201803.16
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COT Blue: A Decade of Weird

On July 15, 2008, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke sat in front of Congress for the second of his required Humphrey-Hawkins reports for that year. The original act meant for these to be more than bland economic obfuscation, where the original Full Employment and Balanced Growth Act of 1978 demanded monetary targets. The Fed stopped…

201712.05 5

Giant Sucking Sound Sucks (Far) More Than US Industry Now

There are two possibilities with regard to stubbornly weak US imports in 2017. The first is the more obvious, meaning that the domestic goods economy despite its upturn last year isn’t actually doing anything positive other than no longer being in contraction. The second would be tremendously helpful given the circumstances of American labor in…

201712.04
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Three Years Ago QE, Last Year It Was China, Now It’s Taxes

China’s National Bureau of Statistics reported last week that the official manufacturing PMI for that country rose from 51.6 in October to 51.8 in November. Since “analysts” were expecting 51.4 (Reuters poll of Economists) it was taken as a positive sign. The same was largely true for the official non-manufacturing PMI, rising like its counterpart…

201712.04
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Just When You’ve Thought You’ve Seen It All

I could understand it if its track record was spotty, or partially mixed. But the level of denial runs deep and wide with the yield curve. There is a growing chorus of nonsense, really, which is attempting to spin the flattening as some kind of benign technical rotation that through illogical convolution equals the opposite…

201710.18
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A Derivatives Look At What Happened To ‘Reflation’

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) reports that total gross notional derivatives contracts owned and outstanding by domestic banks rose for the second straight quarter. The OCC statistics are one quarter behind, meaning that though banks themselves are reporting Q3 numbers with earnings all figures shown here are from the official compilation…

201710.10 5

It’s Not Easy To See

There are supposedly jobs that Americans won’t do, and now there are, apparently, jobs that British won’t do. In the latter case, according to the UK’s Minister of State and Commonwealth, Sir Alan Duncan, it is the Europeans who were blamed for taking work from native English. The result was, in his view, Brexit. Duncan…

201709.01
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2017 Is Two-Thirds Done And Still No Payroll Pickup

The payroll report for August 2017 thoroughly disappointed. The monthly change for the headline Establishment Survey was just +156k. The BLS also revised lower the headline estimate in each of the previous two months, estimating for July a gain of only +189k. The 6-month average, which matters more given the noisiness of the statistic, is…

201707.28
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No Surprise, Wells Fargo

In September 2016, Wells Fargo fired 5,300 employees. These sorts of mass layoffs have become common in banking throughout the post-crisis era, especially those years of the “rising dollar.” This was different, however, as Wells was not cutting back in capacity but dealing with the aftermath of being far too aggressive. These employees were found…

201705.24
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Act Accordingly, Again

For once, it does seem like the FOMC was asking of its members the right question. They spent years incredulous over the lack of effect due to whatever of the multiple QE’s without changing expectations. No matter how little evidence for their initial let alone ongoing success, they would always, always keep up the “recovery…

201705.19
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Dereliction: They All Had One Job

What is truly frustrating is that only now is the world trying to come to terms with the last ten years, and only because it ignored the major, seismic developments over the preceding forty. It’s not a question of too little, too late, it’s more so that after being bludgeoned with failure there are no…