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…

201709.22
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Global Asset Allocation Update: Step Away From The Portfolio

There is no change to the risk budget this month. For the moderate risk investor, the allocation between risk assets and bonds is unchanged at 50/50. There are no changes to the portfolios this month. The post Fed meeting market reaction was a bit surprising in its intensity. The actions of the Fed were, to…

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…

201708.18
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Global Asset Allocation Update: No Upside To Credit

There is no change to the risk budget this month. For the moderate risk investor, the allocation between risk assets and bonds is unchanged at 50/50. There are other changes to the portfolio though so please read on. As I write this the stock market is in the process of taking a dive (well if…

201708.14
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Data Dependent: Interest Rates Have Nowhere To Go

In October 2015, Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Bill Dudley admitted that the US economy might be slowing. In the typically understated fashion befitting the usual clownshow, he merely was acknowledging what was by then pretty obvious to anyone outside the economics profession. Dudley was at that moment, however, undaunted. His eye was cast toward the…

201708.14
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Losing Economic Trade

The oil effect continued to recede in late spring for more than just WTI prices or inflation rates. US trade on both sides, inbound and outbound, while still positive has stalled since the winter. Exports grew by just 6.2% year-over-year (NSA) in June 2017, about the same pace as estimated in December 2016. After contracting…

201707.31
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Policy From Behind

When the Mario Draghi as head of the ECB first introduced negative rates in early June 2014, his reasoning was very clear. As he said in the opening of his statement imposing NIRP on Europe, “Today, we decided on a combination of measures to provide additional monetary policy accommodation and to support lending to the…

201707.31
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Islands In The Sun: European Inflation & Unemployment

Inflation in Europe was in July 2017 once again underwhelming. Eurostat’s HICP inflation index grew at a 1.3% annual rate for the second straight month. Other than for February 2017, the inflation rate has been less than the ECB’s 2% target for four and a half years. During that time, Europe’s central bank has vastly…

201707.26
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Dollars (TIC) In May: Consistently Inconsistent

The TIC data for May was inconsistent. It has been that way for several months, and importantly describes what I think is the operative “dollar” condition. Though the data is several months old already, we can tell by certain real-time prices and indications that the difference between 2016 and 2017 is very clear in some…

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…