When Sentiment Shifts

Like all sentiment surveys, Germany’s ZEW is susceptible to overzealousness on the part of the survey participants. The Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung is a think tank located in Manheim that has since 1991 carried out this broad questionnaire. Up to 350 analysts are included in the panel, each working at a bank, insurance carrier, or…

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Such Fragility, Not Italy

It’s not quite yet on the level of October 15, 2014, but it’s not really that far off, either. What made the prior episode three and a half years ago unique was the condensed timeframe, as well as how far UST yields fell. Today has been a far steadier “flight to safety”, meaning the same…



Early in the morning on October 7, 2016, during Asian trading the British pound experienced a flash crash. Driven down 6.1% in a matter of two minutes, it left the rest of the markets stunned. The usual whispers of a “fat finger” abounded, as did the recognition of how unabated computer traded sell orders were…

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Europe Is Booming, Except It’s Not

European GDP rose 0.6% quarter-over-quarter in Q3 2017, the eighteenth consecutive increase for the Continental (EA 19) economy. That latter result is being heralded as some sort of achievement, though the 0.6% is also to a lesser degree. The truth is that neither is meaningful, and that Europe’s economy continues toward instead the abyss. At…


What Current Interest Rates Really Mean

On June 14, the 10-year German bund yield traded briefly below zero for the first time. It was an inauspicious record but one that defines the contradictions at the center of all this economic and monetary controversy. On the one hand, that is what central banks tell us they are after especially with QE, to…


The German Bund Question In Greek

With Germany’s bond market spooking fixed income all over the world, every rate system has fallen under increasing suspicion. US rates seemed to have bowed to the same ghosts, as the benchmark 10-year treasury rose in yield to an intraday high of around 2.30% last week. That was a sharp increase in only a few…


Greatly Exaggerated

The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated. Mark Twain Over the last few years I’ve read a plethora of articles about this supposedly hated bull market in stocks. It is said that this is the most hated bull market in history and while I’d argue with that a bit, it isn’t far off the…