Tag Archive: Featured

FX Daily, September 18: More Thoughts from Berlin

The unexpected weakness in US retail sales and industrial production reported before the weekend did not prevent US yields and stocks from rising.  Asia followed suit, and with Japanese markets closed, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index rallied a little more than 1%, the largest gain in two months.  Of note, foreigners returned to the Korean stock market, buying about $260 mln today, which cuts the month's liquidation in half.  The Kospi rallied 1.3%...

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Bitcoin Price Falls 40percent In 3 Days Underling Gold’s Safe Haven Credentials

Bitcoin price action shows cryptos vulnerable to commentary and government policies. Bitcoin falls to low of $2,980, down by $1,000 in week as China flexes muscles. Volatility major issue: In 3 days btc fell 40% before bouncing 25% off lows. BIS state risks of cryptos cannot yet be fully assessed and says technology still unproven. Apple and Google developing a payment API for cryptos – may give governments full oversight. Bitcoin and cryptos...

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Yes, This Time It Is Different: But Not in Good Ways

Yes, this time it's different: all the foundations of a healthy economy are crumbling into quicksand. The rallying cry of Permanent Bulls is this time it's different. That's absolutely true, but it isn't bullish--it's terrifically, terribly bearish. Why is this time it's different bearish going forward? The basic answer is that nothing that is structurally broken has actually been fixed, and the policy "fixes" have fatally weakened the global...

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When You Are Prevented From Connecting The Dots That You See

In its first run, the Federal Reserve was actually two distinct parts. There were the twelve bank branches scattered throughout the country, each headed by almost always a banker of local character. Often opposed to them was the Board in DC. In those early days the policy establishment in Washington had little active role. Monetary policy was itself a product of the branches, the Discount Rate, for example, often being different in each and every...

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FX Weekly Preview: FOMC Highlights Big Week

The days ahead are historic. By all reckoning, Merkel will be German Chancellor for a fourth consecutive term. Many observers expect the election to usher in a new era of German-French coordination to continue the European project post-Brexit and in the aftermath of the Great Financial Crisis.

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Swiss universities loved by foreign students

More than half of those doing a doctorate in Switzerland come from abroad, according to a new global education report. Foreign students are especially drawn to courses in the natural sciences. International students make up 17% of those studying at Swiss universities, said the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECDexternal link) in its Education at a Glance 2017external link, published earlier this week.

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Bitcoin: Tragedy of the Speculations

The Instability Problem. Bitcoin is often promoted as the antidote to the madness of fiat irredeemable currencies. It is also promoted as their replacement. Bitcoin is promoted not only as money, but the future money, and our monetary future. In fact, it is not. Why not? To answer, let us start with a look at the incentives offered by bitcoin.

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The JOLTS of Drugs

Princeton University economist Alan Krueger recently published and presented his paper for Brookings on the opioid crisis and its genesis. Having been declared a national emergency, there are as many economic as well as health issues related to the tragedy. Economists especially those at the Federal Reserve are keen to see this drug abuse as socio-demographic in nature so as to be absolved from failing in their primary task should it be found...

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Housing Bubble Symmetry: Look Out Below

Housing markets are one itsy-bitsy recession away from a collapse in domestic and foreign demand by marginal buyers. There are two attractive delusions that are ever-present in financial markets:One is this time it's different, because of unique conditions that have never ever manifested before in the history of the world, and the second is there are no cycles, they are illusions created by cherry-picked data; furthermore, markets are now...

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Place financière genevoise, une noyade dans l’anonymat.

“Avant, à Genève, il régnait une effervescence certaine. Les gens dépensaient de l’argent, certes pas forcément déclaré. Aujourd’hui, ce temps est fini et on ne voit pas vraiment ce qui pourrait extraire la ville et sa place financière de cette stagnation”. Exprimé en privé voici quelques jours par un professionnel de la finance de la cité de Calvin, ce constat rejoint celui de beaucoup, beaucoup d’autres gens ayant connu l’”avant” et qui...

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Geneva and Lausanne remain Switzerland’s toughest home markets

Home vacancy rates in Switzerland’s main cities have all risen over the last few years, bringing some hope to those looking for a place to live. The latest 2017 data confirm this trend. While these percentage shifts might appear big, very low vacancy rates underly them. On 1 June 2012, none of these cities had a vacancy rate above 1%. Zurich (0.29%), Bern (0.48%), Basel (0.13%), Lausanne (0.28%) and Geneva (0.21%) were all well below 1% vacancy...

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Emerging Markets: What has Changed

China plans to issue its first USD-denominated bond since 2004. China’s largest banks banned North Koreans from opening new accounts. The UN Security Council approved new sanctions on North Korea. Relations between Poland and the European Commission remain tense. Brazil’s central bank appears to be signaling discomfort with ongoing BRL strength.

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Gold Up, Markets Fatigued As War Talk Boils Over

North Korea threatens to reduce the U.S. to ‘ashes and darkness’. Markets becoming used to ongoing provocations from North Korea. Russia and China continue to support watered down versions of sanctions on Kim’s regime. Both NATO and Russia running war games on one another’s borders. Putin says Russia will “give a suitable response” to NATOs threatening behaviour.

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21st Century Shoe-Shine Boys

Anecdotal Flags are Waved. “If a shoeshine boy can predict where this market is going to go, then it’s no place for a man with a lot of money to lose.” – Joseph Kennedy It is actually a true story as far as we know – Joseph Kennedy, by all accounts an extremely shrewd businessman and investor (despite the fact that he had graduated in economics*), really did get his shoes shined on Wall Street one fine morning, and the shoe-shine boy, one Pat...

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The Real Reason Wages Have Stagnated: Our Economy is Optimized for Financialization

Labor's share of the national income is in freefall as a direct result of the optimization of financialization. The Achilles Heel of our socio-economic system is the secular stagnation of earned income, i.e. wages and salaries. Stagnating wages undermine every aspect of our economy: consumption, credit, taxation and perhaps most importantly, the unspoken social contract that the benefits of productivity and increasing wealth will be distributed...

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Les «diamants de sang» zimbabwéens circulent librement sur les marchés internationaux. La Tribune

L’ONG britannique Global Witness vient de publier ce 11 septembre un rapport explosif qui met à nu des opérations de détournement des revenus du secteur minier zimbabwéen par l’élite militaire et politique du pays pour financer les opérations répressives du régime du président Mugabe.

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FX Daily, September 15: Short Note Ahead of the Weekend

Sporadic updates continue as the first of two-week business trip winds down. North Korea missile launch failed to have much impact in the capital markets. The missile apparently flew the furthest yet, demonstrating its ability to hit Guam. However, there was not an immediate response from the US. South Korea said it had simultaneously conducted its own drill which included firing a missile into the Sea of Japan (East Sea).

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Oil Rich Venezuela Stops Accepting Dollars

President Maduro ” Venezuela will create a basket of currencies to free us from the dollar,”. Oil traders ordered to stop accepting U.S. dollar in exchange for crude oil. Order comes following calls from Russia and China to find alternatives to current reserve system. U.S. Dollar accounts for two-thirds of global trade. Venezuela has over ten-times more oil than United States. Super powers are gradually turning to gold to avoid using world’s main...

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Possible buyer for Air Berlin Swiss subsidiary

A potential buyer has been found for Belair, the Swiss subsidiary of insolvent airline Air Berlin, according to Swiss media reports which cite an internal communication to Belair employees. Belair management wrote that there was at least one offer for the airline, according to the az Nordwestschweiz newspaperexternal link and the Swiss news agency on Friday. Both have seen the communication, which was dated last Tuesday. The name of the airline’s...

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Is the High Cost of Housing Crushing Wages?

The authors' thesis doesn't explain the 47-year downtrend of labor's share of the economy. A provocative essay, Don't Blame the Robots, makes the bold claim that "Housing Prices and Market Power Explain Wage Stagnation." (Foreign Affairs) In other words, the stagnation of the bottom 95% of wages isn't caused by automation or offshoring, but by the crushingly high cost of housing:

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