Commodities

Economy Turns Down: Commodity And Producer Prices Like Labor

By |2019-10-08T13:17:18-04:00October 7th, 2019|Commodities, Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets|

It wasn’t just you, me, and common sense which were puzzled by the labor shortage of 2018. In his first few months on the job, Federal Reserve Chairman Jay Powell would reference the unemployment rate quite often in setting his view of the economy’s trajectory. As it fell lower and lower, it spiked his expectations for inflationary pressures. The level [...]

Big Picture: Long-Term Trends In Markets

By |2019-09-26T17:13:38-04:00September 26th, 2019|Bonds, Commodities, Currencies, Markets, Real Estate, Stocks|

The investment industry is always focused on the short-term, an attempt I think to justify fees through activity. A recent example is the breathless reporting about a short term shift toward value stocks. Value has underperformed for so long that everyone is hyper-focused on finding the inflection point so every wiggle in that direction is hailed as the turning point. [...]

Copper Confirmed

By |2019-09-03T19:33:19-04:00September 3rd, 2019|Commodities, Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets|

Copper prices behave more deliberately than perhaps prices in other commodity markets. Like gold, it is still set by a mix of economic (meaning physical) and financial (meaning collateral and financing). Unlike gold, there doesn’t seem to be any rush to get to wherever the commodity market is going. Over the last several years, it has been more long periods [...]

Gold: Big Difference Which Kind of Hedge It Truly Is

By |2019-08-30T16:33:17-04:00August 30th, 2019|Bonds, Commodities, Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets|

It isn’t inflation which is driving gold higher, at least not the current levels of inflation. According to the latest update from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation calculation, the PCE Deflator, continues to significantly undershoot. Monetary policy explicitly calls for that rate to be consistent around 2%, an outcome policymakers keep saying they expect but [...]

Monthly Macro Monitor: Market Indicators Review

By |2019-08-29T16:08:52-04:00August 29th, 2019|Alhambra Research, Bonds, Commodities, Currencies, Markets, Monthly Macro Monitor|

This is a companion piece to last week's Monthly Macro report found here. The Treasury market continues to price in lower nominal and real growth. The stress, the urgency, I see in some of these markets is certainly concerning and consistent with what we have seen in the past at the onset of recession. The move in Treasuries is by [...]

The Corroboration and Costs of Fear Gold

By |2019-08-27T17:02:18-04:00August 27th, 2019|Bonds, Commodities, Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets|

Gold is the ultimate hedge, but it is far from perfect. Unlike, say, sovereign bonds there should be no expectation for a negatively correlated price. You can buy a UST or German bund even at negative yields and at least expect the price to rise when things are at their worst. Flight to safety or flight to liquidity. You can’t [...]

COT Black: Not Transitory, The Landmine In Crude Means A Lot More Than Crude

By |2019-08-07T10:57:12-04:00August 7th, 2019|Commodities, Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets|

Supply glut or demand disappearing? We are back to asking that question again after four years. In late 2014 and early 2015, the conventional answer was shale. The US had begun producing so much oil there was a glut of supply. Without an outlet for it, all the crude began building up primarily in Cushing, OK. All that was true [...]

Monthly Macro Monitor: Market Indicators Review

By |2019-07-19T18:19:10-04:00July 19th, 2019|Alhambra Research, Bonds, Commodities, Currencies, Economy, Markets, Monthly Macro Monitor|

The markets we use to monitor the economy (and those that influence it, which amounts to the same thing) have been tracking an economic slowdown since the 4th quarter of last year. That's when interest rates, real and nominal, long term and short term, started to decline, credit spreads started to widen and the copper to gold ratio started to [...]

The Lying Statistics Behind Globally Synchronized Growth, And What It Could Mean For The Globally Synchronized Downturn

By |2019-07-12T16:13:18-04:00July 12th, 2019|Commodities, Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets|

Numbers really don’t tell us much all by themselves. Context always matters. That’s why 19th century British statesman Benjamin Disraeli claimed there are three kinds of lies; lies, damned lies, and statistics. Numbers employed in isolation are either misleading or useless. In the 20th century, Darrell Huff wrote in his classic How To Lie With Statistics: Averages and relationships and [...]

Copper And Oil Walked Out On The Last Puppet Show

By |2019-06-05T16:07:26-04:00June 5th, 2019|Bonds, Commodities, Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets|

Where have you gone, green shoots? The Fed turned dovish, a bunch of transitory factors, and, above all, so much Chinese stimulus. That’s what got everyone through the winter. Markets were truly harsh to end 2018, a sharp slap in the face after all year the unemployment rate. One of the big ones that seemed evidence for green shoots was [...]

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