Tag Archive: global trade

Curve Inversion 101: US CPI Politics Up Front, China PPI Down(ing) The Back

While the world fixated on the US CPI, it was other “inflation” data from across the Pacific that is telling the real economic story. Having conflated the former with a red-hot economy, the fact American consumer prices aren’t tied to the actual economic situation has been lost in the shuffle of the FOMC’s hawkishness, with markets obliged to price wrong-way Jay.

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T-bills Targeted Target

Yesterday’s market “volatility” spilled (way) over into this morning’s trading. It ended up being a very striking example, perhaps the clearest and most alarming yet, of a scramble for collateral. The 4-week T-bill, well, the chart speaks for itself:During past scrambles, such as those last year, they didn’t look like this. They would hit, stick around for an hour, maybe a bit longer, and then clear up as collateral books get balanced in repo like...

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Briefing Even More Inventory

Retail sales stumbled in December, contributing some to the explosion in inventory across the US supply chain – but not all. Inventories were going to spike even if sales had been better. In fact, retail inventories rose at such a record pace beyond anything seen before, had sales been far improved the monthly increase in inventories still would’ve unlike anything in the data series.

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The ‘Growth Scare’ Keeps Growing Out Of The Macro (Money) Illusion

When Japan’s Ministry of Trade, Economy, and Industry (METI) reported earlier in November that Japanese Industrial Production (IP) had plunged again during the month of September 2021, it was so easy to just dismiss the decline as a product of delta COVID.

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The Enormously Important Reasons To Revisit The Revisions Already Several Times Revisited

Extraordinary times call for extraordinary commitment. I never set out nor imagined that a quarter century after embarking on what I thought would be a career managing portfolios, researching markets, and picking investments, I’d instead have to spend a good amount of my time in the future taking apart how raw economic data is collected, tabulated, and then disseminated.

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Inflating Chinese Trade

There was never really any answer given by the Chinese Communists for why their own export data diverged so much from other import estimates gathered by its largest trading partners. Ostensibly different sides of the same thing, it’s not like anyone asked Xi Jinping to weigh in; they report what numbers they have and consider them authoritative.

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More About Less New Orders

The inventory saga, planetary in its reach. As you’ve heard, American demand for goods supercharged by the federal government’s helicopter combined with a much more limited capacity to rebound in the logistics of the goods economy left a nightmare for supply chains. As we’ve been writing lately, a highly unusual maybe unprecedented inventory cycle resulted (creating “inflation”).

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What’s Real Behind Commodities

Inflation is sustained monetary debasement – money printing, if you prefer – that wrecks consumer prices. It is the other of the evil monetary diseases, the one which is far more visible therefore visceral to the consumers pounded by spiraling costs of bare living. Yet, it is the lesser evil by comparison to deflation which insidiously destroys the labor market from the inside out.

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A Real Example Of Price Imbalance

It’s not just the trade data from individual countries. Take the WTO’s estimates which are derived from exports and imports going into or out of nearly all of them. These figures show that for all that recovery glory being printed up out of Uncle Sam’s checkbook, the American West Coast might be the only place where we can find anything resembling Warren Buffett’s red-hot claim.

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Real Dollar ‘Privilege’ On Display (again)

Twenty-fifteen was an important yet completely misunderstood year. The Fed was going to have to become hawkish, according to its models, yet oil prices crashed and the dollar continued to rise. Both of those things were described as “transitory” by Janet Yellen, and that they were helpful or positive (rising dollar means cleanest dirty shirt!), but domestically American policymakers’ clear lack of conviction and courage about that rate hike regime...

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Shoe V arning

It’s no wonder we’re obsessed with shoes these days. Even the V-people, as I’ll call them, keep one wary eye glued looking behind them. Survivor’s euphoria means a lot of potentially bad things, only beginning with a false sense of survivor-hood.

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A Japanese Stall?

In sharp contrast to the sentimental deference towards central bank stimulus exhibited by Germany’s ZEW, for example, similar Japanese surveys are starting to describe potential trouble developing. Like Germany, Japan is a bellwether country and a pretty reliable indicator of global economy performance.

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Second Wave Global Trade

Unlike some sentiment indicators, the ISM Non-manufacturing, in particular, actual trade in goods continued to contract in May 2020. Both exports and imports fell further, though the rate of descent has improved. In fact, that’s all the other, more subdued PMI’s like Markit’s have been suggesting.

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Someone’s Giving Us The (Trade) Business

The NBER has made its formal declaration. Surprising no one, as usual this group of mainstream academic Economists wishes to tell us what we already know. At least this time their determination of recession is noticeably closer to the beginning of the actual event. The Great “Recession”, you might recall, wasn’t even classified as an “official” contraction until December 2008 – a full year after the NBER figured the thing had begun.

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GDP + GFC = Fragile

March 15 was when it all began to come down. Not the stock market; that had been in freefall already, beset by the rolling destruction of fire sale liquidations emanating out of the repo market (collateral side first). No matter what the Federal Reserve did or announced, there was no stopping the runaway devastation.

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The Real Diseased Body

Another day, another new Federal Reserve “bailout.” As these things go by, quickly, the details become less important. What is the central bank doing today? Does it really matter?For me, twice was enough. All the way back in 2010 I had expected other people to react as I did to QE2. If you have to do it twice, it doesn’t work.

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Two Years And Now It’s Getting Serious

We knew German Industrial Production for December 2019 was going to be ugly given what deStatis had reported for factory orders yesterday. In all likelihood, Germany’s industrial economy ended last year sinking and maybe too quickly. What was actually reported, however, exceeded every pessimistic guess and expectation – by a lot.

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The Big And Small of Leading Japan

In the middle of 2018, Japan, they said, was riding so high. Gliding along on the tidal wave of globally synchronized growth, Haruhiko’s courage and more so patience had finally delivered the long-promised recovery. The Japanese economy had healed to a point that its central bank officials believed it time to wean the thing off decades of monetary “stimulus.”

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Clarida Picks Up Some Data

I should know better than to make declarative all-or-none statements like this. I said there isn’t any data which comports with the idea of a global turnaround, this shakeup in sentiment which since early September has gone right from one extreme to the other. Recession fears predominated in summer only to be (rather easily) replaced by near euphoria (again).

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The Real Trade Dilemma

When I write that there are no winners around the world, what I mean is more comprehensive than just the trade wars. On that one narrow account, of course there are winners and losers. The Chinese are big losers, as the Census Bureau numbers plainly show (as well as China’s own). But even the winners of the trade wars find themselves wondering where all the spoils are.

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