201807.10
5
6

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…

201806.27
7
6

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…

201805.25 7

ECB’s Turn For A Disappointing Account

Earlier this week the FOMC published the minutes of its April policy meeting, disappointing “dovish” in them which more properly suggests skepticism about the state of economic affairs. Yesterday, it was the ECB’s turn. Releasing the “Account” of also its April gathering, Europe’s central bank began it by noting Germany’s federal securities. Specifically, it mentions…

201805.04
2
6

Watching Imports

The US trade deficit, a sensitive political topic these days, declined sharply in March. It had expanded significantly (more deficit) in January and February, reaching nearly -$76 billion (seasonally adjusted) in the latter month, before posting -$68 billion in the latest figures. Exports rose while imports fell in March, making for the largest single month…

201711.06 5

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…

201710.17
9
3

Distinct Lack of Good Faith, Part ??

It was a busy weekend in retrospect, starting with Janet Yellen and other central bankers uncomfortably facing a global media that has become (for once) increasingly unconvinced. Reporters, really, don’t have much choice. The Federal Reserve Chairman might not be aware of just how much she has used the “transitory” qualifier since 2015, but others…

201709.25
3
3

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…

201708.21
Off
4

Being Rational

In April 2011, the European Central Bank’s staff and Governing Council were all optimistic. They had suffered through the panic and Great “Recession” and then the relapse in 2010 that birthed the term PIIGS. Despite all that and with considerable effort on their part (especially the purchasing of bonds), they thought there was reason to…

201708.07
Off
2

Irreführende Statistiken

Germany’s Federal Statistical Office (DeStatis) reported today disappointing figures for Industrial Production. The seasonally-adjusted series fell in June 2017 month-over-month for the first time this year, last declining in December 2016. The index had been on a tear, rising nearly 5% in the first five months of this year. The move was considered by many…

201704.24
3
3

To The Asian ‘Dollar’, And Then What?

The Bretton Woods system was intentionally set up to funnel monetary convertibility through official channels. The primary characteristic of any true gold standard is that any person who wishes can change paper claims into hard money. It was as much true in any one country as between those bound by the same legal framework (property)….