Category Archive: 5) Global Macro

EM Preview for the Week Ahead

EM FX was broadly firmer last week, taking advantage of the dollar’s soft tone as well as another wave of risk-on sentiment.  Bullishness on the global economy is quite strong, whilst we are perhaps a bit more skeptical given ongoing weakness in the UK, Japan, and the eurozone.  Dollar bearishness may also be overdone given our more constructive outlook on the US economy, but technical damage has been done that must now be repaired.

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Is Social Media the New Tobacco?

If we set out to design a highly addictive platform that optimized the most toxic, destructive aspects of human nature, we'd eventually come up with social media.

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Welcome to the Era of Intensifying Chaos and New Weapons of Conflict

Geopolitics has moved from a slow-moving, relatively predictable chess match to rapidly evolving 3-D chess in which the rules keep changing in unpredictable ways. A declining standard of living in the developed world, declining growth for the developed world and geopolitical jockeying for control of resources make for a highly combustible mix awaiting a spark: welcome to the era of intensifying chaos and the rapid advance of new weapons of conflict...

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EM Preview for the Week Ahead

EM FX was mostly firmer last week.  ZAR, PEN, and CLP outperformed while TRY, HUF, and CNY underperformed.  MSCI EM traded at new highs for the cycle but ran out of steam near the 1110 area, while MSCI EM FX lagged a bit and has yet to surpass its July high.  Overall, the backdrop for EM remains constructive but investors must be prepared to differentiate amongst credits in 2020.

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Our Fragmentation Accelerates

As our fragmentation accelerates, shared economic interests are ignored in favor of divisive warring camps that share no common interests. That our society and economy are fragmenting is self-evident. This fragmentation is accelerating rapidly, as middle ground vanishes and competing camps harden their positions to solidify the loyalty of the "tribe." 

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Everything Comes Down To Which Way The Dollar Is Leaning

Is the global economy on the mend as everyone at least here in America is now assuming? For anyone else to attempt to answer that question, they might first have to figure out what went wrong in the first place. Most have simply assumed, and continue to assume, it has been fallout from the “trade wars.”

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Skyrocketing Costs Will Pop All the Bubbles

The reckoning is coming, and everyone who counted on "eternal growth of borrowing" to stave off the reckoning is in for a big surprise. We've used a simple trick to keep the status quo from imploding for the past 11 years: borrow whatever it takes to keep paying the skyrocketing costs for housing, healthcare, college, childcare, government, permanent wars and so on.

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OK Boomer, OK Fed

Eventually the younger generations will connect all the economic injustices implicit in 'OK Boomer' with the Fed. Much of the cluelessness and economic inequality behind the OK Boomer meme is the result of Federal Reserve policies that have favored those who already own the assets (Boomers) that the Fed has relentlessly pumped higher, to the extreme disadvantage of younger generations who were not given the opportunity to buy assets cheap and ride...

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Latest European Sentiment Echoes Draghi’s Last Take On Global Economic Risks

While sentiment has been at best mixed about the direction of the US economy the past few months, the European economy cannot even manage that much. Its most vocal proponent couldn’t come up with much good to say about it – while he was on his way out the door. At his final press conference as ECB President on October 24, Mario Draghi had to acknowledge (sort of) how he is leaving quite the mess for Christine Lagarde.

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Hard Brexit Redux?

The risks of a hard Brexit are perhaps higher than markets appreciated. Here, we set forth some possible scenarios as to what may unfold after the January 31 deadline. Uncertainty is likely to be protracted and markets hate uncertainty. As such, we see UK assets continuing to underperform.

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China Data: Something New, or Just The Latest Scheduled Acceleration?

The Chinese government was serious about imposing pollution controls on its vast stock of automobiles. The largest market in the world for cars and trucks, the net result of China’s “miracle” years of eurodollar-financed modernization, for the Chinese people living in its huge cities the non-economic costs are, unlike the air, immediately clear each and every day.

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A Repo Deluge…of Necessary Data

Just in time for more discussions about repo, the Federal Reserve delivers. Not in terms of the repo market, mind you, despite what you hear bandied about in the financial media the Fed doesn’t actually go there. Its repo operations are more RINO’s – repo in name only. No, what the US central bank actually contributes is more helpful data.

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If The Best Case For Consumer Christmas Is That It Started Off In The Wrong Month…

Gone are the days when Black Friday dominated the retail calendar. While it used to be a somewhat fun way to kick off the holiday shopping season, it had morphed into something else entirely in later years. Scenes of angry shoppers smashing each other over the few big deals stores would truly offer, internet clips of crying children watching in horror as their parents transformed their local Walmart into Thunderdome.

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The “Trade Deal”: A Pathetic Parody, Credibility Squandered

Anyone who thinks this bogus "deal" has resolved any of the issues or uncertainties deserves to be fired immediately. Here's a late-night TV parody of a trade deal: The agreement won't be signed by both parties, though each might sign their own version of it, and the terms of the deal will never ever be revealed to the public, which includes everyone doing any business in the nations doing the "deal."

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EM Preview for the Week Ahead

Risk assets such as EM got a big boost last week, as tail risks from a hard Brexit and the US-China trade war have clearly ebbed. Still, the initial lack of details on the Phase One deal as well as uncertainty regarding the next phases have left the markets a bit jittery and nervous. Hopefully, this week may bring some further clarity and the good news is that the December 15 tariffs have been canceled.

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A “Market” That Needs $1 Trillion in Panic-Money-Printing by the Fed to Stave Off Implosion Is Not a Market

It was all fun and games enriching the super-wealthy but now the karmic cost of the Fed's manipulation and propaganda is about to come due. A "market" that needs $1 trillion in panic-money-printing by the Fed to stave off a karmic-overdue implosion is not a market: a legitimate market enables price discovery. What is price discovery?

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Lagarde Channels Past Self As To Japan Going Global

As France’s Finance Minister, Christine Lagarde objected strenuously to Ben Bernanke’s second act. Hinted at in August 2010, QE2 was finally unleashed in November to global condemnation. Where “trade wars” fill media pages today, “currency wars” did back then. The Americans were undertaking beggar-thy-neighbor policies to unfairly weaken the dollar.

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Risk Assets Rally as Major Tail Risks Ease

The biggest tail risks impacting markets this year have cleared up; risk assets are rallying, while safe haven assets are selling off. During the North American session, US November retail sales will be reported. Russia central bank cut rates 25 bp to 6.25%, as expected.

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The FOMC Channels China’s Xi As To Japan Going Global

The massive dollar eruption in the middle of 2014 altered everything. We’ve talked quite a lot about what Euro$ #3 did to China; it sent that economy into a dive from which it wouldn’t escape. And in doing so convinced the Chinese leadership to give growth one more try before changing the game entirely once stimulus inevitably failed.

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Why “This Sucker Is Going Down”

Once the contagion starts spreading, loose money won't put the fires out. As the nation's political and economic leaders struggled to contain the 2008 financial meltdown, President George W. Bush famously summed the situation up: "If money doesn't loosen up, this sucker will go down."Eleven years into the loose money recovery, this sucker is finally going down for reasons that have little to do with tight money and everything to do with the...

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