Archive for the ‘United States’ Category

Notes From Underground: A Leap Back to January 2016

November 30, 2016

Sometimes looking back provides perspective in moving forward. As December begins we know the year-end is the global market’s attempt to position themselves for the coming year. The rise of populist voices has certainly sent tremors through financial markets. The most interesting aspect is how short-lived the disruptions have been. Brexit, no problem; coup in Turkey, no problem; Chinese economy sputtering, no problem; Donald Trump becoming the U.S. President, no problem; and this week’s Italian referendum, no problem.

The world’s central banks believe that the massive accumulation of bonds in a global condition of continued QE will be no problem. That is something we will continue to examine in 2017. The FOMC is certainly constrained by its continued asset purchases. The question at the FOMC should be: Why don’t we raise rates by 100 basis points if the TRUMP administration is going to pursue a robust fiscal stimulus? The FOMC model maintains the U.S. is at full employment and a retreat from austerity in the time of full employment OUGHT to be met with a rapid rise in interest rates or at the least beginning the aggressive reduction of the balance sheet. The year ahead will be rife with volatility as politics and debt overhang prove the motors of turbulence.

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Notes From Underground: We Are All Part of the Same Hypocrisy, Senator

November 29, 2016

The world is all abuzz with the good feelings radiating from the aftermath of the Trump victory. However, no matter how long the U.S. equity market rallies, be certain that Trump is not draining the swamp of Washington, D.C. He is proving to be a caretaker. Today’s pick of Elaine Chao for Transportation Secretary is just more of the same. Ms. Chao is certainly qualified. After all, she has an MBA from Harvard, but being a past member of the Bush Cabinet means we are using old, worn-out tires. The Transportation Secretary will be overseer of many of the INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS the Donald has promised to deliver. The pork barrel these projects will be dipped in will be beyond lucrative and the wife of Mitch McConnell ought not to have been given this role.

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Notes From Underground: We Were At It Again

November 22, 2016

Tonight I am posting today’s Santelli and Harris exchange (click on the image at the end of the post). (It is with gratitude that I thank Rick and his wonderful producer Lesley McKeigue for they keep providing me a with a platform to express views that are based on almost 40 of trading experience.) The Santelli Exchange has allowed me to meet and share views with some of the most respected minds in the financial community: Art Cashin, Jim Bianco and the list continues to go on and grow. Thank you my readers for allowing me time to deal in dialectic exchange and be challenged in a constructive method to enhance my knowledge. Remember, it is not validation but dialectic that I strive for in Notes From Underground.

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Notes From Underground: A (Wo)man Hears What (S)he Wants to Hear and Disregards the Rest

November 16, 2016

Noise fills the airwaves and so many “pundits” keep the outlets from going dark by providing opinions that are less than ridiculous. These are the same people who failed to identify many of the significant political dynamics during the last few years. There is a viral video of Fox Business anchor Maria Bartiromo interviewing the much-maligned Jonathan Gruber. I have no opinion on the politics of the interview but I do offer this criticism of Gruber’s hypothesis of the positive outcome from the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Gruber raises the counterfactual that insurance costs and medical care would be at the same levels as now and maybe even higher and with the addition of 22 million people on the health insurance rolls, the ACA is a success.

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Notes From Underground: The Answer Is, “We’ll See”

November 10, 2016

The experts are out with more ridiculous forecasts about the Trump victory and what it means for the various aspects of the financial markets. But let me toot my own horn for a moment: The trading outcomes for a Trump victory were on target, except for the dollar rally sustaining itself, but that is something I will be analyzing as we go forward. It amazes me how the media rushes back to the same forecasters who have so badly predicted many of the major political outcomes of the last two years. An important book for my readers is Tetlock’s “Superforecasting,” which makes a very powerful argument about following the experts.

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Notes From Underground: Comey, Comey, Comey, Comey, Take Another Piece of My Wallet, Now Baby

November 7, 2016

FBI director James Comey played the bureaucratic card again when he released yet another pre-election report on the Clinton files. Comey issued an all-clear on any sort of criminal prosecution involving the newest Clinton file leaks. It’s interesting that the FBI director issued the letter three hours before the opening of the U.S. electronic exchanges, but as expected, the global equity experienced a relief rally in anticipation of a Hillary Clinton victory.

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Notes From Underground: Measuring Economic and Political Outcomes; Analytics Yes, Flawed Constructs No

November 6, 2016

We are in the period when financial markets are depending on measurements of human actions to proscribe probabilities for profitable investment. On Friday, the jobs report reflected the measurement of labor statistical data in order to achieve some forward-looking view on the health of the U.S. economy. The jobs data was a mixed result as nonfarm payrolls in the private sector were weaker than consensus but the important average hourly earnings (AHE) increased at a robust 0.4%, which SHOULD give the hawks on the FOMC a push to raise rates. But of course one month’s robust data is certainly not a trend. Chair Yellen has been laying the ground work for the data running hotter for longer so 0.4% is a positive but there is room for further gains in wage increases. Besides, if the wage gains are coming out of corporate profits all the better from the perspective of a career labor economist.

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Notes From Underground: In Preparation For Tomorrow’s FOMC, The Vote Is Key

November 1, 2016

There is a very MINUTE chance of any FED action ahead of the November 8 presidential election. The polls are far too close and as previously stated only if Hillary had an insurmountable lead would the FED raise rates in an effort to regain some of its lost credibility. THE MOST SIGNIFICANT PIECE OF THE FED STATEMENT WILL BE THE FOMC VOTE. The previous meeting saw a shift to 7-3 for maintaining the current policy with all the dissenters being regional Federal Reserve presidents. Stanley Fischer has been–the Governor who speaks loudly but carries a small stick–failed to bring action to his frequent speeches about raising the fed funds rate. If the Fed vice chair were to bolt from the unified group of FOMC Governors and dissent against Yellen and Brainard that would lead to a more hawkish view on FED policy. I THINK THE VOTE WILL BE 8-2 as Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren will move back to supporting Yellen .

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Notes From Underground: The World of 2+2=5 Is Back In Full Swing

October 30, 2016

The mid-day, market-moving announcement from FBI Director Comey resulted in the selloff of the DOLLAR, EQUITIES and RALLIES IN PRECIOUS METALS just after the market had enjoyed the better-than-expected first look at the third quarter GDP. I will try to make sense of both releases from a market stand point and in an APOLITICAL format.

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Notes From Underground: Draghi is Laughing All the Way To the Bank

July 10, 2016

The jobs report on Friday was the antithesis of May’s poor data, which was actually revised downward by 27,000 to a very meager 11,000 NFP gain for May. The June report brought an unexpected increase of 287,000 jobs, although the average hourly earning (AHE) showed a weak 0.1% gain. The market closes revealed a well known fact: ULTRA-LOW INTEREST RATES ARE THE KEY ELEMENT TO THE REACTION FUNCTION OF TRADERS AND INVESTORS.

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