Tonight I am posting the latest episode from the Financial Repression Authority (click on the blue link to listen). I do these for no remuneration as I think the information flowing out of this group creates great conversation and can generate some very profitable investment opportunities. Yes, it’s 34 minutes long but it is more LEARNATIVE than the network news. So pour a stiff whisky and listen while doing other reading. I share this with, you readers because I am honored to be a part of this great dialectical process. One of the key points in tonight’s post is the development of a narrative in which to analyze the world of Trump. It is not a partisan narrative but one I am developing as I attempt to discern the unfolding global dialogue being put forward by Team Trump.
Archive for the ‘Mexico’ Category
The fools are alive with the sound of tapering. There’s a constant drone of the CNBC crowd that the fear of Fed tapering has sent emerging markets to nine straight days of losses. While the emerging markets have been responding negatively to tapering, the developed markets have been making new highs. So it seems that the FED removing liquidity will be far more detrimental to the emerging markets than to the developed world’s equity markets. A quick snapshot of the tales of two markets reveals the divergence taking place in the global financial markets. The Mexican ETF EWW is down 12% on the year while the S&Ps are up 27%. Yet, the Mexican economy is heavy dependent on the U.S. market for a large percentage of its exports. If the U.S. consumer is healthy enough to help the U.S. equities to a solid gain on corporate profits, how can the Mexican financial markets be so negatively divergent? It is not only the issue of economic growth but also the health of the overall financial system.
The Nikkei index rallied strongly overnight as the Abe Administration floated the idea of possibly cutting Japanese corporate taxes if the consumption tax increases is instituted. The ABE Government is fearful of negatively impacting the economy so continue to be alert to any “tapering of taxation” to keep the present economic growth story on its path. Tonight I am posting Tobias Harris’s post on the view of the consumption tax from Japanese sources. It is a rebuttal to my piece of last week. (more…)
The financial world waits for Ben Bernanke’s testimony to the House Financial Services Committee. (The written speech will be made available at 7:30 a.m. CST, 90 minutes prior to the start of testimony.) This is a new policy so as to preempt any leakage by the notorious inside trading group that resides within the bowels of a non-regulated legislature. (Of course, high frequency trading groups will have it two seconds earlier. What are campaign contributions for?) The prepared text will be plain vanilla and any possible market moving news will come during the Q&A. It would be a great surprise if Chairman Bernanke reveals any new wrinkles on FED policy for another bout of veering from the FOMC minutes would begin to undermine the FED‘s credibility.
Today was a very slow news day and thus little news to slow the steady rise of equities and the sell off in other asset classes. There was a story in the Financial Times about the Brazilian government cutting the tax on ethanol producers. The government is going to cut the tax on sugar-based ethanol producers by 80%–from 120 REALS per cubic meter to 25 REALS. It is an effort “… to support ethanol producers, many of whom are facing bankruptcy because of heavy debts and DIFFICULTIES COMPETING WITH SUBSIDISED PETROL PRICES IN BRAZIL.” There has been a global sugar surplus, which has kept pressure on sugar prices, but this move may help lift sugar prices and allow Brazilian growers to grab some of the agricultural profits that have supported the Brazilian economy. The U.S. economy is a corn-based ethanol producer and this has helped put upward pressure on global grain prices which has benefited Brazil’s farmers.
Notes From Underground: The Fed’s Zero Rate, Quantitative Easing Policies Are Stock Market FundamentalsMarch 10, 2013
The continued parade of stock market analysts who proclaim the equity market is rallying merely on Fed monetary policy instead of market fundamentals have spent far too much time doing case studies and not reading economic history. Interest rates as the variable signaling the cost of money are a very critical element and a key fundamental of the economy and especially the equity markets. U.S. multinational corporations are sitting on record piles of cash and also reporting strong profits. Much of the growth in profits can be attributed to two factors: Very low borrowing costs and continued pressure on wages. The FED has created the low interest rates and has hoped that the profitability resulting from low borrowing costs would bleed into higher wages and thus the need for increased hiring. The problem is many fold on the lack of success in aiding jobs creation. Globalization has kept pressure off wages and the deleveraging of the private balance sheets has meant that downward pressure remains on demand.
Notes From Underground: Friday Is the All-Important U.S. Employment Data, But Why Was European Employment Glossed Over?March 7, 2013
The February jobs data has been compiled and is now ready for public consumption. The consensus is for 165,000 (revised upward from 160,000) nonfarm payroll jobs being added and the rate to hold steady at 7.9%. This may be a difficult number to trade because the equity markets have already sloughed off so much negative news to keep the rally in tact–Italian elections, sequestration and economic malaise throughout Europe. The weekly jobless claims numbers have surprised on the downside during the last few weeks so a 200,000 NFP number would not be a surprise. It will be more important to watch average hourly earnings and the length of the work week–earnings are expected to be up by 0.2% per hour.
The FOMC will release the results of two days of policy deliberations at 11:30 a.m. CST Wednesday and the market is convinced that the Bernanke FED will vote to end Operation Twist but increase FED Treasury purchases. It may not be the full $45 billion but something above $25 billion, which would be in addition to the already promised purchases of $40 billion of mortgage-backed securities (MBS). It will be difficult to continue Operation Twist because the FED‘s System Open Market Account (SOMA) is nearly void of debt of less than three-year duration. Any new FED purchases will have to be with cash resulting in an increase in bank reserves. The result be not be a Maturity Extension Program but a new round of Quantitative Easing. It is doubtful that the FOMC statement will allude to fiscal policy but will just remain true to discussion of the dual mandate.
It seems that yesterday’s piece on the IMF left more questions than answers. The point of the IMF moving to break the adverse (negative) feedback loop in the economies of Europe and the impact of austerity budgets results in greater deficits as the economy affected experiences negative economic growth rates, which creates greater deficits. As my readers are well aware, budget deficits can increase by slowing growth as well as increased expenditures. The IMF economic models have used a 0.5% impact on proscribed fiscal retrenchment. The IMF has used that 0.5% number for 30 years. As the IMF has studied the European nations and other countries during the recent Great Recession, it seems that the organization’s models are flawed and the impact is far greater, resulting in ever greater deficits amid less economic growth. The IMF believed that for ever 1% drop in government budgets the result would be a drop in GDP of that beloved 0.5%–the multiplier that the models use.