Notes From Underground: A Fresh Glance at Markets

October 21, 2018

Exactly two weeks ago we at Notes From Underground published, “Powell Seeks To Reestablish The Authority of Markets…Maybe?” While I was off enjoying my daughter’s wedding, the December S&P futures had closed at 2895 on Oct. 5 (unemployment Friday). I warned that the market was misjudging Chairman Jerome Powell as he seemed impervious to equity and bond market corrections. The algos are built on the FOMC being quick to defend the elevated levels of the bond and equity markets.

Read the rest of this entry »

Notes From Underground: Powell Seeks to Reestablish the Authority of Markets … Maybe?

October 7, 2018

I am positing this idea because I think it’s critical to current valuations of various asset classes. The nine-year rally in the U.S. (and to some extent the global equity markets) has stretched valuations as ultra-cheap money has pushed investors into taking risks larger than what many money managers and retail investors would do “normal” circumstances. This was ultimately the Bernanke plan the former chairman laid out at Jackson Hole in 2010 (simplified in Bernanke’s Washington Post op-ed as the PORTFOLIO BALANCE CHANNEL). The long-term problem for investors is that Bernanke and Janet Yellen were terrified of market reactions whenever they desired to halt the massive QE programs and their beloved use of FORWARD GUIDANCE.

Read the rest of this entry »

Notes From Underground: Weather Disrupts. Will It Disrupt Financial Flows?

October 4, 2018

Based on the recent ADP report and other economic data, logic would dictate that Friday’s jobs report OUGHT to be very strong. If the data is weaker than expected, analysts will look to the impact from Hurricane Florence, ” the storm the authorities came to blame.” There are projections that jobs will be diminished by upwards of 50,000 so the initial algo traders will be thwarted. As usual, the critical component of the jobs number will again be the average hourly earnings (AHE), which are expected to rise 0.3% following August’s increase of 0.4%. If this number were to print 0.5% expect bond futures to come under pressure, even on top of violent increase in yields we have experienced this week.

Read the rest of this entry »

Notes From Underground: Going Where Others Fear to Tread

October 3, 2018

In a surprise visit with Rick Santelli on Wednesday, we picked up where we left off in our discussion about rising interest rates. This time we had live ammunition as the data releases revealed suggested robustness in the U.S. economy. Now that the “accommodative” language was removed from the FOMC statement, Chairman Powell will have the luxury of FLEXIBILITY in reacting to economic signals. The markets responded to Powell’s new policy by sending interest rates higher, taking out long-time technical resistance on the U.S. 10- and 30-year Treasuries. Is the rise in yields sustainable? Friday’s unemployment report will provide a powerful test for the markets because if wages increase more than anticipated there will be renewed selling all along the curve.

Click on the image to watch me and Rick discuss the rise in Treasury yields.

Read the rest of this entry »

Notes From Underground: Another FRA Podcast

September 30, 2018

I am posting the latest PODCAST from the Financial Repression Authority (FRA), in which Peter Boockvar and I talk markets with Richard Bonugli. This PODCAST sets out the market issues that financial markets will confront in the fourth quarter.

Read the rest of this entry »

Notes From Underground: Powell Confirms It Ain’t Rocket Science

September 26, 2018

Over the last nine years, a major theme from the wit and wisdom of Notes From Underground has been that FED policy is not rocket science, the premise being that no matter how much math is applied the forecasting ability of the FOMC has been less than stellar because of the use of flawed models. Unlike genuine rocket science in which astrophysicists can land a vehicle on the moon and return the capsule to a pre-programmed landing site, the FED cannot predict the economy with any sense of proximity. Yet the FED built a massive balance sheet depending on those flawed models. The financial media was awed by the high maths of the FED‘s models so mainstream pundits offered little to no pushback, genuflecting at the altar of academia.

Read the rest of this entry »

Notes From Underground: Fed Forecast — 100% Chance of a 0.25% Rate Hike

September 25, 2018

The market is absolutely, positively certain that the FOMC will increase the FED funds rate by its Greenspanian 25 basis points, although there are some Wall Street pundits suggesting the possibility of a 50 basis point hike because of the recent return of robust data. I have suggested that the FED would have done well by raising rates in a more aggressive fashion. But with the November elections within polling range, Trump’s trade policy causing angst in the emerging markets and several of U.S. trading partners, it’s looking very unlikely (less than 5 percent chance).

Read the rest of this entry »

Notes From Underground: Around the World With Yra + Rick

September 20, 2018

On Thursday Rick Santelli pushed and prodded and as a result, we were able to travel from Japan to Europe in an effort to discuss some of the more pressing issues confronting the global macro world. First, we stopped in Japan to discuss how the BOJ and Governor Kuroda will be able to extricate itself from five years of QQE which has seen the BOJ accumulate Japanese debt and equities. Of course the end game is to reach the self-imposed inflation level of 2 percent that has proved to be an agonizing level to achieve. As a reminder, when a nation is saddled with huge debts the best relief is to be found in inflation, which results in an ultimate money illusion as debts are paid back with an ever-depreciated currency.

Click on the image to watch me and Rick discuss global policy.

Read the rest of this entry »

Notes From Underground: Larry Kudlow, White House Eunuch

September 17, 2018

Make no mistake, Larry Kudlow is worthless as a source of financial wisdom because he wishes to be everybody’s friend. That prevents him from having a discussion about serious financial concerns. The Kudlow mantra is: Pay attention to the growth coming from the tax and regulatory reforms put in place by the Trump administration. I agree with the great need for regulatory reform, but the Kudlow mantra of “don’t worry about budget deficits because growth will take care of it” is RUBBISH. The Trump administration has increased spending while cutting taxes, which in my opinion has merely resulted in INTERTEMPORAL MISALLOCATION. The TRUMP White House has merely brought forth demand from the near future with no genuine way to pay for it. This is of course right out of the Nixon play book in which “we are all Keynesians now.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Notes From Underground: More Perspective In the Time Of Reflection

September 12, 2018

First, to all of those in the NOTES community who celebrate the Jewish New Year, I wish you a year of health, peace and prosperity. To those who celebrate other spiritual endeavors I offer you a wish for health, peace and prosperity. Now, to the markets. In the past month I have spent time putting issues we’ve been discussing for the last nine years into perspective. Lately, the airwaves are filled with the accolades laid upon the policy makers who SAVED CAPITALISM. Listening¬† to Paulson, Geithner and Bernanke pontificate on how they acted to save the system is enough to send me into fits of rage as the culprits who failed to act to halt the housing bubble praise themselves for the “Courage To Act.”

Read the rest of this entry »