Posts Tagged ‘Europe’

Notes From Underground: Markets Are Rounding Third and Sliding Into Home

December 16, 2018

As we head into the final two weeks of the year, the global equity markets are “sliding into home.” Equities sold off again on Friday as the Chinese tariff saga is failing to provide support to the market. Weekend news conveyed the idea that the market was reacting to this week’s FED meeting and the very high probability of another increase in the central bank’s target range. This is a stretch because investors have been aware of the FED‘s limitations under its own “forward guidance,” trapped into a rate hike for fear of spooking the market if no increase was decided.

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Notes From Underground: A Riddle, Wrapped In a Mystery, Inside an Enigma

December 4, 2018

I’ve been thinking about the Churchill quote referring to Russia. Rather than referencing Russia my thoughts turn to the flattening yield curves that began on Monday. As commodity, global equities markets, the Chinese yuan and the precious metals all staged strong rallies, the long-end of the yield curve also rallied, especially the 10-YEAR. As a result, the 2/10 curve flattened to a 10-year low of 15 basis points. On Tuesday, the curves flattened even more as the 2/10 closed at 10.7 basis points. As Vizzini from the Princess Bride would say, “INCONCEIVABLE!” To support the rally in the long-end of the curve there was a retracement of the recent rally in global equity markets (the NIKKEI, DAX and S&Ps were all down substantially). This suggests that the positive news from the G-20 meeting has now been cast asunder because investors are struggling to comprehend what actually took place in Buenos Aires between the U.S. and Chinese delegations.

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Notes From Underground: Xi, Am Putin My Readers On?

November 29, 2018

The Twitterverse is atwitter with news bits about the coming meeting this Friday and Saturday. There are rumors that Putin and Trump were going to meet but now the get-together is off. The once-scorned Peter Navarro is to be at the Xi/Trump summit after all. An Argentinian Judge has suggested that Saudi Crown Prince MBS may be arrested for the killing of Jamal Khashoggi. There will be no agreement on free trade in the G-20 communique, especially as Trump has renewed threats against German auto firms with a 25 percent tariff on its exports to the United States. When Donald Trump comes to town it truly portends a three-ring circus.

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Notes From Underground: Irony of Irony

November 15, 2018

President Donald Trump maintains that the Facebook, Google, Twitter bias is the “real collusion” … oh wait, he tweeted that. Seriously, nobody spots the irony?!? Every day, this madness infects the algorithmic condition of the markets. I prefer real intelligence instead of artificial intelligence for genuine intellect understands nuance and irony. (Again, this is not a political statement as we analyze all aspects of politics in an effort to secure profits in global financial, commodity, currency and equity markets.) As Deng Xiaoping would say: “It doesn’t matter whether the cat is black or white, as long as it catches mice.”

It has been more than a week since the last blog post. As Trump’s inner Nixon spills outs, we will continue to monitor the idea of a MASSIVE GLOBAL INFRASTRUCTURE effort, especially since there’s a G-20 meeting in Buenos Aires the weekend of November 30.

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Notes From Underground: Weather Disrupts. Will It Disrupt Financial Flows?

October 4, 2018

Based on the recent ADP report and other economic data, logic would dictate that Friday’s jobs report OUGHT to be very strong. If the data is weaker than expected, analysts will look to the impact from Hurricane Florence, ” the storm the authorities came to blame.” There are projections that jobs will be diminished by upwards of 50,000 so the initial algo traders will be thwarted. As usual, the critical component of the jobs number will again be the average hourly earnings (AHE), which are expected to rise 0.3% following August’s increase of 0.4%. If this number were to print 0.5% expect bond futures to come under pressure, even on top of violent increase in yields we have experienced this week.

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Notes From Underground: Powell Confirms It Ain’t Rocket Science

September 26, 2018

Over the last nine years, a major theme from the wit and wisdom of Notes From Underground has been that FED policy is not rocket science, the premise being that no matter how much math is applied the forecasting ability of the FOMC has been less than stellar because of the use of flawed models. Unlike genuine rocket science in which astrophysicists can land a vehicle on the moon and return the capsule to a pre-programmed landing site, the FED cannot predict the economy with any sense of proximity. Yet the FED built a massive balance sheet depending on those flawed models. The financial media was awed by the high maths of the FED‘s models so mainstream pundits offered little to no pushback, genuflecting at the altar of academia.

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Notes From Underground: Around the World With Yra + Rick

September 20, 2018

On Thursday Rick Santelli pushed and prodded and as a result, we were able to travel from Japan to Europe in an effort to discuss some of the more pressing issues confronting the global macro world. First, we stopped in Japan to discuss how the BOJ and Governor Kuroda will be able to extricate itself from five years of QQE which has seen the BOJ accumulate Japanese debt and equities. Of course the end game is to reach the self-imposed inflation level of 2 percent that has proved to be an agonizing level to achieve. As a reminder, when a nation is saddled with huge debts the best relief is to be found in inflation, which results in an ultimate money illusion as debts are paid back with an ever-depreciated currency.

Click on the image to watch me and Rick discuss global policy.

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Notes From Underground: The Tweets Controlling the Market Gyrations

July 1, 2018

Now that the first six months of the year have come and gone, the markets have a cacophony of events to look forward to as algos react to price, and fundamental macro analysts are trapped between WHAT OUGHT TO BE. The current concerns over tariffs, trade wars, strife between friends/allies, political uncertainty in Europe, Middle East conflagrations, the Russia/Saudi alliance on energy, Chinese growth concerns, RISING U.S. INTEREST RATES AND INCREASED QUANTITATIVE TIGHTENING (along with elevated TREASURY FUNDING NEEDS), decrease in capital inflows into emerging market economies leading to potential dollar funding concerns and U.S. Congressional elections. Yet, the markets remain are not pricing in the relevance of such concerns. Wise traders and investors do not fight markets but profit from the opportunities presented. To do otherwise is mere commentary. So to paraphrase John Maynard Keynes: When the facts change so do I, what do you do madam?

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Notes From Underground: Headlines Drive the Algos and the Circle Remains Unbroken

June 12, 2018

I’m going to be off for a few days, even if this Fed meeting proves to be the most market-moving week in many years.

The news from North Korea proves to be a non-event (as suspected). On Wednesday, we get the FOMC statement, which OUGHT to meet market expectations with a 25 basis point increase and some sense of the interest on excess reserve (IOER) rate in reference to fed funds. There is much discussion about the FED reaching “normal” interest rates, meaning neither too weak nor too strong to reach its dual mandate.

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Notes From Underground: Trump Delivers on Using the Dollar as a Policy Tool

April 12, 2017

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, the tweeter-in-chief was reported to have said, “The DOLLAR IS GETTING TOO STRONG.” As some pundits discussed, instead of Trump calling China a currency manipulator it seems he wants to use the dollar as a cudgel to pressure others into not embarking on policies to weaken their currencies. As I wrote on April 2:

“The Trump Administration’s efforts to curb the U.S. trade deficit may see the executive branch try to depreciate the U.S. dollar if Secretary Mnuchin and Secretary Ross fail to persuade certain global actors to embark upon policies to adjust their current account and trade surpluses. The Fed’s recent tightening has not rallied the dollar–it actually closed lower on the quarter–so if the political status quo is sustained in Europe and no new political crisis emerges, the DOLLAR will become a barometer of Trump’s policies on trade.”

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