Archive for the ‘Debt Market’ Category

Notes From Underground: “Hoist With His Own Petard”

June 9, 2020

This quote from Shakespeare explains the position that the Jerome Powell-led Federal Reserve has created for itself. The U.S. central bank has been captured by its massive monetary stimulus in addition to its willingness of aiding and abetting the Mnuchin Treasury by purchasing of hundreds of billions of Treasuries. The FED has maintained that its dual mandate provides the theoretical and practical approach to keeping interest rates lower for longer.

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Notes From Underground: Just a Song Before I Go

April 5, 2020

At this time of great chaos in the world I am going to take a 10 day hiatus to sit back and reflect as it is the time of Passover and Easter. These holidays will take on special significance this year as the Covid-19 impacts our plans.

So as I retrench I put forward the words of the Prophet Micah for something to contemplate: “To Act Justly, and to LOVE MERCY and to walk HUMBLY with YOUR GOD.” Wishing all my readers a meaningful period of the holidays before us. I may post a podcast I recorded this morning with Anthony Crudele but that will be it, although I will respond to all questions in an effort to stay alert to critical issues in a rapidly changing global environment. Now to the issues before us.

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Notes From Underground: And So It Goes

March 26, 2020

Everything we’ve discussed at NOTES FROM UNDERGROUND has come to fruition in a very real time. This is not predicting year-end levels or quarter-end levels but very critical calls in real time. My inbox has been inundated with pieces from analysts well after the fact. Last Thursday. I warned about the need to weaken the DOLLAR. Any reader long dollars is desirous of losing money.

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Notes From Underground: A New Form of Asian Contagion

February 23, 2020

On July 2, 1997 the Thai baht entered crisis mode, kicking off what become known as 18 months of Asian Contagion. The so-called Asian Tigers experienced massive capital disruptions as the Chinese economic miracle undermined the capital expenditure projects that were creating the manufacturing capacity to lift the TIGERS out of poverty and into significance in the global supply chain. The emerging markets learned that as fast as capital flows in to support foreign direct investment it can hurriedly depart as it seeks alternative venues with a better competitive advantage .

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Notes From Underground: And the Concerns Continue

February 18, 2020

On Tuesday global equities were down a very modest amount. The U.S. DOLLAR continued it move higher as the growth story and positive nominal yields is enough to push global investors into the U.S., the center of complacency. Commodity prices started off  weak but OIL, grains and even COPPER found some buyers.

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Notes From Underground: Whistling Past the Tombstones

December 29, 2019

As we approach 2020, it seems as though the financial world is unconcerned about the dramatic increase in DEBT. Yes, the airwaves are alive with news of the extremely low level of mortgage delinquencies but fail to discuss the growing delinquency of 90-day auto loans and the $1.5 trillion pile of student loan debt, an albatross for college graduates over the 20 years. Corporate debt has increased by the magic of financial engineering in which share buybacks and dividend increases are greased with the benevolence of central banks caught in a trap of their design.

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Notes From Underground: For The Sin Of …

October 7, 2019

Let me wish all those celebrating the Jewish New Year a Healthy and Happy New Year (and I wish the same for those who don’t celebrate the Jewish calendar). Tuesday night begins the Day of Atonement in which the individual is obligated to acknowledge any shortcomings, ask GOD for forgiveness and announce the desire to rise to a higher level in the coming year. There is a list of 44 sins confessed publicly, which covers the entire litany of transgressions the individual/community has most probably engaged in. (I’ve linked a list here.)

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Notes From Underground: Walking Through the Valley of the Shadow of Death

September 22, 2019

There is no question that the world’s central banks are all living under the shadow of doubt as investors and financial markets are questioning the efficacy of the zero lower bound. The sense of always doing more in an effort to attain a self-conjured 2% level of inflation has led to the continued downward slide in interest rates.

On this note, last week we saw the Powell Fed lower the target range for the fed funds rate by 25 basis points — and its interest on excess reserves rate by 30 basis points — as congestion in the financial plumbing sent overnight rates soaring. (For those who are interested in the nuances, I am linking to one of many splendid pieces from Bloomberg reporters Liz McCormick and Alexandra Harris detailing out the repo market mess.)

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Notes From Underground: Should We Fear the Repo Man?

September 17, 2019

Just as Saudi Arabia was becoming less of a story the NEW YORK FED‘s mishandling of Tuesday’s repo operation has created a new round of angst for traders if not investors. The best coverage on the FED‘s recent efforts to calm the overnight funding markets (and repo turmoil) has been done by Liz Capo McCormick and Alex Harris at Bloomberg News. Now they have another article out discussing another REPO operation tomorrow morning.

Tuesday’s operation injected $53 billion of liquidity, even though $75 billion was on offer. While the FUNDS level went as high as 10% today the repo operation brought the level down to 2.50% to 2.25%, calming fears of any type of solvency/liquidity situation. Even though we’re around the 11th anniversary of the Lehman Brothers collapse, It has been a decade since the markets had to be truly focused on the FUNDING markets  so many people are left with more questions than answers.

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Notes From Underground: Woody Hayes’ Advice to Mario Draghi

September 4, 2019

Football season in the U.S. is just beginning. That said, it would be appropriate for President Mario Draghi to refrain from any type of new QE program or cut in interest rates at next week’s meeting. There have been several comments from ECB members during the past week advising against more QE or additional interest rate cuts.

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