Tag Archive: inflation

Inflation Karma

There is no oil in the CPI’s consumer basket, yet oil prices largely determine the rate by which overall consumer prices are increasing (or not). WTI sets the baseline which then becomes the price of motor fuel (gasoline) becoming the energy segment. As energy goes, so do headline CPI measurements.

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Powell Would Ask For His Money Back, If The Fed Did Money

Since the unnecessary destruction brought about by GFC2 in March 2020, there have been two detectable, short run trendline upward moves in nominal Treasury yields. Both were predictably classified across the entire financial media as the guaranteed first steps toward the “inevitable” BOND ROUT!!!!

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FX Daily, August 28: Powell and Abe Drive Markets

After a confused and volatile reaction to the Federal Reserve's formal adoption of an average inflation target, it took Asian and European traders to embrace the signal and take the dollar lower. It is falling against nearly all the currencies and has slumped to new lows for the year against sterling and the Australian dollar.

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This Has To Be A Joke, Because If It’s Not…

After thinking about it all day, I’m still not quite sure this isn’t a joke; a high-brow commitment of utterly brilliant performance art, the kind of Four-D masterpiece of hilarious deception that Andy Kaufman would’ve gone nuts over. I mean, it has to be, right?I’m talking, of course, about Jackson Hole and Jay Powell’s reportedly genius masterstroke.

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Cool Video: TD Ameritrade with Ben Lichtenstein

With the dollar continuing to trend lower, it was time to check again with Ben Lichtenstein at TD Ameritrade.  It was a privilege to join him today to discuss the drivers. I sketched out my views that the greenback's two legs, growth and interest rate differentials have been knocked from under it.

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Fama 2: No Inflation For Old Central Banks

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the core CPI in July 2020 jumped by the most (+0.62%) in almost thirty years. After having dropped month-over-month for three months in a row for the first time in its history, it has posted back to back gains the latest of which pushing the index back above its February level.

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About that Spike in the Silver Price… 22 July

The price of silver has just spiked up about $2.00—that’s about 10%. All the usual suspects have been calling for silver to skyrocket. With some amusement, we have been watching ads from a guy known for savvy junior mining stock investments, who has been calling for gold to go up for a while.

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Transitory, The Other Way

After a record three straight months of decline for the seasonally-adjusted core CPI March through May 2020, it turned upward again in June. Buoyed by a partially reopened economy, the price discounting (prerequisite to the Big D) took at least one month off.

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Wait A Minute, What’s This Inversion?

Back in the middle of 2018, this kind of thing was at least straight forward and intuitive. If there was any confusion, it wasn’t related to the mechanics, rather most people just couldn’t handle the possibility this was real. Jay Powell said inflation, rate hikes, and accelerating growth. Absolutely hawkish across-the-board.And yet, all the way back in the middle of June 2018 the eurodollar curve started to say, hold on a minute.

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Growing Dollar Demand, Silver Weirdness, Market Report, 15 June

The Federal Reserve has become more aggressive again, after several years of acting docile. As you can see on this chart of the Fed’s balance sheet, it has very rapidly expanded from a baseline from (prior to) 2015 through 2018, of about $4.4 trillion. After which, it had attempted to taper, getting down to $3.8 trillion last summer. Then it was obliged to reverse itself well before responding to the COVID lockdown. Since then, its balance sheet...

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Why The FOMC Just Embraced The Stock Bubble (and anything else remotely sounding inflationary)

The job, as Jay Powell currently sees it, means building up the S&P 500 as sky high as it can go. The FOMC used to pay lip service to valuations, but now everything is different. He’ll signal to all those fund managers by QE raising bank reserves, leading them on in what they all want to believe is “money printing” (that isn’t).

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ECB Doubles Its QE; Or, The More Central Banks Do The Worse You Know It Will Be

A perpetual motion machine is impossible, but what about a perpetual inflation machine? This is supposed to be the printing press and central banks are, they like to say, putting it to good and heavy use. But never the inflation by which to confirm it. So round and round we go. The printing press necessary to bring about consumer price acceleration, only the lack of consumer price acceleration dictates the need for more of the printing press.

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No Flight To Recognize Shortage

If there’s been one small measure of progress, and a needed one, it has been the mainstream finally pushing commentary into the right category. Back in ’08, during the worst of GFC1 you’d hear it all described as “flight to safety.” That, however, didn’t correctly connote the real nature of what was behind the global economy’s dramatic wreckage. Flight to safety, whether Treasuries or dollars, wasn’t it.

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Open Letter to Crispin Odey

I am writing in response to the comments you made in a letter to investors yesterday, which were widely reported. You have set the gold community afire, with claims that are not new and not true. So I shall attempt to douse the flames. As everyone knows, President Roosevelt outlawed the ownership of gold in 1933. Although gold was legalized in 1975, fears linger today that the governments may repeat this heinous act.

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So Much Bond Bull

Count me among the bond vigilantes. On the issue of supply I yield (pun intended) to no one. The US government is the brokest entity humanity has ever conceived – and that was before March 2020. There will be a time, if nothing is done, where this will matter a great deal.That time isn’t today nor is it tomorrow or anytime soon because it’s the demand side which is so confusing and misdirected.

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A Big One For The Big “D”

From a monetary policy perspective, smooth is what you are aiming for. What central bankers want in this age of expectations management is for a little bit of steady inflation. Why not zero? Because, they decided, policymakers need some margin of error. Since there is no money in monetary policy, it takes time for oblique “stimulus” signals to feed into the psychology of markets and the economy.

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Everyone Knows The Gov’t Wants A ‘Controlled’ Weimar

There are two parts behind the inflation mongering. The first, noted yesterday, is the Fed’s balance sheet, particularly its supposedly monetary remainder called bank reserves. The central bank is busy doing something, a whole bunch of something, therefore how can it possibly turn out to be anything other than inflationary?The answer: the Federal Reserve is not a central bank, not really.

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What Happens When Central Banks Buy Stocks (ETFs)? Well, We Already Know

Can we please dispense with all notions that monetary policy works? Specifically balance sheet expansion via any scale asset purchase programs. Nowhere has that been more apparent than Japan. Go back and reread all the promised benefits from BoJ’s Big Bang QQE that were confidently written in 2013. The biggest bazooka ever conceived has fallen short in every conceivable way.

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Schaetze To That

When Mario Draghi sat down for his scheduled press conference on April 4, 2012, it was a key moment and he knew it. The ECB had finished up the second of its “massive” LTRO auctions only weeks before. Draghi was still relatively new to the job, having taken over for Jean-Claude Trichet the prior November amidst substantial turmoil.

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FX Daily, February 13: Surprise? China Undercounts Afflictions and Fatalities, Curbs Risk Taking

Overview: There is one overriding driver today, and that is the incorporation of CAT scan diagnoses of the virus in Hubei, ground-zero. This follows the arrival of WHO officials into China a couple days ago. Not only have the cases jumped, but so did the number of deaths. It plays on fears that China's figures are not reliable. But it is not just China.

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