Archive for the ‘United States’ Category

Notes From Undergound: Marc Faber, Wow

October 13, 2020

It is a pleasure to have sat down with the paradigm of global macro, Dr. Marc Faber. We, alongside Richard Bonugli, talked commodities, currencies and bond markets. Enjoy the podcast and make it a double of your favorite libation. No, it’s not doom and gloom. It’s insights into the current global financial situation presented with potential investment opportunities.

But first, let’s review a few things:

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Notes From Underground: Too Little Is Worse Than Too Much

October 6, 2020

Following Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s speech Tuesday at the National Association for Business Economics, the media (financial and mainstream) ran with the idea that Powell would rather have the government err on the side of TOO MUCH STIMULUS instead of failing to provide the needed boost to an economy that’s beginning to stall after a robust third quarter.

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Notes From Underground: Narcissism Has Consequences

October 1, 2020

On Friday, there’s a new dose of unemployment data. While these blog posts have been infrequent, my view remains the same: The Federal Open Market Committee may be keen on promoting inflation while returning to the pre-Covid employment levels, but no amount of robust jobs growth will move the FEDERAL RESERVE off its current policy of lower for longer.

In regards to the year-end data, I want to know: If unemployment is below 9% while the annualized inflation levels were to rise to 6%, would the FED raise rates? If your answer is no then you agree that the data outcomes are benign. At this juncture much more concerned with the next phase of fiscal stimulus and the DOLLAR.

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Notes From Underground: A Podcast for the Long Weekend

May 21, 2020

This Memorial Day weekend I’m going to take some time to reflect on those who gave their lives to provide the opportunity for all of us. This epidemic has made a shambles of everything we thought was a certainty just three months ago. In that spirit I present a 50-minute discussion with the highly respected Louis Gave of GaveKal on all things macro. Be at peace and enjoy.

Also, a note to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo: Tone down the China rhetoric, especially on the Taiwan issue. A thermonuclear war is not a quality vaccine against COVID (Where are you Tom Lehrer?)

Click here to listen to the podcast.

Notes From Underground: The Economic Consequences of President Trump

May 17, 2020

(NOTE: The following post is not political in any sense, but just a criticism of a major ill-conceived POLICY.)

This is a story of two pivots.

The first is Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell in January 2019. The second is President Donald Trump in May 2020.

Powell’s pivot away from interest rate increases and balance sheet shrinking created a significant rally in equity and asset prices. Trump’s pivot on the DOLLAR will have disastrous results that are manifested in the GLOBAL DEFLATION that central banks have been trying to prevent. What is the reasoning behind the President’s recent shift away from a weak dollar to promoting the positive outcomes of a strong currency?

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Notes From Underground: Courting Disaster

May 10, 2020

Friday’s unemployment report was as bad as forecast and probably worse. Yes, the unemployment rate was not as high as suspected but once the data was analyzed it appears the actual number was close to 20%. The most problematic data point going forward is the AVERAGE HOURLY EARNINGS (AHE). The jobs report revealed a historic 4.7% monthly increase but this was for the worst reason.

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Notes From Underground: Been Down So Long, Looks Like Up To Me

May 7, 2020

As I reflect on the past eight weeks it seems that Richard Farina’s cult novel title is very apropos. The weekly rise in jobless claims has resulted in even the less informed becoming aware of the possibility of the unemployment rate rising above 20%.

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Notes From Underground: SNB, Paradigm or Pariah?

May 4, 2020

Question: Why does the Swiss National Bank become an important topic for discussion?

Answer: Since Mario Draghi’s “whatever it takes” and “no taboos” comments in 2012 about saving the euro. The SNB has been in a defensive position of trying to prevent a dramatic appreciation of the FRANC as the SWISS acts as a haven for Europeans. The geographic location provides for what economists refer to as home basis.

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Notes From Underground: Tomorrow the Fed, Then the ECB

April 28, 2020

On Monday, the Bank of Japan promised to buy all the bonds (or as much as necessary). On Wednesday, the FEDERAL RESERVE will offer little as they will be following Dr. Fauci’s lead and proclaim to know little about the end of Covid-19, as Chairman Jerome Powell should. But the key will be the market’s search for a timeline in response to a turn in the economy. Wall Street is looking for forward guidance as to when the Powell Fed will PIVOT from the massive liquidity injections. Will it be an inflation target, employment condition or a return to positive GDP? Powell will use DON’T KNOW and will be patient in removing stimulus as wanting to see any secondary effects.

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Notes From Underground: Whatever Happened to the Taylor Rule?

April 27, 2020

First off, I’d like to thank everyone who contributed to the Santa Mike/Covid relief at St. Vincent de Paul, a long-standing charity that gives every penny to those seeking help for hunger, clothing and medical assistance. Thanks to you, we have contributed more than $30,000 and for that Santa Mike is very grateful. As Mike keeps telling me, “Do you know how much $30,000 dollars of food is when bought in BULK?” This truly makes a difference for those struggling to get by in these extremely difficult times. SO THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH. Every donation matters and there are multiples because Peter at St. Vincent de Paul has procured some donors who are doing matches. That only makes NOTES FROM UNDERGROUND worth doing in even bigger ways.

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