201707.24
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Why It Will Continue, Again Continued

Part of “reflation” was always going to be banks making more money in money. These days that is called FICC – Fixed Income, Currency, Commodities. There’s a bunch of activities included in that mix, but it’s mostly derivative trading books forming the backbone of math-as-money money. The better the revenue conditions in FICC, the more…

201707.24
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Missing Money Inverts

There was a funny sort of Congressional exchange all the way back in November 2005 that in a weird way defines our world today. At the nomination proceedings on whether to confirm Ben Bernanke as Alan Greenspan’s successor, Senator Jim Bunning of Kentucky wanted the prospective Fed Chairman to first answer for M3. It had…

201707.20
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No Flip Flop in Europe

Well, that clears that up. In case you missed it, back on June 27 Mario Draghi triggered the latest declared BOND ROUT!!! with what was characterized as a very upbeat economic assessment for Europe. And if things are moving forward there, they just have to be everywhere else. It came off as “hawkish” in the…

201707.19
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Why Might Hong Kong Still Be Interesting?

When the People’s Republic of China (PROC) was granted full UN status in 1971, everything was then set in motion. The successor to Chaing Kai-shek’s nationalist government in the Republic of China (ROC, or what we call today Taiwan) was originally granted as a founding member and one of five Security Council seats. UN General…

201707.19
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Y2K Was Really The Great Uncertainty

In late 1999, the Federal Reserve established what was ostensibly an emergency credit facility. On October 1 that year, this offshoot of the Discount Window went live. Its main feature was that it was to be a primary program, meaning that banks didn’t have to prove they could access funds elsewhere first. They could go…

201707.19
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The Plural of Anecdotes Is Beige

As noted before, the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book collection of local bank district anecdotes are fascinating for all the wrong reasons. What is revealed is not the state of the economy, but rather the state of how policymakers perceive or often wish the economy was at various points. If the 2007 Beige Books are a…

201707.18 4

Questions

Why is inflation ex-food and energy considered core? Isn’t food and gas about as core as it gets for most people? Why do economists think it is important to stabilize the price of luxuries but not the price of needs? As a society shouldn’t we prefer a monetary policy that stabilizes food, energy and shelter…

201707.18
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When You Stop Reading After The Second Sentence

On June 27, ECB President Mario Draghi opened that central bank’s international conference in Sintra, Portugal. Most media never made it past the first two sentences of his prepared remarks. For them, the verdict was already delivered in those few lines. They declared that Draghi declared monetary policy was working and the world was on…

201707.18
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A Decade of Fallacy

Ten years ago yesterday, Bear Stearns sent a letter to shareholders of two specific hedge funds that it sponsored. Whenever anyone brings up the name now, you immediately know where this is going. That wasn’t the case in 2007, however. Whatever the world may think of Bear in hindsight, a decade ago it was a…

201707.17
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Global Asset Allocation Update: Not Yet

There is no change to the risk budget this month. For the moderate risk investor, the allocation between risk assets and bonds is unchanged at 50/50. There are no changes to the portfolio this month. Growth and inflation expectations rose somewhat since last month’s update. The change is minor though and within the range of…