Category Archive: 5) Global Macro

We’re Overdue for a Sell-Everything/No-Fed-Rescue Recession

We're way overdue for a sell-everything recession, one that the Fed will only make worse by pursuing its usual policies of lowering interest rates and goosing easy money. As I noted last week, central banks, like generals, always fight the last war--until the war is lost. 

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2019: The Three Trends That Matter

Look no further than Brexit in Britain, the yellow vests in France and the Deplorables in the U.S. for manifestations of a broken social contract and decaying social order. Among the many trends currently in play, Gordon Long and I discuss three that will matter as 2019 progresses: 2019 Themes (56 minutes).

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Brace for Impact

As credit-asset bubbles pop, the dominoes start falling. The economy is far more precarious than the surface boom/bubble suggests. A great many households, enterprises and municipalities are in overloaded boats whose gunwales are just a few inches above the water; the slightest wave will swamp and sink them.

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More Of What Was Behind December, And Not Just December

As more and more data rolls in even in this delayed fashion, the more what happened to end last year makes sense. The Census Bureau updated today its statistics for US trade in November 2018. Heading into the crucial month of December, these new figures suggest a big setback in the global economy that is almost certainly the reason markets became so chaotic.

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Lost In Translation

Since I don’t speak Japanese, I’m left to wonder if there is an intent to embellish the translation. Whoever is responsible for writing in English what is written by the Bank of Japan in Japanese, they are at times surely seeking out attention. However its monetary policy may be described in the original language, for us it has become so very clownish.

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China’s S-Curve of Expansion, Stagnation and Decline

All the policies that worked in the Boost Phase no longer work. Natural and human systems tend to go through stages of expansion, stagnation and decline that follow what's known as the S-Curve. The dynamic isn't difficult to understand: an unfilled ecological niche is suddenly open due to a new adaptation; a bacteria evolves to exploit a new host, etc.

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US Manufacturing Questions

The US economic data begins to trickle in slowly. Today, the reopened Census Bureau reports on orders and shipments to and from US factories dating back to last November. New orders for durable goods rose just 4.5% year-over-year in that month, while shipments gained 4.7%. The 6-month average for new orders was in November pulled down to just 6.6%, the lowest since September 2017 (hurricanes).

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The Coming Global Financial Crisis: Debt Exhaustion

The global economy is way past the point of maximum debt saturation, and so the next stop is debt exhaustion. Just as generals fight the last war, central banks always fight the last financial crisis. The Global Financial Crisis (GFC) of 2008-09 was primarily one of liquidity as markets froze up as a result of the collapse of the highly leveraged subprime mortgage sector that had commoditized fraud (hat tip to Manoj S.) via liar loans and...

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Fear Or Reflation Gold?

Gold is on fire, but why is it on fire? When the precious metals’ price falls, Stage 2, we have a pretty good idea what that means (collateral). But when it goes the other way, reflation or fear of deflation? Stage 1 or Stage 3? If it is Stage 1 reflation based on something like the Fed’s turnaround, then we would expect to find US$ markets trading in exactly the same way.

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Bond Curves Right All Along, But It Won’t Matter (Yet)

Men have long dreamed of optimal outcomes. There has to be a better way, a person will say every generation. Freedom is far too messy and unpredictable. Everybody hates the fat tails, unless and until they realize it is outlier outcomes that actually mark progress. The idea was born in the eighties that Economics had become sufficiently advanced that the business cycle was no longer a valid assumption.

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Monthly Macro Monitor – February (VIDEO)

Alhambra Investments CEO Joe Calhoun discusses the latest information about markets, specific categories affecting the economy.

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It’s Not That There Might Be One, It’s That There Might Be Another One

It was a tense exchange. When even politicians can sense that there’s trouble brewing, there really is trouble brewing. Typically the last to figure these things out, if parliamentarians are up in arms it already isn’t good, to put it mildly. Well, not quite the last to know, there are always central bankers faithfully pulling up the rear of recognizing disappointing reality.

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So If Half of Facebook Accounts Are Fake… What Is Facebook Worth?

The social media space is absolutely ripe for a new entrant who demands arduous verification and constantly monitors its user base to eliminate cloned and fake accounts. How many accounts on Facebook are fake? Recent estimates of half could be low. Here's an experiment: open a Facebook account with a name that cannot possibly be anyone else's real name, for example, Johns XQR Citizenry.

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So You Want to Get Rich: Focus on Human Capital

Wealth is flowing to those who earn money from their human capital and enterprise. So you want to get rich: OK, what's the plan? If you ask youngsters how to get rich, many will respond by listing the professions the media focuses on: entertainment, actors/actresses, pro athletes, and maybe a few lionized inventors or CEOs.

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The “Working Rich” Are Not Like You and Me-or the Oligarchs

Rising income inequality may be a reflection of the changing nature of work. F. Scott Fitzgerald's story The Rich Boy included this famous line: "Let me tell you about the very rich. They are different from you and me." According to a recent paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER),Capitalists in the Twenty-First Century (abstract only), the "working rich" are different from you and me, and from the...

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Monthly Macro Monitor – January 2019

A Return To Normalcy. In the first two years after a newly elected President takes office he enacts a major tax cut that primarily benefits the wealthy and significantly raises tariffs on imports. His foreign policy is erratic but generally pulls the country back from foreign commitments. He also works to reduce immigration and roll back regulations enacted by his predecessor.

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The Ruling Elites Love How Easily We’re Distracted and Turned Against Each Other

No wonder the ruling elites love how easily we're distracted and divided against ourselves: it's so easy to dominate a distracted, divided, blinded-by-propaganda and negative emotions populace. Let's say you're one of the ruling elites operating the nation for the benefit of the oligarchy.

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China’s Eurodollar Story Reaches Its Final Chapters

Imagine yourself as a rural Chinese farmer. Even the term “farmer” makes it sound better than it really is. This is a life out of the 19th century, subsistence at best the daily struggle just to survive. Flourishing is a dream.

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Gentrified Urban America Will Be Hit Hard by the Recession

Combine sky-high commercial rents in homogenized, gentrified urban areas and sharp declines in the incomes of the limited populace who can afford gentrified urban areas and what do you get? A number of macro dynamics have set up gentrified urban America for a big fall in the coming recession.

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Brexit, EU, Germany, China and Yellow Vests In 2019 – Something Wicked This Way Comes

“Something wicked this way comes” warns John Mauldin. Shaky China: Chinese landing could be harder than expected. Brexit and EU Breakage: “I have long thought the EU will eventually fall apart”. Helpless Europe: If Germany sneezes, their banks & the rest of continent catches cold. We may see “yellow vests” spread globally: Economics is about to get interesting …

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