Posts Tagged ‘retail sales’

Notes From Underground: Will the Weak Retail Sales Force Bernanke to Reveal the New Power Tools?

July 16, 2012

Today’s RETAIL SALES report was far weaker than anticipated. With Bernanke testifying to CONGRESS (Senate on Tuesday, House Wednesday), will the FED Chairman reveal anything to the “FOOLS ON THE HILL” as the knives will be out as politicians need to be seen as pressuring the FED for the voters back home. As previously reported, the June’s FOMC MINUTES revealed, “Several participants commented that it would be desirable to explore the possibility of developing new tools to promote more accommodative financial conditions and thereby support a stronger economic recovery.”

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Notes From Underground: Larry Summers has his St. Augustine Moment

June 13, 2011

Before I discuss the Financial Times piece penned by Larry Summers today titled, “How to Avoid Our own Lost Decade,”  and tomorrow’s economic releases, Alan Greenspan answers to continued criticism from Notes From Underground in a recent interview in Newsweek:

 Yet as the interview neared its end, his tone belied his agitation. “I am as sensitive as anybody. But criticism doesn’t bother me that much. I know with certainty that two plus two equals four, and I don’t need help to make that judgment.”

Now, let’s look at tomorrow’s economic releases. The closely watched RETAIL SALES is projected to be weak as consensus has the headline down 0.5% and ex-autos and gas the data looks to be up 0.3%. The PPI is also to be released and the headline number is expected to be a tepid 0.2%.

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Notes From Underground: One Big Question For the FED

May 11, 2011

If the prices of commodities are falling because of increased margin requirements on ENERGY and PRECIOUS METALS, WHY DOESN’T THE FED JUST ASK FOR EMERGENCY POWERS TO CONTROL MARGINS FOR ALL INVESTMENTS? Chairman Bernanke is on the record as believing that INFLATIONARY PRESSURES ARE TRANSITORY. Well, it seems that the power to make higher commodity prices transitory is to raise margins and force the speculators to disgorge their positions. The increase in MARGINS and the RESULTING LIQUIDATION WOULD ALLOW THE FED TO MAINTAIN QE POLICIES WITHOUT THE FEAR OF TRANSITORY PRICE INCREASES.

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Notes From Underground: Budget Battle 2012/Presidential Election Year

April 13, 2011

Today’s headline in the Financial Times, “U.S. LACKS CREDIBILITY ON DEBT-SAY IMF.” I rarely agree with the IMF but on this issue as the readers of NOTES are aware, I can find common ground with the economists at the world’s commentator on global economics. It is easy to say the U.S. lacks credibility when the world is observing the budgetary circus that has visited Washington, D.C. for the past two weeks. The CREDIBILITY issue is not solely with the president and the legislature but also with the FEDERAL RESERVE. If the FED errs in its aggressive monetary easing it will be a horrendous blow to the U.S. and the global financial system. The FED has so much at stake because it has more than $2 trillion of DEBT INSTRUMENTS on its balance sheet and if the U.S. is deemed to be an unworthy borrower just what will the value of those assets be on the market.

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Notes From Underground: Franco/German spat ahead of this week’s SUMMIT of LOVE

March 23, 2011

This Thursday and Friday the European Union had hoped to put the finishing touches on the European Stability Mechanism that will go into effect in 2013. The Sarkozy/Merkel-crafted plan would give succor to Chancellor Merkel ahead of this Sunday’s elections in Baden-Wurttemberg and hopefully halt the German voters’ antipathy toward all things EU. However, there appears to be friction between the giants of the European Union. Sarkozy is reportedly furious at the Germans for abstaining on the UN vote to impose a no-fly zone in Libya. Also, the French believe that Frau Merkel played politics and an anti-French card by moving to halt electricity production at seven NUCLEAR POWER plants, thus making the French look bad as well as having the impact of driving up electricity prices.

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