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Tag Archives: currencies

The Fingerprints of Bumbling (China)

For a cabal of superpatient supergeniuses, the Chinese tend to play with fire quite often. According to many, the Communists have perfected the art of technocracy and are merely waiting out the impetuously free West. The dollar system will destroy itself (there’s the kernel of truth) allowing a perfectly positioned China to swoop in and rescue the global economy with its scientifically specified yuan. Some even have gone so far as to claim the new world order of CNY will surely be...

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Germany’s Superstimulus; Or, The Familiar (Dollar) Disorder of Bumbling Failure

The Economics textbook says that when faced with a downturn, the central bank turns to easing and the central government starts borrowing and spending. This combined “stimulus” approach will fill in the troughs without shaving off the peaks; at least according to neo-Keynesian doctrine. The point is to raise what these Economists call aggregate demand. If everyday folks don’t want to spend – because a lot of them can’t – then the government will spend on their behalf. And the central bank...

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Eurodollar University: Diagramming Repo Reserves And Negative Yields

Following up on yesterday’s look at the concept of repo reserves. These are, as hopefully that narrative retelling established, very different from the inert byproducts of QE; or, bank reserves. The explanation for record low and negative yields amounts to a pretty intuitive process, though in practice it is incredibly complex. Sovereign bonds as “pristine” repo collateral (what some Economists have called information insensitive securities not subject to adverse selection processes) are not...

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China’s Superplan; Or, The Familiar (Dollar) Disorder of Bumbling Failure

Always aspiring to technocratic greatness, China’s Communist Party is set up to run like clockwork. It’s supposed to go off in predestined fashion, a course programmed into the vast apparatus by highly proficient experts. It is, or is supposed to be, comforting that order and control over the complex main spheres of daily life can be managed down the detail and on a preset schedule. Every five years, the Communist Party holds its Congress. The main meeting is devoted to the big stuff. The...

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Collateral Reserves: What Is Behind Record Low and Negative Yields

It was truly startling when it was announced. The second and more dangerous phase of the Global Financial Crisis had begun on July 15, 2008. Within two weeks, Merrill Lynch had etched its name on the growing list of “troubled” institutions. On July 28, 2008, Merrill Lynch agreed to sell $30.6 billion gross notional amount of U.S. super senior ABS CDOs to an affiliate of Lone Star Funds for a purchase price of $6.7 billion. At the end of the second quarter of 2008, these CDOs were carried at...

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That Can’t Be Good: China Unveils Another ‘Market Reform’

The Chinese have been reforming their monetary and credit system for decades. Liberalization has been an overriding goal, seen as necessary to accompany the processes which would keep the country’s economic “miracle” on track. Or get it back on track, as the case may be. Authorities had traditionally controlled interest rates through various limits and levers. It wasn’t until October 2004, for example, that the upper limit on lending rates was rescinded. In August 2006, the mortgage rate...

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No Shock, A Bigger Theatrical Budget

You have to understand, none of this is about money or even bonds. It is all intended for one thing and one thing only: expectations. This has been the fulfillment of Paul Krugman’s long-ago criticism. The way out is to shock the system, he said. It doesn’t even matter, by this theory, what you do. So long as it is outside of every market expectation, that’s the only goal. Japan, who was the target of Dr. Krugman’s reproach, and after having consulted with the former Economist (he’s now just...

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Denying The Curve? Show Your Work

One of the primary reasons Economists go unchallenged is because they’ve made the subject matter dense and complex. Needlessly so, in many cases. Anyone in the financial media or the public who wishes to challenge Jay Powell (well, maybe not Powell) on any economic concept is as likely to get a lecture on regressions and the three or four tests the Fed uses to seek out heteroscedasticity in its models, all of which purposefully avoids answering the question originally asked. The more...

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TIC: The Calm (June) Before the Storm (August)

As far as recent times may be concerned, June 2019 wasn’t that bad of a month. Compared to some this year, it was downright uninteresting. Starting with the UST market, there was a plunge in yields (bad sign for global dollar shortage) in the second half of April and throughout May. June saw more steady trading which continued into July that was almost reflationary – until the Fed’s panicky “one and done” kicked off this month’s mess. The latest TIC figures now updated through the month of...

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US Industrial Downturn: What If Oil and Inventory Join It?

Revised estimates from the Federal Reserve are beginning to suggest another area for concern in the US economy. There hadn’t really been all that much supply side capex activity taking place to begin with. Despite the idea of an economic boom in 2017, businesses across the whole economy just hadn’t been building like there was one nor in anticipation of one. The only place where there was a truly robust trend was the oil patch. Since the last crash a few years ago, Euro$ #3, the oil sector...

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