Category Archive: 5) Global Macro

Bi-Weekly Economic Review

The economic reports since the last economic update were generally less than expected and disappointing. The weak growth of the last few years had been supported by autos and housing while energy has been a wildcard. When oil prices fell, starting in mid-2014 and bottoming in early 2016, economic growth suffered as the shale industry retrenched.

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Emerging Markets Preview

EM FX got some limited traction as the week closed, helped by stabilizing commodity prices.  However, oil, copper, and iron ore have all broken important technical levels that suggest further weakness ahead.  We also think the FOMC and jobs data support our view that the next Fed hike will be in June.  This backdrop should keep EM on the defensive this week.

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Emerging Markets: Buyer Beware – An Interview with Jayant Bhandari

Maurice Jackson of Proven & Probable has once again interviewed one of our friends, namely Jayant Bhandari, a frequent and highly valued contributor to Acting Man. Jayant is probably best known to our readers for his strong criticism of the economic and nationalist policies implemented by prime minister Narendra Modi in India since he decreed the demonetization of the bulk of the cash currency circulating in the country (see his most recent article...

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China: Blatant Similarities

Declines in several of the world’s PMI’s in April have furthered doubts about the global “reflation.” But while many disappointed, some sharply, it isn’t just this one month that has sown them. In China, for example, both the manufacturing and non-manufacturing sentiment indices declined to 6-month lows.

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Emerging Markets: What has Changed

Relations between China and North Korea appear to be worsening. The THAAD missile shield has been deployed earlier than expected in South Korea. An amendment to India’s Banking Regulation Act gives the RBI more power to address bad loans. Tensions are rising between Czech Prime Minister Sobotka and Finance Minister Babis. Brazil pension reform bill was passed 23-14 in the lower house special committee.

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This Is Not Expansion

Back in October, the Bureau of Economic Analysis released GDP figures that suggested what those behind “reflation” had hoped. After a near miss to start 2016, the economy had shaken off the effects of “transitory” weakness, mainly manufacturing and oil, poised to perform in a manner consistent with monetary policy rhetoric.

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Clickbait: Bernanke Terrifies Stock Investors, Again

If you are a stock investor, you should be terrified. The most disconcerting words have been uttered by the one person capable of changing the whole dynamic. After spending so many years trying to recreate the magic of the “maestro”, Ben Bernanke in retirement is still at it.

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Defining Labor Economics

Economics is a pretty simple framework of understanding, at least in the small “e” sense. The big problem with Economics, capital “E”, is that the study is dedicated to other things beyond the economy. In the 21st century, it has become almost exclusive to those extraneous errands. It has morphed into a discipline dedicated to statistical regression of what relates to what, and the mathematical equations assigned to give those relationships some...

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Emerging Markets: Week Ahead Preview

EM FX ended last week on a mixed note. Indeed, the week and the month were also very much mixed for EM, reflecting a variety of global and country-specific drivers impacting these countries. This week’s US jobs data could bring Fed tightening back as a major driver for EM.

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Housing’s Echo Bubble Now Exceeds the 2006-07 Bubble Peak

A funny thing often occurs after a mania-fueled asset bubble pops: an echo-bubble inflates a few years later, as monetary authorities and all the institutions that depend on rising asset valuations go all-in to reflate the crushed asset class.

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Emerging Markets: What has Changed

Moody’s moved the outlook on Vietnam’s B1 rating from stable to positive. Nigeria’s central bank introduced a new FX window for portfolio investors. Moody’s moved the outlook on Romania’s Baa3 rating from positive to stable. Central Bank of Russia accelerated its easing cycle. Central Bank of Turkey delivered a hawkish surprise. Brazil’s lower house easily approved the labor reforms, but popular resistance is rising.

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‘Dollar’ ‘Improvement’

According to the headline TIC statistics, foreign central banks have in the past six months sold the fewest UST’s since the 6-month period ended November 2015. That may indicate an easing of “dollar” pressure in the private markets due to “reflation” sentiment.

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Who Will Live in the Suburbs if Millennials Favor Cities?

Who's going to pay bubble-valuation prices for the millions of suburban homes Baby Boomers will be off-loading in the coming decade as they retire/ downsize?Longtime readers know I follow the work of urbanist Richard Florida, whose recent book was the topic of Are Cities the Incubators of Decentralized Solutions?(March 14, 2017).

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PBoC: Mechanical Tightening PBoC is China Central Bank

The mainstream narrative as it relates to Chinese money is “tightening.” Having survived the economic downturn last year, we are to believe that the PBOC is once again on bubble duty. They raised their reverse repo rates, considered to be their policy benchmarks, three times up to mid-March.

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To The Asian ‘Dollar’, And Then What?

The Bretton Woods system was intentionally set up to funnel monetary convertibility through official channels. The primary characteristic of any true gold standard is that any person who wishes can change paper claims into hard money. It was as much true in any one country as between those bound by the same legal framework (property).

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Our State-Corporate Plantation Economy

I have often discussed the manner in which the U.S. economy is a Plantation Economy, meaning it has a built-in financial hierarchy with corporations at the top dominating a vast populace of debt-serfs/ wage slaves with little functional freedom to escape the system's neofeudal bonds.

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Bi-Weekly Economic Review

It wasn’t a very good two weeks for economic data with the majority of reports disappointing. Most notable I think is that the so called “soft data” is starting to reflect reality rather than some fantasy land where President Trump enacts his entire agenda in the first 100 days of being in office. Politics is about the art of the possible and that is proving a short list for now.

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Money In America

In 1830, France was once more swept up in revolution, only this time at the end of it was installed one king to replace another. Louis-Phillipe became, in fact, France’s last king as a result of that July Revolution. The country was trying to make sense of its imperial past with the growing democratic sentiments of the 19th century.

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Marx, Orwell and State-Cartel Socialism

When "socialist" states have to impose finance-capital extremes that even exceed the financialization of nominally capitalist economies, it gives the lie to their claims of "socialism." OK, so our collective eyes start glazing over when we see Marx and Orwell in the subject line, but refill your beverage and stay with me on this. 

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Our Intellectual Bankruptcy: The “Religion” of Economics, UBI and Medicare For All

1. Mainstream neo-classical/ Keynesian economics. As economist Manfred Max-Neef notes in this interview, neo-classical/ Keynesian economics is no longer a discipline or a science--it is a religion. It demands a peculiar faith in nonsense: for example, the environment--Nature-- is merely a subset of the economy.

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