201805.15
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An India Canary?

The sweeping tide of populist election victories has not been limited to just the US and Europe. There have been torrents in Asia, too. Though there is some disagreement whether he counts among them or not, India’s Narendra Modi swept to a historic electoral triumph in May 2014 sure sounding a lot like one, maybe…

201804.25
3
12

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…

201804.03
3
8

Curse of the Zombie Junk

If the road to Hell is paved with good intentions, in economic terms the paving is done by zombies. We’ve all heard of the convention regarding Japanification. In desperation trying to avoid a worse fate, many of Japan’s tortured financial institutions were left open and operating so as to not force losses too much at…

201803.02
2
7

Chart of the Week; This One’s Easy

What do August 2008, August 2011, and January 2016 all have in common? In pop culture or mainstream news, I’m not sure you could find any consistent link between those precise periods. Even in economics, it’s not quite as uniform. Those were all forming or beckoning downturns, but all at somewhat different stages of them….

201802.05
2
4

What Happened To The iPhone?

When Apple first came out with the iPhone in 2007, it was truly a revolutionary product. Even for those of us who hadn’t been impressed with Apple’s computers had to tip our caps to Steve Jobs (and team) for what they had pulled off. He knew it, of course, which is why earlier that year…

201802.05
5
2

The Austerity Path

What happened to the recovery? It’s a complex question with a surprisingly simple answer. The density of the topic, particularly entangled as it was in close proximity to the calamity of the Great “Recession”, clouded the diagnosis. If you ask ten different academic economists you might get ten different answers, though I suspect seven or…

201801.23
5
3

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…

201801.22
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4

For All That Seems To Go Right, What’s Always Missing?

On April 29, 2011, the US benchmark oil price (WTI) surged above $113 per barrel. It wasn’t just American oil prices, either, as other benchmarks around the world were on a huge run. It was the highest for crude oil in three years, going back to the weeks immediately following Lehman. At that price, more…

201801.22
5
2

COT Green: DXY’s Future(s)

As with other prices, if we are interested in what’s going on with dollar exchange values (not be confused with eurodollars, the shadow conditions behind everything) we have to start with the futures market. Unlike UST’s or WTI, the one standing for the dollar index, or DXY in this case, isn’t particularly massive. That may…

201801.22
7
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The Shadow on the Falling Dollar

On November 29, 2009, the government of Dubai shocked the world with a statement acknowledging trouble with its debt load. Dubai World, a government-owned conglomerate that was the conduit for the country’s oil-fueled debt extravaganza that had literally transformed the nation, asked for a “stand still” from creditors in order to extend maturities until May…