Notes From Underground: Odious, Indeed

November 21, 2021

We at Notes From Underground on Oct. 31 wrote a post titled, “The Odious Designs of ECB Policy.” It noted that during the ECB post-meeting press conference President Christine Lagarde said — in response to a question of whether the ECB would coordinate TAPERING with the world’s other central bank — “comparisons, for good reason are ODIOUS, simply because we are not thinking about the same economies.”

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Notes From Underground: A Possible Solution to the Central Bank Dilemma

November 14, 2021

It’s been. another week in which headline inflation concerns has jolted markets, particularly in the interest rate space, but not as much as many investors and traders would have expected. The yield curves in the U.S. FLATTENED as markets seem want to believe that the FED will raise rates in an effort to CURB the enthusiasm of the stickiness of recent price increases. As Peter Boockvar pointed out in his piece on Friday’s Michigan Consumer Sentiment Survey, confidence declined due to rising concerns over the “escalating inflation rate and growing belief among consumers that no effective policies have yet been developed to reduce the damage from surging inflation.”

Consumers noted that the time to buy a car fell to the lowest level on record dating back to 1978. Those thinking it is a good time to buy a home was the lowest rate since 1982 when mortgage rates were far different than today’s very low loan rates.

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Notes From Underground: What Turned the Markets On Friday?

November 7, 2021

The U.S. and Canadian unemployment data both were somewhat stronger than expected. The markets were trading in focus with the robust U.S. data — equities higher, DOLLAR firm, and bonds trying to adjust in the face of the FOMC‘s tapering plans.

Things took a turn around 11 a.m. eastern time. The precious metals began a ferocious rally, bonds rallied, and all the currencies began to rally actually closed higher on the day even as European interest rates moved similar to the U.S. and equities dropped from their all-time highs. What could’ve been responsible for the moves on a day of good data and, more importantly, the prevailing sense that the Biden White House was FINALLY going to get its infrastructure bill.

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Notes From Underground: The Odious Designs of ECB Policy

October 31, 2021

I’m posting this week’s podcast with the highly respected Peter Boockvar. This is one of the best interviews we’ve done with Richard Bonugli as we get into foreign currency, yield curves, energy policy surrounding nuclear power plants, and as usual, an in-depth discussion on precious metals.

The podcast was recorded Tuesday, prior to the interest rate decisions from the Bank of Canada, the Bank of Japan and the European Central Bank.

Click here to listen to the podcast. 

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Notes From Underground: Shedding Some Light

October 17, 2021

It has been six weeks since there has been “wisdom” from NOTES as the Jewish Holy Days gave pause to refresh and recharge the cerebral engine. Let’s hope the time away has borne the fruit that I was seeking to consume. We are posting a podcast I recorded with Professor Barry Eichengreen, one of the best economic historians in the land. His work on the GOLD Standard and the Great Depression is worth a read. It was an honor and privilege to be able to sit in conversation with the Financial Repression Authority’s Richard Bonugli as moderator.

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Notes From Underground: Will It Be An Inflated Jobs Report?

September 2, 2021

After FEDERAL RESERVE Chairman Jerome Powell’s Jackson Hole speech, the jobs data may have taken on added significance. Inflation was not a concern for Powell as that is considered transitory within the bowels of the FOMC. The failure of the employment situation to enable all who lost jobs due to COVID “through no fault of their own” has regained paramount importance.

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Notes From Underground: Powell’s Pathetic Political Posturing

August 29, 2021

First of all, my offer of any part of a $10,000 bet with 10-1 odds against Jerome Powell being renominated as FED CHAIR is OFFICIALLY RESCINDED. The Fed Chair’s speech was so pathetic that it can only be explained by his desire to be renamed central bank head. Powell’s speech would be called DOVISH on any given week but there were six FED presidents speaking out in favor of moving up the schedule for tapering QE to counterpunch. It was not only the increased hawkish stances of previous UBER DOVES, which provided cover for Powell but the highly esteemed Mohammed El-Erian and Larry Summers also called for the FED Chair to be bold at Jackson Hole.

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Notes From Underground: For What It’s Worth

August 24, 2021

There is a wonderful song from the tumultuous 1960s by the band Buffalo Springfield that is so apropos for the financial markets over the last two weeks (staying away from Kabul). The lyrics for the first two verses describe the situation for investors as we approach the tectonic plates of monetary policy that have provided the Kansas City Fed Symposium at Jackson Hole with its heightened significance. Several keynote speeches revealing policy changes have been delivered to this August group.

“There’s something happening here ,But what it is ain’t exactly clear
there’s a man with a printing press over there, telling me I got to beware
“There’s battle lines being drawn,nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong
Young people speaking there minds,Getting so much resistance from behind”

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Notes From Underground: Before I Break

August 15, 2021

On Sunday, we acknowledge the 50-year anniversary of Richard Nixon’s decision to close the GOLD EXCHANGE WINDOW and put an end to the post-World War monetary system known as Bretton Woods. I can say exactly where I was: A bus station in Afula, Israel buying ice cream in dollars and the price rose as it was the day after the announcement. The proprietor told us prices increased because the dollar bought less. I truly had no idea but just remember that it happened in real time and proved not to be a transitory event. Much is being written about the anniversary and the implications for the global economy.T he Nixon strategy was summed up in his supposed statement of “We ARE ALL KEYNESIAN’S NOW.”

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Notes From Underground: The Dog Days of Summer

August 12, 2021

The doldrums of August are upon us … though not really. There is the ongoing debate about inflation prompting the FEDERAL RESERVE to accelerate the pace of its asset purchase tapering — when it begins — while it is the elevated levels of minority unemployment that will likely force the FED to maintain its lower-for-longer policy.

The chatter remains about REAL INFLATION being above the FED‘s 2% mandate, a self-imposed threshold, while JANET YELLEN/JEROME POWELL discuss REAL UNEMPLOYMENT being above its mandate of maximum full employment. The central bank has promoted both mandates at times so it is difficult to deem what is REAL. It is of great interest that in the last few days KNOWN FED DOVES have taken a decidedly more “hawkish” posture. Atlanta Fed President Rafael Bostic, St. Louis Fed President James Bullard, and in Thursday’s Financial Times, San Francisco Fed President Mary Daly all raised the issue of reducing stimulus as soon as this year.

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