Category Archive: 5) Global Macro

Political Correctness Serves the Ruling Elite

No wonder the Ruling Elites loves political correctness: all those furiously signaling their virtue are zero threat to the asymmetric plunder of the status quo. The Ruling Elites loves political correctness, for it serves the Elite so well. What is political correctness? Political correctness is the public pressure to conform to "progressive" speech acts by uttering the expected code words and phrases in public.

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Emerging Markets: What Changed

India plans to increase spending and widen its budget deficit targets ahead of key elections. India appears to be cracking down on cryptocurrencies. South Africa’s parliament has scheduled a no- confidence vote for Zuma on February 22. Turkish central bank raised its end-2018 inflation forecast in its quarterly inflation report. Peru’s Popular Force party expelled Kenji Fujimori and several of his allies.

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China: PMIs suggest moderation in momentum in Q1

China’s official manufacturing purchasing manager index (PMI) came in at 51.3 in January, down slightly from December (51.6). The Markit PMI (also known as the Caixin PMI) stayed at 51.5, the same as in the previous month (Chart 1). The official non - manufacturing PMI rose slightly to 55.0 in January from 44.8 the previous month.

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The Historical Warnings of Money

It’s interesting, to me anyway, that an image of the Roman goddess Juno remains to this day on the logo of the Bank of England. There are many stories about her role as it relates to money, but what cannot be denied is that the very word itself came to us from her temple. The Latin moneta was derived from the word monere, a verb meaning to warn. Moneta was Juno’s surname.

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Strong growth and Abenomics mean Japanese equities continue to provide opportunities

Japanese growth momentum is at its strongest in over a decade, with the quarterly Tankan survey of business conditions and sentiment strengthening to an 11 - year high in Q4 2017. The economy may have expanded by 1.8% in 2017, up from 0.9% in the previous year. In 2018, the growth rate may moderate slightly to 1.3%, but should remain well above Japan’s potential growth, which currently stands at 0.85%, according to the Bank of Japan (BoJ, see...

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Tax cuts and ‘animal spirits’ mean higher US growth in 2018

December’s US tax cuts – which saw corporate taxation reduced particularly sharply – are being echoed in signs that ‘animal spirits’ are finally kicking in. Both set the stage, in our view, for higher US growth, in large part driven by greater investment. We therefore upgrade our 2018 US growth forecast from 2.0% to 3.0%. We forecast that real non-residential investment growth will accelerate to 7.0% in 2018, up from an estimated 4.6% in 2017. We...

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Globally Synchronized What?

In one of those rare turns, the term “globally synchronized growth” actually means what the words do. It is economic growth that for the first time in ten years has all the major economies of the world participating in it. It’s the kind of big idea that seems like a big thing we all should pay attention to. In The New York Times this weekend, we learn.

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The Pie Is Shrinking for the 99 percent

The ensuing social disunity and disruption will be of the sort many alive today have never seen. Social movements arise to solve problems of inequality, injustice, exploitation and oppression. In other words, they are solutions to society-wide problems plaguing the many but not the few (i.e. the elites at the top of the wealth-power pyramid).

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Bi-Weekly Economic Review: Markets At Extremes

Production ended the year on a strong note but early readings from January are not as positive. The December industrial production report headline was strong at a 0.9% gain but a lot of that strength was in the mining (oil drilling) and utility sectors. Mining has actually led the way the last year as rig count has risen with drilling activity. I’d love to see our economy less dependent on the price of oil but that is what we’ve become over the...

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Emerging Markets: Week Ahead Preview

EM FX closed Friday on a mixed note, but still posted solid gains for the week as a whole. Best performers last week were ZAR, PLN, and CZK while the worst were ARS, PHP, and IDR. The bearish dollar environment remains intact and so we see further gains for EM FX this week. However, we continue to warn that divergences within EM are likely to assert themselves.

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December Durable Goods

Durable and capital goods orders and shipments all increased in December by growth rates consistent with those registered in the months leading up to the big storms Harvey and Irma. We continue to find evidence that accelerated growth in October and November was nothing more than the anticipated after-effects cleaning up after those hurricanes.

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Forget It, China’s Not Booming

Jeffrey Snider, head of global investment research at Alhambra Investments, says China is in fact not growing rapidly, which sounds disheartening for commodity investors. He reckons a crucial investment metric has weakened, pointing to slower economic expansion.

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Emerging Markets: What Changed

Korea policymakers have asked state-owned banks and companies to limit the issuance of global bonds. Malaysia's central bank hiked rates for the first time in four years. Pakistan’s central bank unexpectedly hiked rates for the first time in over four years. Moody’s raised its outlook on Russia’s Ba1 rating from stable to positive. Argentina’s central bank surprised markets with its second straight 75 bp rate cut.

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China: 2018 GDP forecast revised up

The Chinese economy ended 2017 on a strong note. In Q4 2017, China’s GDP amounted to Rmb23.4 trillion (about USD3.7 trillion), rising 1.6% over the previous quarter and 6.8% year-over-year (y-o-y) in real terms. Full-year GDP came in at Rmb82.7 trillion (about USD12.9 trillion), growing by 6.9% in real terms and beating the consensus forecast as well as our own estimate (both at 6.8%).

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US chart of the week – Texas rebounds

One of the major rivalries in the US is that between California and Texas, the country’s biggest and second-biggest states respectively in GDP terms. They have different growth drivers (most notably Silicon Valley in California and the energy industry in Texas), and they also have different political landscapes – and local taxation regimes. But which one’s ahead when it comes to employment growth?

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Can We Finally Have an Honest Discussion about the Opioid Crisis?

The economy no longer generates secure, purposeful jobs for the working class, and so millions of people live in a state of insecure despair. The opioid epidemic is generating a lot of media coverage and hand-wringing, but few if any solutions, and this is predictable: if you don't face up to the causes, then you can't solve the problem.

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The Dismal Boom

There is a fundamental assumption behind any purchasing manager index, or PMI. These are often but not always normalized to the number 50. That’s done simply for comparison purposes and the ease of understanding in the general public. That level at least in the literature and in theory is supposed to easily and clearly define the difference between growth and contraction.

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Central Bank Transparency, Or Doing Deliberate Dollar Deals With The Devil

The advent of open and transparent central banks is a relatively new one. For most of their history, these quasi-government institutions operated in secret and they liked it that way. As late as October 1993, for example, Alan Greenspan was testifying before Congress intentionally trying to cloud the issue as to whether verbatim transcripts of FOMC meetings actually existed.

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Central Banks: From Coordination to Competition

This is one reason why I anticipate "unexpected" disruptions in the global economy in 2018. The mere mention of "central banks" will likely turn off many readers who understandably have little interest in convoluted policies and arcane mumbo-jumbo, but bear with me for a few paragraphs while I make the case for something to happen in 2018 that will impact us all to some degree.

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Emerging Markets: Week Ahead Preview

EM FX ended last week on a soft note, but still enjoyed a relatively positive tone for the week as a whole. Best performers last week were MXN, ZAR, and CNY while the worst were ARS, TRY, and CLP. With little on the horizon to give the dollar some traction, we think EM FX will likely continue to firm this week. However, we again urge caution and look for divergences within EM.

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