Category Archive: 5) Global Macro

With No Second Half Rebound, Confirming The Squeeze

It’s a palpable impatience. Having learned absolutely nothing from the most recent German example, there’s this pervasive belief that if the economy hasn’t fallen apart by now it must be going the other way. The right way. Those are the only two options for mainstream analysis (which means it isn’t analysis).

Read More »

Tentative Stabilization

Risk-off continues in Asia, but moves have been less dramatic. European market jittery but stable. Implied rates now pricing in a full Fed cut by September. The UK will announce its decision on Huawei’s access to the country’s 5G network.

Read More »

Sharp Sell-Off on Virus Concerns

Global stocks lower on virus fears, yen appreciates, and yield curves flatten. Oil prices continue to fall while gold rises. Italian assets outperform on favorable election results for ruling coalition. German IFO survey disappoints, trimming nascent green shoots.

Read More »

EM Preview for the Week Ahead

The spread of the coronavirus continues and is likely to weigh on risk assets and EM.  Most markets in Emerging Asia are closed for all or part of this week due to the Lunar New Year holiday.  China has extended the holiday until February 2 as it struggles to contain the virus. 

Read More »

The Future of What’s Called “Capitalism”

The psychotic instability will resolve itself when the illusory officially sanctioned "capitalism" implodes. Whatever definition of capitalism you use, the current system isn't it so let's call it "capitalism" in quotes to indicate it's called "capitalism" but isn't actually classical capitalism.

Read More »

Virus and Trade Tensions

Asian markets hit by a further outbreak of the coronavirus. US steps up trade rhetoric against EU and pushes back against UK digital tax plan. AUD stronger on solid Australian jobs report and pricing out of RBA easing. CAD weaker on dovish BOC communication yesterday.

Read More »

The Big And Small of Leading Japan

In the middle of 2018, Japan, they said, was riding so high. Gliding along on the tidal wave of globally synchronized growth, Haruhiko’s courage and more so patience had finally delivered the long-promised recovery. The Japanese economy had healed to a point that its central bank officials believed it time to wean the thing off decades of monetary “stimulus.”

Read More »

Calling Things by Their Real Names

One does not need money to convey one's thoughts, but what money does allow is the drowning out of speech of those without money by those with a lot of money. In last week's explanation of why the Federal Reserve is evil, I invoked the principle of calling things by their real names, a concept that drew an insightful commentary from longtime correspondent Chad D.:

Read More »

Dollar Mixed as Risk-Off Impulses Spread from Virus

Reports that Wuhan coronavirus continues to spread hurt risk appetite overnight. US President Trump and French president Macron agreed to take a step back from the digital tax dispute. The dollar is taking a breather today; after last week’s huge US data dump, releases this week are fairly light. The UK reported firm jobs data for November; BOJ kept policy steady, as expected.

Read More »

China Enters 2020 Still (Intent On) Managing Its Decline

Chinese Industrial Production accelerated further in December 2019, rising 6.9% year-over-year according to today’s estimates from China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). That was a full percentage point above consensus. IP had bottomed out right in August at a record low 4.4%, and then, just as this wave of renewed optimism swept the world, it has rebounded alongside it.

Read More »

EM Preview for the Week Ahead

Market sentiment on EM remains positive after the Phase One trade deal was signed.  Data out of China is also supportive for EM.  Key forward-looking data this week are Taiwan export orders and Korea trade data for the first 20 days of January.  The global liquidity story also remains beneficial for risk, with the ECB, Norges Bank, BOC, and BOJ all set to maintain steady rates this week.

Read More »

Germany, Maybe Europe: No Signs Of The Bottom

For anyone thinking the global economy is turning around, it’s not the kind of thing you want to hear. Germany has been Ground Zero for this globally synchronized downturn. That’s where it began, meaning first showed up, all the way back at the start of 2018. Ever since, the German economy has been pulling Europe down into the economic abyss along with it, being ahead of the curve in signaling what was to come for the whole rest of the global...

Read More »

Inflation, But Only At The Morgue

Why is everyone so angry? How can socialism possibly be on such a rise, particularly among younger people around the world? Why are Americans suddenly dying off? According to one study, two-thirds of millennials are convinced they are doing worse when compared to their parents’ generation. Sixty-two percent say they are living paycheck to paycheck, with no savings and no way to get any (though they also tend to “overspend” when compared to other...

Read More »

De-dollarization By Default Is Not What You Might Think

Last month, a group of central bank governors from across the South Pacific region gathered in Australia to move forward the idea of a KYC utility. If you haven’t heard of KYC, or know your customer, it is a growing legal requirement that is being, and has been, imposed on banks all over the world. Spurred by anti-money laundering efforts undertaken first by the European Union, more and more governments are forcing global banks to take part.

Read More »

Dollar Soft Ahead of Retail Sales Data

There were no surprises in the US-China Phase One trade deal. The dollar is drifting lower ahead of the key retail sales data; there are other minor US data out today. Bank of England credit survey showed demand for loans fell in Q4. Turkey cut its one-week repo rate by 75 bps to 11.25%; South Africa is expected to keep rates steady at 6.5%.

Read More »

Instability Rising: Why 2020 Will Be Different

In 2020, increasing monetary and fiscal stimulus will be the equivalent of spraying gasoline on a fire to extinguish it. Economically, the 11 years since the Global Financial Crisis of 2008-09 have been one relatively coherent era of modest growth, rising wealth/income inequality and coordinated central bank stimulus every time a crisis threatened to disrupt the domestic or global economy.

Read More »

Clarida Picks Up Some Data

I should know better than to make declarative all-or-none statements like this. I said there isn’t any data which comports with the idea of a global turnaround, this shakeup in sentiment which since early September has gone right from one extreme to the other. Recession fears predominated in summer only to be (rather easily) replaced by near euphoria (again).

Read More »

Very Rough Shape, And That’s With The Payroll Data We Have Now

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has begun the process of updating its annual benchmarks. Actually, the process began last year and what’s happening now is that the government is releasing its findings to the public. Up first is the Household Survey, the less-watched, more volatile measure which comes at employment from the other direction. As the name implies, the BLS asks households who in them is working whereas the more closely scrutinized...

Read More »

Some Thoughts on the Latest Treasury FX Report

The US Treasury’s latest “Macroeconomic and Foreign Exchange Policies of Major Trading Partners of the United States” report no longer considers China a currency manipulator. The underlying message is that the Trump administration will continue to use an ad hoc “carrot and stick” approach to improve US access to the domestic markets of its major trading partners.

Read More »

Just a Friendly Heads-Up, Bulls: The Fed Just Slashed its Balance Sheet

Perhaps even PhD economists notice that manic-mania bubbles always burst--always. Just a friendly heads-up to all the Bulls bowing and murmuring prayers to the Golden Idol of the Federal Reserve: the Fed just slashed its balance sheet--yes, reduced its assets. After panic-printing $410 billion in a few months, a $24 billion decline isn't much, but it does suggest the Fed might finally be worrying about the reckless, insane bubble it inflated:

Read More »