Category Archive: 5) Global Macro

Dollar Resilient as Cracks in Risk-On Appear

Some cracks have appeared in the market’s risk-on sentiment. We continue to believe that recent developments take some pressure off the Fed to cut rates again this month. Our base case for a Brexit delay has been strengthened; UK reported weak labor market data. The situation is Turkey continues to develop negatively for asset prices; trade data out of China once again showed the impact of the trade war and the resulting global slowdown.

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EM Preview for the Week Ahead

EM benefited greatly from the improvement in US-China trade relations and quite possibly Brexit.  The dollar is likely to remain under some pressure near-term as a result. Yet we must caution investors against getting too optimistic.  The details of the partial trade deal still need to be worked out, while existing tariffs will still remain in place if the deal is signed next month as most expect.

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The Ultimate Heresy: Technology Can’t Fix What’s Broken

Technology can't fix what's broken, because what's broken is our entire system.. The ultimate heresy in today's world isn't religious or political: it's refusing to believe that technology can not only solve all our problems, it will do so painlessly and without any sacrifice. Anyone who dares to question this orthodoxy is instantly declared an anti-progress (gasp!) Luddite, i.e. a heretic in league with the Devil.

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Never Attribute To Malice What Is Easily Explained By Those Attributing Anything To Term Premiums

There will be more opportunities ahead to talk about the not-QE, non-LSAP which as of today still doesn’t have a catchy title. In other words, don’t call it a QE because a QE is an LSAP not an SSAP. The former is a large scale asset purchase plan intended on stimulating the financial system therefore economy. That’s what it intends to do, leaving the issue of what it actually does an open question.

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CPI Changes On Energy: The Inflation Check

After constantly running through what the FOMC gets (very) wrong, let’s give them some credit for what they got right. Though this will end up as a backhanded compliment, still. After having spent all of 2018 forecasting accelerating inflation indices, from around New Year’s Day forward policymakers notably changed their tune.

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Dollar Remains Soft as Risk-On Sentiment Continues

Markets have seized on the possibility of a partial trade deal as well as some hopes that a hard Brexit will be avoided. The main event for the day will be President Trump’s meeting with Vice Premier Liu He. These market movements (if sustained) will take pressure off of the Fed to cut rates this month. The notion of a “pathway” to a Brexit deal continues to capture investors’ imagination.

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Monthly Macro Monitor: Doom & Gloom, Good Grief

When I first got in this business oh so many years ago, my mentor told me that I shouldn’t waste my time worrying about the things everyone else was worrying about. As I’ve related in these missives before, he called those things “well worried”. His point was that once everyone was aware of something it was priced into the market and not worth your time.

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The Scientism of Trade Wars

One year ago, last October, the IMF published the update to its World Economic Outlook (WEO) for 2018. Like many, the organization began to talk more about trade wars and protectionism. It had become a topic of conversation more than concern. Couched as only downside risks, the IMF still didn’t think the fuss would amount to all that much. Especially not with world’s economy roaring under globally synchronized growth. Even though there were...

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Will the Clintons Destroy the Democratic Party?

History is full of ironies, and perhaps it will suit the irony gods for The Donald to take down the Republican Party and the Clinton dynasty to destroy the Democratic Party. Let's start by stipulating my bias: I would cheer the collapse of both self-serving, venal political parties, which have stood by for decades as the rich have become immeasurably richer and the politically powerful few have disempowered the many.

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Our Time/Labor Is Finite, But Money Is Infinite

Once we understand this mechanism, we understand that labor can never get ahead. I've been pondering a comment longtime correspondent Drew P. emailed me in response to my post, What's Holding Up the Market?: Our time/labor is finite, but money is infinite. Drew explained that creating new fiat currency and injecting it into a closed system (our financial system) controls and restrains the value of our time and labor, past, present and future.

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From JOLTS Series Shift To Series of Rate Cuts

I’ve said all along that they would be dragged into them kicking and screaming. After all, the Federal Reserve undertook its last rate hike in December 2018 – just as the markets were making clear he was completely mistaken in his view of the economy. What followed was the ridiculous “Fed pause” which pretty much everyone outside of the central bank and the Economics profession knew wasn’t the end of it.

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Dollar Soft Despite Heightened Geopolitical Risks

The dollar staged a stunning comeback yesterday as risk-off took hold on rising geopolitical risk; those risks remain high. US-China tensions have risen ahead of trade talks that begin Thursday. The US abruptly announced that it would withdraw its troops from northeast Syria. US reports September PPI; German IP came in better than expected.

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The Consequences Of ‘Transitory’

Europe’s QE, as noted this weekend, is off to a very rough start. In the bond market and in inflation expectations, the much-ballyhooed relaunch of “accommodation” is conspicuously absent. There was a minor back up in yields between when the ECB signaled its intentions back in August and the few weeks immediately following the actual announcement.

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What’s Holding Up the Market?

The Fed's nearly free money for financiers policies in support of the Super-Rich do not exist in a vacuum--the disastrous consequences are already baked in. What's holding up the U.S. stock market? The facile answer is the Federal Reserve but this doesn't actually describe the mechanisms in play or the consequences of a market that levitates ever higher on the promise of more Fed money-for-nothing injected into the diseased veins of the financial...

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Drivers for the Week Ahead

The dollar rally has been derailed by weak US data and rising recession fears. The September jobs data was not a game-changer and so we are left waiting for more clues. Believe it or not, the US economy remains solid; however, the US repo market has not fully normalized yet. The Chinese trade delegation arrives in Washington Thursday for two days of trade talks.

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Big Trouble In QE Paradise

Maybe it was a sign of things to come, a warning how it wasn’t going to go as planned. Then again, when it comes to something like quantitative easing there really is no plan. Other than to make it sound like there is one, that’s really the whole idea. Not what it really is and what it actually does, to make it appear like there’s substance to it.

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Why The Japanese Are Suddenly Messing With YCC

While the world’s attention was fixated on US$ repo for once, the Bank of Japan held a policy meeting and turned in an even more “dovish” performance. Likely the global central bank plan had been to combine the Fed’s second rate cut with what amounted to a simultaneous Japanese pledge for more “stimulus” in October. Both of those followed closely an ECB which got itself back in the QE business once more.

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ISM Spoils The Bond Rout!!! Again

For the second time this week, the ISM managed to burst the bond bear bubble about there being a bond bubble. Who in their right mind would buy especially UST’s at such low yields when the fiscal situation is already a nightmare and becoming more so? Some will even reference falling bid-to-cover ratios which supposedly suggests an increasing dearth of buyers.

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The Big Picture Doesn’t Include ‘Trade Wars’

The WTO today downgraded its estimates for global trade growth. In April, the international organization had figured the total volume of world merchandise trade would expand by about 2.6% in all of 2019 once the year closed out on the anticipated second half rebound. Everyone took their lumps in H1 and the WTO like central bankers everywhere were thinking “transitory” factors.

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ISM Spoils The Bond Rout!!!

With China closed for its National Day Golden Week holiday, the stage was set for Japan to steal the market spotlight. If only briefly. The Bank of Japan announced last night that it had had enough of the JGB curve. The 2s10s very nearly inverted last month and BoJ officials released preliminary plans to steepen it back out.

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