And Now For Something Completely Different

Back in February, Japan’s Cabinet Office reported that Real GDP in Japan had grown in Q4 2017 for the eighth consecutive quarter. It was the longest streak of non-negative GDP since the 1980’s. Predictably, this was hailed as some significant achievement, a true masterstroke of courage and perseverance. It was taken as a sign that…


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…



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…


This Explains A LOT (And It’s Still Not Enough)

NOTE: This is really the second half of an earlier missive on the changing nature of the eurodollar system post 2014-16. While it’s not absolutely necessary to read the first here, it’s probably a good idea. The reason nothing ever goes in a straight line is that first everything is always changing. How and why…

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Japan Is Booming, Except It’s Not

Japan is hot, really hot. Stocks are up to level not seen since 1996 (Nikkei 225). Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called snap elections in Parliament to secure a supermajority and it worked. Things seem to be sparkling all over the place, with the arrow pointing up: “Hopes for a global economic recovery and US shares’…


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…


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…


Global Asset Allocation Update:

There is no change to the risk budget this month. For the moderate risk investor, the allocation between risk assets and bonds is unchanged at 50/50. There are no changes to the portfolio this month. The growth and inflation outlook continued to weaken somewhat since last month’s update. Certainly nothing very dramatic though, just a…


‘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…


The Basis For The Changing Basis

It is simply the nature of modern Economics to get most things backward. Positive Economics particularly in the form of econometrics has been like a declaration of ignorance, where Economists have formally decided to try and understand as little as possible. If you know anything about statistics you know why, for the one thing that…