Posts Tagged ‘notes’

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.

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Notes From Underground: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (or Another Spaghetti Western)

July 12, 2011

It is very difficult to find the GOOD in the global financial world, while the BAD and UGLY abound. The GOOD could be “found ” in low interest rates on BONDS and NOTES in the U.S. Yet when you scratch below the surface, the fundamental reason for a 3% 10-YEAR NOTE is nothing to crow about. Poor employment data and the fear of a credit crisis in EUROPE is forcing investors to find shelter in the debt instruments of the U.S., even as the Washington budget circus captures the headlines. The subtext of the GOOD is that the EUROPEAN DEBT DRAMA almost cratered the global equity markets but support was found for the EQUITIES and ITALIAN BONDS when the ECB purportedly intervened in the DEBT markets by buying Italian and Spanish debt.

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Notes From Underground: SOVEREIGN DEBT DOWNGRADES–WHEN AND WHY?

July 5, 2011

As the clock resets on the Greek crisis and the fog of questionable financial shenanigans begins to lift, it appears that a new game is emerging within the confines of the default arena. The three main ratings agencies that enjoy near monopolistic power, granted by government decree, are in a rush to downgrade the sovereign debt ratings of the European peripherals. It seems as if Fitch, Moody’s and S&P are leading the race to downgrade the fastest as if to put more and more pressure on Brussels in a game of CHICKEN DEFAULT. As it is now obvious to all, the ECB and the EFSF are trying to prevent a legal definition of DEFAULT from occurring so as not to pay out on the credit default swaps, especially to all those empty creditors.

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Notes From Underground: Remember, Ben Bernanke is a ’37er and he Promised MIlton Friedman

June 2, 2011

Tomorrow comes the most important data point for the markets as the BLS releases the monthly unemployment report. Yesterday, the market was abused by the ADP employment info, which was much weaker than expected and lead to a selloff in all asset classes. A quick gaze upon the closing CQG quote board lent credence to the line from Apocalypse Now: “I love the smell of deflation in the morning.” Of course, I jest as I substitute DEFLATION for NAPALM but the use of either causes major destruction. The ADP data was able to cause so much angst because it followed very weak housing and manufacturing numbers released during the previous week. The CONSENSUS for Friday’s UNEMPLOYMENT REPORT is for:¬†NONFARM PAYROLLS of 155,000; the jobless rate to hold at 9.0%; and average hourly earnings to show a gain of 0.2%.

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Notes From Underground: DSK HAS BAILED OUT THE PIIGS BUT CANNOT MAKE BAIL FOR HIMSELF (IRONY)

May 18, 2011

The main story in the financial world is still about the indiscretions of Dominique Strauss-Kahn. Many are making a great deal out of the fact that a major player in the European debt scene is now missing from the table. Yes, because of French domestic political considerations DSK has thrown himself into the Greece et. al. debt resolution scheme of which he is deemed a significant actor. Though, it’s highly doubtful that he is the only person with enough clout to bring the financial weight of the IMF to bear. Europe’s leaders will not allow this situation to further deteriorate because of one person being removed from negotiations for there is far too much at risk.

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Notes From Underground: The ECB and BOE Meet Tomorrow and the Market Expects No Change

May 4, 2011

The market’s attention turns to the ECB and BOE rate decisions. Any rate change would be a surprise as the U.K.‘s data has been weak of late as the austerity budget is beginning to be a drag on the British economy. The policy makers in England are content to let rates stay on hold as it helps to weaken the POUND against the EURO. It will be more interesting to hear from the ECB through Trichet to see if the Europeans are content with the present inflation situation, especially as the EURO has made new highs for the last 18 months. The recent strength of the EURO is a problem for the debt-stressed countries and with the U.S. on hold for an “extended period” any move by the ECB would put more upward pressure on the EURO¬†currency. Let’s see if Trichet surprises us by discussing the recent strength of the EURO. The post-meeting press conference will be waiting to hear if Trichet loses the vigilant language.

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