Gold, Dollar, and Repo: Who Cares About Taper, or QE?

It’s funny how these things work. He didn’t actually say the word “taper”, at least not when the frenzy first started. The very idea of the “taper tantrum” was the media’s work, the easy slogan that could be used as shorthand for the conventional explanation. The economy was improving, everyone was told and easily believed,…


A Derivatives View On Q1 That Might Help Explain Q2 (and after)

Morgan Stanley is bit more complicated as a derivatives dealer than the Big 4. Those other banks hold most of their books at their bank subsidiaries. In this case, the term bank actually means something, the legal distinction of a depository institution. Each of the four banks, JPM, C, GS, and BofA, have a holding…

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Not Exactly Paradox, Reflation In Oil Deflation In Copper

The PBOC really needn’t have conducted the last few of its RRR raises. By the time they were in the books, Chinese inflation was already well underway toward being tamed. Though their CPI wouldn’t register for a few more months still, peaking in July 2011, commodities had already turned decidedly downward. Copper went first, hitting…

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The Populist Revolt; Now Mexico

Mexico will have a new President on December 1. Falling short in each of the prior two elections, Andrés Manuel López Obrador won convincingly this time. Though a thorough leftist, AMLO, as he is called in Mexico, ran on the familiar populist, anti-establishment topics. For yet another country its political background has shifted dramatically. Mexicans…


There Is Only One Global Trade War

IHS Markit reported last week that its composite Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) rebounded slightly in its first reading for June 2018. In January, the index had managed nearly 59, the highest in a very long time. It was taken as a definitive sign that Europe’s economy was not only booming, that boom was sustainable. Global…


China Reopens With Another Sneeze

If it seemed a bit calmer yesterday in global markets than has become typical, it was likely due to the absence of Chinese influence. China’s markets were closed for the country’s annual Dragon Boat festival, a holiday tradition that supposedly dates back 2,000 years. According to state media, it’s not strictly Chinese any longer. The…


Is Reflation #3 Over? Some Important Data Is Pointing Toward That Possibility

As a starting point, the TIC data is enormously helpful. Not only does it provide some badly needed level of detail, the series’ focus is right in the area where everything matters. Ostensibly about Treasuries being bought and sold in foreign places, quite by accident the Treasury Department has captured an introductory measure of offshore…


A Different Look Behind The Retail Apocalypse

Even the apocalypse is a process that takes time. Like a financial crash that isn’t really a condensed all-at-once occurrence, the retail industry’s long-described reset has for another year reached even greater proportions in 2018. It’s not clear when the term first showed up, but by now it is a mainstream staple. No article on…


There Are Two ‘L’s’ In China’s Wall

The global economy is not falling off a cliff. There isn’t even evidence it is about to or is nearing such a situation. The most alarming that might be said of how things appear right now is that conditions aren’t getting any better. It’s hardly the stuff of severe global unrest. This is why individual…

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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…