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Have You Seen This?

  • Let's Talk Deficits...

    In This Issue..

    * A$, kiwi, and C$'s outperform...
    * Yen gets what is deserved!
    * Deficit to reach 100% of GDP?
    * Don't they work for us?

    Good day... And a Thunderin' Thursday to you! It has been Thunderin' here most of the night, so it was quite fitting to call our Thursday, Thunderin'! It's been a week of pop-up Thunder Showers for us here in the Midwest... If summer plays out the way most summers play out, we'll be pining for rain come August!

    The Japanese have a new Prime Minister (Kan), and the currency markets don't like it! The once so-called 'safe haven' of yen, is getting sand kicked in its face, and rightly so, as the new PM has previously stated his goal of a weaker yen...

    ...
  • Brazil To Benefit From New Carry Trade?

    In This Issue..

    * The dollar fights back...
    * Government deficit spending deep sixes us...
    * Brazilian rate hikes on the table...
    * Round Two of the PPT thoughts...

    Good day... And a Thunderin' Thursday to you! Well... It's not really Thunderin' outside, but it is snowing, with about 3-4 inches on the ground already, and the snow coming down so thick that seeing is difficult. I made it here, but then I drive a car that was made to go in stuff like this! Pretty soon, my phone will begin to ring, with colleagues calling to ask me how the roads were...

    Well... We had more probing higher in the non-dollar currencies only to see the gains wipe away at the end of the day yesterday. Still, as I told a radio audience in Oregon yesterday, traders, investors, etc. still believe the euro is worth more than the dollar by quite a bit... Gold also gave back some gains overnight......
  • Will History Repeat Itself?

    In This Issue..

    * Non-dollar currencies rally...
    * A$'s and C$'s to parity?
    * Reaching 40% of expenditures...
    * Gold & Oil on the rise once again...


    Good day... And a Terrific Tuesday to you! A long day on the desk for me yesterday, left me draggin' the line... But I'm rested and refreshed again this morning, so let's get to the Pfennig for today! The Finance Ministers of the Eurozone met yesterday, as I told you, and they've tried to stem the euro's rise... But, they'll need more than words to get the job done! And so, we begin a new day...

    Front and Center this morning, the currencies, which had given back ground overnight to the dollar, are back in rally mode, and are taking liberties with the dollar once more. For most of the night that was not the case, though. The dollar had rallied back and sent the euro, for instance, to the 1.48 handle, after the single unit spent yesterday at 1.49 and change... There seemed to be a move to the dollar, but that didn't last long, and the currencies are once again rallying VS the dollar this morning, and the euro has pushed to 1.4970 as I write......
  • May Day empties the trade desks...

    In This Issue..

    * May Day empties trade desks...
    * Chrysler declares bankruptcy...
    * SEC to investigate Paulson and Bernanke??
    * China continues to grow...

    Good day...and Happy May Day to everyone. Most associate May Day with the Soviet Union, where the communists turned it into a 'celebration of the worker'. But its origins are actually in central Europe where it developed from a combination of several pagan holidays celebrating the end of winter in the Northern Hemisphere. It never really took flight in the US, but is still a popular holiday in most other parts of the globe. With the way our government has been using tax payer funds to take over struggling companies, May Day could become a larger holiday here in the US also! Most of the trade desks throughout Europe are closed today, and many of the traders left early yesterday, so the currency and metals markets were pretty quiet....
  • Bad news for GM and Chrysler rallies the US$...

    In This Issue..

    * Bad news for car makers rallies the US$...
    * Yen comes back strong...
    * Singapore to devalue?...
    * German Chancellor Merkel gives warning...

    Good day... And good Monday morning to all of you. I can't believe March is nearly over, it seems as though it just started. March will end up being a pretty good month for the currency markets, as investors exited the safety of US treasuries and started moving funds back into higher yielding assets. But the markets continue to be volatile, and news released on Friday and over the weekend has sent these investors rushing back to the safe haven of the US dollar.

    The Japanese Yen and US dollar benefited after a US Government official said Friday that bankruptcy may be the best option for GM and Chrysler. The dollar continued to gain strength this morning after US Treasury Secretary Geithner warned yesterday that some financial institutions will need 'large amounts' of aid. When the Treasury Secretary says large amounts, you know it is going to be billions or trillions! Geithner was making the rounds of Sunday morning talk shows to try and justify the money already spent and prepare the taxpayers for another request of funds....
  • Another day for the currencies...

    * Disappointing data...
    * Euro held ground...
    * Down under...

    Another day for the currencies...

    Good day...And a Terrific Tuesday to you. Another Monday morning has come and gone but not before confirming the US economy is still heading down the wrong side of the slippery slope. The uneventful trading day from Friday certainly didn't carry over as we saw a sizeable run up in currencies along with equities during the morning session. As the day progressed, the equity markets shed their gains but most of the currencies remained resilient and held on. I guess I'll stop beating around the bush and get right to it...

    It seems that Bernanke's calming approach during his interview with 60 Minutes gave investors the feeling that we are not as bad off saying the risk of a depression has been averted. He went on to say if the government succeeds in calming financial markets, the recession will probably end this year and the economy will expand in 2010....
  • A Horrific Jobs Report!

    * 651K jobs lost in Feb... * Dec. and Jan Job losses revised up... * Talking Norway, Canada, Australia... * Brazil stealthlike for 3 months... ** A Horrific Jobs Report! Good day... And a Marvelous Monday to you! A wonderful weekend here in St. Louis, a taste of spring was in the air. I got to spend some time with some of my closest friends on Friday night, a good time was had by all! Well... Our Fantastico Friday was interrupted by that horrific Jobs Jamboree number that printed Friday morning... 651K jobs were lost in February, which let me remind you is a couple of days shorter than other months. So, it could have been worse! Hard to believe that could be the case, but it's true. The unemployment rate rose to 8.1%, from 7.6% in January. The jobless rate is the highest since 1983. The economy has now shed 4.4 million jobs since the recession began in December 2007, with almost half of those losses occurring in the last three months alone....
  • A "Stock Tip From The Top Guy!"

    * Australia's economy contracts.... * Bank of Canada cuts rates to .50% * Meeting margin calls... * TALF... ** A 'Stock Tip From The Top Guy!' Good day... And a Wonderful Wednesday to you! My beautiful bride is getting ready to leave this morning. I'm not used to 'talking' to someone when I get up at my usual early hour! She'll be gone in a few, as I write, and then it will be my little buddy, Alex, and your Pfennig writer on their own for 5 days! YAHOO! Well... After a day of waxing eloquently about the how well the Aussie economy was doing compared to the rest of the world, they go and post a contraction in their economic growth! UGH! That's the way to show me up! The Aussie economy shrank in the 4th QTR by .5% VS the forecast of .2% growth... The news scared the markets into believing the Asian problem will be worse off than previously thought. Oh Come On! Australia is STILL doing better than most countries, especially those that I listed in yesterday's Pfennig!...
  • Housing stats show more rot on the housing vine....

    * US$ continues to be propped up... * SEK moves up vs. the US$... * Japanese yen falls.... * Gold prices come down ... ** Housing stats show more rot on the housing vine.... It has been a while since Chuck turned over the reigns of the Pfennig to me, so I'm a bit out of practice. But there was a lot of movement in the currency markets over the last 24 hours, giving me plenty of Pfennig fodder. I'll get right to it. The 'Safe Haven' status of the US$ continued to prop it up yesterday as bad housing data in the US scared investors. Sales of previously owned homes fell 5.3% in January, after rising slightly last month. And even worse for US homeowners, the median price of a home fell to $170,300, down nearly 26% from its peak in July 2006. These numbers reflect a worsening housing market which will weigh on the US economy through most of 2009. The inventory of unsold homes did fall, but still stands at 3.6 million. At the current rate of sales, it would take 9.6 months to exhaust the excess supply of homes. And this is assuming no more homes come into the market. The housing downturn will continue well into 2010, and will likely keep the US economy in the doldrums....
  • Fed brings rates down to near zero...

    * The Fed fires its last bullet... * Euro breaks back above $1.40... * AUD and NZD rally... * Happy Birthday Jen... ** Fed brings rates down to near zero... Good day... The 'noise' from the street which I wrote about yesterday turned out to be correct, as the FOMC cut 75 basis points to put the Fed Funds target at .25%. The US now has the lowest interest rates in the industrialized world, even below those in Japan. The dollar lost ground quickly after the announcement and continued to fall overnight to a 13 year low vs the yen and the weakest vs. the Euro in 4 months. With both Chuck and Frank out of the office, I fielded the calls from reporters after the FOMC cut, and the most popular question asked was what the near zero interest rates would mean for the man on the street. Well it was great news for those on Wall Street, but I told the reporters that the rate cut really wouldn't have much of an impact on US consumers. After all, interest rates at 1% weren't stimulating the banks to start lending so why would .25% rates cause any change?...
  • The NBER Finally Says So!

    * RBA cuts 100 BPS... * It IS a recession! * Paulson to ruffle feathers? * Yen to rally hard? ** The NBER Finally Says So! Good day... And a Terrific Tuesday to you! Quoting one of my all time fave Christmas songs, Baby, it's Cold Out There! Winter has arrived, and I had to drag out the big heavy winter coat this morning. So... The seasons pass us, which is a good thing, because without winter, we couldn't have spring, and spring training! OK... Right out of the starters blocks this morning, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) pulled the rug right out from under the "high yield status" of their economy, with another HUGE rate cut overnight... This time, the RBA cut 100 BPS, to an internal cash rate of 4.25%. This brings the total since September to 300 BPS! WOW! Talk about effectively unwinding seven years of tightening! The statement following the rate announcement leads me to believe that the RBA is probably finished cutting rates for now... It will be a wait-n-see what happens globally, before the RBA entertains any talk of further rate cuts... At least that's my opinion!...
  • Back to Risk Aversion...

    * Japanese yen rallies... * Renminbi stumbles... * A very tough data week in store... * Rate cuts all around the world... ** Back to Risk Aversion... Good day... And a Marvelous Monday to you! In addition, Welcome to December! We had our first "dusting" of snow over the weekend, after experiencing wonderful weather Thursday and Friday. As much as they tried, even my beloved Missouri Tigers losing to ultra-rival, Kansas on Saturday, couldn't ruin what was a very fun and relaxing weekend for yours truly! Well... When I left you last Wednesday, I had thought that we could be on the cusp of a "change" in the currencies, as the Trading Theme that had held a tight grip on the currencies since July, was thrown to the side for a couple of days... But, I doubt "that" has happened, as a return to risk aversion is back on the table, which means the currencies and precious metals get sold, while Japanese yen, and U.S. Treasuries (read dollars) get bought....
  • 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 Trading Theme Remains In Place...

    * Heeee's Baaaaaacccckkkkk... * Carry Trade Depth... * RBA intervenes... * Oil weighs on the loonie... ** The Trading Theme Remains In Place... Good day... And a Marvelous Monday to you! It's been a long time, now I'm coming back home, I've been away now, oh how, I've been alone... Two weeks gone by the wayside! This Friday is Halloween! WOW! Where did the month go? Airports, hotels, and taxi cabs, that's where! But, I did it... The Currency Tour is finished... Time well spent I might add, but very taxing on me... Of course, my beautiful bride tells me if I were in better shape, it wouldn't be so taxing! Well... As I look at the currency screens this morning, I see that nothing has changed... The Trading theme I left you with is still in place, as the more deeper, darker, dangerous outlook for the U.S. becomes, the more the dollar gets bought... Things look better, and the dollar will get sold... The dollar has become the new Japanese yen!...
  • Govt to follow Buffet's lead...

    * Govt to follow Buffet's lead... * Aussie $ has biggest gain ever... * Yen reverses on carry trades... * China's currency reserves rise... Good day...And what a day it was! As I stated in yesterday's Pfennig, Columbus day is just sort of a holiday for the markets. These 'semi-holidays' can create some volatile trading, as not all of the markets are open and many desks are short staffed. So with the Federal Reserve and the banking system closed, the equity markets had the largest one day gain in over seven decades. I guess the stock jockeys figured they weren't going to get any bad news out of the credit markets, which were closed, so no news is good news!! The rally was certainly welcomed, and hopefully some of the gains will stick today as we return to a normal trading environment. And I guess some of the credit for the stock rally has to go to finance ministers around the globe who finally agreed on a plan which seems to be able to work. The leaders of a majority of the worlds largest economies borrowed a page from Warren Buffet's playbook and decided to invest directly into some of their largest financial institutions. The Bush administration announced it would invest $125 billion in nine of the biggest US banks. The US move came after France, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, and Austria committed $1.8 trillion to guarantee interbank loans and take equity stakes in European banks....