September 2008 - Daily Pfennig

A free, quick-reading daily e-letter on world currencies, economic trends, and the occasional baseball score.

Daily Pfennig

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  • An Attitude Change...

    * Dollar rallies Big! * Commodities in a free fall... * Yen remains untouched... * Data risk this week... ** An Attitude Change... Good day... And a Terrific Tuesday to you! Welcome to September! I hope you had a Wonderful Holiday Weekend. I sure did! It was the end of 4 weeks of treatments. We have beautiful weather. I enjoyed a day of football on Saturday, with my little buddy Alex, playing Saturday morning, and my beloved Missouri Tigers playing Saturday night. Sunday was fantabulous, as I hung around the backyard, and neighbors and friends all stopped by to spend the day... Just great! I had to rest up my leg yesterday, as it was swelling a bit from all the walking and standing, but back to normal today, so, it's all good! Not so for the euro and other currencies this morning. Front and Center this morning, the euro has fallen further, all the way through the 1.45 handle! Seems that Hurricane Gustav didn't disrupt the Oil production as many had feared, and the price of Oil has fallen $115, after trading as high as $119 on Friday, ahead of the storm. Gold too has taken on gallons of dollar water, and has diluted the price of the shiny metal to $805, after traded near $845 last Thursday. And Commodities? That's not a pretty sight, the free fall of commodities... And thus the Commodity Currencies of Aussie and Kiwi, and even the Canadian dollar have all seen the trap door opened up underneath them by this dollar move....
  • An Aussie Rate Cut!

    * Dollar rally continues... * Eurozone data prints weak... * Oil sees a HUGE drop! * WAKE UP, China! ** An Aussie Rate Cut! Good day... And a Wonderful Wednesday to you! I'm shaking my head this morning and wondering what its going to take to get this dollar rally stopped before it gets out of hand, and the exports get killed once again. And if the exports get killed, the Current Account Deficit begins to swell again, and so on and so on. This dollar strength is not good for our economy at this stage, but that's what we have, and I'm wondering who wrote the book of love! I recall the last time we saw the dollar smokin' hot like this, 2005... I sure hope the nasty emails to me don't start again... You should have seen some of these emails, they would embarrass a sailor! OK, that's just a saying, I'm not picking on sailors! You have to say these disclaimers or else there will be someone that gets upset and fires off a nasty email. What's happened in society that email has allowed people to say things they would never say to someone's face? It's brought out the Mr. Hyde in people, for sure!...
  • Central Bank Meeting Day...

    * Euro fights back... * Germany Factory Orders drop... * BOE & ECB meeting today... * Riksbank raises rates! ** Central Bank Meeting Day... Good day... And a Thunderin' Thursday to you! A rainy Thursday for us here in St. Louis, as the rains from Gustav reach this area. There's another Hurricane in the Caribbean now... There are two Central Bank meetings going on as I write this morning. The European Central Bank (ECB) and Bank of England (BOE) both are meeting this morning, and both are expected to leave rates unchanged. More on this in a bit, the Fed's Beige Book, and more this morning, so let's go! Front and Center this morning, the euro spent yesterday on the rally tracks recovering from a 5-month low... When I turned on the screens this morning, the single unit was trading above 1.45 again, on expectations that the ECB would leave rates unchanged. But I've seen a softening in the euro, since arriving, that has come from an unexpected drop in German Factory Orders for the month of July....
  • More Dollar Strength!

    * Trichet's words sink the euro rally... * A New Conspiracy theory... * Japanese yen continues to rally! * An Announcement... ** More Dollar Strength! Good day... And a Happy Friday to one and all! It has not started out as a Fantastico Friday, just a Fun Friday... No wait! Just because the dollar is running around the end with the ball, and the currencies can't catch up with the greenback, is no reason to allow it to filter through to my feelings about each and every day! That's right! I'm feeling like there's a ton of weight on my shoulders right now, with this dollar strength, and everyone jumping ship... But, I promised myself over a year ago that if I was able to fight cancer and come out on top, that I would celebrate each day... And that's what I try to do! So... I'll make it a Fantastico Friday after all! The euro's two-day rally VS the dollar got stuffed in a box and shipped to sea yesterday. The single unit looked as though it would add to the rally that took it above 1.45 but as I was signing off yesterday the euro was giving back its gains VS the dollar... And soon, it would give back more than the two-day rally's gains....
  • Another Government Bailout!

    * Fannie & Freddie news... * Jobs Jamboree very disappointing! * Risk Taking back on the board! * Troubles brewing in China? ** Another Government Bailout! Good day... And a Marvelous Monday to you! We had some historic economic news over the weekend as the Gov't has decided to take over Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae... When I heard the news, I made sure I would check on the currencies later in the day when the Asian markets opened. At first, it was all dollar negative news, and the euro was flying high to near the 1.44 handle... So... I went to bed thinking that the markets would be a shambles this morning when I got to work, etc. etc. But, that's not the case, as I turned on the currency screens I saw the euro had lost all that ground it had gained and is back to looking sickly around 1.42 again. In fact, I just looked over, and the single unit has given up the 1.42 handle and is trading below... I'm searching and searching for news on this strong dollar move, and can't seem to find anything... So, I'll go on with the normal fun, and see if something pops up later as I go along......
  • Does The Bail Out Constitute A CDS Event?

    * A potential CDS debacle... * Currencies rally back... * Brazilian real history... * Saber rattling or geopolitical pressure? ** Does The Bail Out Constitute A CDS Event? Good day... And a Terrific Tuesday to you! Right out of the starters blocks this morning, I have to apologize for the tardiness of the Pfennig yesterday... We were experiencing some technical difficulties... In fact, if you sent me an email, I didn't get it yesterday! Things look better this morning, so, maybe we're back on track! I know it's no one's fault when this stuff happens, but it sure doesn't make me feel good about getting up at X:XX AM (I won't say because you will think I'm crazy!) to come in and write the Pfennig, only to see it not go out until late in the day! Well... The stock market here in the U.S. sure liked the news about Fannie and Freddie! I guess, they, just like the dollar bulls, didn't get the memo that this will put billions of dollars of tax burden on taxpayers, and most likely is going to cause a major disruption in the Credit Default Swaps (CDS) that are on the books... Oh, well, we have to learn to deal with mental giants all our lives, this is just another case of that!...
  • Scaredy Cats!

    * Not your father's currency traders.... * The euro does the rope-a-dope... * Deep Thoughts * Jimmy Rogers on the bail out... ** Scaredy Cats! Good day... And a Wonderful Wednesday to you! Hurricane Ike moves into the Gulf... Which way it goes from here isn't good for anyone. We had another day of watching the euro rally during the day, only to see it fizzle out by the end of the day. I go home each night and think all the way home about all this stuff going on, and wonder just who in their right minds would be buying dollars right now... Scaredy Cats that's who... So... Here you go... Deep Thoughts by chuck butler... Here's the skinny on that thought... Ever since the Fed, Bank of Japan (BOC), and European Central Bank (ECB) intervened in their coordinated, covert operation, market participants and traders are scared to death to short dollars, for fear of more intervention that could wipe out their trades, and post losses for them. Come on... These aren't the currency traders that I grew up with! Those traders took any Central Bank intervention as a "challenge" and would laugh in the face of Central Bank intervention! Central Bank intervention usually meant it was a desperate measure to shore up a currency, and that was like blood in the water for a shark... Currency traders would hit that currency even harder! But not these scaredy cats! That's one thing I think about... And then there's this......
  • Falling In And Out Of Love...

    * Euro sinks to 1-year low... * RBNZ cuts rates 25 BPS... * Carry Trades continue to unwind... * Fannie and Freddie cause problems for banks... ** Falling In And Out Of Love... Good day... And a Thunderin' Thursday to you! Today we mark 7 years since the "monsters" attacked our great nation and thousands of lives were lost needlessly. My blood still boils at the thought of what happened on Sept 11, 2001, and the thoughts of the twin towers coming down still flashes in my mind. 7 years ago today, we witnessed the horrific scenes from terrorists in our country. I recall trying to come up with words the next day, and just couldn't, so I stuck to currencies, in attempt to keep things as normal as they could be. I hope everyone flies their flag today in remembrance of this day 7 years ago. OK... We're seeing a complete meltdown in the currencies this morning, folks.. The euro has fallen to the low 1.39 handle, and all is looking quite bleak for the single unit right now. Our metals trader, Kristin, sent me this note that she came across regarding the euro......
  • Dollar bulls take a breather...

    * Dollar bulls take a breather... * Paulson is out of control... * From the mouth of babes... * Fingers crossed for Chuck... ** Dollar bulls take a breather... Good day...Just as Chuck predicted, we had a Thundering Thursday yesterday, as thunderstorms moved into the St Louis area early yesterday and are expected to stick around throughout the weekend. Yesterday was a pretty slow day in the currency markets, with the dollar trading in a fairly tight range, but overnight the dollar changed direction and we saw it lose ground across the board for the first time in weeks. This turnaround was seen in the European markets as traders finally started to realize the speed of the increase in the US$ was overdone. But before I get going this morning, I need to run a public service announcement for Chuck. Yesterday's Pfennig announced that the Reserve Bank of New Zealand cut interest rates .25%. This was in error, the bank actually cut .50% to a rate of 7.5%. Chuck realized his error just after hit the send button, and wanted to make sure I let everyone know (He received more than a few emails from readers letting him know his error). The extra quarter point cut was aimed at giving the NZD a good jump start, and Governor Alan Bollard is indicating more rate cuts will be on the way: "We've got room to move,.. We're in a loosening mode." The reaction of the currency markets was the same with a 50 bps cut as it would have been with a 25 bps cut, they sold off the kiwi as the interest rate differentials narrowed....
  • Financial storms claim two more...

    * Financial storms claim two more victims... * Yen and Swiss Francs move back up... * Euro approaches 1.45 before reversing course... * Oil below $100... ** Financial storms claim two more... Good day... The financial storm claimed another victim this weekend as Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. filed for bankruptcy after being unable to find a buyer. Bank of America, who was rumored to be bidding on Lehman ended up buying Merrill Lynch & Co and AIG Inc. is asking the fed for an emergency loan. All of this financial turmoil has sent the dollar lower vs. most of the major currencies as investors are beginning to realize the situation in the US markets is worse than the rest of the world. Over the past three months, currency traders have rallied the dollar on the basis that the US was in better shape than Europe. They will now need to rethink their strategies, as the past few weekends show just how bad the US financial sector is ailing. And unfortunately, their will likely be more to come. Risk aversion is a popular theme in the markets again, and the purchase of US treasuries actually helped to keep the US$ from falling further....
  • Congratulations to Chuck...

    * Great news from Chuck... * FOMC could lower rates... * TIC flows to slow... * Yen and SFR continue to rally... ** Congratulations to Chuck... Good day... I want to start this mornings Pfennig off with a note Chuck sent the trade desk last night: "The doctor called, and I'm CLEAN! My scans were clean, and, I'm officially off the Sutent, and considered a "Cancer Survivor" now! YIPPEE!" I know the markets are in a state of turmoil, but that great news from Chuck took precedence over anything I could write about the currencies. It looks like Chuck's positive attitude along with all of our prayers have beaten back the cancer (I guess his doctors and the new medicines deserve some of the credit also). Congratulations to Chuck, can't wait to shake his hand when he returns from the first week of the FXU tour. But now lets move on to the markets. I was so focused on the Wall Street turmoil yesterday that I failed to mention the FOMC will be meeting today. Just a few weeks ago, the markets were calling for an interest rate increase by the Fed to tackle inflation. But the events of this past weekend, along with a dramatic drop in the price of oil, has many calling for another interest rate cut. The Central Bank has already injected billions of money into the markets to try and calm them after the bankruptcy of Lehman. The Federal Reserve yesterday added $70 billion in reserves, the most since the September 2001 terrorist attacks. The funds were needed as banks and financial firms tightened up their lending in reaction to the financial turmoil....
  • Paulson speaks with forked tongue...

    * Paulson speaks with forked tongue... * Fed leaves rates unchanged... * A look back at the data... * Japan to weather the financial Tsunami... ** Paulson speaks with forked tongue... Good day...Another day, another $85 billion of US taxpayer used to bail out an ailing financial firm. Yes, our Treasury Secretary went on another shopping spree, and this time he was accompanied by Fed Reserve Chairman Ben Barnanke. Just two days ago, Paulson drew a line in the sand when he let Lehman Brothers collapse into bankruptcy. The non-action from Paulson was seen as a good move by most, as he was sending a signal to the markets that the US taxpayer couldn't be seen as the buyer of last resort for failed financial firms. And Paulson talked tough with regard to AIG. Paulson was asked about reports that AIG wanted an emergency loan to help it through its troubles. "What is going on right now in New York has got nothing to do with any bridge loan from the government," he replied. "What's going on in New York is a private sector effort, again, focused on dealing with an important issue that's, I think, important that the financial system work on right now, and there's not more I can say than that....
  • Sanity returns to the currency market...

    * Sanity returns to the currency market... * Chucks thoughts from San Diego... * CDS market explanation... * Swiss central bank to leave rates unchanged... ** Sanity returns to the currency market... Good day...Wow! What a day it was yesterday on the currency/metals desk here at EverBank. Finally, some sanity returned to the markets as investors moved out of their dollar holdings and into both currencies and metals. Gold was up over $80 yesterday, and continues to climb this morning. The Aussie dollar was up over 2%, climbing back above .80 cents and the Euro climbed back above $1.45. The dollar was up pretty much across the board, making for a very busy day here on the desk. Chuck also had a great day down in San Diego with FXU. He sent me the following late last night which he asked me to share with you....
  • Paulson and Bernanke ride to the rescue...

    * Paulson and Bernanke ride to the rescue... * More debt for the US taxpayer... * Emerging markets rally... * Congrats to EverBank Soccer Greats... ** Paulson and Bernanke ride to the rescue... Ahoy thar maties.. Yesterday was a very volatile day in what has become an incredibly choppy week. The currency and metals markets began the day rallying vs. the dollar as it seemed yet another huge financial firm was circling the bowl. But late in the afternoon the dollar came charging back, and gold fell back below $850 after surpassing $900, ARRGH! So what caused this quick reversal? Senator Schumer was credited with turning the markets around. He announced, mid afternoon, that the Federal Reserve and Treasury were going to create a new government institution which would purchase all of the toxic debt instruments being held by Wall Street. Wall Street obviously thought this was just a fantastic idea, and the stock market immediately rallied, taking the dollar with it. The details of the plan still aren't available, but the markets have been desperately searching for a hero to come and rescue them, so even the hint of a rescue was enough to shoot stocks back up. The proposal currently being discussed in congress involves moving troubled assets from the balance sheets of American financial companies into a new government backed institution. The SEC also instituted a ban on short selling of financial stocks, copying a similar ban which was instituted yesterday in London. Chuck had a travel day yesterday as the FXU moved from San Diego to Dallas, but he was keeping an eye on the markets and sent me this last night....
  • Goldman and Morgan Stanley Are Now Banks!

    * Currencies see some healing... * $1 Trillion and counting... * Gold and Silver rebound! * The Currency Capitalist... ** Goldman and Morgan Stanley Are Now Banks! Good day... And a Marvelous Monday to you! Someone along the road last week stopped by to tell me that I was too "Cheery" each morning with my salutations! He laughed, because of course he was kidding... But as I told him... If you're told what I was told last summer, each and every day is a day to be cheery about, no matter what's going on in the markets! Well... That was quite the trip last week, 3 cities in one week... In October I do 5 cities in 10 days... And then of course we had the goings on of last week... I really was upset and angry last week when I sent those notes to Chris for Friday's Pfennig. Our Gov't has spent 100's of Billions of dollars, and looking to spend more to avert a crisis... Yes, it was a Crisis, and something had to be done, but the way we did it, wreaks of socialism... My good friend, John Mauldin, whom I spent some time with last Friday, said, "I would sure like to see some regulation in Credit Default Swaps for all the money we spent!"...

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