Posts Tagged ‘FOMC minutes’

Notes From Underground: Trump Moves Markets Without Moving His Fingers

August 21, 2018

The noise just keep on coming and each are disrupting the markets in its own way and the president. Monday’s headlines from the financial press had large impacts on GOLD, COPPER, EQUITIES, and, of course, CURRENCY markets. Let’s look at the substance of the comments.

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Notes From Underground: Flattening Curves — All Action and No Talk

April 11, 2018

In the political realm, the concern about tariffs has been lessened as Chinese President Xi took the high road with some silky conversation. It is not in the Chinese interest to raise the level of shouting/tweeting, nor to allow the YUAN to depreciate. The last blog post weighed the harm China would do to itself if the YUAN were to depreciate for it would then have to face the acrimony of many nations it is trying to placate. From a TECHNICAL perspective, it appears that the YUAN is going to test three-year lows between 6.11/6.20 to the dollar. As the Chinese tensions eased, the world now turns its eyes to Syria.

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Notes From Underground: The ECB, FOMC Minutes and Dudley’s Speech

August 17, 2017

On Wednesday, I joined Rick Santelli for a chat, which was centered on the ECB and other central banks’ impact on global equity and debt markets. Just before the appearance, there appeared a Reuters story that said President Draghi would not speak about the ECB’s potential Quantitative Tightening, which my readers know supported what I have been steadfast in my conjecturing about possible ECB actions. IN A NOD TO A READER (hello, AGH), while it appears that all central banks pursue a common policy, THERE’S NO MONETARY EQUIVALENCE. Yes, they all purport to raise inflation the political variables each push for different outcomes.

(Click on the image to watch me and Rick discuss the central banks.)

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Notes From Underground: Let’s Deflate the Cult of Personality and Media-Inflated Infallibility

August 18, 2015

Some follow-through from yesterday: The DAX,Dow and Russell 2000 closed below their 200-day moving averages but it is early in the week so while a negative it is not definitive of any sustaining activity. Just another effort to be attentive to global developments. The Chinese markets were under assault last night, which led to a selloff in copper and silver prices although GOLD remained firm. Some analysts maintain that the selling in copper and silver was due to having meet margin calls with account collateral being liquidated. I have no argument with that analysis but if so silver should regain itself above 15.10 and GOLD should rise above its recent highs. If China’s recent market developments is the onset of global deflation the world’s central banks will be forced into renewed crisis mode and the precious metals will again be viewed as a “reliable haven.” Let the market be your guide for theory confirmation and have your technical levels ready especially for GOLD resistance.

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Notes From Underground: “It Was the Best of Times. It Was the Worst of Times”

December 28, 2014

As 2014 draws to a close, the financial landscape is definitely a tale of two disparate economies as the U.S. reports 5 percent GDP while Europe struggles to maintain zero growth and avoid “recession.” (I despise the official definition of a recession being two consecutive quarters of negative growth.) In Spain, Italy, Greece Portugal, France and other countries, double-digit unemployment defines a recession and the potential it brings for political turmoil.

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Notes From Underground: Sunday’s World Cup Final = Creditor/Debtor Bowl?

July 10, 2014

There’s a little levity during a very stressful week of trading. Germany meeting Argentina in the World Cup final is symbolic of the battles being waged by the world’s central bankers. Jeremy Stein and the BIS view the threat of financial stability a potential concern of Janet Yellen and Mario Draghi. The world’s financial markets will be watching to see what style of play on the pitch prevails: The aggressive Argentinian speed or the more AUSTERE and supreme defensive style of Germany. In the spirit of global macro humor I ask these questions:

  1. Will presiding referee Thomas Griesa issue a RED CARD to the entire Argentinian team for defaulting on its debt?
  2. If the Argentinians get control of the ball will someone from Elliott Associates come and grab it as Griesa deems it an asset of the debtors?
  3. If  Argentina prevails, will the trophy be confiscated and given to the intransigent creditors for sale on E-Bay?
  4. Will Griesa suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune as he is deemed by FIFA to be a biased American judiciary with no genuine knowledge of the international beautiful game of debtor/creditor?

***The question to which we keep returning: ARE THE WORLD’S CENTRAL BANKS THREATENING THEIR CREDIBILITY? A corollary  question: DOES THE FED UNDERSTAND ITS OWN FALLIBILITY? As yesterday’s FOMC minutes revealed, confusion reigns within the FED as to the strength of the real economy, especially in ways to measure the OUTPUT GAP of the employment data. How much slack exists in the labor pool to prevent a dramatic rise in wages is of paramount importance for the Fed’s “forward guidance” (and signaling to markets future FED intentions). The FED speaks with great confidence in its projections but if past performance is a guide investors should treat all Fed projections with skepticism. It was the highly regarded Ben Bernanke who maintained well into late 2007 that the housing slowdown was well contained and should pose no problems for the U.S.economy. Yet, the impact of the U.S. credit crisis was severe enough to effect banks and bondholders across the globe. The bottom line is that the FED is fraught with failings and for investors to treat all Fed releases as pearls of perfection should proceed with caution.

In an Financial Times piece published yesterday, Axel Merk wrote the following:
“Ms. Yellen told us that policy under her leadership is not rules based. As such, market participants have to rely on the Fed’s ad hoc assessment. And that is very much like reading tea leaves, as the Fed is looking at backward-looking indicators such as the most recent unemployment report. Forward-looking indicators, such as the yield curve, are less reliable as the Fed itself has actively managed gauges. That, in turn, forces market participants to try to read Ms. Yellen’s mind. Her statements make it clear that her focus is on keeping rates low to help promote job growth until inflation readings get enough over the targeted 2 percent level to warrant concern in her mind.”
So, again, the price of the FED‘s certainty can be found in a weak DOLLAR and ultimately strong precious metals. If Yellen and Bernanke admit to not understanding GOLD, I advise measuring your own fallibility and putting that into your projections.
***And now back to Europe. Readers of Notes From Underground have known that the European financial markets have never fallen off the radar as the rally in peripheral debt and certain European banks were deemed to be a fool’s paradise. Today’s news about Portuguese bank, Banco Espirito Santo, missed a bond payment sent chills through the market. Banks have never healed but have been recipients of the ECB‘s liquidity efforts. However, non-performing loans have continued to plague the balance sheets of many Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese financial institutions. (Yep, the PIIGS have returned to the headlines.) More importantly, if the ECB and the BIS continue to disagree about interest rates and financial stability, the BIS can inflict pain on Europe’s banks by pushing for sovereign debt to some type of risk-weighting, requiring the need for more bank capital. Banco Espirito Santo have only survived through the European debt crisis by loading up on Portuguese sovereign bonds. (That is, borrowing from the ECB at very low rates, buying Portuguese debt and earning the differential, all risk free.) If the BIS keeps pushing back against the ECB and the FED, more bank problems will arise.
***However, in the eyes of the French and Mario Draghi there was a positive result from the Banco Espirito Santo: the weakening of the EURO against most currencies. The move was not dramatic but did provide some respite from recent euro strength. THE KEY TO THE EURO MAY BE IN THE EURO/SWEDE CURRENCY CROSS. On July 3 the Riksbank slashed interest rates in an effort to keep the KRONER weak against the EURO (in my opinion). IF THE EUR/STOKIE TAKES OUT THE LOW OF THE CROSS FROM JULY 3 IT WILL BE A CRITICAL STATEMENT ABOUT INCREASING PROBLEMS IN THE EUROPEAN FINANCIAL SYSTEM. The range for the EUR/STOK on the day in question was: a high of 9.3580; a low of 9.1540 with a close of 9.2856. Today the close was 9.2340, which is lower, but the July 3 low of 9.1540 should become the critical number.

Notes From Underground: Mr. Natural Says, “It Don’t Mean Sheeit”

April 9, 2014

The idea of Mr. Natural, the guru creation of R. Crumb, comes to mind as the analysts ponder today’s release of the March 18-19 FOMC Minutes. The market seemed shocked to learn that the FED had been misunderstood on its intentions to tighten soon after the conclusion of the its tapering program. When are the markets going to stop listening to the self-proclaimed seers of the Fed’s deepest secrets? The FOMC minutes let the financial world know that the summary economic projections (SEP) have as much credibility in interest forecasting as does the man behind in curtain in the Wizard of Oz. I will offer that the market must lean toward Janet Yellen being a labor economist with a strong moral bent of providing the foundation for any person desiring a job have a job. Again, that is a noble stance but not for the Fed chair. The violent move in the YIELD CURVE after the release of the minutes reflected the markets’ misinterpretation of Yellen’s press conference. If the 2/10 curve gets back above 240 basis positively sloped, it will result in a further selloff of the notes and bonds. The FED will err on staying at the ZIRP band until it is certain that the employment situation has dramatically improved. Quoting from the minutes: “Several participants cited low nominal wage growth as pointing to the existence of continued labor market slack.”

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Notes From Underground: A Dog Day of Summer

July 9, 2013

The news was sparse and the rally was easy: DOLLAR UP, SPOOS UP, TREASURIES STEADY … HO HUM. It won’t stay that way tomorrow as we will have the 10-year note auction, followed by the release of the June FOMC Minutes an hour later. At 3:10 p.m. CST, Ben Bernanke will take center stage at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) and it will be about monetary policy as the FED “basks in the light” of its 100-year anniversary. The speech takes place in Cambridge, Mass. and a Q&A follows the prepared text. Markets will be on edge to see if Chairman Bernanke pulls back some of the talk on tapering or at least responds to the recent volatility of rate rises in the long-end of the market.

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Notes From Underground: The Fed’s Dilemma

January 7, 2013

The Fed’s policy has painted itself into a proverbial corner. A ZEROHEDGE piece shows that in the age group of 16-55 there has been a loss of 2.7 million jobs during the previous few years, while in the 55-69 age group there has been a gain of 4 million jobs. This has been a recurrent theme of Notes From Underground during the last two years. The FED‘s policy of financial repression has resulted in an outcome that its beloved models failed to predict. The baby boomers haven’t been able to retire  because their saving plans have been undermined by the zero interest rate policy. Zerohedge shows that debt-ladened college graduates are unable to find jobs and thus are struggling to repay education loans. Recent college grads are forced to live at home and are not creating new households.

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Notes From Underground: A Genuine Disgust With the Analysis of the FOMC MINUTES

August 22, 2012

OKAY, so the FOMC minutes were released and all the pundits who never trade were kibbitzing about the THIRD coming of QE. Upon several reviews of the MINUTES, I AM OF A FAR DIFFERENT OPINION. AND, UNLIKE THE PUNDITS OF THE GREAT WASTELAND, MY MONEY TALKS WHILE THEIR BULLSHIT WALKS. Yes, it is indeed frustrating to hear opinions morph into facts. As I reread the FOMC MINUTES I fail to see the certainty of a FED ACTION AT THE NEXT FOMC MEETING AND I OPINE THAT BERNANKE WILL NOT OFFER ANY GREAT INSIGHTS AT THE JACKSON HOLE SYMPOSIUM. AGAIN, ANY FED ACTION WOULD BE A REWARD TO THE CONGRESSIONAL DERELICTS WHO CONTINUALLY FAIL TO DO THEIR DUTY AND CONSTRUCT A RATIONAL FISCAL POLICY.

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