Archive for the ‘United States’ Category

Notes From Underground: Are You Ready When Delta Is?

July 19, 2021

I’ve been away minding my two Floridian grandsons (exhausting yet delightful). I did, however, have time to catch up on some reading, particularly W.E.B. Du Bois’s “Suppression of the African Slave Trade,” as recommended by Chris Whalen. Du Bois looks at how the large state-domiciled banks helped finance the importation of African black slaves. This is high quality prose written in 1896, a well documented and enlightening read about the politics of America at its early beginnings. We could all stand to learn from a genuine scholar rather than shouting at each other.

(more…)

Notes From Underground: To Russia With Love (Or Blinken Blinked)

May 23, 2021

Ten days ago, we published a blog post titled, “Sanctions Are Sanctimonious.” And lo and behold, this past week the U.S. moved to remove sanctions on the completion of the NORDSTREAM 2 pipeline, allowing Russian gas to flow freely and readily into Germany without paying the massive transit fees to the Ukraine. This is the culmination of the project promoted by previous German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.This story is huge for it shows that the world is — as NOTES portrays it — far more dynamic than the static analysts would have us believe.

(more…)

Notes From Underground: Is the Fed In a War?

May 16, 2021

I pose this question as a challenge to all of those traders and investors, and a call to action. There is so much discussion about the onset of inflation but do the inflationists have the fortitude to attack the FED where it hurts: the long end of the yield curve? The primary focus of the FED has been on the part of the QE purchases has been the shorter end as 80% of the FED‘s balance sheet is five years or less. If the inflation concern is of the magnitude suggested by the mainstream media then market participants OUGHT to be selling the longer duration Treasuries because as we know the Wall Street mantra is DON’T FIGHT THE FED.

(more…)

Notes From Underground: SIN or WIN, It’s a Generational Thing

May 10, 2021

In 1976, when I was beginning my long march toward acquiring knowledge to analyze markets Gerald Ford was running for reelection. Inflation was gaining strength so the FORD campaign was bent on making America believe that he had the fortitude to break the inflation spiral threatening the Middle Class. Campaign buttons said W.I.N. (whip inflation now). Getting inflation under control was seen as the paramount issue.

When I was wandering through a flea market in New York in 2007, I found an original WIN button that I bought for $1.25. See? Paul Volcker did whip inflation. (I gave the button to the best financial plumber, James Aitken, as a token of appreciation for all the knowledge he imbued in me about the plumbing of the short-term funding markets.)

(more…)

Notes From Underground: Sanctions Are Sanctimonious

May 2, 2021

In today’s world of DOLLAR domination it is easy for the U.S. Treasury — under the guidance of the president — to place sanctions on many different global actors as they strive to use the conduit of SWIFT and other banking facilities to move money around the globe. The U.S. likes to beat its chest and proclaim that it is operating in a rules-based system and therefore sanctions are an appropriate tool in response to the malevolent actions of autocratic-oriented nationalistic actors. But whose rules? And the invocation of sanctions leads to those subject to the whims of U.S. policy to find ways to operate in international grey areas of commerce.

(more…)

Notes From Underground: The Arrogance of Janet Yellen

April 8, 2021

Since I last wrote, it has been a time for thought, contemplation and discussion. This week I recorded an FRA podcast with Richard Bonugli and Larry McDonald. It was the equivalent of the “Wide World of Sports” as we traveled around the world looking at profitable investment ideas. Enjoy the best 60 minutes in financial global macro analysis.

Click here to listen to the podcast.

(more…)

Notes From Underground: Bonds Talking Trash To the Central Banks

February 28, 2021

Last week the world’s bond markets experienced an assault propagated by the MISERABLE U.S. five-year Treasury note auction on Wednesday followed by a more dismal seven-year sale on Thursday. Also, the Australian and KIWI 10-year notes suffered massive bouts of volatility even as the RBA and RBNZ intervened with more QE to stem the rise on the long end. We at Notes From Underground have warned that the markets were attacking the FORWARD GUIDANCE motivations of the world’s monetary authorities by attacking the long end of the yield curve as the area of least resistance because central bank asset purchases around the world have been targeted at debt instruments of much shorter duration.

(more…)

Notes From Underground: Central Banks Driving Us to Drink

February 18, 2021

Last week I chatted with Richard Bonugli and Europeans Godfrey Bloom and Claudio Grass. It is worth a listen — with your favorite libation, of course — as we moved from politics to the macro global picture in full. There was a great deal of discussion about the SNB with Claudio Grass and that is enough for all of us to drink.

Click here to listen to the podcast.

(more…)

Notes From Underground: At the Fed, Jobs is Priority Number One

February 7, 2021

There was another round of somewhat positive unemployment data on Friday. The U.S. release was tepid but juxtaposed with the Canada data it would seem robust. The Canadian jobs number was dismal on its face as 213,000 jobs were lost and the unemployment rate jumped to 9.4% from 8.6%, although a slight increase was expected (around 8.9%). The U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 6.3% from 6.7% with a slight gain in nonfarm payroll of 49,000, although much of that was in public sector employment. Average hourly earnings rose 0.2% but of greater interest was the increase in average hours worked, which reached a highest in history according to the Liscio report at 35 hours.

(more…)

Notes From Underground: What Constitutes Market Forces?

February 2, 2021

This is a question that plagues NOTES FROM UNDERGROUND, where we believe 2+2=5 is a beautiful thing. The objective force created by markets has always perplexed us? U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen keeps sounding the alarm that currency values must be established by markets. This is meant to be a threat to nations that attempt to intervene through selling their currencies in the open markets in an effort to keep downward pressure on currency values to support their economies.

(more…)