The main story for the next two days will be Japanese Prime Minister Abe’s visit to the U.S. to meet with President Trump. Abe is coming to mend relations after Trump officially ended the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement before Congress could even debate the trade treaty. The Japanese prime minister had expended a great deal of political capital in Japan to get various parties to accept a massive Pacific-based trade agreement. In an effort to forestall any discussion of Japan as a currency manipulator, the Japanese are offering all sorts of investment ideas in the context of getting Trump the negotiator to soften his stance on tariffs for Japanese goods, or sourced material from Asia for assembly in the U.S. Japan is a paramount promoter of the global supply chain paradigm.
Posts Tagged ‘Abe’
The Wizard of Oz provides so many appropriate metaphors for dealing with global central bank policy. The failure of the wisdom of those who meet behind the “curtain” enthrall the members of the elite media who genuflect on the altar of access. Provide the necessary backdrop of equations and the media believes everything. It reinforces the sentiment of the Greenspan era: “If you think you understood what I said, I must have misspoken.” The idea of an “all-knowing Fed” is beginning to lose its luster as markets begin to understand that FED policy is not rocket science. There is no predictable outcome for the global experiment of negative interest rates or zero interest rates. Even the growth of supersized central bank sheets is causing doubts among the blind followers of free money forever.
This week brings Prime Minister Abe’s fiscal plan, the Reserve Bank of Australia’s rate decision, the Bank of England’s monetary results and U.S. nonfarm payrolls on Friday. So let’s put some perspective to tonight’s main events. The RBA will announce its overnight interest rate and consensus is calling for a 25 basis point CUT to 1.5%. Analysts believe that the weakness in the natural resource sector is aiding the reduction in capital expenditure. Also, Aussie inflation is at the bottom of the RBA‘s target range, which provides rationale for the RBA. I am not so sure of a CUT for this is coming at the end of Governor Stevens’s term at the RBA. Dr. Phillip Lowe will take over September 16 so this is the penultimate meeting for Mr. Stevens.
On Wednesday, the FOMC left its interest rate policy in tact as it awaits more data before deciding to change interest rates. The FOMC statement wanted to reflect some underlying hawkishness but the market is reticent to accept the veracity of Fed releases. The DOLLAR initially rallied as the algo deemed the “hawkish” language a positive for the dollar and bearish for the precious metals but upon a very quick review the market reversed and now demands that the Fed reveal its Missouri lineage and “SHOW ME.” The yield curve gave the FED some credence by flattening in response to a change in some of the rhetoric, “near-term risks to the economic outlook have diminished.” This provides the FED the flexibility to respond to self-diagnosed headwinds in an effort to keep rates at present levels for as long as the DOVE can fly. The FED is pinned not by U.S. data but by the actions of the ECB and the BOJ.
Just some summary points as this year the summer doldrums will prove to be anything but:
Wednesday brings the results of the FOMC meeting and the official policy statement laying out Fed insights into the domestic and of recent concern the fragile state of the global economy. There will be no press conference so the “kremlinologists” of fedspeak will be busy parsing every nuanced word. I WILL BE WATCHING WHAT OUTFIT THE FED CHAIR IS WEARING. IF SHE IS WEARING A NEHRU JACKET I WILL ASSUME THE FED IS MORE CONCERNED ABOUT THE EFFECT OF GLOBAL MARKETS KEEPING DOWNWARD PRESSURE ON AMERICAN WAGES. Domestic-oriented analysts focus on the U.S. unemployment rate of 5.0% as the key factor for the need for the FED to raise rates. The flawed models of the FED fail to take into account the pressures on the U.S. economy from capital and labor situations worldwide.
On Monday, the yield curves tried to confuse us and the result was that the 2/10 provided the impetus for flattening across the board. The yield differentials are rangebound, creating a grind trade as the market looks for some clarification for longer term direction. The Wisconsin Primary will probably add more confusion to the Republican Presidential race. The situation in Europe is confused as the refugee issue has now become a negotiating chip for debt relief and Mario Draghi prays every night for an economic slowdown in Germany so as to get some support for some fiscal stimulus. ECB Chief Economist Peter Praet is quoted in a story from MNI Group, saying, “The need for a superior policy mix is no excuse for central banks to be passive when their mandates are under threat. The ECB has demonstrated through its actions that it does not wait for others to move first.”
At 8:00 a.m. EST, CNBC‘s announcer says, “From The Most Powerful City In the World, This Is Squawk Box.” What bothers me is the squawking about your importance. What irritates me even more is that Beijing has been the most powerful city when it comes to moving markets. Every other idea spewed this week has been about the impact of the Chinese authorities and the policy impact from the Politburo that “destroyed” trillions of equity market value. It even appears that the Chinese are dominating the discussion in Jackson Hole, Wyoming where the Kansas City Fed is hosting their annual symposium. Even New York Fed President Bill Dudley, aka Less Compelling, cites the Chinese as the reason to be less compelled to raise rates at the September meeting.
One of my favorite songs by Simon and Garfunkel is “A Simple Desultory Philippic” in which the duo takes the time to mock and criticize the world of culture and politics that surround them. Desultory means lacking a style or plan, while Philippic connotes a word for a tirade or rant. Will my readers entertain my desire to craft my own simple desultory philippic?