Posts Tagged ‘MBS’

Notes From Underground: Thursday, January 22 … “The Day The Earth Stood Still”

January 21, 2015

In the famous 1951 sci-fi movie, an alien with a ROBOT has the power to threaten the entire Earth and bring human civilization to an end. The only words that can prevent the ROBOT (algorithms) from the total destruction of the world  are: KLAATU BARADA NIKTO. Let’s hope that tomorrow ECB PRESIDENT MARIO DRAGHI has those same words at his command. There is so much riding on tomorrow’s ECB decision and the press conference that Mr. Draghi can bring financial ruin to the global money system. In all prior press conferences Draghi has been able to calm markets with mere promises of future actions. The game of securing time in an effort for improved economic performance is over.

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Notes From Underground: Bored of the Talk or Is COMPLACENCY IS THE NEW NORMAL?

June 1, 2014

During the last month markets have adopted the approach of “Don’t Worry Be Happy.” No event increases risk awareness as central banks being perceived as the guardian angel of all global investors, so every possible geopolitical event is merely a fresh buying opportunity. This week brings the ECB rate decision and consensus seems to be that President Draghi has secured a vote in favor of cutting interest rates from 0.25% to 0.15%, a drop of 10 basis points, or, as the talking heads and pundits of pabulum will with great fanfare scream, the ECB has cuts interest rates by 40 PERCENT. Ah, the beauty of small numbers in a zero interest rate environment. I DOUBT THE ECB WILL GO NEGATIVE AT THIS TIME. Why? Negative interest rates by a large central bank will be an experiment that the ECB will not wish to embark on, especially as U.S. money market funds have returned to providing short-term financing for European entities. Going negative may result in money market funds shying away from the uncertainty of negative deposit rates paid by the central bank.

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Notes From Underground: Good Trading Advances One Funeral At A Time (Thanks, Max Planck)

July 23, 2013

When Max Planck opined that “Science Advances One Funeral At A Time” it is believed that he meant that when proponents of long-held theories die, science is allowed to advance. In terms of trading I have applied this to mean that long-held losing trades have died a death due to lack of liquidity to support a flawed analysis. The BOND MARKET is going to provide the opportunity to put the wit of Planck to work as we try to examine the ways in which the FED will deal with the vast amount of reserves with which it has flooded the financial system. As traders and investors, the FED‘s decisions will impact the entire spectrum of the GLOBAL MACRO WORLD. Therefore, it is time to embark on thinking about ways the FED can remove reserves in the least disruptive and to anticipate what plans the central bank may have.

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Notes From Underground: G-20 Communique is Anything But (Seems Like an Agenda for a Political Platform)

July 21, 2013

This weekend brought the results of two days of meetings of the financial ministers and central banks chiefs from the 20 “most significant” economies. The purpose of this visit to Russia was to set the agenda for the September G-20 meeting in St. Petersburg. Reuters posted a piece, “Text–Closing Communique From G20 finance Ministers Meeting,” which filters the results of two days discussions to seven main points. It is a WORTHLESS effort as the communique is filled with diplomatic language that assuages the egos and policies of every participant. The finance leaders OUGHT TO BE EMBARRASSED to release this nonsense. From Reuters:

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Notes From Underground: Tapering Is Tightening? So Spoke The Market

June 19, 2013

Today was the most anticipated FED news conference since TRANSPARENCY became the buzz word of the post-Greenspan era. The FED Chairman took center stage (he was deputized) to bring clarity to the issue of ending the FED‘s large-scale asset purchase program. Mr. Bernanke made sure that the financial world understood that tapering was not tightening. Well, the market may have heard but it did not listen. The Chairman’s words gave impetus to a selloff of  EQUITIES, BONDS and precious metals. Overall, the rise in interest rates evidently led to a deleveraging of a mass of positions dependent upon massive leveraged positions, especially in EMERGING MARKET CURRENCIES. The Brazilian real made four-year lows and the Mexican peso was also under severe pressure as higher U.S. interest rates are expected to force a repatriation of funds back to the safe waters of the U.S.

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Notes From Underground: The Jazzman Testifies

May 22, 2013
     When the Jazzman’s Testifying
      A Faithless Man Believes
     He Can Sing You Into Paradise
     Or Bring You to Your Knees
                         –Carole King
Last night’s BLOG warned that the Twitter feeds would create great volatility as the Fed chairman appeared before the Joint Economic Committee and the markets were not disappointed. The precious metals, currencies and stocks all initially staged impressive rallies, until the questioning turned to the Fed’s plans to TAPER the large-scale asset purchases. Bernanke’s testimony was basically a rehash of NYFRB President Dudley’s speech from yesterday. In the prepared TEXT the chairman made it known that “withdrawing policy accommodation at this juncture would be highly unlikely to produce such conditions” (in referring to when the economy would be sound enough to have sustainably higher rates). Further, “a premature tightening of monetary policy could lead interest rates to rise temporarily but would also carry a substantial risk of slowing or ending the economic recovery and causing inflation to fall further.”
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Notes From Underground: Everybody Is Talking At Me, Can’t Hear a Word They’re Saying (Only the Echoes of the Bonds)

May 21, 2013

This week has been loaded with FED OFFICIALS filling the airwaves with thoughts about ending QE or just tapering, with the markets left to discern how, when and how much. Today, the NY FED President presented a speech at the Japan Society in New York City, titled, “Lessons at the Zero Bound: The Japanese and U.S. Experience.” President Dudley compared and contrasted the mistakes made by the Japanese and U.S. monetary authorities and what they had been able to learn from each other. The speech was not critical about recent Japanese monetary moves, which infers that the FED is very comfortable with current BOJ policy. The NYFRB president does tell seem to support Chairman Bernanke in being a ’37er, meaning the FED cannot allow the mistakes made in 1937 by the U.S. Treasury and Federal Reserve Board to recur. This belief emphasizes that deflation is the  most powerful variable that can disrupt the political economy.

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Notes From Underground: A Day of Disconnects In Global Markets, Or a Ball of Confusion

April 22, 2013

First, I need to clear the air on an issue that is cited over and over, of which causes me great discomfort. In last Thursday’s Financial Times, Robert Pollin and Michael Ash, the two professors who sponsored graduate student Thomas Herndon of UMass-Amherst–and of recent fame for finding the flaws in Rogoff/Reinhart–published the article heard round the world: “Why Reinhart and Rogoff are wrong about austerity.” I am not disputing the results of their work but I am questioning a causal relationship that they note:

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Notes From Underground: The FED Goes From Quantitative to Qualitative … You Do the Math

December 13, 2012

Well, the famed modeler from M.I.T. has finally admitted that he has been an avid reader of Notes From Underground and in the world of global macro finance, 2+2=5. The FOMC statement was a surrender to the work of Michael Woodford as was pre-released in a Janet Yellen speech a few weeks ago. The FED will give great credence to a 6.5% unemployment and a 2% inflation threshold, give or take a 0.5%  discretionary prerogative. The 6.5% unemployment threshold is also subject to FED discretion for it seems to depend on whether or not the labor participation rate is increasing while the unemployment rate declines.

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Notes From Underground: The Significance of the WSJ OP-ED Piece … “Magnitude of the Mess We’re In”

September 23, 2012

A an op-ed piece in last weeks WSJ created a great deal of buzz in the financial media. Appearing a few days after the aggressive move by the FED, the opinion piece written by five eminent economists–George Schultz, Michael Boskin, John Cogan, Allan Meltzer and John B. Taylor–criticizes the Bernanke Fed’s QE policy from many different aspects. It is not the criticism that is significant but rather the stature of the economists that are calling the question of the FED’s continued one-dimensional response to the tepid growth following the deep recession of 2007-2008. The media would have the public believe that the only economists qualified to theorize on the problems at hand are those chosen by the FED and its research staff. The financial media bowed to the altar of Alan Greenspan– the Maestro, Oracle and whatever else–and thus the cult of personality was thrust upon the markets.

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