201409.30
1
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Old Mother Dollar (Liquidity)

The pestilence of the wholesale “money” system, the eurodollar standard if you will, is that the “dollar” is no longer anything like one and that these “markets” for it are not directly observable. That leaves observers and interested parties to gloss and gleam related second or third hand accounts, hopefully piecing together the right parts…

201409.21
4
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Open Sesame

Open Sesame is, of course, the phrase used by Ali Baba to open the 40 thieves’ cave and plunder their riches in the Arabian Nights tale. It would seem an apt phrase to describe the frenzy surrounding the IPO of Alibaba, the Chinese internet commerce firm that floated shares in the US last week. Certainly…

201409.14
4
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Good Times, Bad Times

The economic data has taken on a more positive tone recently, at least in some areas, and with an FOMC meeting and Janet Yellen press conference on the schedule this week, the bulls pulled in their horns last week. It seems that, for now anyway, good news is bad news for markets as any indication…

201409.08
3
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The Depressive Tale of Nominal Yields

It is easy to get carried away with modern finance, diving into the immense flourishing of finance that has taken place. Conceptions have become far more complex, sometimes unnecessarily so, leading to impairments in distinguishing forest and trees. In credit markets, we focus narrowly on spreads and curves because that is where the “action” seemingly…

201408.24
2
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The Jackson Hole Snoozefest

The stock market rallied hard into Janet Yellen’s speech Friday at Jackson Hole, expecting some epiphany I suppose about the future course of monetary policy. What we got instead was Labor Market Dynamics And Monetary Policy, the purpose of which I can only suppose was to bore the market to death. Economics is not the…

201408.22
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Gold, Bonds and Global Repositioning

There is a growing bid for safety in almost every corner of the globe at this moment, save for a few outliers. Even the 10-year JGP sits at 50 bps today despite the spike in consumer inflation engineered by the Bank of Japan’s QQE. Of course, with BoJ buying up almost everything in sight, that…

201408.19
4
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It’s Not All Oil and Gas

In addition to this morning’s “noisy” and suddenly more tame CPI report, there is a broad-based decline in commodity prices that is more than a little bit outside of “usual” volatility. It should be noted at the start that commodity prices are not always direct reflections of economic activity or expectations for future activity, as…

201408.10
3
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Contradictions

Stocks managed to finish the week on a positive note after a volatile ride that seemed to be based mostly on the changing geopolitical situation. Stocks fell with the imposition of retaliatory sanctions from Russia and rose as Putin seemed to back off at the end of the week. Thrown into the mix was an…

201408.05
0
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The China Shuffle

Chinese financial behavior more recently has been far more favorable than the first part of the year. While there still remains this idea of PBOC control, I think, again, that the second quarter fully bears out the lack of control and the fear that engendered. Very quietly, the PBOC in June rolled out something called…

201407.22
1
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Speculating On The Gold Supply

What follows here, in the interest of full disclosure, is nothing more than speculative conjecture on my part. This is due mostly to the opacity that dominates gold “markets” and trading oddities that follow from it. My thoughts here are based on gut instinct about recent observations, but that is about as much to solidify…