Posts Tagged ‘Ukraine’

Notes From Underground: N-O-T-H-I-N-G … Thats What the ECB Means to Me

September 3, 2014

The wires are burning with the possibility of the ECB moving forward with a quantitative easing announcement. I would give it a 1% chance, or, in options pricing terms, A CABINET BID. It is too early for President Draghi to impose a QE plan for next month the European authority reveals its asset quality review (AQR), a stress test by any other name. The ECB would be wasting its ammunition until it sees how the market reacts to new information on the health of European banks and thus the European financial system. If the results are as dismal as I believe, Draghi will want to initiate his asset-backed security program so as to create a market mechanism for relieving the banks of their problem loans. The market maker for these ABS instruments will be the ECB as they will be the only buyers willing to pay inflated prices for NONperforming loans. High prices will need to be paid to keep the banks solvent for if the haircuts on the troubled loans is too large the banks will collapse.

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Notes From Underground: Santelli Exchange — European Deterioration

August 28, 2014

In a follow-up to last night’s blog post, click on the image below to watch Rick and I discuss the EURO on the Santelli Exchange August 18.

Yra on the Santelli Exchange, August 18

Notes From Underground: Making Sense From the U.S. Dollar Post-Payrolls

May 4, 2014

The U.S. unemployment data released on Friday was extremely positive on two measures: Nonfarm payrolls increased by 288,000 and the unemployment rate dropped from 6.7 to 6.3 percent. The soft side of the numbers was that the average hours worked remained flat and the all-important average hourly earnings also stayed flat, undermining the robustness of the headline figure. The U.S. dollar and U.S. bond markets initially performed as expected as the DOLLAR strengthened and bond yields rose in response to positive news. However, by day’s end the DOLLAR was LOWER and the yields on the long end of the CURVE had also dropped while the SPOOS and DOW failed to hold gains on what was a very strong employment picture. The reason given by analysts was that the Ukraine situation was becoming more volatile and caused investors to be cautious over the weekend.

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Notes From Underground: The IMF Lies and Other Myths

March 16, 2014

The news out of the Crimea places the vote on the referendum at 95.5 percent in favor Russian control. The outcome was predetermined but one would think that the pro-Russian faction would have at least fixed the results to make it appear somewhat legit. Why, it makes me wonder if the Chicago boys had been secretly brought into the Crimea to garner such a ridiculous outcome. Now the EU and the U.S. are going to find sanctions to make the oligarchs and other hoarders of Russian wealth suffer the consequences of Vladimir Putin’s 19th century actions. But this will not be a one-sided affair as Russia will be able to invoke counter measures of its own. There are many things to ponder:

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Notes From Underground: The Reserve Bank of New Zealand Stands Alone

March 12, 2014

This afternoon the little bank from down under announced it was raising its overnight cash rate (OCR) by 25 basis points to 2.75%. There is no question that the New Zealand economy has been growing (as has private credit for housing) but the KIWI has been elevated by the strength of the economy and the huge global demand for New Zealand commodities–dairy and other agricultural products. Previously, the RBNZ has refrained from raising the OCR because of the strength of the KIWI versus the Aussie dollar and other commodity-based currencies. But the improvement in global financial conditions gave Governor Graeme Wheeler reassurance for increasing the interest rate. Wheeler noted that “the high exchange rate remains a headwind to the tradables sector. The bank doesn’t believe the current level of the exchange rate is unsustainable in the long run.” The market had been expecting the Bank to raise rates ┬áso the initial market reaction was a short selloff but within two minutes the KIWI was trading higher and actually closed on its high of the day in the spot market. If the RBNZ doesn’t intervene, which it shouldn’t, the NZ currency should hold up on the crosses, especially with the high yield on its 10-year note. Finally, one bank breaks out of the pack, even in the face of a potential slowdown in China.

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Notes From Underground: The Hiatus Interruptus, or No Rest For the Weary

March 3, 2014

Last Sunday I warned in a blog post that the Ukraine situation would heat up after the Olympics as Vladimir Putin would not wish to draw attention away from his beloved event as he did during the Beijing Olympics by maneuvering against Georgia. Right on cue the Russians moved against the Crimea in an effort to protect its geographic and strategic interests. The Crimea has been extremely important to the Russians for 300 years as the tsars desired a warm-water port to allow Russian commerce and imperial designs to proceed even when the Northern waters were frozen during the winter months. The Russians will defend their interests just like any other world power and it is in their immediate backyard. The Europeans and U.S. can threaten sanctions and other such nonsense but as Churchill noted long ago, “I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia. It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma; but perhaps there is a key. That key is Russian national interest.” (October 1939)

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Notes From Underground: Just A Small Piece On Some Critical Issues

February 23, 2014

I am reissuing four pieces from 2009 and 2010 about the Ukraine. The importance of Ukraine to the EU and Russia should not be diminished and therefore what we have seen over the weekend is just another scene in a very long drama. The most positive news has been that Victor Yanukovich seems to have abdicated his position as President and that previous leader Yulia Tymoshenko has been freed from prison. But, caution should be the watch word as the Winter Olympics come to an end and Russian President Putin will turn from being a congenial host to a grand-master of the political chess game.

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