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Tag Archives: EuroDollar

China’s Wolf, Not Dragon

Much of the original thesis on economic decoupling surrounded myths of what were believed invulnerable economies. Emerging markets might see some slowing during 2008, but they weren’t supposed to drop off. China was right at the top of everyone’s list, the unstoppable force then transforming the world’s political as well as economic order. In the early months of the Global Financial Crisis (how was it global, again?), that was how it went. The US and much of Europe were in deep trouble. The...

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Dimmed Hopes In China Cars, Too

As noted earlier this week, the world’s two big hopes for the global economy in the second half are pinned on the US labor market continuing to exert its purported strength and Chinese authorities stimulating out of every possible (monetary) opening. Incoming data, however, continues to point to the fallacies embedded within each. The US labor market is a foundation of non-inflationary sand, and China’s “stimulus” is proving again to be little more than ad hoc deflection of an enormous...

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Commodities And The Future Of China’s Stall

Commodity prices continued to fall last month. According to the World Bank’s Pink Sheet catalog, non-energy commodity prices accelerated to the downside. Falling 9.4% on average in May 2019 when compared to average prices in May 2018, it was the largest decline since the depths of Euro$ #3 in February 2016. Base metal prices (excluding iron) also continue to register sharp reductions. Down 16% on average last month, that level nearly matches January and the biggest negative price change in...

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Payrolls: Rate Cuts Not Of Their Choice

It’s never just one payroll report. The month-to-month changes in the Establishment Survey barely qualify as statistically significant, let alone meaningful. What that means is one good monthly headline is nothing to get excited about, just as one bad month shouldn’t get anyone too worked up. May 2019’s jobs report, however, isn’t in isolation. The headline for the Establishment Survey was +75k, well below expectations. On top of that, last month’s blowout (or what passes for one these days)...

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Trade Wars Will Be The New Subprime

Trade wars are rapidly turning into subprime mortgages. A few billion in tariffs will have wrecked the entire global economy, they’ll claim. Just like all that toxic waste subprime mortgage fiasco led inevitably to the Great “Recession” and global panic. Neither will be true, except insofar as both were symptoms of the far greater cause. The other thing actually responsible for messes. Both of them. For one of the few times, I have to agree with what Ben Bernanke said when he told the...

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Chart (Deluge) Of The Month

In Europe, the ECB’s minutes for its April 2019 meeting claimed: Financial market developments, which were typically more forward looking, were more upbeat. In the US, the Federal Reserve’s minutes for its April 2019 meeting claimed: Participants noted that even if global economic and financial conditions continued to improve, a patient approach would likely remain warranted, especially in an environment of continued moderate economic growth and muted inflation pressures. Let’s see if we can...

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Central Bankers Follow Bonds, Then Insist They Aren’t And That Bonds Agree With Them

When central bankers use the word “financial” in an economic context, they mean exclusively stocks. Maybe that’s somewhat appropriate given how bonds are so often treated as monetary equivalents. Then again, if that is the case in the official view, how does anyone reconcile bonds with anything? Economy or money? The hard answer is that officials don’t really care about yields. They “decompose” them into what they think are discrete components and then analyze the yield sausage as needed....

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China’s Big Stimulus

Earlier this month, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) reduced the percentage of liquid reserves some banks are required to hold. Effective May 15, the Chinese central bank estimated that the policy change would release about RMB 280 billion into the system. This RRR discount, however, was only applied to small and medium-sized banks. The reserve rate for large banks has been the same since late January when the PBOC allowed for two reductions (on top of three others before them). Monetary...

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Three-For-One In Poor Housing Data

We all know the shorthand. The Federal Reserve influences if not controls economic activity by raising and lowering the federal funds apparatus. Reducing the monetary policy targets is stimulus because everyone loves lower interest costs. Raising them therefore has the opposite effect. More direct and visible consequences are supposed to be observed first in the interest rate sensitive sectors of the economy. Wherever borrowing is a substantial input, meaning borrowing costs, monetary policy...

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The Chicago Way Isn’t Even Partway And It’s Still Not Good For Powell, US Economy

In March 1999, Economists James Stock of Harvard and Mark Watson of Princeton published a paper in the Journal of Monetary Economics seeking answers for an inflation problem. For many years, it had been accepted that the unemployment rate was the only measure of economic activity necessary to infer inflation. The implications were enormous, especially in the age of interest rate targeting when central banks operated via expectations instead of money. This shift, among other things, meant...

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