201802.16
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Escalation(s) TIC

According to the US Treasury Department’s Treasury International Capital (TIC) report, foreign private holders of UST’s had been selling them steadily in the last quarter of last year. Estimates including those just released for December 2017 show a total net reduction of $24 billion. While that’s not a huge number, private overseas interests typically buy…

201802.15
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Escalation(s)

This is the Year of the Dog, or it will be starting tomorrow across Asia. Tonight marks the opening of celebrations for China’s Spring Festival Golden Week. These weeklong breaks in Chinese contributions to the global system have over the past few years rarely been so uneventful. Their absence has been noted both good and…

201801.30
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You Know What They Say About Appearances

It used to be a big deal, the kind of move that would itself move markets all over the world. Very quietly, JPY has been trading higher over recent weeks and has reached a level of appreciation we haven’t seen since those rocky days in early September. Only then, a rising yen (falling dollar) was…

201801.23
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Central Bank Transparency, Or Doing Deliberate Dollar Deals With The Devil

The advent of open and transparent central banks is a relatively new one. For most of their history, these quasi-government institutions operated in secret and they liked it that way. As late as October 1993, for example, Alan Greenspan was testifying before Congress intentionally trying to cloud the issue as to whether verbatim transcripts of…

201801.17
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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…

201709.05
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Once Again, Not Korea but March

It’s hard not to put all emphasis on missile tests and other serious forms of sabre rattling. Even doing so, as the bond market may be doing right now, however, misses the underlying. Everything at the moment traces back to mid-March, which in hindsight was a very eventful month in full far away from the…

201708.23
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That’s Odd, I’ve Seen That Curve History Somewhere Before

Orthodox monetary theory tells us that central banks matter, a lot. Monetary policy is supposed to be the difference in everything from economy to currency. If one central is doing one thing and another central bank something different, it is presumed the only necessary information to infer what markets and therefore economies might do in…

201708.11
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JPY Joins EDM; End of Week Chart Dump

Brexit, Trump’s election, even the Bank of Japan rumored to be thinking helicopter. Last year was the year of thinking differently and therein was hope. No matter how many times some markets and especially media blindly accepted the “stimulus” or “recovery” judgments of economists over the years, by 2016 and the near-recession globally that accompanied…

201706.19
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TIC Consistency in April

Chinese officials earlier this month broadcast they were ready to buy US Treasury bonds again. After selling an unknown quantity (there are different figures, none of which exactly agree) over the past few years, the announcement was clearly aimed at China’s exchange rate. Officials have taken to CNY stability as a central focus of official…

201704.24
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‘Dollar’ ‘Improvement’

According to the headline TIC statistics, foreign central banks have in the past six months sold the fewest UST’s since the 6-month period ended November 2015. That may indicate an easing of “dollar” pressure in the private markets due to “reflation” sentiment. They are, however, still selling. In February 2017, the latest month available, the…