201801.17
0
2

Fortress TIC

Goldman Sachs reported FICC revenues of just $1 billion in Q4 2017. That was the lowest for the Wall Street firm, technically a bank, since it converted from properly a securities business to one during the worst of 2008. That was 50% less in “bond trading” than Goldman had produced during Q4 2016. You start…

201801.16
9
4

Confirming the Big Change In 2017

What determines the price of gold? It seems like it should be an easy question to answer, but gold more than perhaps any other asset often mystifies in its behavior. Part of the reason is mainstream, orthodox Economics and its practitioners who have waged an intentional war on the metal for more than a century…

201801.02
Off
7

The Chinese Appear To Be Rushed

While the Western world was off for Christmas and New Year’s, the Chinese appeared to have taken advantage of what was a pretty clear buildup of “dollars” in Hong Kong. Going back to early November, HKD had resumed its downward trend indicative of (strained) funding moving again in that direction (if it was more normal…

201712.27
3
1

Rising ‘Dollar’ Re-Rises? Part 2, The Fruits of Our Obsession

I suppose it’s easy to look at gold and see only fear. It is, after all, the ultimate currency hedge. Therefore, if the price is rising there is probably a good chance fear over monetary considerations is, too. The opposite interpretation, then, would appear to be just as straightforward, but it’s often complicated by the…

201712.18
2
2

Chinese Really Are Not Tightening, Though They Would Be Thrilled If You Thought That

Why would any central bank try to disguise the fact that it is being highly accommodative in its own money markets? That would be a strange place to start, made all the more so by the further observation the same central bank is perfectly happy if you thought it was doing the opposite. Cryptic introduction…

201712.18
1
1

TIC Points To ‘Dollar’ Redistribution As Much As Possible Supply

We ended last week with a clear sign that global “dollars” are in (escalating) shortage. I would write “again” with that sentence but there is every indication that said shortage never really ended. It’s not like last year’s “reflation” was a switch from insufficient supply to sufficient, rather it was a relative change to a…

201712.07
9
4

Seriously, Wherefore Art Thou Collateral?

I’m going to go out on a limb and claim there is something seriously wrong in repo. All jokes aside, I know it sounds like a broken record but the dimension that matters is not intermittent collateral problems so much as the greater intensity to them and in a condensing timeframe. Escalation is a description…

201711.10
1
2

Not The Usual Hollow Words

The Communist Chinese government views banking as a core industry, the securities business a core concept of banking. Their domestic sector has therefore been given preference and protection despite market reforms adopted elsewhere in China’s economy. Foreign bank presence has been ostensibly nothing, a fact that the government I believe wanted as a measure of…

201711.06
7
3

Maybe Hong Kong Matters To Someone In Particular

Hong Kong stock trading opened deep in the red last night, the Hang Seng share index falling by as much as 1.6% before rallying. We’ve seen this behavior before, notably in 2015 and early 2016. Hong Kong is supposed to be an island of stability amidst stalwart attempts near the city to mimic its results…

201710.30
4
3

It’s Never So Easy Getting Out

Hong Kong carefully built its sterling reputation (pun intended) over many years and decades. Through mostly careful rule and careful adherence to rules, there was no imbalance too big or too tough that the HKMA could not readily handle or absorb. The result was a condition that every central bank and monetary authority should strive…