Category Archive: Global Macro

Defying Labels

Last month US Industrial Production rose rather quickly. Gaining more than 1.1% month-over-month, it might have appeared that the US economy once dragged into downturn by manufacturing and industry was finally about to experience its belated upturn....

Global Asset Allocation Update:

There is no change to the risk budget this month. For the moderate risk investor, the allocation between risk assets and bonds is unchanged at 50/50. There are no changes to the portfolio this month.

Emerging Markets: What’s Changed

MSCI announced it will include 222 China Large Cap A-shares in its Emerging Markets Index. Czech central bank is pushing out rate hike expectations. Hungary central bank eased again using unconventional measures. MSCI announced that it has launched a...

Repeat 2015; An Embarrassing Day For The Fed

Today started out very badly for the FOMC. At 8:30am the Commerce Department reported “unexpectedly” weak retail sales while at the very same time the BLS published CPI statistics that were thoroughly predictable. Markets, at least credit and money...

Retail Sales Weren’t All That Bad, Meaning They Were The Worst

Taken in comparison to the last few years, today’s retail sales report wasn’t that bad. Total sales for May 2017, including autos, grew by 5.17% year-over-year (NSA). That was the highest growth rate since last February. The 6-month average is now just...

Repeat 2014: Praying Again To The God of ‘Global Growth’

One of the more troubling aspects of mainstream commentary in 2014 was its blandness. Statements were made with a purpose but also purposefully avoiding specifics. It was common to hear or read “the economy is improving” without being shown why or how...

The ‘Dollar’ Devil Shows Itself Again In China

Some economic and financial conditions leave a yield curve as a more complex affair.Then there are others that are incredibly simple.The UST yield curve is the former, while right now the Chinese Treasury curve is the latter.

American Expectations, Chinese Prices

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York has for the past almost four years conducted its own assessment of consumer expectations.Though there are several other well-known consumer surveys, FRBNY adding another could be helpful for corroborating them....

Bi-Weekly Economic Review: Has The Fed Heard Of Amazon?

The economic surprises keep piling up on the negative side of the ledger as the Fed persists in tightening policy or at least pretending that they are. If a rate changes in the wilderness can the market hear it? Outside of the stock market one would be...

Emerging Markets: Preview of the Week Ahead

EM FX was mixed Friday to cap off a mostly lower week. Obviously, we're seeing a bit of a washout in EM after the hawkish FOMC. Market was overly complacent and very long EM going into the FOMC meeting. The big question is how deep this selloff gets....

Deciphering Curves

What is the yield curve supposed to look like? It’s a simple question that doesn’t actually have an answer. And because it doesn’t, there is a whole lot of confusion about bond yields.

Wealth Paradox Not Effect

US Household Net Worth rose to a record $94.8 trillion in Q1 2017. According to the Federal Reserve’s Financial Accounts of the United States (Z1), aggregate paper wealth rose by more than 8% year-over-year mostly as the stock market shook off the...

Emerging Markets: What has Changed

Philippines central bank forecast a current account deficit this year, the first one in fifteen years. Kuwait refrained from matching the Fed’s 25 bp hike. The US Senate voted overwhelmingly to step up sanctions against Iran and Russia. Moody’s...

Questions Persist About China Trade

Chinese trade statistics were for May 2017 better than expected by economists, but on the export side questions remain as to their accuracy. Earlier this year discrepancies between estimates first published by the General Administration of Customs...

All About Inventory

Andy Hall has been called the God of Oil. As chief of Astenbeck Capital, he has proven at times that even gods can be mortal. In the “rising dollar” period, for example, after making money on the way down Mr. Hall went bullish.

Forced Finally To A Binary Labor Interpretation

JOLTS figures for the month of April 2017, released today, highlight what is in the end likely to be a more positive outcome for them. It has very little to do with the economy itself, as what we are witnessing is the culmination of extreme positions...

Emerging Markets: Preview of the Week Ahead

EM FX was mixed last week but in general held up well in the aftermath of Super Thursday. The global backdrop seems relatively benign right now despite the FOMC meeting this week. We still think investors have to be picky. TRY, ZAR, and BRL at...

Signs of Something, Just Not Wage Acceleration

I have been writing for many years that they really don’t know what they are doing. I only wish it was that simple. There has been developing another layer or dimension to that condition, a second derivative of stupid, whereby when faced with this now...

Emerging Markets: What has Changed

The Reserve Bank of India cut its inflation forecast for FY2017/18. South Korean President Moon suspended the installation of the remaining components of the THAAD missile shield. S&P cut Qatar one notch to AA-. Turkey looks likely to get caught up in...