Notes From Underground: FRA Podcast Replay (January 29)

It has been a month since I last wrote. My hiatus was inadvertently extended as Ecclesiastes certainly entered my personal life. My sister Joyce suddenly passed away, which caused me to slow my mind and reflect on many things. Losing your baby sister will  cause one to ponder, or as it was said in Cool Hand Luke: “When a man’s mother dies and he gets to thinking rabbit and running, a night in the box.” So I have put myself in a mental box. However, I have also experienced the birth of my second grandson, thus to every season a time and purpose.

During the seven-plus years I have been writing Notes From Underground I have shared many life-changing moments with my extended family of readers. So it is with a renewed spirit and laser focus thoughts that I embark on analyzing the global-macro world in search of profitable trades and investments. The FRA podcast I posted January 29 (click the highlighted text) is a renewal of this year’s focus on crafting the NOTES narrative. There has been much in the way of global political events during my hiatus but I will refer to some as significant in various aspects as we proceed.

***The G-20 meeting in Baden-Baden over the weekend ended with no real conclusion as the United States would not compromise on allowing  the phrase “RESIST ALL FORMS OF PROTECTIONISM” to be inserted the COMMUNIQUE. The previous G-20 agreements have said the standard, “We will consult closely on exchange markets. We reaffirm our previous exchange rate commitments, including that we will refrain from competitive devaluations and will not target our exchange rates for competitive purposes.” This line is NONSENSE as New Zealand, Australia, and especially Switzerland regularly cite concerns over the strength of their currencies when setting their monetary policy. Even the FED has referenced an overly strong DOLLAR when using the phrase “financial headwinds” as a reason to maintain unreasonably low interest rates and too much liquidity in the system.

The trade issue was really set aside until the full meeting of the G-20 in Hamburg this summer with the ultimate rhetoric of benign neglect: “We will strive to reduce excessive global imbalances, promote greater inclusiveness and fairness and reduce inequality in our pursuit of growth.” So it is incumbent on Germany, China and the U.S. to correct either a massive current account surplus or deficit. While the finance ministers and bankers were in Baden-Baden, Chancellor Merkel was in Washington D.C. holding talks with President Trump. The discussion between the key leaders was “frosty” as Trump was not as diplomatic as he should have been, especially in regards to his personal attacks upon Frau Merkel. But I urge my readers to carefully watch the U.S. DOLLAR as the Trump administration may pursue a weak dollar policy in response to Germany’s threats of legal retaliation in response to any border adjustment tax (BAT). German Finance Minister Schaeuble openly threatened a legal challenge at the WTO if the U.S. institutes the BAT.

If the U.S. cannot improve its excessive trade imbalance through a “tax” program or tariff then look for the DOLLAR to be the mechanism that The Donald utilizes to get the world’s attention. As I warned last month when Ford CEO Mark Fields said, “currency manipulation was the mother of all trade barriers,” watch for the U.S. to pursue a weak dollar policy to placate the National Association of Manufacturers. When auto executives are openly critical of currency manipulation by foreign governments it is time to pay attention, especially when the overwhelming currency positions are LONG DOLLARS and as many analysts bought into the idea of a BAT and its bullish impact on the DOLLAR. Even this weekend’s Barron’s front page comes to the Santelli /Harris position discussed on February 21. The border adjustment tax is a major mistake.

***Thank you for all of your support and if there are any issues that warrant a discussion feel free to contribute in the comments section. I will certainly take everything into consideration.

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29 Responses to “Notes From Underground: FRA Podcast Replay (January 29)”

  1. ms071820 Says:

    Yra,

    I’m sorry to hear about Joyce. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

    Regards

    Mark Selvig

    801-598-9094

  2. rld Says:

    Your family and close friends sincerely know that you could not have been a better brother to Joyce. We all extend our heartfelt sympathies to you and your whole family.

  3. Michael Weiser Says:

    Yra,

    So sorry to hear about Joyce. Scott’s and my condolences are to you, your brothers and your entire family.

    With sadness,
    Michael

  4. Dallas Says:

    My sympathy to you and your family. Look closely and you will see your sister shining through one of you other family members.

  5. Tom Sexton Says:

    Yra,
    So Sorry for you loss, my thoughts go out to you and your family.

    Tom Sexton

  6. Ariel Bezalel Says:

    Wish you long life Yra and mazeltov on the birth of your second grandson.

    Best wishes
    Ariel Bezalel

  7. James Hughes Says:

    YRA,

    I’m sorry for your loss. Glad you are back.

    Jim Hughes

    J

    ________________________________

  8. mgivehchi Says:

    Hello Yra

    I have never met you but am a big fan.

    Just wanted to offer my condolences for losing your family member.

    May peace be with you and your family. And thank you for your notes.

    Mehran Givehchi

    >

  9. Bonnie From Beaver Falls Says:

    Yra,

    I am so sorry to learn about Joyce’s passing. I pray that you will be able to hold on to many happy memories.

    Best,

    Bonnie

  10. rolaf3@hotmail.com Says:

    Sorry for your loss, Yra.

    Best wishes,
    Ron L.

  11. tw Says:

    Yra,

    I can’t say I relate to your loss but I understand the pain of it. It’s senselessness. Sorrow.

    I wish you well. And good healing.

    In honoring her memory, she remains immortal.

    tw

  12. Mario DAmbrosio Says:

    Yra, My deepest heart to your family. Family is a gift we all must hold close. My love goes out to you all. Mario D’Ambrosio

  13. Marty Liebman Says:

    I am sorry to hear about Joyce. i know you cared for her deeply.
    Sara nd I congratulate you on the birth of your grandson.
    Marty Liebman

    • yra Says:

      Marty–to you and Sara–thanks so much for your thoughts I hope all is well with you and your family—Yra

  14. Chicken Says:

    Sorry to learn of your sister’s passing Yra, may she rest in peace and congratulations to the new addition to the family.

  15. Chicken Says:

    Full employment was achieved in spite of a rising dollar, mission accomplished?

    Thus one question; why a lower dollar as a goal given full employment exists, to keep the ball in motion?

    There was talk of issuing 50yr UST’s, surely the market has been positioning for this?

  16. Rob Syp Says:

    “Ecclesiastes certainly entered my personal life” welcome back and now your teaching in other areas with this statement. Spent time today reading Ecclesiastes and it’s meanings and for that I am thankful.

  17. Ronald Ferrill Says:

    Thank you for guiding me to Ecclesiastes and thoughts of the “moving finger”. Truly “not all our piety or wit can cancel half a line, nor all our tears wash out a word…” (Khayyam).
    We always look forward to your sage and energetic understanding of the economic/political/social discourse on matters of import.
    The concept of the BAT must be one surely that is only a starting point of discussion. I cannot imagine thrusting such a challenge without considering other alternatives.

  18. frank c. Says:

    Joe Biden poignantly said this after his son’s passing..

    “There will come a day, I promise you and your parents, as well, when the thought of your son or daughter or your husband or wife brings a smile to your lips before it brings a tear to your eye. It will happen. My prayer for you is that day will come sooner or later.. But the only thing I have more experience than you in is this: I’m telling you it will come.”

    My thoughts and prayers are for you and your sister.

    • yra Says:

      Frank C–thank you and everyone else for your beautiful thoughts.A few words is more comforting then you can even imagine

  19. Jeremy Koch Says:

    Yra, so very sorry to hear of your loss. From experience, Leaving is always baked into the cake, but having those you truly love, respect, are grateful for, who manage to Come into our lives, to find us, is not. For those, I never think of the Loss, only of how to thank them for having Come. Thank you Joyce for coming into my Yra’s life.
    Fondly,
    Jeremy

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