201801.18 4

The Blatant Dishonesty of the ‘Boom’

Why do humans tend to behave in herds? It’s a fundamental question that only recently have researchers been able to better understand. On the one hand, it doesn’t take an advanced degree in some neurological science to see the basis behind it; survival for our ancestors often meant getting along with the crowd. There are…

201801.17
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Fortress TIC

Goldman Sachs reported FICC revenues of just $1 billion in Q4 2017. That was the lowest for the Wall Street firm, technically a bank, since it converted from properly a securities business to one during the worst of 2008. That was 50% less in “bond trading” than Goldman had produced during Q4 2016. You start…

201801.16 4

Confirming the Big Change In 2017

What determines the price of gold? It seems like it should be an easy question to answer, but gold more than perhaps any other asset often mystifies in its behavior. Part of the reason is mainstream, orthodox Economics and its practitioners who have waged an intentional war on the metal for more than a century…

201801.12
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The Dea(r)th of Economic Momentum

For the fourth quarter as a whole, Chinese exports rose by just less than 10% year-over-year. That’s the highest quarterly rate in more than three years, up from 6.3% and 6.0% in Q2 2017 and Q3, respectively. That acceleration is, predictably, being celebrated as a meaningful leap in global economic fortunes. Instead, it highlights China’s…

201801.10
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China Doesn’t Want UST’s? I’ve Heard That Somewhere Before

For quite a long time I obsessed over November 20, 2013. It was a day that for the vast majority of humanity was like any other, nothing too far out of normal and certainly nothing that would seem to mark it for remembrance. But in my realm of yield curves and interest rate swaps, the…

201801.08
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The Conspicuous Rush To Import

According to the Census Bureau, US companies have been importing foreign goods at a relentless pace. In estimates released last week, seasonally-adjusted US imports jumped to $204 billion in November 2017. That’s a record high finally surpassing the $200 billion mark for the first time, as well as the peaks for both 2014 and 2007….

201801.02
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The Chinese Appear To Be Rushed

While the Western world was off for Christmas and New Year’s, the Chinese appeared to have taken advantage of what was a pretty clear buildup of “dollars” in Hong Kong. Going back to early November, HKD had resumed its downward trend indicative of (strained) funding moving again in that direction (if it was more normal…

201712.27
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Rising ‘Dollar’ Re-Rises? Part 2, The Fruits of Our Obsession

I suppose it’s easy to look at gold and see only fear. It is, after all, the ultimate currency hedge. Therefore, if the price is rising there is probably a good chance fear over monetary considerations is, too. The opposite interpretation, then, would appear to be just as straightforward, but it’s often complicated by the…

201712.19
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Sick of ‘Dollars’, But What Else Is There?

If China wishes to ever throw off the shackles of the eurodollar system, and they do, to eventually go out on its own in an RMB dominated world there is a lot to cleanup long before that’s ever an attainable goal. To start with, we don’t know near enough about what’s going on inside that…

201712.18
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Chinese Really Are Not Tightening, Though They Would Be Thrilled If You Thought That

Why would any central bank try to disguise the fact that it is being highly accommodative in its own money markets? That would be a strange place to start, made all the more so by the further observation the same central bank is perfectly happy if you thought it was doing the opposite. Cryptic introduction…