Posts Tagged ‘central banks’

Notes From Underground: Will It Be An Inflated Jobs Report?

September 2, 2021

After FEDERAL RESERVE Chairman Jerome Powell’s Jackson Hole speech, the jobs data may have taken on added significance. Inflation was not a concern for Powell as that is considered transitory within the bowels of the FOMC. The failure of the employment situation to enable all who lost jobs due to COVID “through no fault of their own” has regained paramount importance.

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Notes From Underground: Before I Break

August 15, 2021

On Sunday, we acknowledge the 50-year anniversary of Richard Nixon’s decision to close the GOLD EXCHANGE WINDOW and put an end to the post-World War monetary system known as Bretton Woods. I can say exactly where I was: A bus station in Afula, Israel buying ice cream in dollars and the price rose as it was the day after the announcement. The proprietor told us prices increased because the dollar bought less. I truly had no idea but just remember that it happened in real time and proved not to be a transitory event. Much is being written about the anniversary and the implications for the global economy.T he Nixon strategy was summed up in his supposed statement of “We ARE ALL KEYNESIAN’S NOW.”

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Notes From Underground: What A Week (Or Was It a Month)

July 22, 2021

At the beginning of the week, the COVID DELTA VARIANT was the major concern as the weekend brought news of a widespread increase. It seemed world financial markets were in the throes of concern of another pandemic lockdown with the Olympics being cancelled. We at NOTES FROM UNDERGROUND offered context and stressed that the zero interest-rate markets would provide a far different backdrop than what occurred in March 2020. We did learn that zero interest rates lowered inflation concerns and the Olympics are still taking place, although to empty stadiums. SO THE BULL MARKET MUST GO ON.

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Notes From Underground: Bonds Talking Trash To the Central Banks

February 28, 2021

Last week the world’s bond markets experienced an assault propagated by the MISERABLE U.S. five-year Treasury note auction on Wednesday followed by a more dismal seven-year sale on Thursday. Also, the Australian and KIWI 10-year notes suffered massive bouts of volatility even as the RBA and RBNZ intervened with more QE to stem the rise on the long end. We at Notes From Underground have warned that the markets were attacking the FORWARD GUIDANCE motivations of the world’s monetary authorities by attacking the long end of the yield curve as the area of least resistance because central bank asset purchases around the world have been targeted at debt instruments of much shorter duration.

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Notes From Underground: There’s a Hole In Daddy’s Arm Where All the Money Goes

April 19, 2020

The headline is from one of my favorite John Prine songs. The great wordsmith died due to complications related to COVID-19, so in a tribute to one of his great songs , “Sam Stone” (about a Vietnam wet who comes home a heroin addict), I use this to define the recent work of the FED and the U.S. Treasury.

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Notes From Underground: The King of Hearts Searches for Sanity

September 15, 2019

The inmates are running the asylum as policy makers are busy putting out old prairie fires. The European Central Bank’s move on Thursday was a final curtain call for President Draghi as he sought to cement his legacy as the man that would do whatever it takes to “preserve the Euro” and would have no taboos in his efforts. But it seems like the opposition to both the rate cut and new QE was far greater than the magician of Frankfurt let on at his final obfuscation. It is amazing how the dissidents find their voice the day after. Oh well, so it goes in the world of consensus-driven outcomes.

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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: Prairie Fires On the Global Landscape

April 14, 2019

Let me put introduce areas of great concern that markets acknowledge but do not price for as they are too difficult to weigh. The Chinese/U.S. trade negotiations are simple relative to the potential impact from Turkey, Venezuela, Europe, and, of course the final decision on Brexit.

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Notes From Underground: Mario Draghi Brings New Forth a New Standard of Bureaucratic B.S.

October 23, 2016

The Mario Draghi brought forth a new and improved standard of “truth obfuscation” at Thursday’s ECB press conference. When Draghi answered a question about the ECB basing its policy on politics he answered: “We are not in a political game.” In his “perception” there is NO POLITICAL WAR BETWEEN THE ECB AND ITS MEMBER NATIONS. This is of course unadulterated nonsense as everything the ECB does is political. During the ECB’s initial state of decision-making, then-President Wim Duisenberg said, “WE HEAR BUT WE DO NOT LISTEN.” The ECB claimed it pays attention to political discussion but its policy is set by objective criteria. Duisenberg brought proof to the nonsense of objectivity as the ECB kept its interest rates ridiculously low to aid the Germans in their cost of financing German unification and making the implementation of the HARTZ IV labor restructuring easier to easier to absorb for the German government. Duisenberg’s policy of negative real yields put severe pressure on the EURO as it dropped in value from its initial price of 117.5 to 82.5 which created credit problems for all of Europe but the Germans. As usual, it raises the question,  WHOSE EURO IS IT?

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Notes From Underground: The Loudest Sound In the Universe Is a Habit Breaking

October 6, 2016

The markets have been in a lock-step since easy central banks have been pushing bond yields lower and equity prices higher. (Currencies are a mixed bag depending on safe haven status, high yields or commodity-tied.) The correlation is still in play as now previously profitable trades are hearing the clarion call of higher yields leading to lower precious metals, lower bond futures, some softening in commodity prices (oil excluded), a rally in the U.S. dollar and stable equity prices. Those shifting out of some long-held bonds are searching for returns in high quality stocks with a reasonable dividend. Earlier this week, global equity markets were sold as a ridiculous rumor ran through the markets that the ECB was contemplating tapering its QE program, a la the Bernanke Fed. Today, ECB Board member Vitor Constancio ( and vice president from Portugal) denied that the ECB had any inclination to curb its QE program. This led to an immediate rally in equity markets and brought the bond yields lower. Of course a Portuguese central banker on the ECB would be opposed to any tapering of QE as Portuguese 10-year note yields are at 3.51%, a significant premium to the other European sovereign debt markets (except Greece).

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