201805.18
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TIC in March

When we last left off with the TIC data, the figures showed pretty clearly Japan’s retreat from “dollar” dealing during January and February. Global liquidations occurred during January and February. Therefore, it was reasonable to speculate upon Japanese origins of those liquidations. That wasn’t the only interesting development revealed by TIC. Over in Hong Kong,…

201805.18
1
6

Welcome Back To The Wasteland

I believe if you were to ask most people their definition of the worst economic case, they would respond with some description of a crash. An exceedingly large contraction that spares practically no one, destroying much in its path. Like what followed 1929, that would seem to qualify. It’s why we spend so much time…

201805.16
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And Now For Something Completely Different

Back in February, Japan’s Cabinet Office reported that Real GDP in Japan had grown in Q4 2017 for the eighth consecutive quarter. It was the longest streak of non-negative GDP since the 1980’s. Predictably, this was hailed as some significant achievement, a true masterstroke of courage and perseverance. It was taken as a sign that…

201805.15
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Global Asset Allocation Update

The risk budget changes this month as I add back the 5% cash raised in late October. For the moderate risk investor, the allocation to bonds is still 50% while the risk side now rises to 50% as well. I raised the cash back in late October due to the extreme overbought nature of the…

201805.04
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6

Three Point Nine, Still No Boundary For Sanity

For all its tortured economic history since 1989, Japan has never really had an unemployment problem. Going by its unemployment rate alone, conditions don’t ever appear to be all that out of line. At its worst, in both the dot-com recession as well as Japan’s experience during the Great “Recession”, the highest it ever got…

201805.02
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Japan’s Longer History With Bull

File it under the things they wish you would never find out. On March 25, 2003, two years into what was supposed to be a temporary intervention, the Bank of Japan gathered for another policy meeting to discuss what they might do. They had launched the world’s first ZIRP in February 1999, ended it August…

201804.25
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It’s The Track Record That Is Unaccounted-for Risk

No one seems able to account for the rise in LIBOR-OIS. I think it’s a vain effort, and focuses on the wrong segments, but nonetheless there is considerable uncertainty which always casts suspicions into the shadows. That is important.  A few weeks ago, all the big bank analysts were alight with their theories. They couldn’t…

201804.20
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Transitory’s Japanese Cousin

Thomas Hoenig was President of the Federal Reserve’s Kansas City branch for two decades. He left that post in 2011 to become Vice Chairman of the FDIC. Before that, Mr. Hoenig as a voting member of the FOMC in 2010 cast the lone dissenting vote in each of the eight policy meetings that year (meaning…

201804.18 8

Can We Blame Japan For The Liquidations (and HKD)? Right Now It Sure Seems That Way

February was a very interesting month, wasn’t it? There was the pause or even end of the inflation hysteria driven home by “unexpected” liquidations in markets all over the world. On top of those, LIBOR-OIS blew out and all the absurd explanations put forth for it, and even outright lies. Needless to say (write), I’ve…

201804.13
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Global Asset Allocation Update: The Certainty of Uncertainty

There is no change to the risk budget this month. For the moderate risk investor, the allocation to bonds is 50%, risk assets 45% and cash 5%. Stocks continued their erratic ways since the last update with another test of the February lows that are holding – for now. While we believe growth expectations are moderating…