Category Archive: 5) Global Macro

Emerging Market Preview: Week Ahead

EM FX ended Friday mixed, capping off a mostly softer week.  TRY, MXN, and RUB were the top performers and the only ones up against USD, while ARS, CLP, and BRL were the worst.  Looking ahead, US jobs data on Friday pose some risks to EM, coming on the heels of a higher than expected 2% y/y rise in PCE.  China will also remain on the market’s radar screen, with the first snapshots of June economic activity just starting to emerge.  We remain...

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Emerging Markets: What Changed

PBOC fixed USD/CNY at the highest level since December 14. Bank Indonesia delivered a larger than expected 50 bp to 5.25%. Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov survived a second no-confidence vote this year. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was re-elected but with sweeping new powers. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and UAE are reportedly in talks to help stabilize Bahrain.

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Revisiting The Revised Revisions

I missed durable goods last month for scheduling reasons, which was a shame given that May is the month each year for benchmark revisions to the series. Since new estimates under the latest revisions were released today, it seems an appropriate time to revisit the topic of data bias, and why that matters. What happens with durable goods (or any data for that matter, the process is largely the same) is that the Census Bureau conducts smaller surveys...

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Make Capital Cheap and Labor Costly, and Guess What Happens?

Employment expands in the Protected cartel-dominated sectors, and declines in every sector exposed to globalization, domestic competition and cheap capital. If you want to understand why the global economy is failing the many while enriching the few, start with the basics: capital, labor and resources. What happens when central banks drop interest rates to near-zero? Capital becomes dirt-cheap.

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Dear High School Graduates: the Status Quo “Solutions” Enrich the Few at Your Expense

You deserve a realistic account of the economy you're joining. Dear high school graduates: please glance at these charts before buying into the conventional life-course being promoted by the status quo. Here's the summary: the status quo is pressuring you to accept its "solutions": borrow mega-bucks to attend college, then buy a decaying bungalow or hastily constructed stucco box for $800,000 in a "desirable" city, pay sky-high income and property...

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Emerging Markets: Preview of the Week Ahead

EM FX ended Friday mixed, and capped off a mixed week overall as the dollar’s broad-based rally was sidetracked. EM may start the week on an upbeat after PBOC cut reserve requirements over the weekend. Best EM performers last week were ARS, MXN, and TRY while the worst were THB, IDR, and BRL.

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Emerging Markets: What Changed

Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus was named the new Governor of Malaysia’s central bank. Moody's cut the outlook on Pakistan's B3 rating to negative from stable. National Bank of Hungary tiled more hawkish. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s wife was charged with misusing public funds. MSCI added Saudi Arabia and Argentina to its Emerging Markets index.

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Bi-Weekly Economic Review (VIDEO)

Information and opinions about the economy and markets from Alhambra Investments CEO Joe Calhoun.

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Gresham’s Law and Bitcoin

Rather suddenly, the state issued fiat currency bolivar lost 99% of its purchasing power. Gresham's law holds that "bad money drives out good money," meaning that given a choice of currencies (broadly speaking, "money" that serves as a store of value and a means of exchange), people use depreciating "bad" to buy goods and services and hoard "good" money that is appreciating or holding its value.

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Bi-Weekly Economic Review

Is the rate hiking cycle almost done? Not the question on everyone’s minds right now so a good time to ask it, I think. A couple of items caught my attention recently that made me at least think about the possibility.  There has been for some time now a large short position held by speculators in the futures market for Treasuries.

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Global Asset Allocation Update

The risk budget is unchanged this month. For the moderate risk investor the allocation to bonds and risk assets is evenly split. There are changes this month within the asset classes. How far are we from the end of this cycle? When will the next recession arrive and more importantly when will stocks and other markets start to anticipate a slowdown?

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There Isn’t Supposed To Be The Two Directions of IP

US Industrial Production dipped in May 2018. It was the first monthly drop since January. Year-over-year, IP was up just 3.5% from May 2017, down from 3.6% in each of prior three months. The reason for the soft spot was that American industry is being pulled in different directions by the two most important sectors: crude oil and autos.

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Emerging Markets: Week Ahead Preview

EM FX was mixed on Friday but capped off a largely losing week. MYR, CLP, and CNY were the best performers over the last week, while ARS, TRY, and ZAR were the worst. We expect EM FX to continue weakening, but note that with very few fundamental drivers this week, we may see some consolidation near-term.

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Emerging Markets: What Changed

US-China trade tensions are rising. Pakistan devalued the rupee for a third time since December. Bulgaria will seek to join the eurozone banking union and ERM-2 simultaneously. The National Bank of Hungary appears to have tilted more hawkish. Newly elected Egyptian President El-Sisi shuffled his cabinet. Argentina has a new central bank chief after Federico Sturzenegger resigned.

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Here We Go Again: Our Double-Bubble Economy

The bubbles in assets are supported by the invisible bubble in greed, euphoria and credulity. Well, folks, here we go again: we have a double-bubble economy in housing and stocks, and a third difficult-to-chart bubble in greed, euphoria and credulity.

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Recent Concerning Consumer Credit Trends Carry On Into April

US consumers continue to recover from their debt splurge at the end of last year. Combined with still weaker income growth, the Federal Reserve estimates that aggregate revolving credit balances grew only marginally for the fourth straight month in April 2018. To put it in perspective, the total for revolving credit (seasonally adjusted) is up a mere $2.2 billion for all four months of this year combined, compared to +$5.2 billion in December 2017...

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Chinese Inflation And Money Contributions To EM’s

The People’s Bank of China won’t update its balance sheet numbers for May until later this month. Last month, as expected, the Chinese central bank allowed bank reserves to contract for the first time in nearly two years. It is, I believe, all part of the reprioritization of monetary policy goals toward CNY. How well it works in practice remains to be seen. Authorities are not simply contracting one important form of base money in China (bank...

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Bi-Weekly Economic Review – VIDEO

Interview with Joe Calhoun about BiWeekly Economic Review 15/06/2018.

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A Slight Hint Of A 2011 Feel

Whenever a big bank is rumored to be in unexpected merger talks, that’s always a good sign, right? The name Deutsche Bank keeps popping up as it has for several years now, this is merely representative of what’s wrong inside of a global system that can’t ever get fixed. In this one case, we have a couple of perpetuated conventional myths colliding into what is still potentially grave misfortune.

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Emerging Markets: Preview of the Week Ahead

EM FX ended Friday on a mixed note, capping off a roller coaster week for some of the more vulnerable currencies.  We expect continued efforts by EM policymakers to inject some stability into the markets. However, we believe the underlying dollar rally remains intact.  Central bank meetings in the US, eurozone, and Japan this week are likely to drive home that point. 

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