Tag Archive: Germany

The Scientism of Trade Wars

One year ago, last October, the IMF published the update to its World Economic Outlook (WEO) for 2018. Like many, the organization began to talk more about trade wars and protectionism. It had become a topic of conversation more than concern. Couched as only downside risks, the IMF still didn’t think the fuss would amount to all that much. Especially not with world’s economy roaring under globally synchronized growth. Even though there were...

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The Consequences Of ‘Transitory’

Europe’s QE, as noted this weekend, is off to a very rough start. In the bond market and in inflation expectations, the much-ballyhooed relaunch of “accommodation” is conspicuously absent. There was a minor back up in yields between when the ECB signaled its intentions back in August and the few weeks immediately following the actual announcement.

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FX Weekly Preview: China Returns, ECB Record, Fed Minutes and the Week Ahead

Many high-income countries experienced little growth but strong price pressures in the 1970s. Since the mainstream economics said the two were mutually exclusive, a new term had to be created, hence stagflation.  Fast forward almost half a century later, and mainstream economists are still having a problem deciphering the linkages between prices and economic activity, such as inflation and employment.

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Big Trouble In QE Paradise

Maybe it was a sign of things to come, a warning how it wasn’t going to go as planned. Then again, when it comes to something like quantitative easing there really is no plan. Other than to make it sound like there is one, that’s really the whole idea. Not what it really is and what it actually does, to make it appear like there’s substance to it.

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No Longer Hanging In, Europe May Have (Been) Broken Down

Mario Draghi can thank Jay Powell at his retirement party. The latter being so inept as to allow federal funds, of all things, to take hold of global financial attention, everyone quickly shifted and forgot what a mess the ECB’s QE restart had been. But it’s not really one or the other, is it? Once it actually finishes, the takeaway from all of September should be the world’s two most important central banks each botching their...

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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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How Is Negative Interest Possible? Report 8 Sep

Germany has recently joined Switzerland in the dubious All Negative Club. The interest rate on every government bond, from short to 30 years, is now negative. Many would say “congratulations”, in the belief that this proves their credit risk is … well … umm … negative(?) And anyways, it will let them borrow more to spend on consumption which will stimulate … umm… well… all of the wasteful consumption for which governments are rightly...

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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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FX Daily, September 06: Focus Shifts to North American Jobs Before Turning Back to Europe next Week

Investors hope that the world took a step away from the abyss in recent days. Developments in Hong Kong, US-China talking, a political and economic crisis in Italy appears to have been averted, and a risk of a no-deal Brexit has lessened. Asia Pacific equities closed the week on a firm note and extended the rally the third week.

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FX Daily, August 29: Johnson Faces Legal Challenges and Conte may be Given an Extension

The capital markets are calm today, though there does seem to be some optimism creeping back into the market. The Chinese yuan strengthened, snapping a ten-day slide and Italian bank shares index has risen by more than 1% for the fourth consecutive session.

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Japan: Fall Like Germany, Or Give Hope To The Rest of the World?

After trading overnight in Asia, Japan’s government bond market is within a hair’s breadth of setting new record lows. The 10-year JGB is within a basis point and a fraction of one while the 5-year JGB has only 2 bps to reach. It otherwise seems at odds with the mainstream narrative at least where Japan’s economy is concerned.

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FX Daily, August 27: Realism Fights Back After Hope Dominated Yesterday

Hope triumphed over realism yesterday, and realism is fighting back toward. Asia Pacific markets, however, traded on the echo from the recovery in North America on Monday. The MSCI Asia Pacific recouped part of yesterday's drop, led by Chinese markets. Hong Kong was the main exception.

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Germany’s Superstimulus; Or, The Familiar (Dollar) Disorder of Bumbling Failure

The Economics textbook says that when faced with a downturn, the central bank turns to easing and the central government starts borrowing and spending. This combined “stimulus” approach will fill in the troughs without shaving off the peaks; at least according to neo-Keynesian doctrine. The point is to raise what these Economists call aggregate demand.

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FX Weekly Preview: A Vicious Cycle Grips Markets

The capital markets are in their own doom loop. Poor data from Germany and China, coupled with the escalation of the US-China trade dispute and rising tensions in Hong Kong spur concerns about the risks of a global recession. Interest rates are driven lower, and curves flatten or go inverted, spurring more concern about the outlook. The problem is that it is not clear how this vicious cycle ends.

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Why You Should Care Germany More and More Looks Like 2009

What if Germany’s economy falls into recession? Unlike, say, Argentina, you can’t so easily dismiss German struggles as an exclusive product of German factors. One of the most orderly and efficient systems in Europe and all the world, when Germany begins to struggle it raises immediate questions about everywhere else.

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Germany Struggles On

The popular image of the German industrial machine politics is one which has Germany’s massive factories efficiently churning out goods for trade with the South of Europe (Club Med). Because of the common currency, numerous disparities starting with productivity differences had left the South highly indebted to the North just as the Global Financial Crisis would strike.

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FX Daily, June 24: Slow Start to Important Week

The Trump-Xi meeting at the G20 this coming weekend and heightened tensions in the Gulf, with the US set to impose new sanctions on Iran's crippled economy are keeping investors on edge. News the opposition won the re-do of the Istanbul mayoral election has lifted the Turkish lira.

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FX Daily, June 13: Financial Statecraft or Whack-a-Mole

Overview: After roiling the markets by threatening escalating tariffs on Mexico, US President Trump has threatened China that if Xi does not meet him and return to the positions that the US claims it had previously, he will through on imposing tariffs to the remaining goods the US buys from China that have not already been penalized. 

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FX Daily, May 20: Politics Overshadows Economics Today, but Japan’s Economy Unexpectedly Expanded in Q1

Encouraged by the election results, investors bid up Indian and Australian currencies and equities. Japan offered a pleasant surprise by reporting the world's third-largest economy expanded in Q1. Most other equity markets in Asia fell, and European stocks have the week with small losses.

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