Posts Tagged ‘Jack Lew’

Notes From Underground: Making Sense Of the Treasury’s Guide to Currency Manipulation

May 2, 2016

While attempting to enjoy Pittsburgh (and hopefully a Cubs game), the markets buzzing about the U.S. Treasury’s report about the “Trade facilitation and trade Enforcement Act of 2015.” In a Bloomberg News article published late Friday afternoon, “U.S. Places China, Japan, Germany on New FX Monitoring List,” it seems that the Treasury and Jack Lew are raising the threat of retaliation against nations that meet the Congressional crafted criterion of currency manipulation. These include: 1. Significant bilateral trade surplus with U.S.; 2. Material current-account surplus; and 3. Engaged in persistent one-sided FX intervention. The issue of “one-sided intervention” is defined as only weakening a currency by conducting repetitive net purchases of FX amounting to more than 2% of its GDP.”

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Notes From Underground: Prelude, Nothing To Hide (In the Spirit of Stairway to Heaven)

April 12, 2016

First, why was Janet Yellen summoned to the White House to meet with President Obama and Vice President Biden? The most ostensible reason is PROBABLY to get the Fed’s view on the economic impact of Trump and Bernie Sanders. Is the anger in the land a result of stagnant wages and is there any policy impact the White House could pursue without distorting the economy? Is fiscal stimulus a possible positive response and would the Fed be receptive without immediately raising rates? There are no certain answers to why Yellen went only conjecture. But one thing that caught my attention was the headline in today’s Financial Times: “Lew Urges IMF to Get Tough on Exchange Rate Manipulators.”

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Notes From Underground: Let’s Skip to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew

November 12, 2014

It is not often that investors are treated to the wisdom of U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew. I am sure that Mr. Lew is a fine man but he is an example of a political appointment serving in a role beyond his pay grade. If I had a question about my 1040-EZ form I would search him out but on global economics and politics I would hope he wouldn’t answer the phone at 3 a.m. In an well-staged leak of his prepared words to be delivered in Brisbane, Australia at the G-20 conclave this weekend, Secretary Lew warns Europe that it risks suffering a lost decade similar to Japan if it fails to undertake fiscal policies to stimulate growth. In a Financial Times article by Robin Harding, Secretary Lew is quoted at the World Affairs Council in Seattle as saying: “Resolute action by national authorities and other European bodies is needed to reduce the risk that the region could fall into a deeper slump. The world cannot afford a European lost decade.” Mr. Lew suggests the usual actions of monetary, fiscal and structural efforts to lift growth or what has become known as Abenomics three arrows.

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Notes From Underground: It Ain’t Rocket Science, Which Is Too Bad for the Dismal Science

January 5, 2014

There is an American expression: It Ain’t Rocket Science,which is meant to be a pejorative phrase to denote that if you fail to comprehend a somewhat easy concept you must have diminished cerebral capacity. I do not mean to imply this but rather use it to address some FED SPEAK over the weekend in which the American Economic Association provided lively discussion about the “SUCCESS” of the Fed’s policies for the last five years. There was point and counterpoint from highly acclaimed economists and thus ECONOMICS PROVED AGAIN THAT IT IS NOT A HARD SCIENCE. When Aerospace engineers build a spacecraft and design its mission they are sure of the spacecrafts return barring some unpredictable mechanical failure. AEROSPACE ENGINEERING IS PROVEN TO BE AN EXACT SCIENCE.

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Notes From Underground: German PMI Was Lower …. Did NSA Have The Number Early?

July 1, 2013

It wouldn’t be Notes From Underground if we didn’t ask the most obvious and ridiculous question. It may be the subject of global comedians but the NSA‘s overreach is not a laughing matter for what it really shows is that in the guise of National Security, even a democratic republic leans toward political repression. This is similar to the McCarthyism that grew from what Michael Parenti called “the Anti-Communist Impulse.” Everything becomes an excuse for the government to pry  and the danger for all lovers of freedom is that once governments delve into every nook and cranny of life, the end result is always disastrous. It is not about Democrat or Republican for the Democrats will not always be in office.

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Notes From Underground: Gold, Huh, Yeah, What Is It Good For?

April 14, 2013

This is the question investors all over the world are asking after the massive selloff on Friday. I have argued that gold was a tired bull for the last six months and that global equities had replaced gold as investors’ and traders’ haven and store of value. Gold has done yeoman’s work as a store of value in the world of central bank hyperactivity resulting in negative real yields all over the globe. As gold prices have stagnated, investors have sought out other asset classes to supplant the need for increased risk and hopefully positive returns. Multinational corporations with high dividends have become the new store of value and the rush to unload traditional hard assets for productive real assets has gained traction. The Cypriot debacle scared global investors and sent them scurrying from bank deposits to corporate assets, with a higher yield via dividends and possible appreciation. (Especially if the assets are domiciled in a jurisdiction that has a court system that protects property rights.)

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