Tag Archive: economy

Market Currents – Is The Economy Contracting?

Is the economy contracting? Alhambra’s Steve Brennan poses that question to CEO Joe Calhoun.

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Weekly Market Pulse: No News Is…

Nothing happened last week. Stocks and bonds and commodities continued to trade and move around in price but there was no news to which those movements could be attributed. The economic news was a trifle and what there was told us exactly nothing new about the economy.

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Weekly Market Pulse: The More Things Change…

I stopped in a local antique shop over the weekend. The owner is retiring and trying to clear out as much as she can before they close the doors so I paid a mere $3 for the Life magazine above. I think it might be worth many multiples of that price for investors who think our situation today is somehow uniquely bad. The cover headline could just as easily be describing today as 1970.

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Weekly Market Pulse (VIDEO)

Alhambra CEO Joe Calhoun compares the similarities between today’s bear market and past ones, plus last week’s data on the economy, employment, and whether the new data points to recession.

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Powell’s White Whale

The lagged effect of inflation. “Just call me Ishmael,” Jay.

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Goldilocks Calling

Since the summer of 2020, my expectation for the US economy has been that once all the COVID distortions are gone, it would revert to its previous trend growth of around 2%. And that seems to be exactly what is going on with the economy right now.

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Weekly Market Pulse: The Dog That Didn’t Bark

Gregory (Scotland Yard detective): “Is there any other point to which you would wish to draw my attention?” Sherlock Holmes: “To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time.” Gregory: “The dog did nothing in the night-time.” Sherlock Holmes: “That was the curious incident.” From Silver Blaze by Arthur Conan Doyle, 1892

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Rate Hikes Are Working

New home sales were reported for July as down nearly 13% to 511K, a number that is just about the average since 2010 (543k). But that doesn’t tell the whole story obviously. New home sales have fallen sharply since December of last year, down 39%. The drop from the peak in August 2020 is even more dramatic, down nearly 51%.

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The Economy Improved In July

The Chicago Fed National Activity Index rose to 0.27 in July with all four categories of indicators rising. The 3 month average was unchanged at -0.09. That indicates growth is slightly below trend and is far from the recession threshold of -0.7.

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Weekly Market Pulse: Opposite George

It all became very clear to me sitting out there today, that every decision I’ve ever made, in my entire life, has been wrong. My life is the complete opposite of everything I want it to be. Every instinct I have, in every aspect of life, be it something to wear, something to eat… It’s all been wrong.

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Weekly Market Pulse: There Is No Certainty In Investing

Investors crave certainty. They want to know that there are definitive signals for them to follow as they adjust their investments to fit the current market and economy. They want to know that A leads to B leads to C. Tea leaf readers are always in high demand on Wall Street and they continue to find employment despite their almost universally dismal track record.

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Weekly Market Pulse: A Most Unusual Economy

The employment report released last Friday was better than expected but the response by bulls and bears alike was exactly as expected. Both found things in the report to support their preconceived notions about the state of the economy.

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Weekly Market Pulse: Things That Need To Happen

Perspective is something that comes with age I think. Certainly, as I’ve gotten older, my perspective on things has changed considerably. As we age, we tend to see things from a longer-term view.

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Demand Down, Supply Down, Ugly Up

Well, that was a mess. The Richmond Fed’s Manufacturing Survey was at first released before being taken back. Initially reported as a plunge in the headline number, it was quickly scrapped once the statisticians remembered they had just discontinued their average workweek component – but had kept a zero in its place when tallying the overall PMI.

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Getting Whipped Will Really Hurt

The Federal Reserve’s various branches don’t just do manufacturing surveys anymore. This is a modern economy, after all, meaning industry isn’t the same top dog as what it used to be. While still important, and still able to tear down even the global-iest synchronized of growth-y, services are the big macro enchilada.

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Wait A Sec, That’s Not Really An *RMB* Liquidity Pool…

Ben Bernanke once admitted how the job of the post-truth “central banker” is to try to convince the market to do your work for you. What he didn’t say was that this was the only prayer officials had for any success. Because if the market ever decided that talk wasn’t enough, only real money in hand would do, everyone’d be screwed.

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Eurodollar Futures Interpretation Is Everywhere

Consumer confidence in Germany never really picked up all that much last year. Conflating CPIs with economic condition, this divergence proved too big of a mystery. When the German GfK, for example, perked up only a tiny bit around September and October 2021, the color of consumer prices clouded judgement and interpretation of what had always been a damning situation.

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Inflation is now out of the control of central banks

One of the reasons people decide to buy gold bullion or add silver coins to their portfolio is because they cannot be devalued. No one can suddenly decide to print more gold or silver! Sadly, this is exactly what happens with currencies around the world. And the last two decades have been prime examples of this.

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It’s Inventory PLUS Demand

It’s not just the flood of never-ending inventory. That’s a huge and growing problem, sure, as the chickens of last year’s short-termism overordering finally come home to their retailer roost. Being stuck with too many goods isn’t necessarily fatal to the global and domestic manufacturing sectors.

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The Biggest Risk, No Surprise, Collateral

It’s not just the 4-week T-bill rate which is defying the Fed’s illusion of control, though that’s where the incidents are most evident. The front bill is nowhere close to the official RRP “floor” which can only mean one thing: collateral shortage, a large and persistent liquidity premium.

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