201804.23
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The (Official) World Moves A Little Closer To The Eurodollar

The primary reason I focus so much on time is that I believe it is running out. No one possesses a crystal ball, least of all me, and while making such a statement might presume to be intensely negative (doom and gloom) it’s not always that way and it certainly doesn’t have to be. For…

201804.17 6

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…

201804.17
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No Suggestion of Growth, Only L

In 1979, Chinese Premier Deng Xiaoping designated four areas as Special Economic Zones (SEZ). Three were located in Guangdong Province, the southeastern region that wraps around the city of Hong Kong. One of those, situated just on the other side of the water from the then-British controlled jurisdiction, Shenzhen would be transformed from a sleepy…

201804.16 11

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…

201804.13
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China’s Exports Are Interesting, But It’s Their Imports Where Reflation Lives or Dies

Last month Chinese trade statistics left us with several key questions. Export growth was a clear outlier, with outbound trade rising nearly 45% year-over-year in February 2018. There were the usual Golden Week distortions to consider, made more disruptive by the timing of it this year as different from last year. And then we have…

201804.11
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Inflation Hysteria Takes A Chinese Hit

Today is inflation day, as can happen on the occasional month. The US CPI came in without signs of acceleration despite the relinquishment of the Verizon effect on the statistical bucket. Financial markets are unenthused by all this, but you might not know why. The spread between 5- and 30-year Treasury yields, as well as…

201804.09
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Deutsche Bank Replaces Another CEO; Or, Bubbles And Money

Another global bank CEO is given his walking papers. John Cryan’s tenure at Deutsche Bank was unsurprisingly brief. He began it by being realistic. Upon being hired for the top job, Cryan predicted his stay there would, “[depend] on how well we deliver on strategy, impress clients and reduce complexity.” It’s that last one nobody…

201804.03
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Curse of the Zombie Junk

If the road to Hell is paved with good intentions, in economic terms the paving is done by zombies. We’ve all heard of the convention regarding Japanification. In desperation trying to avoid a worse fate, many of Japan’s tortured financial institutions were left open and operating so as to not force losses too much at…

201804.02
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What’s In A Spread? Euro$ Futures Have Been Anticipating LIBOR-OIS For Seven Months

Since LIBOR is a hot topic again, though no 2a7 in sight, I thought I’d add one additional perspective that isn’t found in any other analysis. LIBOR is, of course, a money rate applied not to domestic funding but eurodollars on offer in London. The current criticism of the rate stems from the fact that…

201804.02
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Did China Really Win, or Did Everyone Lose?

Of all the economic accounts where last year’s big tropical storms would have had the greatest impact, any substantial boost in construction spending made the most sense. What is destroyed is most often quickly rebuilt, particularly in the public arena. One of the core functions of local government is infrastructure, and no local politician can…