Tag Archive: Featured

Swiss cereal harvests set to drop in 2018 after hot weather

Bread wheat, barley, and rapeseed harvests look set to be considerably lower in Switzerland in 2018 compared to previous years, due to the prolonged heat and drought-like conditions this summer. The figures, collected by the Swiss granum organization, were based on data supplied by 29 cereal collection centres, covering 35% of the Swiss barley market, 50% of the bread wheat market, and 55% of the rapeseed market.

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What’s Hot Isn’t Retail Sales Growth

Americans are spending more on filling up. A lot more. According the Census Bureau, retail sales at gasoline stations had increased by nearly 20% year-over-year (unadjusted) in both May and June 2018. In the latest figures for July, released today, gasoline station sales were up by more than 21%.

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Fundamental Price of Gold Decouples Slightly – Precious Metals Supply and Demand

Keith Weiner’s weekly look on Gold. Gold and silver prices, Gold-Silver Price Ratio, Gold basis and co-basis and the dollar price, Silver basis and co-basis and the dollar price.

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FX Daily, August 17: Dollar Limps into the Weekend

The US dollar is trading heavily against most of the world's currencies today.  The main exceptions come from the emerging markets where the Turkish lira, Russian ruble, and Mexican peso are the chief exceptions, and their losses are modest.  This week's dollar gains are being pared in largely corrective activity and amid a light news stream.  The threat of more sanctions on Turkey if it does not release the American pastor is helping the...

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London House Prices Fall At Fastest Rate Since Height Of Financial Crisis

– London house prices fall at the fastest annual rate since height of the financial crisis – London house prices fall in 5th month in row, worst falls since 2009 – London rents dropped at the fastest rate in eight years – ONS – Brexit, London property slump put brake on UK house price growth – Consumer spending declined in July as inflation increased

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Zurich scientists urge state pension fund to divest from fossil fuels

Professors and researchers from Zurich’s Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich) have joined the chorus of civil society actors calling for the Swiss state pension fund to divest from fossil fuels. In a letter to Publica, one of the largest pension funds in Switzerland, 166 experts from ETH Zurich, including 128 professors, demanded it stop investing in climate-damaging companies within five years.

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Great Graphic: Crude Approaches Year-Old Trend Line

Crude oil has been climbing a trendline for the past year. This Great Graphic depicts this trend on a weekly bar chart. Depending exactly the line is drawn, it comes in now near $65 a barrel. The technical indicators are consistent with further losses.

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Monthly Macro Monitor – August 2018

The Q2 GDP report (+4.1% from the previous quarter, annualized) was heralded by the administration as a great achievement and certainly putting a 4 handle on quarter to quarter growth has been rare this cycle, if not unheard of (Q4 ’09, Q4 ’11, Q2 & Q3 ’14). But looking at the GDP change year over year shows a little different picture (2.8%).

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Who Would Invest in a Gold Bond?

Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffet famously dismissed gold. “Gold has two significant shortcomings, being neither of much use nor procreative.” I have recently written about how a government with gold mining tax revenues can use gold. The benefits of issuing gold bonds include reducing risk, and getting out of debt at a discount. Pretty useful, eh?

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FX Daily, August 16: Emerging Markets Stabilize, Dollar Eases a Little

Two developments have helped turned sentiment, or at least arrested the markets' momentum. First, the developments in Turkey, where officials have taken a few measures that will make it somewhat more difficult to access the lira.

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Swiss Labour Force Survey in 2nd quarter 2018: Number of persons in employment rises by 0.7 percent, unemployment rate based on ILO at 4.6 percent

The number of employed persons in Switzerland rose by 0.7% in the 2nd quarter 2018 compared with the same quarter of the previous year. The unemployment rate as defined by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) rose during the same period by 0.2 percentage points to 4.6%. The EU's unemployment rate based on the ILO definition decreased from 7.6% to 6.9%.

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Zurich bank settles tax evasion probe with US

The Zürcher Kantonalbank (ZKB) has agreed to pay the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) $98.5 million (CHF97.7 million) to resolve a long-running investigation into its role in tax evasion by wealthy Americans using undeclared Swiss bank accounts.

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Great Graphic JPY Struggles at Trendline

This Great Graphic is a weekly bar chart of the dollar-yen exchange rate.  It shows a three-year downtrend line (white line).  The US dollar had popped above it last month, but this proved premature and has not closed about it for a month.  The trendline is found near JPY111.55 now.

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Wall Street – Island of the Blessed

Which Disturbance in the Farce can be Profitably Ignored Today? There has been some talk about submerging market turmoil recently and the term “contagion” has seen an unexpected revival in popularity – on Friday that is, which is an eternity ago. As we have pointed out previously, the action is no longer in line with the “synchronized global expansion” narrative, which means with respect to Wall Street that it is best ignored.

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Swiss National Bank releases new 200-franc note

Fourth banknote in latest series showcases Switzerland’s scientific expertise. The Swiss National Bank (SNB) will begin issuing the new 200-franc note on 22 August 2018. Following the 50, 20 and 10-franc notes, this is the fourth of six denominations in the new banknote series to be released. The current eighth-series banknotes will remain legal tender until further notice.

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FX Daily, August 15: Lira Rallies on Cut in Swaps, but Fails to Dent Dollar Demand

The Turkish lira is extending yesterday's recovery today on the back of actions by officials that are aimed at limiting foreign access to the lira to short. Without introducing new capital controls, regulators halved the amount of swap transactions banks can do to 25% of shareholder equity. This is meant to make it more difficult to access lira in the offshore swaps market, which is an important channel.

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Swiss public transport given good cost-effectiveness marks

Using public transport infrequently in Switzerland is expensive, but thanks to new special offers such as “early bird” rates Switzerland does well when it comes to value for money, according to an international study. “Travelling by train, bus or boat is expensive in Switzerland,” is a common refrain among Swiss people – and especially tourists.

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Our “Prosperity” Is Now Dependent on Predatory Globalization

Nowadays, trade and "prosperity" are dependent on currencies that are created out of thin air via borrowing or printing. So here's the story explaining why "free" trade and globalization create so much wonderful prosperity for all of us: I find a nation with cheap labor and no environmental laws anxious to give me cheap land and tax credits, so I move my factory from my high-cost, highly regulated nation to the low-cost nation, and keep all the...

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Cool Video: CNBC Discussion on Turkey

I had the opportunity to join Professor Hanke to discuss the crisis in Turkey. The professor sketched out his view expressed in a recent op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal, arguing that Turkey is best served by adopting a currency board, anchoring the lira to hard currency, like the euro or dollar, or gold. 

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FX Daily, August 14: Brief Respite but Little Relief

Corrective pressures grip the capital markets today, helped by the easing of the selling pressure on Turkey, but its more a respite than a relief as no new policy initiatives are behind the lira's upticks. The implication of this is that it is unlikely to last. In fact, the dollar's low in early Europe a just above TRY6.41 after trading a little above TRY7.23 yesterday may be about the most that can reasonably be expected.

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