Category Archive: 5) Global Macro

Emerging Markets: Preview of the Week Ahead

EM FX ended Friday on a week note and capped of another generally negative week. Worst performers last week were ARS, BRL, and TRY while the best were ZAR, RUB, and KRW. We remain negative on EM FX and look for losses to continue. US retail sales data Tuesday pose further downside risks to EM FX.

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How Safe Are We? Our Blindness to Systemic Dangers

How do we explain our obsession with relatively low risk dangers and our collective blindness to manufactured/marketed scourges that kill tens of thousands of people annually? If you've bought a new vehicle recently, you may have noticed some "safety features" that strike many as Nanny State over-reach. You can't change radio stations, for example, if the vehicle is in reverse.

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What China’s Trade Conditions Say About The Right Side Of ‘L’

Chinese exports rose 12.9% year-over-year in April 2018. Imports were up 20.9%. As always, both numbers sound impressive but they are far short of rates consistent with a growing global economy. China’s participation in global growth, synchronized or not, is a must. The lack of acceleration on the export side tells us a lot about what to expect on the import side.

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Watching Imports

The US trade deficit, a sensitive political topic these days, declined sharply in March. It had expanded significantly (more deficit) in January and February, reaching nearly -$76 billion (seasonally adjusted) in the latter month, before posting -$68 billion in the latest figures. Exports rose while imports fell in March, making for the largest single month change in the trade condition in many years.

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What Really Happened In Europe

The primary example of globally synchronized growth has been Europe. Nowhere has more hope been attached to shifting fortunes. The Continent, buoyed by the persistence of central bankers like Mario Draghi, has not just accelerated it is actually booming. Or so they say.

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Bi-Weekly Economic Review: Oil, Interest Rates & Economic Growth

The yield on the 10 year Treasury note briefly surpassed the supposedly important 3% barrier and then….nothing. So, maybe, contrary to all the commentary that placed such importance on that level, it was just another line on a chart and the bond bear market fear mongering told us a lot about the commentators and not a lot about the market or the economy.

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Emerging Markets Preview: The Week Ahead

EM FX came under intense selling pressures last week. The worst performers were ARS, TRY, and MXN while the best were PHP, KRW, and TWD. US rates are likely to remain the key driver for EM FX, and so PPI and CPI data will be closely watched this week. We believe EM FX will remain under pressure.

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Emerging Markets: What Changed

Bank Indonesia is taking measures to stabilize the local bond market. The Philippine central bank is tilting more hawkish. Czech National Bank cut its inflation forecasts. The Turkish government is loosening fiscal policy to drum up popular support. S&P downgraded Turkey to BB- with stable outlook. Argentina officials are taking significant measures to support the peso. Brazil central bank made a subtle shift in its FX intervention strategy.

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Taking the Pulse of a Weakening Economy

Corporate buybacks provide the key analogy for the economy as a whole. Central banks have been running a grand experiment for 9 years, and now we're about to find out if it succeeds or fails. For 9 unprecedented years, central banks have pushed the pedal of monetary stimulus to the metal: near-zero interest rates, monumental purchases of bonds, mortgage-backed securities, stocks and corporate bonds.

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What Lies Beyond Capitalism and Socialism?

The status quo, in all its various forms, is dominated by incentives that strengthen the centralization of wealth and power. As longtime readers know, my work aims to 1) explain why the status quo -- the socio-economic-political system we inhabit -- is unsustainable, divisive, and doomed to collapse under its own weight and 2) sketch out an alternative Mode of Production/way of living that is sustainable, consumes far less resources while providing...

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Where next for oil prices?

On 19 April, the price of a barrel of oil reached USD69.56 for West Texas Intermediate (WTI) and reached USD75.27 for Brent, today, the highest price since 2014. Since 9 April, oil prices have been significantly above their longterm fundamental equilibrium value. Three factors explain what has happened.

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House View, April 2018

Pictet Wealth Management's latest positioning across asset classes and investment themes. While macroeconomic and corporate fundamentals still favour risk assets, challenges have been steadily increasing and a lot of good news is already priced into valuations. We sold part of our equity overweight during the early March rally.

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Transitory’s Japanese Cousin

Thomas Hoenig was President of the Federal Reserve’s Kansas City branch for two decades. He left that post in 2011 to become Vice Chairman of the FDIC. Before that, Mr. Hoenig as a voting member of the FOMC in 2010 cast the lone dissenting vote in each of the eight policy meetings that year (meaning he was against QE2, too). This makes him, apparently, the hawk of all hawks.

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Emerging Markets: Week Ahead Preview

EM FX ended Friday on a firm note, capping off a generally softer week overall. TRY and PHP were the best performers last week, while CLP and ZAR were the worst. US core PCE, ISM manufacturing, FOMC meeting, and jobs data all pose risks to EM this week. We remain a bit defensive on risk assets in general now.

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La dette bat des records et menace l’économie mondiale

L’endettement mondial, qui a atteint 164.000 milliards de dollars en 2016 et représente 225% du PIB mondial, représente un risque pour l’économie, a prévenu mercredi le FMI. L’endettement mondial atteint des records, sous l’impulsion de la Chine, au point de dépasser largement les niveaux de 2009, juste après la faillite de la banque Lehman Brothers, et de représenter un risque pour l’économie, a prévenu mercredi le FMI.

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The Science of Japanification

The term itself gives it away. They called it quantitative easing for a specific reason. Both words mean to convey substantial concepts. The first part, quantitative, was used because it sounds deliberate, even scientific. It implies a program where great care and study was employed to come up with the exact right amount. It’s downright formulaic, where you intend that by doing X you can predictably create Y.

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Bi-Weekly Economic Review: Interest Rates Make Their Move

How quickly things change in these markets. In the report two weeks ago, the markets reflected a pretty obvious slowing in the global economy. In the course of two weeks, what seemed obvious has been quickly reversed. The 10-year yield moved up a quick 20 basis points in just a week, a rise in nominal growth expectations that was mostly about inflation fears.

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Why The Last One Still Matters (IP Revisions)

Beginning with its very first issue in May 1915, the Federal Reserve’s Bulletin was the place to find a growing body of statistics on US economic performance. Four years later, monthly data was being put together on the physical volumes of trade. From these, in 1922, the precursor to what we know today as Industrial Production was formed. The index and its components have changed considerably over its near century of operative history.

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Our Strange Attraction to Self-Destructive Behaviors, Choices and Incentives

Self-destruction isn't a bug, it's a feature of our socio-economic system. The gravitational pull of self-destructive behaviors, choices and incentives is scale-invariant, meaning that we can discern the strange attraction to self-destruction in the entire scale of human experience, from individuals to families to groups to entire societies.

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Emerging Market Preview: Week Ahead

EM FX came under renewed pressure last week as US yields rose to new highs for the cycle. RUB and TRY were the top performers last week, while MXN and COP were the worst. There are no Fed speakers this week due to the embargo ahead of the May 2 FOMC meeting. While we see little chance of a hike then, markets are likely to remain nervous.

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