201802.16
0
4

Escalation(s) TIC

According to the US Treasury Department’s Treasury International Capital (TIC) report, foreign private holders of UST’s had been selling them steadily in the last quarter of last year. Estimates including those just released for December 2017 show a total net reduction of $24 billion. While that’s not a huge number, private overseas interests typically buy…

201802.13
3
3

Bi-Weekly Economic Review

Economic Reports Economic Growth & Income Personal income for December was better than expected at up 0.4% on the month and 4.11% year over year. Wages and salaries were up 0.5%. Unfortunately, that rate of rise is not even up to the lower end of the range we’ve seen in past expansions when 5% income…

201802.12
8
2

COT Black, Green, and Blue; Extremes But Not Extremes

No matter where one looks, there is extreme positioning in all the key markets. Each one is pulled further and further toward “reflation”, too, or in the case of the euro this “falling dollar” consistent with that idea. The world is betting big on it finally coming true, the “globally synchronized growth” to this point…

201802.12
4
3

Leverage In Argentina Is More Than Leverage And Argentina

China’s shock “devaluation” was not the only one in 2015. It was the currency disruption that most people remember, even if years later they’re not sure exactly why. Paying attention to CNY makes sense, requiring no further explanation for why it might be given focus even from the otherwise unaware. In December 2015, while global…

201802.07
5
0

Global Asset Allocation Update:

There is no change to the risk budget this month. For the moderate risk investor the allocation to bonds is 50%, risk assets 45% and cash 5%. Despite the selloff of the last week I don’t believe any portfolio action is warranted. While the overbought condition has largely been corrected now, the S&P 500 is…

201802.07
1
4

COT Blue: Interest In Open Interest

For me, the defining characteristic of the late nineties wasn’t the dot-coms. Most people were exposed to the NASDAQ because, frankly, at the time there was no getting away from it. It had seeped into everything, transforming from a financial niche bleeding eventually into the entire worldwide culture. We all remember the grocery clerks who…

201802.06
4
4

Small Tremors

The current state of geological science cannot predict an earthquake. There is hope, however, that warnings might be realistically developed so that populations in danger of the “big one” can be given some sort of reasonable information about probabilities. In studying the past few devastating quakes, such as the 2011 9.0 that hit Japan twice…

201801.30
1
1

You Know What They Say About Appearances

It used to be a big deal, the kind of move that would itself move markets all over the world. Very quietly, JPY has been trading higher over recent weeks and has reached a level of appreciation we haven’t seen since those rocky days in early September. Only then, a rising yen (falling dollar) was…

201801.29
4
1

Bi-Weekly Economic Review: Markets At Extremes

Economic Reports Production Production ended the year on a strong note but early readings from January are not as positive. The December industrial production report headline was strong at a 0.9% gain but a lot of that strength was in the mining (oil drilling) and utility sectors. Mining has actually led the way the last…

201801.26
8
6

This Explains A LOT (And It’s Still Not Enough)

NOTE: This is really the second half of an earlier missive on the changing nature of the eurodollar system post 2014-16. While it’s not absolutely necessary to read the first here, it’s probably a good idea. The reason nothing ever goes in a straight line is that first everything is always changing. How and why…