Category Archive: 5) Global Macro

EM Preview for the Week Ahead

We think the Fed has signaled that the bar to another cut is high.  Unless the US data weakens considerably, we see rates on hold for now and this means the liquidity story for EM has worsened.  Elsewhere, US-China trade talks appear to be going nowhere.  With no end in sight to the trade war, we remain negative on EM.

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What’s The Verdict On This Week?

Jay Powell’s disastrous week is coming to a close, not yet his long nightmare. He has been battling fed funds (meaning repo) for his entire tenure dating back to February 2018. This week wasn’t the conclusion to the contest, just the latest and biggest round of it.

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Dollar Mixed on Central Bank Thursday

As expected, the Fed cut rates by 25 bp; the dollar firmed after the decision but has since given back some gains. During the North American session, there will be a fair amount of US data. BOE is expected to keep rates steady; UK reported August retail sales. SNB and BOJ kept rates steady, as expected; Norges Bank unexpectedly hiked 25 bp.

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The New Orthodoxy: Blasphemy, Heresy and the New Inquisition

A corrupt Orthodoxy devoid of new ideas, an Orthodoxy devoted to maintaining the wealth, status and power of insiders regardless of cost, is a brittle, fragile, unstable system. When the ruling Elites sense their control of the populace is waning, they seek to regain full control via the imposition of a strict Orthodoxy, enforced by an Inquisition. We are living in just such an era.

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Markets That Live by the Fed, Die by the Fed

The "everything bubble" is not permanent. All eyes are again on the Federal Reserve, as everyone understands that the Fed is the market-- the stock market, the bond market, the art market, the housing market, etc. All markets have been driven higher by one force: central bank money creation and distribution to the financial sector of financiers and corporations, the richest of the rich.

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Some Thoughts on the Fed and Oil Shocks

Oil prices have spiked after the weekend attack on Saudi oil facilities.  Will it impact the Fed tomorrow?  No.  We compare the current (but still unfolding) situation to past oil shocks from the 1970s and discuss the policy responses taken.  

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Focus Is On The Pre-recession Condition

Before the Great “Recession” ended the business cycle as we once knew it, there was a widely accepted concept known as stall speed. In the US, if GDP growth decelerated down to around 2% it suggested the system had reached a danger zone of sorts. In a such a weakened state, one good push, or shock, could send the economy plunging into recession.

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Where The Global Squeeze Is Unmasked

Trade between Asia and Europe has dimmed considerably. We know that from the fact Germany and China are the two countries out of the majors struggling the most right now. As a consequence of the slowing, shipping companies have had to make adjustments to their fleet schedules over and above normal seasonal variances.

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Stuck at A: Repo Chaos Isn’t Something New, It’s The Same Baseline

Finally, finally the global bond market stopped going in a straight line. I write often how nothing ever does, but for almost three-quarters of a year the guts of the financial system seemed highly motivated to prove me wrong. Yields plummeted and eurodollar futures prices soared. It is only over the past few weeks that rates have backed up in what has been the first real selloff since last year.

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Dollar Mixed, Oil Spikes as Markets Digest Saudi Attack

The weekend bombing of Saudi oil facilities continue to reverberate across global markets. The currencies of the oil producing nations are likely to outperform near-term. US rates continue to adjust ahead of the FOMC. UK Prime Minister Johnson is in Luxembourg today to meet with EC President Juncker. China reported weak August IP and retail sales.

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The Black Swan Is a Drone

What was "possible" yesterday is now a low-cost proven capability, and the consequences are far from predictable. Predictably, the mainstream media is serving up heaping portions of reassurances that the drone attacks on Saudi oil facilities are no big deal and full production will resume shortly.

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What a Relief that the U.S. and Global Economies Are Booming

Doing more of what's failed for ten years will finally fail spectacularly.. It was a huge relief to see the charts of the Baltic Dry Index (BDI) and the U.S. retail sector ETF (RTH): both have soared to the moon, signaling that both the U.S. and global economies are booming: the BDI is widely regarded as a proxy for global shipping, which is a proxy for global trade and economic activity.

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Dollar Soft as Risk Sentiment Stoked Ahead of US Retail Sales

US-China relations appear to be thawing. Trading was volatile after the ECB decision; we are still dollar bulls. EM has benefitted from the shift in the global backdrop this week. The US data highlight is August retail sales. Vietnam cut rates 25 bp to 6.0%; Turkey reported July current account and IP.

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The Inevitable Bursting of Our Bubble Economy

All of America's bubbles will pop, and sooner rather than later. Financial bubbles manifest three dynamics: the one we're most familiar with is human greed, the desire to exploit a windfall and catch a work-free ride to riches. The second dynamic gets much less attention: financial manias arise when there is no other more productive, profitable use for capital, and these periods occur when there is an abundance of credit available to inflate the...

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Your Unofficial Europe QE Preview

The thing about R* is mostly that it doesn’t really make much sense when you stop and think about it; which you aren’t meant to do. It is a reaction to unanticipated reality, a world that has turned out very differently than it “should” have. Central bankers are our best and brightest, allegedly, they certainly feel that way about themselves, yet the evidence is clearly lacking.

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Turkey Monetary Policy Planting Seeds of Future Crisis

Turkey central bank meets September 12 and is expected to cut rates 275 bp.  With Erdogan talking about single digit rates and inflation, it’s clear that rates are headed significantly lower.  At some point soon, we think the risk/reward for investing in Turkey will send investors fleeing for the exits.POLITICAL OUTLOOK President Erdogan sacked central bank Governor Murat Cetinkaya on July 6, ostensibly for not cutting rates quickly enough.

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The Obligatory Europe QE Review

If Mario Draghi wanted to wow them, this wasn’t it. Maybe he couldn’t, handcuffed already by what seems to have been significant dissent in the ranks. And not just the Germans this time. Widespread dissatisfaction with what is now an idea whose time may have finally arrived.

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Dollar (In) Demand

The last time was bad, no getting around it. From the end of 2014 until the first months of 2016, the Chinese economy was in a perilous state. Dramatic weakness had emerged which had seemed impossible to reconcile with conventions about the country. Committed to growth over everything, and I mean everything, China was the one country the world thought it could count on for being immune to the widespread economic sickness.

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A Bigger Boat

For every action there is a reaction. Not only is that Sir Isaac Newton’s third law, it’s also a statement about human nature. Unlike physics where causes and effects are near simultaneous, there is a time component to how we interact. In official capacities, even more so.

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Is The Negativity Overdone?

Give stimulus a chance, that’s the theme being set up for this week. After relentless buying across global bond markets distorting curves, upsetting politicians and the public alike, central bankers have responded en masse. There were more rate cuts around the world in August than there had been at any point since 2009.

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