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.”
Posts Tagged ‘Treasury’
Notes From Underground: Does The Unemployment Data Allow The Fed to Taper?? (Yra Says 90% Possibility in December)December 8, 2013
Friday’s U.S. jobs report was stronger than pre-ADP consensus, only because of several pundits pushing the idea of 250,000 non farm payrolls (the whisper number seemed to be around 225,000). Thus, the 203,000 NFP was well within the range of prediction. The falling rate to 7.0% was a stronger sign of growth, especially when coupled with a rise in the participation rate and a fall in the U-6 rate. Average hours worked gained and wages increased by 0.2% per hour. All in all, it was the most positive data in many months. Manufacturing was a pleasant surprise as 27,000 jobs were added along with 17,000 jobs in the construction sector.
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:
The “MARKET” will resolve to test the GRIT of traders and investors as the mysteries of politics and economics collide to make the daily lives of traders difficult, to say the least. In 2011, the markets left traders and various investors sleeping like babies as we were relegated to getting up every hour to cry. We must remember that the market’s “JOB” is to cause as much heartache and pain to as many people as possible as money seeks to attain a positive return Last year the market was in its full glory as it caused some of the world’s foremost global macro investors to be humbled in a capacity not seen since the credit market debacle of 1994-95. This year seems to be of a similar ilk as the travails of the EUROPEAN UNION will continue to weigh upon the flows of global capital.
The seriousness of the U.S. DEBT CIRCUS cannot be overstated but evidently not from a market perspective. U.S. Treasuries have continued to be well bid as many investors still run to the TREASURY market in times of uncertainty. Besides the “rush” to safety in the BONDS, the FED has so badly perverted the market’s pricing mechanism that it is very difficult to determine the genuine impact of the Washington default countdown. European sovereign debt has been trashed during the last 20 months as there was no real central bank support to the market as the EFSF was a late comer to the scene and was provided with meager provisions.
It was time for the FED Chairman to make his legislated appearance to Congress and Mr. Bernanke rightly refrained from being dragged into the battle over the budget. I have criticized the FED Chairman more than a month ago when he offered an opinion on the budget resolution. Fiscal issues are the purview of CONGRESS and the FED risks its independent stature if it wants to opine of the CONGRESSIONAL PREROGATIVE. Congressmen and women tried to get Bernanke to wade into the muddied waters and finally he flippantly said that legislators get paid the “big bucks” to make fiscal policy.
Chancellor Merkel has said that there will be no shake-up in the ruling coalition even as the CDU/FDP suffered at the voting booth as the German electors have grown tired of the vacillating vixen of Berlin. The German chancellor has wavered on EU BAILOUTS, NUCLEAR ENERGY and even deserted her allies in its ill-conceieved intervention in Libya. So a leader who has not stood fast nor firm is telling Germany that after the election defeat she will stand firm. Now we all ought to be nervous. I hope that Germany will be firmer in honoring its committments to the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) than Merkel has been to adhering to some form of political principles.
Also, it was interesting that President Obama declared victory in the Libyan campaign and handed over control of the operations to NATO. Is France a member of NATO this week? The U.S. and its allies have entered a dangerous period in its intervention in LIBYA. As I wrote just after the Egyptian rebellion, the real game changer will be Syria. The Assad Regime has severely suppressed the incipient demonstrations as expected. Secretary of State Clinton was asked if the U.S. and its allies would intervene to halt the slaughter of Syrians–as it claimed to be doing in Libya–Madam Secretary stated that Syria was not Libya because Bashar Assad had promised visiting U.S. legislators that he was bent on reform. Therefore, the reform-minded Syrian president is not a candidate for the military reprisals.
The inflation data released by the U.K. showed that CPI has increased to 4 percent. The largest price increase was in INK costs as Mervyn King had to pen another letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer explaining the price increases maintained during the BOE’s inflation-mandated levels. King has placed himself in a difficult position as he has held rates steady in the face of rising inflation. Governor King’s stance is the same as Bernanke’s. The rise in prices are due to elements that the CENTRAL BANK cannot effect and the inflationary impact is acting as a drag on the consumer. Why ?
Chinese Premier WEN Jiabao visited Italy after the EU/China summit that took place this week. Wen had been to Greece earlier as China is looking for assets in the battered peripheral economies of the EU. Are the Chinese sovereign wealth funds truly interested in European troubled assets or merely attempting to buy some good will so as to break up a possible unified action by the developed nations against the renminbi? The Chinese are in Italy and making some noise about buying Italian companies to ensure a place in the European economies.
The housing confab was the big story Tuesday as the Obama administration was trying to figure out how to put the biggest slush fund to work. Last Christmas Eve, the U.S.Treasury–under the spell of eggnog and mistletoe–nationalized Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac by removing the caps on the losses that the two GSEs would be allowed to absorb.We don’t know where “PIMCO’s” Bill Gross was but we had assumed that the removal of loss caps was nationaliztion by stealth. Now as the largest holders of MBSs next to the FED, he is openly calling for outight government control of the mortgage market because Gross doesn’t believe there is room for the private sector. Yes, he is correct if the mortgage market reverts to NINJA loans and other zero-down types of nonsense. However, if the originate-to-distribute model were to be restructured so that only deserving loans were made, private lenders would be lining up to get into that business. We caution our readers to understand that today’s conference on GSEs was meant to give some type of cover to an already conceived plan of how Fannie and Freddie can absorb more losses and for the Obama team to gain some political advantage.