Category Archive: 5) Global Macro

The Labor Shortage Is Real

Few conventional-media commentators are willing or able to discuss these factors in the labor shortage / declining participation trends. Is there a labor shortage in the U.S.? Employers are shouting "yes." Economists keep looking for wage increases as evidence of a labor shortage, and since wage increases are still relatively modest, the argument that there are severe labor shortages in parts of the U.S. is unpersuasive to many conventional...

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Make Your Case, Jay

June 13 sticks out for both eurodollar futures as well as IOER. On the surface, there should be no bearing on the former from the latter. They are technically unrelated; IOER being a current rate applied as an intended money alternative. Eurodollar futures are, as the term implies, about where all those money rates might fall in the future. Still, the eurodollar curve inverted conspicuously starting June 13. That was the day of the prior “rate...

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Droit du Seigneur and the Neofeudal Privileges of Class in America

Want to understand the full scope of neofeudalism in America? Follow the money and the power and privilege it buys. The repugnant reality of class privilege in America is captured by the phrase date rape: the violence of forced, non-consensual sex is abhorrent rape when committed by commoner criminals, but implicitly excusable date rape when committed by a member of America's privileged elite.

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Monthly Macro Monitor – September 2018

Alhambra Investments CEO Joe Calhoun shares his opinions of the economy and market based on the most recent economic reports.

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The Four Disastrous Presidential Policies That Are Destroying the Nation

It's admittedly a tough task to select the four most disastrous presidential policies of the past 60 years, given the great multitude to choose from. Here are my top choices and the reasons why I selected these from a wealth of policy disasters.

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When Does This Travesty of a Mockery of a Sham Finally End?

Credit bubbles are not engines of sustainable employment, they are only engines of malinvestment and wealth destruction on a grand scale. We all know the Status Quo's response to the global financial meltdown of 2008 has been a travesty of a mockery of a sham--smoke and mirrors, flimsy facades of "recovery," simulacrum "reforms," serial bubble-blowing and politically expedient can-kicking, all based on borrowing and printing trillions of dollars,...

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Monthly Macro Monitor – September

This has already been one of the longest economic expansions on record for the US and there is little in the data or markets to indicate that is about to come to an end. Current levels of the yield curve are comparable to late 2005 in the last cycle. It was almost two years later before we even had an inkling of a problem and even in the summer of 2008 – nearly three years later – there was still a robust debate about whether the US could avoid...

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Digging into Wealth and Income Inequality

The assets of U.S. households recently topped $100 trillion, yet another sign that everything is going swimmingly in the U.S. economy. Let's take a look at the Federal Reserve's Household Balance Sheet, which lists the assets and liabilities of all U.S. households in very big buckets (real estate: $25 trillion). (For reasons unknown, the Fed lumps non-profit assets and liabilities with households, but these modest sums are easily subtracted.)

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We’re All Speculators Now

When the herd thunders off the cliff, most participants are trapped in the stampede.. One of the most perverse consequences of the central banks "saving the world" (i.e. saving banks and the super-wealthy) is the destruction of low-risk investments: we're all speculators now, whether we know it or acknowledge it.

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Massive Deficit Spending Greenlights Waste, Fraud, Profiteering and Dysfunction

The nice thing about free to me money from any source is the recipients don't have to change anything. Free money is the ultimate free-pass from consequence and adaptation: instead of having to make difficult trade-offs or suffer the consequences of profligacy, the recipients of free money are saved: they can continue on their merry way, ignoring the monumental dysfunction of their lifestyle.

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Emerging Markets: Preview of the Week Ahead

EM FX ended mixed in Friday, capping off an up and down week. RUB and TRY initially firmed on their respective rate hikes but gave back some of those gains heading into the weekend. Trade tensions are likely to remain high, as press reports suggest President Trump is pushing ahead with tariffs on $200 bln of Chinese imports even as high-level talks are planned.

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Downslope CPI

Cushing, OK, delivered what it could for the CPI. The contribution to the inflation rate from oil prices was again substantial in August 2018. The energy component of the index gained 10.3% year-over-year, compared to 11.9% in July. It was the fourth straight month of double digit gains.

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ECB (Data) Independence

Mario Draghi doesn’t have a whole lot going for him, but he is at least consistent – at times (yes, inconsistent consistency). Bloomberg helpfully reported yesterday how the ECB’s staff committee that produces the econometric projections has recommended the central bank’s Governing Council change the official outlook. Since last year, risks have been “balanced” in their collective opinion.

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Europe Starting To Reckon Eurodollar Curve

We’ve been here before. Economists and central bankers become giddy about the prospects for success, meaning actual recovery. For that to happen, reflation must first attain enough momentum. If it does, as is always forecast, reflation becomes recovery. The world then moves off this darkening path toward the unknown crazy.

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The Next Financial Crisis Is Right on Schedule (2019)

Neither small business nor the bottom 90% of households can afford this "best economy ever." After 10 years of unprecedented goosing, some of the real economy is finally overheating: costs are heating up, unemployment is at historic lows, small business optimism is high, and so on--all classic indicators that the top of this cycle is in.

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Global Asset Allocation Update – September 2018

The risk budget is unchanged again this month. For the moderate risk investor, the allocation between bonds and risk assets is 50/50. Decoupling anyone? That’s what the market is whispering right now, that the recent troubles in foreign economies is contained and won’t affect the US. The most obvious example of that trend is the performance of US stocks versus the rest of the world.

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Emerging Markets: What has Changed

Philippine central bank signaled another big hike. Poland central bank appears to be moving its forward guidance out further. Russia officials are sending confusing signals regarding monetary policy. Russia officials stand ready to support the ruble debt market if new US sanctions negatively impact it. South Africa’s African National Congress pledged to undertake land reform responsibly.

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After 10 Years of “Recovery,” What Are Central Banks So Afraid Of?

If the world's economies still need central bank life support to survive, they aren't healthy--they're barely clinging to life. The "recovery"/Bull Market is in its 10th year, and yet central banks are still tiptoeing around as if the tiniest misstep will cause the whole shebang to shatter: what are they so afraid of? 

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The Global Financial System Is Unraveling, And No, the U.S. Is Not immune

Currencies don't melt down randomly. This is only the first stage of a complete re-ordering of the global financial system. Take a look at the Shanghai Stock Market (China) and tell me what you see: A complete meltdown, right? More specifically, a four-month battle to cling to the key technical support of the 200-week moving average (the red line). Once the support finally broke, the index crashed.

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Emerging Market Week Ahead Preview

EM FX ended last week on a firm note, but weakness resumed Monday. Higher than expected Turkish inflation hurt the lira, which in turn dragged down BRL, ARS, ZAR, and RUB. We expect EM to remain under pressure this week when the US returns from holiday Tuesday.

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