What China’s Trade Conditions Say About The Right Side Of ‘L’

Chinese exports rose 12.9% year-over-year in April 2018. Imports were up 20.9%. As always, both numbers sound impressive but they are far short of rates consistent with a growing global economy. China’s participation in global growth, synchronized or not, is a must. The lack of acceleration on the export side tells us a lot about…


Someone Is On Drugs, Alright

For the second straight quarter, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates US productivity growth was less than 1%. That’s not surprising given the weakening in output as measured by GDP, the data reported by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). Productivity is the bridge between the BLS’s labor numbers and the more general economic…


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…

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Globally Synchronized Disappointment

Like so many financial prices, copper’s is tied to both money and economic fundamentals. They call it Dr. Copper for a reason, good as it has been in suggesting ahead of time the direction for the global economy. China is as central for the setting there as well as in “dollars.” During the early days…

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Groundhog Day Comes To Economic Risk

If we are analyzing funding risks of late, which is a perfectly natural thing to do given where things stand, we shouldn’t only focus on the technical aspects. Sure, there is LIBOR-OIS and all that jazz in Hong Kong. But there are other quite simple components to consider, too. If there is a cycle to…


Moving Past The Oily Path of Least Resistance?

On April 6, the Trump administration announced a new round of sanctions imposed upon certain Russian officials, persons, and businesses. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin announced their purported purpose in a letter: “The Russian government operates for the disproportionate benefit of oligarchs and government elites.” Russia’s currency, the ruble (RUB), fell sharply after the announcement as…


COT Blue: Which BOND ROUT!!!! Was It Really?

The only way to change the meaning of a word like “transitory” is to put together a constant string of temporary factors that when taken individually keep with the traditional definition but in combination completely obliterate it. Something happens to knock inflation off track, and then just as soon as that one thing is about…

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The Best ‘Reflation’ Indicator May Be Japanese

Japanese industrial production dropped sharply in January 2018, Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry reported last month. Seasonally-adjusted, the IP index fell 6.8% month-over-month from December 2017. Since the country has very little mining sector to speak of, and Japan’s IP doesn’t include utility output, this was entirely manufacturing in nature (99.79% of the…


COT Black: Whose Seasonality?

Is there a seasonal pattern to oil prices? It is beginning to look that way, though statistical purests would object to a sample size of two. Over the past couple of years, the switch between “reflation” and anti-“reflation” has taken on a little too much familiarity in terms of time and timing. In the summer…


Inflation? Not Even Reflation

The conventional interpretation of “reflation” in the second half of 2016 was that it was simply the opening act, the first step in the long-awaiting global recovery. That is what reflation technically means as distinct from recovery; something falls off, and to get back on track first there has to be acceleration to make up…