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Tag Archives: Economy

China Enters 2020 Still (Intent On) Managing Its Decline

Chinese Industrial Production accelerated further in December 2019, rising 6.9% year-over-year according to today’s estimates from China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). That was a full percentage point above consensus. IP had bottomed out right in August at a record low 4.4%, and then, just as this wave of renewed optimism swept the world, it has rebounded alongside it. Rather than suggest the global economy is picking up, or ended last year in a “good place”, when placed in context of...

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Neither US Retail Nor Industry Ended 2019 In A Good Place

US retail sales were disappointing in December 2019, though it depends upon your perspective for what that means. Unadjusted, total retail sales were 6.01% more last month than the same month of the prior year. It was the highest year-over-year growth rate since October 2018. The reason was entirely due to base effects. You might remember Christmas 2018 for its disastrous sales. Unless the economy struck another landmine, while still struggling in the aftermath of that previous one, the...

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MacroView: 2020 Market & Investment Outlook

On Tuesday, Michael Lebowitz and I held private events with our high net worth clients to review our investment strategy and outlook for the rest of the year. The purpose of these events was to provide clarity on portfolio allocation, weightings,  and the risks that could potentially lead to large losses of capital. As we noted in last weekend’s newsletter, we recently took profits in our various portfolio strategies to raise cash slightly, and reduce excess portfolio risk. Given our...

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Germany, Maybe Europe: No Signs Of The Bottom

For anyone thinking the global economy is turning around, it’s not the kind of thing you want to hear. Germany has been Ground Zero for this globally synchronized downturn. That’s where it began, meaning first showed up, all the way back at the start of 2018. Ever since, the German economy has been pulling Europe down into the economic abyss along with it, being ahead of the curve in signaling what was to come for the whole rest of the global economy. The ECB, many complained, had panicked in...

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Why So Much Fuss Over SOFR?

More than two years into the SOFR regime, it’s not really going all that well. Adoption remains, shall we say, questionable and uncertain even though, everyone says, LIBOR is on its way out and the Secured Overnight Financing Rate is the future. Jumbled together by the Fed’s New York branch, the latter is, we are told, superior in every conceivable way. Tell that to Chicago. Over on the CME, what you find in actual trading is no discernable decline in eurodollar futures volume and open...

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Inflation, But Only At The Morgue

Why is everyone so angry? How can socialism possibly be on such a rise, particularly among younger people around the world? Why are Americans suddenly dying off? According to one study, two-thirds of millennials are convinced they are doing worse when compared to their parents’ generation. Sixty-two percent say they are living paycheck to paycheck, with no savings and no way to get any (though they also tend to “overspend” when compared to other age groups). Worst of all, premature deaths....

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Why 2014? Less (Big) Banks, Fewer ‘Dollars’, No Growth

One of the biggest reasons why I always find the regulations explanation(s) so lacking is because of what is the biggest part of the scientific process. The excuses for problems in global liquidity and the dollar-based banking system in general have run the gamut of regulatory exercises. Who can forget, for one example, 2a7? That was 2016’s preferred explanation for a range of imbalances and “anomalies” that showed up at seemingly the most inopportune time. Always “unexpectedly.” The...

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De-dollarization By Default Is Not What You Might Think

Last month, a group of central bank governors from across the South Pacific region gathered in Australia to move forward the idea of a KYC utility. If you haven’t heard of KYC, or know your customer, it is a growing legal requirement that is being, and has been, imposed on banks all over the world. Spurred by anti-money laundering efforts undertaken first by the European Union, more and more governments are forcing global banks to take part. KYC is a particularly onerous demand. Essentially a...

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Clarida Picks Up Some Data

I should know better than to make declarative all-or-none statements like this. I said there isn’t any data which comports with the idea of a global turnaround, this shakeup in sentiment which since early September has gone right from one extreme to the other. Recession fears predominated in summer only to be (rather easily) replaced by near euphoria (again). Narrative yes, sentiment maybe, data nope. The vast majority of the economic accounts, anyway. There are a few which might suggest...

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Not Abating, Not By A Longshot

Since I advertised the release last week, here’s Mexico’s update to Industrial Production in November 2019. The level of production was estimated to have fallen by 1.8% from November 2018. It was up marginally on a seasonally-adjusted basis from its low in October. That doesn’t sound like much, -1.8%, but apart from recent months this would’ve been the third worst result since 2009. Mexico has rarely experienced that kind of seemingly mild contraction. It signals how something has...

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