201805.21
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China’s Monetary Shell Game (Confirmed for Step 2)

Chinese bank reserves contracted in April 2018 for the first time in almost two years. The decline was small, just 0.2%, but it is still represents a significant deviation from the limited growth since the turmoil in 2015 and early 2016. The decline in reserves further corroborates our theory of events. To briefly review, China…

201805.18
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Chart of the Week; On the Contrary

It has been far more difficult to pick one Chart of the Week this week. There is so much going on right now, most of it revolving around the possible re-rising of the “dollar.” An unwelcome development, to be sure, but a potentially important one for the intermediate term direction of more than just EM…

201805.17 8

This Is A Really Strange Development

Observing the eurodollar system as I’ve done for so many years, you have to be prepared for curve balls thrown at you. Just when you think you’ve got it clocked (sometimes literally), something changes and it all gets tossed out the window. About a month ago, the Federal Reserve reported a sharp drop of UST’s…

201805.11
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Chart of the Week: PBOC Clumsily Stumbles Into Step 1

A few weeks ago, the PBOC stunned many mainstream observers by reducing the RRR. It cut against the preferred narrative that the central bank was “tightening” in anticipation of an economic and therefore inflationary breakout (labor shortages, don’t you know). It didn’t seem to make sense. From the perspective of globally synchronized growth, it wouldn’t….

201805.07 7

If There Was No QE, How Could There Be QT?

How big should the Fed’s balance sheet be? It’s a topic that has taken over a lot of academic discussions. Recall that before 2008 the level of bank reserves was practically nil. They didn’t play much of a role in any money market, required reserves or not (this should be a big clue). After four…

201804.25
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Good Time To Review China Money Basics

Since the announced conditional cut in China’s RRR won’t begin to show up in various figures (particularly for the MLF) until next month, the updated PBOC balance sheet for March 2018 is somewhat anti-climactic. Not only is it too early for what may follow given the policy shift, there are the usual if not more…

201804.25
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Moving Past The Oily Path of Least Resistance?

On April 6, the Trump administration announced a new round of sanctions imposed upon certain Russian officials, persons, and businesses. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin announced their purported purpose in a letter: “The Russian government operates for the disproportionate benefit of oligarchs and government elites.” Russia’s currency, the ruble (RUB), fell sharply after the announcement as…

201804.18 8

Can We Blame Japan For The Liquidations (and HKD)? Right Now It Sure Seems That Way

February was a very interesting month, wasn’t it? There was the pause or even end of the inflation hysteria driven home by “unexpected” liquidations in markets all over the world. On top of those, LIBOR-OIS blew out and all the absurd explanations put forth for it, and even outright lies. Needless to say (write), I’ve…

201804.17 8

China’s Monetary Shell Game

Throughout much of last year, we were told repeatedly that the PBOC was tightening monetary policy. China’s central bank had raised its reverse repo rate twice early on, and then once more last December (and would do so again just last month). These moves coincided with Federal Reserve “rate hikes”, seemingly in line with the…

201804.16 12

Some First Principles Of A ‘Dollar Short’

On Friday I wrote: Again, the size of your reserves reflects, and is proportional to, your potential need for funding. You can’t accumulate that many unless you have a similarly arrayed “dollar short.” The bigger the stockpile the more potential for it to get out of hand if things go the wrong way (usually on…