201709.25
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Distinct Lack of Good Faith

The erosion of social order in any historical or geographic context is gradual; until it isn’t. Germany has always followed a keen sense of this process, having experienced it to every possible extreme between the World Wars. Hyperinflationary collapse doesn’t happen overnight; it took three years for the Weimar mark to disintegrate, and then Weimar…

201709.08
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The Real Euro Watch

Everyone is now a euro watcher. The European common currency’s exchange value against the dollar has been on the rise, to put it mildly. Despite decades of declaring floating currencies the optimal framework, it really is quite entertaining to watch the furor when these things actually float one way or the other. This recent trend…

201708.21
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Being Rational

In April 2011, the European Central Bank’s staff and Governing Council were all optimistic. They had suffered through the panic and Great “Recession” and then the relapse in 2010 that birthed the term PIIGS. Despite all that and with considerable effort on their part (especially the purchasing of bonds), they thought there was reason to…

201708.21
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Weight Of Recovery

In 1871, W. Stanley Jevons in the preface to his book The Theory of Political Economy writes of a fundamental human issue with Economics. He makes a distinction between it and other sciences which do not suffer, as he said a century and a half ago, “the weight of authority.” Finding such words from so…

201708.07
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Irreführende Statistiken

Germany’s Federal Statistical Office (DeStatis) reported today disappointing figures for Industrial Production. The seasonally-adjusted series fell in June 2017 month-over-month for the first time this year, last declining in December 2016. The index had been on a tear, rising nearly 5% in the first five months of this year. The move was considered by many…

201707.26 1

Draghi Did Not Keep His Promise

It is like a great many things forgotten now, but five years ago today the head of the ECB compared Europe to a bumblebee. That’s not quite right, however, as Mario Draghi really said the euro was like a bumblebee, but you’d be forgiven for mixing the two up. The purpose of his folksy analogy…

201707.03
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Some Global Odd & Ends

When it comes to central bank experimentation, Japan is always at the forefront. If something new is being done, Bank of Japan is where it happens. In May for the first time in human history, that central bank’s balance sheet passed the half quadrillion mark. It should be unsettling where a trillion is a rounding…

201707.02
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Bi-Weekly Economic Review: Draghi Moves Markets

In my last update two weeks ago I commented on the continued weakness in the economic data. The economic surprises were overwhelmingly negative and our market based indicators confirmed that weakness. This week the surprises are not in the economic data but in the indicators. And surprising as well is the source of the outbreak…

201706.29
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The Mother Of All Bait’n Switches

In light of light inflation measurements, central bankers have no other choice but to step up their rhetoric. Mario Draghi took the mantle earlier this week and has been joined at various points by others. The message they are sending is one that is purposefully muddied. There isn’t left to them any other choice. There…

201706.26
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Weird Obsessions

People often ask why I care so much about China. In some ways the answer is obvious, meaning that China is the world’s second largest economy (the largest under certain methods of measurement). Therefore, marginal changes in the Chinese economy are important to understanding our own global situation. But it goes much deeper than that….