Archive for the ‘Central Banks’ Category

Notes From Underground: Bringing Europe to the Fore, Yet Again

August 20, 2019

Whenever I have an appearance on CNBC with Rick Santelli, Europe proves itself as critical to U.S. monetary policy. The past five years have led to dialogue that questions the efficacy of ECB policy and the slight of hand moves by President Mario Draghi. As BUND yields drag all sovereign debt yields even lower, the central bank is struggling to find policies that will keep LOWER FOR LONGER going. It seems that the last play in the book is to provoke Jerome Powell to abandon any NORMALIZATION of interest rate policy regardless of the economic data reported by the U.S.

(Click on the image to watch me and Rick discuss Europe and monetary policy.)

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Notes From Underground: Another Fine Mess You Got Us Into, Olli Rehn

August 18, 2019

The Federal Reserve just won’t admit that President Trump and the European Central Bank are holding its policy designs captive. Trump ramps up talk of tariffs in an effort to keep the financial markets uncertain while the ECB wishes to pursue an ever expanding balance sheet in an effort to reach an ambivalent inflation target. There is no doubt that REAL YIELDS throughout the European Union are NEGATIVE. Even the Italian 10-year is trading around 1.35%, which is below the inflation level however dubious it is calculated.

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Notes From Underground: Jerome Powell, Meet Jerome Kerviel

August 14, 2019

The die has been cast as the U.S. 2/10 curve did the unthinkable. It inverted. This cause panic among the talking heads, who scoured the earth for analysts to give purpose to the bogeyman of bullish equity market pundits. The financial television media interviewed analysts all day, who explained ad nauseam why an inverted curve is truly different this time as it mainly reflects the desire for foreign investors to send their savings to the welcoming shores of the United States.

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Notes From Underground: If You Don’t 2+2=5, Then Read No Further

August 6, 2019

The tagline of this blog has always been “where 2+2=5 is also a wonderful thing.” If you believe that the world is balanced and rational in all things financial then this BLOG is not for you. Unlike Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s character, I am not a sick man, nor a spiteful man. I use my deep knowledge of political and economic history to analyze financial markets from myriad angles. This allows for a belief that context is supreme. In this context I posit that President Trump’s decision Monday to name China a “currency manipulator” is a way out for the U.S. from the dissension that has arisen within Trump’s team of advisers as reported over the weekend. If Bob Lighthizer was opposed then indeed President Trump is in a more difficult position than previously thought.

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Notes From Underground: Unemployment Data? Frankly, I Don’t Give a Damn

August 1, 2019

Usually, when the first Friday of the month comes around my concern turns to nonfarm payrolls and average hourly earnings. But after the Powell press conference on Wednesday and Trump’s tariff tweets Thursday, my analysis is Gone With the Wind. As I discussed in the last few blog posts, Trump’s tweets on tariffs have cornered the Powell Fed as concerns arise over just how much global growth is going to be negatively impacted.

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Notes From Underground: We Got Our Answer

July 31, 2019

In Sunday’s blog post I asked whether the tariffs trumped U.S. economic data. Well, we got our answer on Wednesday and it’s a resounding YES. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s press conference Wednesday suggested that he has been sucked into the vortex of President Trump’s media manipulation of the tariff narrative. CNBC’s Steve Likesman asked whether the interest rate cut was an insurance cut instead of a DATA cut. Powell cited these reasons for the Fed’s decision: To insure against global risks /trade tensions, which is unusual as there is not much history of monetary policy responding to economic consequences of trade friction; and the cover all of the world’s largest central banks, which is the need for a faster return to inflation.

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Notes From Underground: The BOJ Leading Off With the Fed On Deck

July 29, 2019

On Monday night, the Bank of japan announces its policy intentions and consensus is for no change. The ECB remained on hold with promises of more liquidity to come so it is doubtful that Governor Kuroda would do anything ahead of the FED.

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Notes From Underground: Does Fear of Increased Tariffs Trump U.S. Data?

July 28, 2019

This is not a rhetorical question but a very direct concern about the leverage that President Trump has in dealings with Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.

After listening to European Central Bank President Mario Draghi’s press conference Thursday and then learning about the White House meeting about the possibility of currency intervention, I am wondering whether the president is using TARIFFS as leverage to satiate his desire for lower U.S. interest rates.

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Notes From Underground: It’s a Drag For Draghi Getting Old

July 24, 2019

On Thursday morning we will hear from the ECB about its desires to raise inflation to its self-imposed 2% target. But on Wednesday we received more tepid economic data from the EU. Then couple that with the ascent of Boris Johnson to the position of British Prime Minister. The rise of Boris Johnson is a problem for Draghi as the possibility of a HARD BREXIT increases dramatically. The market and its DAVOS media sycophants have sold the narrative of a hard Brexit as being devastating for the U.K. economy, the British GILTS, the British pound and the Footsie 100. President Draghi has to be careful that a severe rally in the EUR/GBP cross doesn’t damage the European exporters, especially Germany, who runs a 50 billion-plus surplus with Britain.

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Notes From Underground: Torn Between Two Lovers, Feelin’ Like A Fool

July 21, 2019

This Mary MacGregor ballad released in 1976 notes how a woman is torn between two men she loves and it is “breakin’ all the rules.” This is the situation Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and the FOMC finds itself: The love of its dual mandate and its torrid affair with the beloved Phillips Curve. Now it appears that the FED leadership is abandoning its affair with Phillips Curve while it grows more attached to its other love, Mario Draghi and the European Central Bank.

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