201709.25
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I Repeat

The nominal CMT yield on the benchmark 10-year US Treasury note hit its low on July 8 last year. It’s debatable, of course, as to what turned it around; I think “reflation” from there began in Japan and all those whispers of the “helicopter.” It didn’t really matter that the BoJ didn’t really consider the…

201709.19
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Swimming The ‘Dollar’ Current (And Getting Nowhere)

The People’s Bank of China reported this week that its holdings of foreign assets fell slightly again in August 2017. Down about RMB 21 billion, almost identical to the RMB 22 billion decline in July, the pace of forex withdrawals is clearly much preferable to what China’s central bank experienced (intentionally or not) late last…

201709.18
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144 Years Later, Cooke’s Legacy Still Reminds Us To Understand What Happened Not Just What Happened After

It is a great myth that before 20th century monetary inventions there were no liquidity safeguards in the country. If the Federal Reserve wasn’t founded until 1913, then it may seem that private currency elasticity before then was non-existent. The several bank panics that occurred with almost regularity in the second half of the 19th…

201709.18
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It Was Collateral, Not That We Needed Any More Proof

Eleven days ago, we asked a question about Treasury bills and haircuts. Specifically, we wanted to know if the spike in the 4-week bill’s equivalent yield was enough to trigger haircut adjustments, and therefore disrupt the collateral chain downstream. Within two days of that move in bills, the GC market for UST 10s had gone…

201709.11
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COT Report: Black (Crude) and Blue (UST’s)

Over the past month, crude prices have been pinned in a range $50 to the high side and ~$46 at the low. In the futures market, the price of crude is usually set by the money managers (how net long they shift). As discussed before, there have been notable exceptions to this paradigm including some…

201709.07
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Wherefore Art Thou Collateral?

The US Treasury as a result of the government’s bloated response to the Great “Recession” has been forced in notes and bonds to reopen their auctions each and every month. Before then, reopenings were less frequent. They weren’t infrequent, but the Treasury wasn’t just auctioning 10s every month. In 2007, for example, the Department conducted…

201708.29
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Moscow Rules (for ‘dollars’)

In Ian Fleming’s 1959 spy novel Goldfinger, he makes mention of the Moscow Rules. These were rules-of-thumb for clandestine agents working during the Cold War in the Soviet capital, a notoriously difficult assignment. Among the quips included in the catalog were, “everyone is potentially under opposition control” and “do not harass the opposition.” Fleming’s book…

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…

201708.22
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Context For The Inflation ‘Debate’

You can understand to some small degree economists’ collective confusion about inflation. They believe in wage dynamics, where a recession through mass layoffs creates slack and thus depresses wages. The recovery in a period of robust growth re-employs those unfortunate workers, and after enough time when that slack is reduced or even eliminated wages accelerate…

201708.21
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Being Rational

In April 2011, the European Central Bank’s staff and Governing Council were all optimistic. They had suffered through the panic and Great “Recession” and then the relapse in 2010 that birthed the term PIIGS. Despite all that and with considerable effort on their part (especially the purchasing of bonds), they thought there was reason to…