November 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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Have You Seen This?

  • Maybe It's Time For A Change?

    * Currencies continue to rally... * More Stimulus... * Data shows more rot on the vine... * A Thanksgiving thought... **Maybe It's Time For A Change? Good day... And a Wonderful Wednesday to you! The day before Thanksgiving... Tonight is, historically, the biggest "going out" night for the younger crowd, as they all return home from college, etc. Not for yours truly though... A little reminder that Friday I will not be writing... Friday night, a large group of friends and family are starting the holiday season off with a gathering at the Butler House, before all heading to see the Trans Siberian Orchestra's Holiday Concert... I'm getting pumped up for that! OK... Another rally day in the currencies yesterday... One that wasn't as pronounced as Monday's 3-cent rally... But a rally just the same, and at one point, the euro was trading above 1.30... Hadn't seen that level in a while, so welcome back to the 1.30 level, Mr. euro... ...
  • Citi Gets More "Gov't Money"...

    * Bailout fuels a rally... * How long the rally last? * A slew of data today... * Thoughts from Jim Rogers... ** Citi Gets More "Gov't Money"... Good day... And a Terrific Tuesday to you! Now that was quite the Investment Conference I just attended and gave two presentations to! Someone sent me a headline that appeared on the internet prior to the Conference that read: Three Kings of the Financial World on Tap to Speak for the Next WMI M2... And guess what? They considered me as one of those in the headline! WOW! OK, no... I'm not getting a big head, I've got my beautiful bride to keep me humble. She responded to hearing about this article with a heaping helping of, "OK King, take out the trash!" HAHAHAHAHAHA! OK... Chris left me some notes about the currency markets yesterday, so let's listen in to what Chris had to say, since he was here, and I was driving an hour to the airport in Fort Meyers, flying, and driving home yesterday. Herrrrreeee's Johnny! I mean Chris!...
  • Obama picks his economic team...

    * Obama picks his economic team... * Nordic currencies rise... * US floods market with dollars... * China looks to keep growth at 8%... ** Obama picks his economic team... Good day... Hope everyone had a great weekend, mine sure was. We had a fun time Friday night bowling and playing pool at our Xmas party. Unfortunately Chuck wasn't able to attend, as he was down in Florida speaking at a Wealth Masters Conference. He will be heading back into St. Louis today, and will be back in the saddle tomorrow morning for what will be a short week. The big news over the weekend was the unveiling of President elect Obama's economic team. Obama has picked Timothy Geithner, head of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, to be his Treasury secretary, and former Treasury chief Lawrence Summers will be White House economic director. Obama is also likely to nominate New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson as Commerce Secretary. Geithner has had a primary role in the Federal Reserve's attempt to steer Wall Street through the current financial tsunami. He also oversees most of the Fed's special lending programs set up this year to channel more than $1 trillion to banks and other financial institutions....
  • Misguided risk aversion...

    * Bad data pushes investors into US treasuries... * Barclay's says the euro will rally... * SNB surprises with a rate cut... * Iceland gets their bailout... ** Misguided risk aversion... Good day...The dollar rallied a bit yesterday on some very poor economic data which illustrated just how bad things are getting here in the US. As Chuck has repeatedly told everyone, in the current trade pattern the dollar rallies whenever we get negative data for the US economy. Investors get spooked by this negative data, and run scared into the 'safety' of US treasuries. Ty sent me a quote from respected newsletter owner/author Bill Bonner yesterday: "Misguided risk aversion, anyone? A few months ago, investors stretched for yields. Now, it's safety they reach for...and grab U.S. Treasury debt with both hands. Investors now seem to have an unqualified trust in the full faith and credit of the world's largest debtor. Yields on 91-day T-bills have fallen to 0.11% - scarcely a tenth of one percent!"...
  • SNB Cut Rates 100 BPS!

    * Trading Theme returns... * Automakers' bailout vote today... * Not using all your arrows... * Housing Starts go back to 1959! ** SNB Cut Rates 100 BPS! Good day... And a Tub Thumpin' Thursday to you! It's a short week for me, so this IS a Tub Thumpin' Thursday! I head to Florida tomorrow, and I'm ready! After last week, and the cold that's set in here, I'm ready! Too bad I'll be working about 1/2 the time! But, I'm not complainin'! OK... Whew! What an awful day yesterday for the currencies... In the morning, they ere in rally mode with the euro gaining ground to well within the 1.27 handle. But then the Trading Theme set in, and those gains were wiped out. The Trading Theme was set off by the awful Housing data, which reminded everyone of the deep, dark , dangerous days ahead... I bought some euros, and watched them rise, and went off to do something else... When I returned, they had fallen... UGH! The Japanese yen, however, rallied, as is the case with the Trading Theme... Risk trades get unwound, which benefits dollars, and yen. I've explained all this before, so I won't get into it again, but there's someone that has gone into the problems (credit markets and the Fed and Treasury's response to the crisis), and does a great job of telling it like it is... So, instead of hearing from me, ranting and cursing the "leaders" I'll let someone else explain it to you... This is a fellow named Ted Cook, that Ty Keough sent my way......
  • King Henry Keeps His Cash!

    * Paulson says no to automakers... * Currencies trade in a tight range... * Richard Russell on a Wednesday! * TIC Flows improve... ** King Henry Keeps His Cash! Good day... And a Wonderful Wednesday to you! OK... Are you up on these "pirates" stories going on right now? That's pretty unbelievable, eh? And... We are all fans of "pirates" here on the Currency Trading Desk, but these guys now are giving "our pirates" a black eye! The currencies range traded yesterday in a very tight range, as Treasury Sec. Paulson, didn't give in to the lawmakers and allocate $25 Billion of the TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) funds to automakers. King Henry said, "The rescue (read bailout!) package was not intended to be an economic stimulus or an economic recovery package. The $700 Billion TARP was designed to stabilize financial markets and the flow of credit, and it not a panacea for all our economic difficulties."...
  • TARP Testimony Today...

    * What will Paulson say? * Dollar remains well bid... * How long for Safe Haven buyers? * G-20 Schmee 20! ** TARP Testimony Today... Good day... And a Terrific Tuesday to you! I've been away for a few days to deal with something, I want to thank Chris once again for taking the conn on the Pfennig since last Thursday. He'll get it again at the end of this week and the beginning of next week, as I hope to get to Marco Island for the Wealth Masters Conference. Well... Nothing has changed since I left you last Wednesday. The awful economic data just keeps piling on, and the dollar gets bid up on safe haven purchases. We did see the Eurozone and Japan announce that they are in a recession... Chris was kind enough to leave me the following, so here's some more Chris.......
  • Nothing comes out of the G20 meeting...

    * G20 largely a non-event... * Pound moves up... * Brazil falls on sell off of emerging markets... * Japan enters recession... ** Nothing comes out of the G20 meeting... Good day...and welcome back to another work week. I driving into work this morning and started thinking about the growing number of people who no longer have jobs to report to. And the problems are no longer just concentrated on the manufacturing sector. I was shocked at the long list of retail stores which are planning to shut down after the holiday season. The situation in the US economy continues to deteriorate, and unfortunately things are going to get much worse here in the US before they turn around. On that cheery note, I'll get started....
  • Data shows just how bad things are...

    * Data shows just how bad things are... * Trade deficits narrow... * EU confirms they are in a recession... * RBA intervening again... ** Data shows just how bad things are... Good day... Chuck asked me to go ahead and write the Pfennig this morning, but I got a late start, so this one will be short. We finally had some data releases here in the US which look to steer the markets, so I'll just get right to it. The dollar continued to strengthen yesterday after another round of bad weekly employment figures. Initial jobless claims increased to 516k during the first week of November, and last weeks numbers were revised up to 484k. The employment picture continues to darken here in the US, and it doesn't look like it will improve any time soon. This is just what the US consumers don't need right now. Not only are most consumers living paycheck to paycheck, but now many of those paychecks are being ripped out of their hands....
  • Paulson throws the markets a curve...

    * Paulson throws the markets a curve... * Goldman says to buy the yen... * RBA intervenes to protect the AUD$... * China provides support to commodities... ** Paulson throws the markets a curve... Good day... Chuck is out today, so I get the opportunity to share some of my thoughts on the markets. As many of you know, I spent most of last week in Washington DC giving presentations at the Money Show. On the way to the hotel, the cab driver who had noticed my EverBank luggage tag asked if I was a banker. He said he had seen a lot of us lately. I guess I was one of the few bankers flying into Washington DC who wasn't heading over to the Treasury Dept. to get some of the cheap money they are passing out. I had a great trip to Washington and really enjoyed the opportunity to spread the word about EverBank and the protection that portfolio diversification provides. I don't think Treasury Secretary Paulson is having as good a time as I did in the nation's capital. When he came down from NY a couple years ago to take over the Treasury, he was Wall Street's best paid CEO and looked to cap his career with a high-profile sojourn in public service. But his credibility has really taken a hit over the past year, and his update before congress yesterday didn't quite go as everyone expected. Chuck left me the following to share with readers this morning....
  • The Junk Yard Dog Bites!

    * The dollar rallies big time! * A dollar conspiracy? * Bailing out the automakers? * Weathering the storm in N.Z.? ** The Junk Yard Dog Bites! Good day... And a Wonderful Wednesday to you! Well, the Junk Yard Dog got a hold of the euro yesterday, and even though the U.S. Banks, thus the majority of currency desks, were observing Veteran's Day, the move down in currencies VS the dollar, led by the euro, was drastic! The Junk Yard Dog I'm talking about is Jean-Claude Juncker, chairman of the Euro group... I stopped the euro in its tracks from its nascent rise in the past month, by saying the "euro's recent rise was undesirable"... He also deep sixed the euro, and thus all the currencies save yen, by saying he "didn't see any reason there couldn't be more rate cuts by the ECB"... (the ECB is of course the European Central Bank) Well... These two comments tore through any gains the currencies had mounted VS the dollar in recent weeks, like a Junk Yard Dog tears though some raw meat! It was a knife to the euro's heart......
  • Veteran's Day

    * The China good feeling dissipates... * Currencies lose their edge... * Fannie Mae needs more! * Silver manipulation? ** Veteran's Day Good day... And a Terrific Tuesday to you! A Veteran's Day Tuesday! This is a Banking and Federal Holiday today, so the bricks and mortar banks are closed, and there will be no mail delivery, and of course your friendly neighborhood Government worker gets the day off. I'm here, in the saddle, writing the Pfennig like it's a regular work day, and the boys and girls will begin to gather in about 2 1/2 hours from now. We'll get all caught up, return some calls and head home today. Veteran's Day... I thought I would begin today with a snippet of a Veteran's Day poem by Jared Jenkins......
  • U.S. Payrolls Plunge!

    * Job losses begin to accelerate... * Currencies inch higher... * News of the weird... * China announces a stimulus plan! ** U.S. Payrolls Plunge! Good day... And a Marvelous Monday to you! The weekend was great, as I got to spend it with my kids at the Missouri Tigers football game on Saturday. It was a cold one, but a great game, and fun time all day and night. Well... We might as well get right into this... I'm sure you heard that the Jobs Jamboree was awful on Friday. UGH! Jobs are dropping like the temperatures outside, and there doesn't seem to be anything to stop them from dropping either! For the record... October's jobs losses were worse than expected (-200K) and came in at -240K... OUCH! But the real kicker, something the mass media might not have covered, was found in the September revision... Recall that September's Jobs data showed a negative -159K... Well, that number was revised to -284K! Double OUCH!...
  • Another Jobs Jamboree Friday!

    * A zero rate conspiracy? * Weekly jobless claims head toward 500K... * Turning Japanese... I really think so! * Mr. Yen speaks! ** Jobs Jamboree Friday! Good day... And a Happy Friday to one and all! I hope it turns into a Fantastico Friday, because it's not starting out that way. Technical difficulties would be the term used to describe my morning so far... I don't know if the Pfennig will go out on time this morning, as those "technical difficulties" have me working offline right now. But we'll see, eh? Well, it's a Jobs Jamboree Friday too! This should be quite the Jobs Jamboree too, as the ADP Employment report suggested the other day that this data could be even worse than the forecast -200K job losses for October. There have been more job losses in 2008, than you can shake a stick at, but yet the beat goes on for the dollar. Coming To America is the theme playing out in the currencies... Of which, I've explained over and over again, until I sound like a broken record....
  • Change... What Change?

    * Currency Volatility! * Trading Theme creeps back! * ADP indicates a bad Jobs Jamboree... * Putting on my thinking cap... ** Change... What Change? Good day... And a Thunderin' Thursday to you! I say Thunderin' because we're expected to get Thunderstorms and rain today here in the St. Louis area... This will be the first rain we've received in some time, so, while it will bring cooler weather our way, it will still be much needed rain! Well... What a volatile day in the currencies yesterday! WOW! Running up and down the dial, all day long! At one point yesterday morning, the euro looked to be in the driver's seat, ooh, ooh, ooh ooh, driver's seat, yeah... Stop it Chuck, this is supposed to be a serious commentary! Yeah right! Well, at least seriousness is sprinkled in from time to time, eh? Anyway... What I was getting at before slipping off into a song by Sniff-n-The Tears, the euro was moving higher and higher, and was making the 1.29 and 1.30 handles look like picket fences when you pass them going 80 mph!...

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