Posts Tagged ‘Commodities’

Notes From Underground: The Meaning of the Yen/YUAN Cross

April 26, 2022

In the past three weeks I have had the pleasure of doing two major podcasts with two of the most highly regarded global macro thinkers and traders: Zoltan Pozsar and Louis Gave. Our discussions led to an attempt to explain the importance of the Chinese yuan during the current period of CAPITAL ANXIETY. During the past two years the Chinese YUAN has rallied from 7.13/dollar to 6.35, where it has sat for the last six months (a gain of 12%). And, as I have argued for the last 18 months, the strengthening YUAN during the pandemic was a signal that the Chinese were shifting to a more domestic-oriented economy using a stronger currency to enrich its nascent middle class.


Notes From Underground: Is the Fed In a War?

May 16, 2021

I pose this question as a challenge to all of those traders and investors, and a call to action. There is so much discussion about the onset of inflation but do the inflationists have the fortitude to attack the FED where it hurts: the long end of the yield curve? The primary focus of the FED has been on the part of the QE purchases has been the shorter end as 80% of the FED‘s balance sheet is five years or less. If the inflation concern is of the magnitude suggested by the mainstream media then market participants OUGHT to be selling the longer duration Treasuries because as we know the Wall Street mantra is DON’T FIGHT THE FED.


Notes From Underground: Will the European Summit Yield Another Financial Valley?

June 28, 2012

If it is Thursday it must be another major Euro summit in Brussels. There is so much chatter about the outcomes and German capitulation that is impossible to conjecture the result. Will George Soros’s apocalyptic prognosis bear fruit or will the European policymakers provide enough initial capital to help stem the financial cliff for another three months and allow the EURO ELITE to enjoy the beaches of Spain and Greece? So before we return to the SUMMIT let’s examine a few other financial thoughts.

***ARE THE SWISS GOING TO COMMIT FINANCIAL SUICIDE? HYPOTHESIS: The Swiss National Bank has resigned itself to defend the 1.20 EUR/CHF crossrate and in so doing has committed to buy EUROS at that level. The question the SNB needs to ask is what happens if the GERMANS were to abandon the EURO and leave the PIIGS at trough and create a DEUTSCHE MARK ZONE? The Swiss would be the bagholders for a huge amount of depreciating EUROS while the most valuable part of the EURO project was denominated in D-MARKS.

There is speculation that it is the SWISS who are pushing German SCHATZ to record lows as the SNB is buying two-year German paper with the EUROS they buy to maintain the cross. I have no certainty to this but if I ran the SNB that is certainly one way I would hedge my exposure. If the SNB is not buying German DEBT, then the answer to the question is that they stand to commit FINANCIAL SUICIDE. This possibility is just another variable in the game of disruption caused by the credit crisis in Europe.

***An interesting story yesterday was that the long-awaited merger between XSTRATA and GLENCORE looked to be falling apart. Some large shareholders in Xstrata were pressing the BOARD to ask for an increased price and thus were threatening to block the merger. RUMORS AROSE THAT GLENCORE WOULD WALK AWAY FROM THE DEAL BECAUSE OF ALL THE ACRIMONY. This merger has been the biggest commodity story of the year and if the two parties were going to cancel the deal  it would seem that GLENCORE FELT IT WAS PAYING TOO MUCH FOR XSTRATA IN AN ENVIRONMENT OF SOFTENING COMMODITY PRICES (except grains).

There have been several stories about the Chinese economy slowing and the impact the slowdown is having on raw material prices. Rumors abound about bulk cargo ships sitting off Chinese ports and nobody desiring to take delivery of pre-arranged shipment for lack of funds. If global commodity prices are headed lower, GLENCORE may believe that it could make a better deal in the future for XSTRATA. It seems that XSTRATA’s newfound greed is giving GLENCORE the excuse to walk on the deal. IF GLENCORE ALLOWS THE DEAL TO COLLAPSE BY NOT MEETING XSTRATA’s INCREASED DEMANDS,IT MAY BE A PRECURSOR TO FALLING COMMODITY PRICES.


Notes From Underground: Larry Summers and His Discontent

July 19, 2011

In Monday’s Financial Times there is a column by Lawrence Summers, the GODFATHER of U.S. economic policy. Mr. Summers offers the Europeans a great deal of advice on “HOW TO SAVE THE EUROZONE IN THE COMING CRITICAL WEEKS.” The article is actually a good policy prospective if there was not the issue of politics that play a large and important role in the EU‘s inability to resolve its fiscal difficulties. Summers wants to believe that the EUROCRATS have the political mandate to negotiate Brussel’s desire for a peaceful, state-supported EDEN of entitlements.


Notes From Underground: Mr. Bernanke, Remember your Bailiwick is MONETARY POLICY

June 15, 2011

Today’s economic data continued the recent pattern of tepid activity. The EMPIRE MANUFACTURING INDEX was very soft but the analysts believe that the Japanese earthquake played havoc with global supply chains and thus impeded some manufacturing sectors. The CPI number was right on target and thus had no impact. The CAPACITY UTILIZATION and INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION were on the soft side, which added more concern to the fragility of the U.S. economy. Markets are left with moderate growth while being plagued with the continual problems of the PIIGS.


Notes From Underground: EXIT, PURSUED BY A BEAR??????

May 19, 2011

Let us hope that the FED and Chairman Bernanke are not following Shakespeare’s most famous stage direction. Today, the FOMC released the minutes from the last meeting and as widely expected the predominant interest was in the discussion of the FED‘s exit strategies from the QE2 program. It seems that FED BOARD members were pushing the idea of raising rates prior to the unloading of assets that have accumulated on the FED‘s balance sheet. There were many opinions about the significance of the various proposals that the FED is considering, but it seems that the FED itself is very uncertain about which procedure will produce what impact.


Notes From Underground: Dominique Strauss-Kahn Arrested on Rape Charges AND FOR THE FIRST TIME IT’S NOT OF A COUNTRY

May 15, 2011

Today’s NOTE‘s headline wrote itself as the history of the IMF and its relationship to stressed emerging markets is replete with acts of “nation violation” in its efforts to ensure that creditors were/are always satisfied–most recent example is Greece. All levity aside, the accusations against DSK have important implications for FRENCH domestic politics as well as the role of the IMF in the current SOVEREIGN DEBT CRISIS plaguing the EU. Last week, the ASSISTANT MANAGING DIRECTOR of the IMF, John Lipsky, announced that he was leaving, thus the leadership of IMF is really  going to be in turmoil.


Notes From Underground: One Big Question For the FED

May 11, 2011

If the prices of commodities are falling because of increased margin requirements on ENERGY and PRECIOUS METALS, WHY DOESN’T THE FED JUST ASK FOR EMERGENCY POWERS TO CONTROL MARGINS FOR ALL INVESTMENTS? Chairman Bernanke is on the record as believing that INFLATIONARY PRESSURES ARE TRANSITORY. Well, it seems that the power to make higher commodity prices transitory is to raise margins and force the speculators to disgorge their positions. The increase in MARGINS and the RESULTING LIQUIDATION WOULD ALLOW THE FED TO MAINTAIN QE POLICIES WITHOUT THE FEAR OF TRANSITORY PRICE INCREASES.


Notes From Underground: CNBC-Market’s Disaster Response

March 16, 2011

Click on image to watch Yra on CNBC.

Notes From Underground: China Imports Coal so it Can Stuff it in the World’s Stockings

December 26, 2010

Again, the world is given a Christmas “surprise.” Last year, the U.S. Treasury was nationalized Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae on Christmas Eve when no newsrooms were stirring with even a click of the mouse. This year, the Chinese Central Bank took center stage and announced a rate increase of 25 basis points. Now, I am convinced that this rate increase is NEGLIGIBLE to say the least. The world financial news is going to make this rate increase into an effort by the Chinese authorities to combat inflation but that is pure NONSENSE. The benchmark lending rate was raised 25 basis points to 5.81 percent and the benchmark deposit rate increased to 2.75 percent from 2.75 percent. The economic impact won’t even register.