201605.31
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It’s Not Stupidity, It Is Apathy (For Now)

Ten days ago, it was reported that the Bank of Japan for the first time set aside reserves against expected losses should its massive portfolio of JGB’s finally move toward QQE success. The main part of all this “stimulus” has been the accumulation of primarily government bonds at massive premiums. If it were ever to…

201605.31
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The Pressure Builds

Two weeks ago, Chinese stock futures traded in Hong Kong flash crashed. Between 2:14pm and 2:16pm local time on May 17, the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index suddenly liquidated due to an intense burst of sell orders that crashed through the whole of the futures market depth. At the start, the index was trading at…

201605.29
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Bi-Weekly Economic Review

Economic Reports Scorecard The standout reports from the last two weeks are mostly real estate related. The Housing Market Index kicked things off two Mondays ago with a solid reading of 58 (this is a sentiment index with 50 as the dividing line between positive and negative). Homebuilders are not gaga with optimism but this…

201605.27
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Converting Into The (So Far) Broken Correlation

The Chinese exchange rate has traded lower for five consecutive days, and aside from essentially no change last Friday would have been eight in a row. That contrasts with the downward pattern that existed ever since the turn in mid-April where only the general direction was down in not so much a straight line. The…

201605.25
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The Money of Oil

The Ricardian theory of free trade has dominated economics philosophy for good reason. It has a sound basis in common sense and offers a theoretical guide to understand the nature of exchange from a systemic standpoint. It does not, however, cover all such basis for all such manner of trade. Comparative advantage is somewhat straightforward…

201605.25
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The Remarkable Accuracy of The Ticking Clock

The People’s Bank of China today fixed the CNY exchange (reference) rate below 6.56 for the first time since early February. That means all the tremendous effort that went into erasing December and January’s “dollar” pressure (not devaluation) has been unwound, as the currency now trades just about where it was at the start of…

201605.24
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A Discrete Look At What Is Bigger Than All The World’s QE’s Combined

In this brave new banking world of impenetrable bureaucratic morass designed to keep us all from ourselves (slogan: don’t panic, there’s a lot of new math), there are new acronyms for just about anything. To regulators, some groups of letters mean a lot more than they might for banks, while investors, loosely defined, focus on…

201605.24
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Sector Snapshot: Dollar Rally Could Impact Leaders

The short term leadership is shifting as the dollar comes off its lows. Energy and materials had been leading the market during the recent period of dollar weakness. As the dollar found its footing over the last month, defensive sectors took the lead.  Whether this short term shift continues will likely depend on whether the…

201605.20
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TIC Update As Usual Offers Confirmation And Maybe A Warning

The Treasury Department’s updated official custody figures show us nothing unexpected. As usual, the TIC numbers are useful more so in corroboration of what contemporary analysis had already described. In the case of March 2016, we find just the sort of apparent reduction in “dollar” pressure that matches observation of general global conditions after February….

201605.20
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The Tragic Consequences of Quantity Theory

On July 21, 2009, then-Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke wrote an op-ed published in the Wall Street Journal seeking to allay any fears over balance sheet expansion. This was all relatively new, and at that time the recovery seemed a good bet and appeared to be underway in many places. Bernanke’s goal was to soothe any…