Tag Archive: Germany

Watching Imports

The US trade deficit, a sensitive political topic these days, declined sharply in March. It had expanded significantly (more deficit) in January and February, reaching nearly -$76 billion (seasonally adjusted) in the latter month, before posting -$68 billion in the latest figures. Exports rose while imports fell in March, making for the largest single month change in the trade condition in many years.

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FX Weekly Preview: Recovering from Too Much of a Good Thing?

Too much of a good thing is bad. That, in a nutshell, is an important insight that Hyman Minsky offered about the financial sector, but has broader application. The low volatility that has been a characteristic of the capital markets for the past few years spurred financial innovation to profit from it.

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FX Daily, February 06: Recovering US Equities Puts Floor Under Europe after Asia Tanks

After the dramatic fall in US equities, Asian equities followed suit. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 3.4% following Monday's slide of 1.7%. European bourses gapped lower and spent most of the morning moving higher, though large gaps remain. At its worst, the Dow Jones Stoxx 600 was off about 3.3%, and at the time of this writing, it is half as much. US equities initially extended yesterday's losses, but the S&P 500 has turned higher in the...

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FX Weekly Preview: Drivers and Views

It is not easy to recall another week in which there were so many potential changes to the broad investment climate. The relatively light economic calendar in the week ahead may allow investors to continue to ruminate about some of those developments. Here we provide thumbnail assessments of the main drivers.

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49 Countries Have Violated Sanctions On North Korea

A new report from the Institute for Science and International Security has found that 49 countries violated sanctions on North Korea to varying degrees between March 2014 and September 2017. 13 governments including Cuba, Egypt, Iran and Syria were involved in military violations, which as Statista's Martin Armstrong notes, includes either receiving military training from North Korea or being involved in the import and export of military equipment.

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German Politics: What’s Next?

Coalition talks will resume in the coming days, and failing this a minority government is more likely than new elections. The is a general agreement among the political elites, and a hubris of small differences. The rate differentials and cross currency swaps show the incentive structure for holding dollars is increasing.

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For The First Time Ever, The “1 percent” Own More Than Half The World’s Wealth: The Stunning Chart

Today Credit Suisse released its latest annual global wealth report, which traditionally lays out what has become the single biggest reason for the recent "anti-establishment" revulsion: an unprecedented concentration of wealth among a handful of people, as shown in Swiss bank's infamous global wealth pyramid, an arrangement which as observed by the "shocking" political backlash of the past year, suggests that the lower 'levels' of the pyramid are...

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Europe Is Booming, Except It’s Not

European GDP rose 0.6% quarter-over-quarter in Q3 2017, the eighteenth consecutive increase for the Continental (EA 19) economy. That latter result is being heralded as some sort of achievement, though the 0.6% is also to a lesser degree. The truth is that neither is meaningful, and that Europe’s economy continues toward instead the abyss.

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If American Federalism Were Like Swiss Federalism, There Would Be 1,300 States

In a recent interview with Mises Weekends, Claudio Grass examined some of the advantages of the Swiss political system, and how highly decentralized politics can bring with it great economic prosperity, more political stability, and a greater respect for property rights. Since the Swiss political system of federalism is itself partially inspired by 19th-century American federalism, the average American can usually imagine in broad terms what the...

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Distinct Lack of Good Faith, Part ??

It was a busy weekend in retrospect, starting with Janet Yellen and other central bankers uncomfortably facing a global media that has become (for once) increasingly unconvinced. Reporters, really, don’t have much choice. The Federal Reserve Chairman might not be aware of just how much she has used the “transitory” qualifier since 2015, but others can’t be helped from noticing.

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“This May Be The End Of Europe As We Know It”: The Pension Storm Is Coming

I’ve written a lot about US public pension funds lately. Many of them are underfunded and will never be able to pay workers the promised benefits - at least without dumping a huge and unwelcome bill on taxpayers. And since taxpayers are generally voters, it’s not at all clear they will pay that bill. Readers outside the US might have felt safe reading those stories. There go those Americans again… However, if you live outside the US, your country...

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Why Small States Are Better

Andreas Marquart and Philipp Bagus (see their mises.org author pages here and here) were recently interviewed about their new book by the Austrian Economics Center. Unfortunately for English-language readers, the book is only available in German. Nevertheless, the interview offers some valuable insights.

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Dollar Surge Continues Ahead Of Jobs Report; Europe Dips As Catalan Fears Return

World stocks eased back from record highs and fell for the first time in eight days, as jitters about Catalonia’s independence push returned while bets on higher U.S. interest rates sent the dollar to its highest since mid August; S&P 500 futures were modestly in the red - as they have been every day this week before levitating to record highs - ahead of hurricane-distorted nonfarm payrolls data (full preview here). U.S. jobs report will also be...

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“This Is A Crisis Greater Than Any Government Can Handle”: The $400 Trillion Global Retirement Gap

Today we’ll continue to size up the bull market in governmental promises. As we do so, keep an old trader’s slogan in mind: “That which cannot go on forever, won’t.” Or we could say it differently: An unsustainable trend must eventually stop. Lately I have focused on the trend in US public pension funds, many of which are woefully underfunded and will never be able to pay workers the promised benefits, at least without dumping a huge and unwelcome...

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Eurozone: Distinct Lack of Good Faith

The erosion of social order in any historical or geographic context is gradual; until it isn’t. Germany has always followed a keen sense of this process, having experienced it to every possible extreme between the World Wars. Hyperinflationary collapse doesn’t happen overnight; it took three years for the Weimar mark to disintegrate, and then Weimar Germany. Even Nazism wasn’t all it once. What was required was continued denial especially on the...

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Here Are The Cities Of The World Where “The Rent Is Too Damn High”

In ancient times, like as far back as the 1990s, housing prices grew roughly inline with inflation rates because they were generally set by supply and demand forces determined by a market where buyers mostly just bought houses so they could live in them. Back in those ancient days, a more practical group of world citizens saw their homes as a place to raise a family rather that just another asset class that should be day traded to satisfy their...

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One-Tenth Of Global GDP Is Now Held In Offshore Tax Havens

Accurately measuring the scope of global wealth inequality is a notoriously difficult undertaking – a fact that was brought to light last year when the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists published the Panama Papers, exposing clients of Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca.

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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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The Secret History Of The Banking Crisis

Accounts of the financial crisis leave out the story of the secretive deals between banks that kept the show on the road. How long can the system be propped up for? It is a decade since the first tremors of what would become the Great Financial Crisis began to convulse global markets. Across the world from China and South Korea, to Ukraine, Greece, Brexit Britain and Trump’s America it has shaken our economy, our society and latterly our politics.

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Industrial Production: Irreführende Statistiken

Germany’s Federal Statistical Office (DeStatis) reported today disappointing figures for Industrial Production. The seasonally-adjusted series fell in June 2017 month-over-month for the first time this year, last declining in December 2016. The index had been on a tear, rising nearly 5% in the first five months of this year.

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