Category Archive: 5) Global Macro

Real Dollar ‘Privilege’ On Display (again)

Twenty-fifteen was an important yet completely misunderstood year. The Fed was going to have to become hawkish, according to its models, yet oil prices crashed and the dollar continued to rise. Both of those things were described as “transitory” by Janet Yellen, and that they were helpful or positive (rising dollar means cleanest dirty shirt!), but domestically American policymakers’ clear lack of conviction and courage about that rate hike regime...

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Don’t Be the Victim of These 20 IRA Mistakes

Hey! It’s just an IRA. What is there to know? You put money in and it’s a tax deduction, you get to take it out after 59 ½ without paying a penalty, and at 72 the IRS makes you take some out. What else could there be? In reality, there’s a lot more.

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Weekly Market Pulse: Buy The Rumor, Sell The News

There’s an old saying on Wall Street that one should “buy the rumor, sell the news”, a pithy way to express the efficient market theorem. By the time an event arrives, whatever it may be, the market will have fully digested the news and incorporated it into current prices. And then the market will move on to anticipating the next event, large or small. What prompts this review of Wall Street folk wisdom is the most recent employment report.

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What’s Changed and What Hasn’t in a Tumultuous Year

Inequality is America's Monster Id, and we're continuing to fuel its future rampage daily. What's changed and what hasn't in the past year? What hasn't changed is easy: 1. Wealth / income inequality is still increasing. (see chart #1 below) 2. Wages / labor's share of the economy is still plummeting as financial speculation's share has soared. (see chart #2 below)

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Our “Wealth”: Cloud Castles in the Sky

Buyers know there will always be a greater fool willing to pay more for an over-valued asset because the Fed has promised us it will always be the greater fool. I realize nobody wants to hear that most of their "wealth" is nothing more than wispy Cloud Castles in the Sky that will dissipate in the faintest zephyr, but there it is: that which was conjured out of thin air will return to thin air.

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The UFO/Fed Connection

Perhaps the aliens' keen interest in Earth's central bank magic and its potential for destruction results from a wager. You've probably noticed the recent uptick in UFO sightings and video recordings from aircraft of the extraordinary flight paths of these unidentified objects.

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Health, Wealth and What Kills Most of Us

If health is wealth, and it most certainly is the highest form of wealth, then we would be well-served to take charge of our health-wealth in terms of what behaviors we can sustainably modify.

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Spending Here, Production There, and What Autos Have To Do With It

While the global inflation picture remains fixed at firmly normal (as in, disinflationary), US retail sales by contrast have been highly abnormal. You’d think given that, the consumer price part of the economic equation would, well, equate eventually price-wise.

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Stimulus Addiction Disorder: The Debt-Disposable Earnings Pyramid

One glance at this chart explains why the status quo is locked on "run to fail" and will implode in a spectacular collapse of the unsustainable debt super-nova.. For those who suspect the status quo is unsustainable but aren't quite sure why, I've prepared a simple chart that explains the financial precariousness many sense.

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Looking Past Gigantic Base Effects To China’s (Really) Struggling Economy

The Chinese were first to go down because they had been first to shut down, therefore one year further on they’ll be the first to skew all their economic results when being compared to it. These obvious base effects will, without further scrutiny, make analysis slightly more difficult.

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The Cannibalization Is Complete: Only Inedible Zombies Remain

Poor powerless Fed, poor starving cannibals, poor zombies turning to dust. That's the American economy once the curtains are ripped away. Setting aside the fictional flood of zombie movies for a moment, we find the real-world horror is the cannibalization of our economy, a cannibalization that is now complete.

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JOLTS Revisions: Much Better Reopening, But Why Didn’t It Last?

According to newly revised BLS benchmarks, the labor market might have been a little bit worse than previously thought during the worst of last year’s contraction. Coming out of it, the initial rebound, at least, seems to have been substantially better – either due to government checks or, more likely, American businesses in the initial reopening phase eager to get back up and running on a paying basis again.

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What Gold Says About UST Auctions

The “too many” Treasury argument which ignited early in 2018 never made a whole lot of sense. It first showed up, believe it or not, in 2016. The idea in both cases was fiscal debt; Uncle Sam’s deficit monster displayed a voracious appetite never in danger of slowing down even though – Economists and central bankers claimed – it would’ve been wise to heed looming inflationary pressures to cut back first.

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4 Social Security Planning Steps BEFORE You’re Ready to Retire

Social Security is an important part of almost every retirement plan, whether you’ve saved enough or not. That’s why it’s important to know as much about your Social Security situation as possible. And you don’t want to wait until you’re about to retire to gather the facts and take appropriate steps. Social Security planning needs to start 5 years before your target retirement date.

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Deja Vu: Treasury Shorts Meet Treasury Shortages

Investors like to short bonds, even Treasuries, as much as they might stocks and their ilk. It should be no surprise that profit-maximizing speculators will seek the best risk-adjusted returns wherever and whenever they might perceive them.

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Too Busy Frontrunning Inflation, Nobody Sees the Deflationary Tsunami

Those looking up from their "free fish!" frolicking will see the tsunami too late to save themselves. It's an amazing sight to see the water recede from the bay, and watch the crowd frolic in the shallows, scooping up the flopping fish. In this case, the crowd doing the "so easy to catch, why not grab as much as we can?" scooping is frontrunning inflation, the universally expected result of the Great Reflation Trade.

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There’s Two Sides To Synchronize

The offside of “synchronized” is pretty obvious when you consider all possibilities. In economic terms, synchronized growth would mean if the bulk of the economy starts moving forward, we’d expect the rest to follow with only a slight lag. That’s the upside of harmonized systems, the period everyone hopes and cheers for.

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About That +6.8 percent GDP Forecast: Remember That GDP = Waste

Any economy stupid enough to rely on the insane distortions of GDP "growth" as its primary measure will richly deserve a Darwin Award when it inevitably collapses in a putrid heap of squandered resources and capital.

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What “Normal” Are We Returning To? The Depression Nobody Dares Acknowledge

Perhaps we need an honest national dialog about declining expectations, rising inequality, social depression and the failure of the status quo. Even as the chirpy happy-talk of a return to normal floods the airwaves, what nobody dares acknowledge is that "normal" for a rising number of Americans is the social depression of downward mobility and social defeat.

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Three Things About Today’s UST Sell-off, Beginning With Fedwire

Three relatively quick observations surrounding today’s UST selloff.1. The intensity. Reflation is the underlying short run basis, but there is ample reason to suspect quite a bit more than that alone given the unexpected interruption in Fedwire yesterday.

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