or part of this week due to the Lunar New Year holiday.  China has extended the holiday until February 2 as it struggles to contain the virus. 

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The Future of What’s Called “Capitalism”

The psychotic instability will resolve itself when the illusory officially sanctioned "capitalism" implodes. Whatever definition of capitalism you use, the current system isn't it so let's call it "capitalism" in quotes to indicate it's called "capitalism" but isn't actually classical capitalism.

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Virus and Trade Tensions

Asian markets hit by a further outbreak of the coronavirus. US steps up trade rhetoric against EU and pushes back against UK digital tax plan. AUD stronger on solid Australian jobs report and pricing out of RBA easing. CAD weaker on dovish BOC communication yesterday.

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The Big And Small of Leading Japan

In the middle of 2018, Japan, they said, was riding so high. Gliding along on the tidal wave of globally synchronized growth, Haruhiko’s courage and more so patience had finally delivered the long-promised recovery. The Japanese economy had healed to a point that its central bank officials believed it time to wean the thing off decades of monetary “stimulus.”

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Calling Things by Their Real Names

One does not need money to convey one's thoughts, but what money does allow is the drowning out of speech of those without money by those with a lot of money. In last week's explanation of why the Federal Reserve is evil, I invoked the principle of calling things by their real names, a concept that drew an insightful commentary from longtime correspondent Chad D.:

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Dollar Mixed as Risk-Off Impulses Spread from Virus

Reports that Wuhan coronavirus continues to spread hurt risk appetite overnight. US President Trump and French president Macron agreed to take a step back from the digital tax dispute. The dollar is taking a breather today; after last week’s huge US data dump, releases this week are fairly light. The UK reported firm jobs data for November; BOJ kept policy steady, as expected.

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China Enters 2020 Still (Intent On) Managing Its Decline

Chinese Industrial Production accelerated further in December 2019, rising 6.9% year-over-year according to today’s estimates from China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). That was a full percentage point above consensus. IP had bottomed out right in August at a record low 4.4%, and then, just as this wave of renewed optimism swept the world, it has rebounded alongside it.

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EM Preview for the Week Ahead

Market sentiment on EM remains positive after the Phase One trade deal was signed.  Data out of China is also supportive for EM.  Key forward-looking data this week are Taiwan export orders and Korea trade data for the first 20 days of January.  The global liquidity story also remains beneficial for risk, with the ECB, Norges Bank, BOC, and BOJ all set to maintain steady rates this week.

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Germany, Maybe Europe: No Signs Of The Bottom

For anyone thinking the global economy is turning around, it’s not the kind of thing you want to hear. Germany has been Ground Zero for this globally synchronized downturn. That’s where it began, meaning first showed up, all the way back at the start of 2018. Ever since, the German economy has been pulling Europe down into the economic abyss along with it, being ahead of the curve in signaling what was to come for the whole rest of the global...

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Inflation, But Only At The Morgue

Why is everyone so angry? How can socialism possibly be on such a rise, particularly among younger people around the world? Why are Americans suddenly dying off? According to one study, two-thirds of millennials are convinced they are doing worse when compared to their parents’ generation. Sixty-two percent say they are living paycheck to paycheck, with no savings and no way to get any (though they also tend to “overspend” when compared to other...

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De-dollarization By Default Is Not What You Might Think

Last month, a group of central bank governors from across the South Pacific region gathered in Australia to move forward the idea of a KYC utility. If you haven’t heard of KYC, or know your customer, it is a growing legal requirement that is being, and has been, imposed on banks all over the world. Spurred by anti-money laundering efforts undertaken first by the European Union, more and more governments are forcing global banks to take part.

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