Notes From Underground: A Quick Hit On the State of Chaos

March 6, 2022

First, our hearts go out to all suffering in the world of insanity brought on by senseless wars that diplomacy OUGHT to have been able to prevent. The world always returns to the insanity that brought us to World War I when nobody could stop the trains once set in motion. As Phil Ochs sang, “It’s always the old who lead us off to war, it’s always to fall, look at all we won with the saber and the gun, tell me is it worth it all?” But here we are and as always the world continues to focus on the minutiae of life, including the financial outcomes responding to the high-speed headlines driven by algorithmic speed machines. There is no context to any news just manufactured volatility fabricators of the latest musings of some “news” outlets’ favorite expert. But as Hyman Roth said so clearly: “Michael this is the profession we have chosen.”

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Notes From Underground: Is It George Bailey or Henry Potter?

February 16, 2022

Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey made a ridiculous comment almost two weeks ago and I’d be remiss not to mention it. Bailey issued his own FORWARD GUIDANCE on how to slow the pace of inflation. He suggested that people refrain from seeking big pay raises. It’s astounding that a sitting member of the G-7 Finance Group has the temerity to restrain the AVERAGE WORKER while promoting QE policies that have stoked a serious rise in asset prices for those who own antique autos, stocks, precious metals, art, multiple homes and any other asset class on the planet.

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Notes From Underground: This Isn’t the Barron’s Roundtable

February 10, 2022

On Tuesday, I sat down with the Financial Repression Authority’s Richard Bonugli and Marc Faber. The last time Dr. Faber and I spoke, there were several profitable investments that evolved from our deep discussion about the global political economy. Give it a listen as we discuss the global central banks and potential profitable areas of investment. Marc has fabulous insights on the global economy and NOTHING is out of bounds. This is a man who finds great opportunities during times of chaos.

Click here to listen to the podcast.

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Notes From Underground: The Soft Bias of Low Expectations

February 3, 2022

Tomorrow is the first Friday of the month so it is known on trading desks as UNEMPLOYMENT Friday — or Unenjoyment Day for some — as volatility will reign in the early part of the trading day. As we have discussed ad nauseum volatility is the predominant theme as all the world’s central banks discuss the removal of QE, as well as raising the cost of money through returning nominal rates from a steep NEGATIVE REAL YIELD to some normal zero or hopefully a POSITIVE REAL YIELD. But headline inflation reveals that all central banks have a great task ahead in an effort to reach what POWELL and others refer to as normalcy.

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Notes From Underground: Bernard Connolly Is Worth a Good Whiskey

February 1, 2022

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Notes From Underground: The Week That Was

December 19, 2021

This past week has been the most challenging to recap because at least 20 central banks released statements about their monetary forecasts and outlooks. The most significant banks that we were watching — the FED, SNB, BOE, ECB and BOJ — performed as expected as the FED, ECB and BOJ announced the expected outcomes.

The Bank of England raised its overnight lending rate by 15 basis points as they had already ended asset purchases so a minimal rate increase was all they had to give in order to slow the rise in headline inflation. The Powell FED took the most DOVISH route possible in an effort to placate the Biden White House and its effort to stem the narrative of headline inflation and election outcomes. We at NOTES FROM UNDERGROUND had contemplated a complete end to QE but Powell (in his efforts to do something) merely doubled the pace of tapering laying the outcome to a finality in March rather than June. This is only important if the FED maintains its “forward guidance” of no rate hikes until the U.S. central bank’s BOND PURCHASES have concluded.

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Notes From Underground: Coal for Some Stockings?

December 12, 2021

If you’re only looking at the headlines from the past 48 hours, there is something major going on. First, on Friday afternoon Bloomberg reported that the G-7 finance chiefs are planning to discuss inflation as prices soar and the Financial Times followed on Saturday about the U.S. Democrats pushing the Federal Reserve for tougher action against inflation. These two stories are everything that we at NOTES FROM UNDERGROUND have been discussing since the Dems’ poor election showing last month.

The White House polls — and thus the political operatives — reflected that inflation concerns were going to be the biggest issue for all Democrats in 2022, which is why there was a sense of urgency to use SPR and release oil to drive headline energy costs down. It’s the classic political ploy to appear to be doing something. What’s next? Wage and price controls?

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Notes From Underground: It’s Hard to Believe

December 8, 2021

A Note From Notes

On December 7, 2009, NOTES FROM UNDERGROUND published its first post and we’ve shared a few thousand thoughts since then (all archived at WordPress and for those on CQG they available thanks to the great efforts of Stan Yabroff). In sifting through this treasure trove I am proud to say this has been an arduous but rewarding endeavor. The amount of work is great especially because so many of these musings have been time sensitive.

Then in the last five years, I’ve been fortunate enough to work with the Financial Repression Authority to elevate the discussion surrounding these thoughts with some of the greatest minds in the business — Felix Zulauf, Marc Faber, Jim Bianco, Peter Boockvar, Lacy Hunt, David Rosenberg, Louis Gave and so many others.

So as I scroll through the voluminous posts, podcasts and CNBC appearances, I’m in awe of how we’ve attempted to open up the world of financial markets to deep analytical exegesis of important investment ideas on a time scale from one hour to years depending upon the amount of leverage involved in the trade. As Louis Gave once said, “I am not paid to forecast for my clients but to adapt,” that sums up the endeavor of this blog. Over the past 12 years I have hoped to get my readers to adopt to the illogical exigencies of the geo-political world. The rationalists do not read NOTES FROM UNDERGROUND because they know where prices OUGHT to be.

But, where do we go from here? This is where you come in, dear readers. I’d be interested in understanding how you best consume this information. Maybe it’s a 15-minute daily chat with FRA’s Richard Bonugli and other guests. Either way, we’re going to try and monetize this wealth of information, and offer up my wisdom to large traders, sovereign wealth funds and family wealth offices and the like. It’s been so enriching interacting with many minds around the world. I am beyond grateful to experience, teach and, most importantly, learn from the likes of Dave Richards, Mike Temple, Big Man, Professor Waspi and many more.

In that vein, I am posting a podcast that was recorded about two weeks ago, a roundtable of sorts featuring Jim Bianco and Peter Boockvar. This may be one of the best ways to advance NOTES FROM UNDERGROUND.

Many Thanks,

Yra

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Notes From Underground: Odious, Indeed

November 21, 2021

We at Notes From Underground on Oct. 31 wrote a post titled, “The Odious Designs of ECB Policy.” It noted that during the ECB post-meeting press conference President Christine Lagarde said — in response to a question of whether the ECB would coordinate TAPERING with the world’s other central bank — “comparisons, for good reason are ODIOUS, simply because we are not thinking about the same economies.”

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Notes From Underground: A Possible Solution to the Central Bank Dilemma

November 14, 2021

It’s been. another week in which headline inflation concerns has jolted markets, particularly in the interest rate space, but not as much as many investors and traders would have expected. The yield curves in the U.S. FLATTENED as markets seem want to believe that the FED will raise rates in an effort to CURB the enthusiasm of the stickiness of recent price increases. As Peter Boockvar pointed out in his piece on Friday’s Michigan Consumer Sentiment Survey, confidence declined due to rising concerns over the “escalating inflation rate and growing belief among consumers that no effective policies have yet been developed to reduce the damage from surging inflation.”

Consumers noted that the time to buy a car fell to the lowest level on record dating back to 1978. Those thinking it is a good time to buy a home was the lowest rate since 1982 when mortgage rates were far different than today’s very low loan rates.

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