Notes From Underground: The BOJ Leading Off With the Fed On Deck

July 29, 2019

On Monday night, the Bank of japan announces its policy intentions and consensus is for no change. The ECB remained on hold with promises of more liquidity to come so it is doubtful that Governor Kuroda would do anything ahead of the FED.

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Notes From Underground: Does Fear of Increased Tariffs Trump U.S. Data?

July 28, 2019

This is not a rhetorical question but a very direct concern about the leverage that President Trump has in dealings with Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.

After listening to European Central Bank President Mario Draghi’s press conference Thursday and then learning about the White House meeting about the possibility of currency intervention, I am wondering whether the president is using TARIFFS as leverage to satiate his desire for lower U.S. interest rates.

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Notes From Underground: It’s a Drag For Draghi Getting Old

July 24, 2019

On Thursday morning we will hear from the ECB about its desires to raise inflation to its self-imposed 2% target. But on Wednesday we received more tepid economic data from the EU. Then couple that with the ascent of Boris Johnson to the position of British Prime Minister. The rise of Boris Johnson is a problem for Draghi as the possibility of a HARD BREXIT increases dramatically. The market and its DAVOS media sycophants have sold the narrative of a hard Brexit as being devastating for the U.K. economy, the British GILTS, the British pound and the Footsie 100. President Draghi has to be careful that a severe rally in the EUR/GBP cross doesn’t damage the European exporters, especially Germany, who runs a 50 billion-plus surplus with Britain.

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Notes From Underground: Torn Between Two Lovers, Feelin’ Like A Fool

July 21, 2019

This Mary MacGregor ballad released in 1976 notes how a woman is torn between two men she loves and it is “breakin’ all the rules.” This is the situation Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and the FOMC finds itself: The love of its dual mandate and its torrid affair with the beloved Phillips Curve. Now it appears that the FED leadership is abandoning its affair with Phillips Curve while it grows more attached to its other love, Mario Draghi and the European Central Bank.

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Notes From Underground: Powell Gets Backup From Clarida and Williams

July 18, 2019

Following Wednesday’s short introduction to the significance of the Powell in Paris speech in Paris, we a digestif in the form of Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Richard Clarida and New York Fed President John Williams providing supporting the chairman. As a result, the dollar sold off, there was a major rally in GOLD, and boost to equities even as earnings proved to be TEPID. But what I’m waiting for is a STEEPENING in the U.S. yield curves when the world’s bond investors contemplate that the FED has ABDICATED any sense of FIDUCIARY RESPONSIBILITY for its status as a reserve currency.

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Notes From Underground: Back from Hiatus

July 17, 2019

I am posting a podcast recorded last week with David Rosenberg and Peter Boockvar (and moderated by Richard Bonugli) that is still really relevant. On Tuesday, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell delivered a speech in France at a gathering honoring the 75th anniversary of the since the Bretton Woods agreement. The speech epitomized the Fed’s third mandate as espoused by Vice Chairman Richard Clarida over the past five months.

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Notes From Underground: ECB, Political Pawn?

July 4, 2019

Warning: There’s a great deal of colorful language in this very important discussion regarding the nomination of Christine Lagarde to the post of European Central Bank president. This is another political move by the EU elite to avoid placing a German at the helm of the ECB. Jens Weidmann may be a tough choice but Lagarde is preposterous, as Jean Claude Trichet might say. If you thought Mario Draghi was a politician and a dove by design, Lagarde will make Draghi look like a HAWK. In my opinion, IMF Director Lagarde has been and remains the ultimate politician. The role she played in the Greek bailout was pure politics and the price paid by the Greek citizenry has been steep. All in an effort to bailout many European financial institutions. Ask Yanis Varafoukis what he thinks of the Lagarde nomination.

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Notes From Underground: When a Slower Fool, Always Look on the Bright Side of Life

June 30, 2019

First things first: There were no surprises out of the G-20, at least for those who read Notes From Underground and listened to the discussion that took place in the Whitewave Trading room. The most significant outcome was that President Trump held off from installing additional tariffs while President Xi confirmed that China would be buying more U.S. production, especially in the agricultural sector. In Thursday’s podcast with the Whitewave participants I advised that with the current weather problems in the U.S. heartland the Chinese would have to be vigilant about the cost of global grain prices rising as supply was hampered by poor planting conditions.

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Notes From Underground: G-19? Wherefore Art Thou AMLO?

June 27, 2019

We at Notes From Underground are keeping it short tonight, but including a link to a podcast I recorded with the White Wave Trading. I sit down with the group one or twice a week in order to analyze potential trading opportunities. Thursday’s discussion revolved around potential outcomes from this weekend’s G-20 meeting in Osaka, Japan.

The major theme is President Trump and Premier Xi Jinping coming to a decision on the Chinese agricultural tariffs on American exports. Also, another issue to be raised next week: Why Mexican President Obrador decided to pass on the G-20 meeting given that there’s so much positive potential for Mexico at this meeting. Enjoy!

Click here to watch and/or listen to the podcast

 

Notes From Underground: Draghi and Trump Are Putting Powell In a Difficult Position

June 18, 2019

On Tuesday asset classes around the world got a sharp boost when ECB President Draghi delivered the ultimate dovish speech from the annual conclave in Sintra, Portugal. The ECB has set up this annual meeting in an effort to mirror the Kansas City Fed gathering in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. What did Draghi discuss? The failure of Euorpean inflation to reach the self-imposed target of 2% set by the central bank.

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