Posts Tagged ‘U.S. Dollar’

Notes From Underground: The Hills Are Alive With … Sounds?

October 20, 2019

There are so many sounds resonating in the global financial world it has been difficult to discern the impact of any particular tweet or headline. NOTES FROM UNDERGROUND hopes to cut through the babel to provide perspective, context and NUANCE. If we at NOTES cannot accomplish this then we’re just screaming into the chasm that is global macro finance. The impact of Chinese tariffs, Middle East maneuverings, QE programs — from the BOJ to the FEDERAL RESERVE (yes I know what the policy makers are saying — it’s not QE) to the ECB — need to be understood as they drive short-term moves but also have much longer consequences.

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Notes From Underground: Dudley Do Right Gives the Markets Snidely Whiplash

August 29, 2019

Ok, I couldn’t resist the obvious joke. It seems that former New York Fed President Bill Dudley penned an op-ed for Bloomberg in which he elevated the Fed into an actor in the U.S. political process. The message that Dudley initially tried to convey is one that NOTES has actually expressed concerns: That President Trump has trapped Chair Powell by using TARIFFS as a mechanism to bludgeon the FOMC into lowering rates to counter any of the negative impact from trade frictions unleashed on the global economy. Dudley admonished Powell to play the role of Bartleby the Scrivner in Melville’s short story, that when it comes to cutting rates in response to financial implications of the China/U.S. trade war, simply say “I choose not to.”

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Notes From Underground: Does Fear of Increased Tariffs Trump U.S. Data?

July 28, 2019

This is not a rhetorical question but a very direct concern about the leverage that President Trump has in dealings with Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.

After listening to European Central Bank President Mario Draghi’s press conference Thursday and then learning about the White House meeting about the possibility of currency intervention, I am wondering whether the president is using TARIFFS as leverage to satiate his desire for lower U.S. interest rates.

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Notes From Underground: It’s a Drag For Draghi Getting Old

July 24, 2019

On Thursday morning we will hear from the ECB about its desires to raise inflation to its self-imposed 2% target. But on Wednesday we received more tepid economic data from the EU. Then couple that with the ascent of Boris Johnson to the position of British Prime Minister. The rise of Boris Johnson is a problem for Draghi as the possibility of a HARD BREXIT increases dramatically. The market and its DAVOS media sycophants have sold the narrative of a hard Brexit as being devastating for the U.K. economy, the British GILTS, the British pound and the Footsie 100. President Draghi has to be careful that a severe rally in the EUR/GBP cross doesn’t damage the European exporters, especially Germany, who runs a 50 billion-plus surplus with Britain.

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Notes From Underground: Powell Gets Backup From Clarida and Williams

July 18, 2019

Following Wednesday’s short introduction to the significance of the Powell in Paris speech in Paris, we a digestif in the form of Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Richard Clarida and New York Fed President John Williams providing supporting the chairman. As a result, the dollar sold off, there was a major rally in GOLD, and boost to equities even as earnings proved to be TEPID. But what I’m waiting for is a STEEPENING in the U.S. yield curves when the world’s bond investors contemplate that the FED has ABDICATED any sense of FIDUCIARY RESPONSIBILITY for its status as a reserve currency.

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Notes From Underground: ECB, Political Pawn?

July 4, 2019

Warning: There’s a great deal of colorful language in this very important discussion regarding the nomination of Christine Lagarde to the post of European Central Bank president. This is another political move by the EU elite to avoid placing a German at the helm of the ECB. Jens Weidmann may be a tough choice but Lagarde is preposterous, as Jean Claude Trichet might say. If you thought Mario Draghi was a politician and a dove by design, Lagarde will make Draghi look like a HAWK. In my opinion, IMF Director Lagarde has been and remains the ultimate politician. The role she played in the Greek bailout was pure politics and the price paid by the Greek citizenry has been steep. All in an effort to bailout many European financial institutions. Ask Yanis Varafoukis what he thinks of the Lagarde nomination.

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Notes From Underground: When a Slower Fool, Always Look on the Bright Side of Life

June 30, 2019

First things first: There were no surprises out of the G-20, at least for those who read Notes From Underground and listened to the discussion that took place in the Whitewave Trading room. The most significant outcome was that President Trump held off from installing additional tariffs while President Xi confirmed that China would be buying more U.S. production, especially in the agricultural sector. In Thursday’s podcast with the Whitewave participants I advised that with the current weather problems in the U.S. heartland the Chinese would have to be vigilant about the cost of global grain prices rising as supply was hampered by poor planting conditions.

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Notes From Underground: Trump Has Weaponized The Dollar. Do the Longs Know?

June 12, 2019

Some shots were fired last Friday, but it seems that the markets can only hear the siren song of White House tweets. There was an important story from Bloomberg reporter Saleha Mohsin titled, “Trump’s Currency War Plan Puts Treasury and Commerce at Odds.” The article noted that “a Commerce Department proposal to impose countervailing tariffs on countries that it determines have devalued their currencies has alarmed officials at the Treasury Department.”

It appears that President Trump has grown frustrated by Treasury’s failure to name any country as a “currency manipulator.” It has been Treasury’s bailiwick to monitor the foreign exchange interventions of countries who strive to artificially hold down the value of their currencies in an effort gain a competitive advantage versus any G20 country, especially the U.S. (from the Treasury Department perspective).

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Notes From Underground: Just When It Couldn’t Get More Volatile

June 5, 2019

The above reference is from the wonderful cult movie, Putney’s Swope. The CEO of a major advertising firm has a heart attack during a board meeting and the sycophants don’t realize it as they continue peppering him with questions. When he’s unable to respond they ask, “How Many Syllables, Mario?”

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Notes From Underground: The Powell Fed Turns Transient From Transparent

May 2, 2019

May brought another Federal Reserve meeting that sowed more confusion. Maybe there is such a thing as too much transparency. The FOMC statement revealed the Fed thought “growth of household spending and business fixed investment slowed in the first quarter.” Coupled with this analysis was the OUTLOOK that “inflation compensation have remained low in recent months.”

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