201806.18
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Stupid’s On The Other Foot Now

We’ve noted over the past few weeks just how much things have changed since earlier this year. We started off 2018 in the grips of inflation hysteria, the more extreme corollary to globally synchronized growth. Things were going to be so good, they said, it would be bad. Now there’s just growing worries about only…

201806.18
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BoJ Blames Amazon; Or, What A Difference A Few Months Make

The Bank of Japan gathered its policymaking members in Tokyo at the end of last week. The statements released and the commentary given pursuant to it exuded a renewed darkness. When they had last met on April 26 and 27, things were already different. But the conclave before that, March 8 and 9, they were…

201806.15
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Chart of the Week: Pure Risk

Well before Jerome Powell changed his dots a little, or the ECB chickened out, the Reserve Bank of India had already acted. For the first time since January 2014, on June 6 the RBI raised its benchmark repo rate. Rather than reverse the rupee’s slide it appears to have renewed it. The euro may have routed…

201806.15
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Dovish = Uncertain, Therefore Dollar

Back a few months ago when Europe was booming, or at least everyone was sure that this one particular economy was, market futures prices indicated an expectation for the first European rate hike to take place by Q2 2019. That was consistent with the US Federal Reserve’s experience as well as how the mainstream narrative…

201806.15
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There Isn’t Supposed To Be The Two Directions of IP

US Industrial Production dipped in May 2018. It was the first monthly drop since January. Year-over-year, IP was up just 3.5% from May 2017, down from 3.6% in each of prior three months. The reason for the soft spot was that American industry is being pulled in different directions by the two most important sectors:…

201806.15
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A Lot Underneath Retail Sales

The retail sales report for the month of May 2018 was generally positive on the headline, which is to say it was one of the better months of recent years. Total sales growth was 6.35% year-over-year (unadjusted). A big part of it was due to an 18% year-over-year gain in retail sales at gasoline stations….

201806.14
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China’s Hatches Further Battened

The problem with global growth, synchronized or not, is that it isn’t really a thing. It is a made-up concept that accompanies confusion. Why is the economy about to pick up when there is no evidence for that expectation? Global growth. It’s a nonspecific bogeyman that anyone can point to and expect little or often…

201806.13
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Uncertainty, Or You Had One Job To Do (And It Wasn’t Dots)

As anticipated, the FOMC voted on both proposals in front of it. There should only be the one, but even routine monetary policy no longer is. Alan Greenspan’s Fed charged ahead with seventeen consecutive moves (the last few completed under Ben Bernanke) with little discussion about uncertainty in the economy (though there was, conundrums and…

201806.13
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Down This Same Road Again, Only From The Other Direction This Time

The FOMC is almost certainly going to raise the federal funds corridor today. The only question is whether IOER and RRP will go up by the same amount. The issue with federal funds as an offshoot or reverberation of what really matters (offshore) should take center stage, but it won’t. Instead, the Committee will pretend…

201806.12
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Chinese Inflation And Money Contributions To EM’s

The People’s Bank of China won’t update its balance sheet numbers for May until later this month. Last month, as expected, the Chinese central bank allowed bank reserves to contract for the first time in nearly two years. It is, I believe, all part of the reprioritization of monetary policy goals toward CNY. How well…