201411.25
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Contours of the Cliff

I usually ignore sentiment surveys as, to reiterate one more time, they do not mean what people think they mean (and certainly not how they are used). The ISM Manufacturing Survey, for example, has been on fire for most of 2014 in an almost exact mirror of 2011. And just like 2011, that told us…

201411.24
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Another Year of Christmas ‘Cold Feet’

If payrolls were indeed expanding at a robust clip, then we should be able to look forward to a Christmas retail season more like pre-crisis than anything of the past few years (especially last year). Of course, most initial indications of expectations for spending actually seemed favorable to such an outcome, which may not have…

201411.21
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More Evidence For Liquidity Regime Change

There is so much depth that is missing from the ongoing discussion about the state of “markets” as the Federal Reserve purportedly moves toward “normalizing” its regime. That isn’t all that surprising given that most people still have never heard of these various moving parts, and certainly cannot easily grasp the concepts without some degree…

201411.19
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Crude and Credit Warn Of The Elongated Cycle Double Peak

Next to Japan’s “unexpected” re-acquaintance with recession, the most serious indication of global economic distress has to be oil prices. And where commentary turned to “explaining” Japanese recession as related to a small attempt at fiscal discipline rather than the more debilitating flirtation with intentional debasement, convention surrounding the precipitous plunge in crude is desperately…

201411.17
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Shortening The Road With ‘QE’ Speak

Sovereign debt is the tangible pivot by which everything in Europe depends. That speaks not just to persistent fiscal imbalances that remain, years later, unresolved, but the unspeakable financial equivalent to a doomsday scenario. The damage to the European economy from the last financial panic is slowly being revealed (as with the unrequited and un-criticized…

201411.17
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From Unqualified ‘Savior’ To Afterthought In Only Five Months

China’s figures last week were not “helpful” to the “global growth” narrative, and now Japan and Europe have contributed their share of turning sentiment. It seems as if credit markets might actually be on to something with all this bearishness standing in stark contrast to stock markets that just don’t care about much except self-feeding…

201411.17
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The Inevitable End

The word “unexpectedly” has made its appearance in Japan with the latest quarterly GDP release. Economists had forecast between +2.2% and +2.5%, so -1.6% counts for an “outlier” to commentary. This result, following a quarter where GDP already fell 7.3%, is nothing short of atrocious and leaves no doubt the disastrous shape to which Japan…

201411.14
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Not Just The Franc Showing Euro Concerns

With Europe reporting GDP, reactions have been somewhat varied. In some places, it was taken as not as bad as feared, while others were downright cheered by a lack of total collapse, as if that is now the standard for economic progress. Since GDP tends to be noisy in the short run, the major components,…

201411.14
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Consumers Simply Never Showed Up

The largest calendar segments of the retail universe are back-to-school followed closely by Christmas. The peak month for back-to-school is August which is usually the third or fourth biggest month of the year in terms of raw retail sales; with October right behind as Christmas retailing ramps up. September, which falls in between back-to-school and…