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  • Green Light, Green Light!

    In This Issue..

    * FOMC minutes make it a Risk On Day!
    * Gold hits $1,180!
    * Germany's ZEW is bang on with their forecast!
    * Russia to buy loonies?

    It's a Risk On Day, full on, no 'kind of' today! Or at least that's how it looks as I begin to write this morning... The Big Dog, euro, is back over 1.50 this morning, and Gold is trading at $1,177! What brought about this full on Risk On day?

    Well... It was the Fed's FOMC meeting minutes... And, when I read what the Fed Heads had to say, I had one song in my mind... Hey! You! Get off of my cloud! Because that's where their collective heads are with these minutes, folks... The Fed Heads viewed the U.S. economy on firmer footing and expects the growth to continue in the 4th QTR... Yeah, right, and I've got some swamp land I'd like to sell you! Snake Oil salesmen these guys!

    Any way... The Fed Heads also said that the dollar's depreciation had been 'orderly'... With no mention of doing anything to stop the depreciation! Green light, Green light, Green light... How many of these Green lights do traders and you need to realize that the Fed isn't going to stop the dollar's decline? And How about the Treasury? Oh! That's right, they're too busy shoving negative yields down people's throats! OK, I'm getting all ticked off, and I really don't feel like doing that today, so I'm going to talk about something else, fast!...
  • Carry Trade reversals rally dollar / yen

    In This Issue..

    * Carry trade reversal boosts the dollar/yen...
    * STL Fed Head Bullard sends mixed signals...
    * Audit of Fed in jeopardy...
    * Kiwi and AUD fall...

    Good day... And a Thunderin Thursday to you! Yes, the rain continues today, but I hear it is supposed to stop this afternoon. Fear of risk rained on the currency investors' parade as an equity market sell-off fueled a US dollar and Japanese yen rally. At times it looks as if we will break this pattern of markets up dollar down/ markets down dollar up, but it seems investors continue to return to the US$ and Japanese yen as soon as they become worried about equity market returns....
  • 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....
  • A New Year’s Jobs Jamboree Friday...

    * Will the ADP report be a good indicator? * China to slow treasury purchases? * Gold as a store of wealth... * Dealing with the devil... ** A Jobs Jamboree Friday... Good day... And a Happy Friday to one and all! A Fantastico Friday, as it is forecast to get to 50 degrees today here in St. Louis. Never mind that tomorrow's high will be 29! It doesn't take away from today! What a trading day in the currencies yesterday... Whew! It's a Jobs Jamboree Friday, so let's not beat around the bush... It's time to Jamboree! Today is the day the Gov't prints the December Jobs Jamboree, and if Wednesday's ADP report did what they said it was going to, and that is change their methodology to mirror the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) then this morning's Jobs Jamboree will be a nightmare. Of course not the kind of nightmare that the over 2.5 million people that lost jobs in 2008 had! I was once in those numbers, as our old Bank, Mark Twain Bank, was bought by a bigger bank, Mercantile Bank, and Mercantile decided after a few months to perform ethnic cleansing of Mark Twain employees... I called it "my retirement" but with a 3 year old at home and on my lap most of the day, "retirement" couldn't last too long! My point is that you don't know the emptiness and failure you feel when they show you the door... So my thoughts are always with those that lose their jobs......
  • 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 Worst Jobs Report Since 1974!

    * Will -533K turn to -600K? * A glimmer of light brings back risk takers... * Another week of data... * Fedspeak today... ** The Worst Jobs Report Since 1974! Good day... And a Marvelous Monday to you! What a Whirlwind Weekend for your truly, as it came and went, I did a ton of stuff, but no rest, and this morning, I was reminded that I had not gotten any rest! UGH! But! It was all fun! A great time in Jacksonville at the Headquarters' version of a Holiday Party... It was great to see the folks there that I know. OK... Did you see the rot on labor's vine Friday? The Jobs Jamboree was very unkind to many, with a 533K jobs lost in November. That number was the worst figure since 1974! The tally of 1.9 million jobs lost this year surpasses the losses of the past two recessions, and according to the Wall Street Journal, signals that the current downturn could be the worst since the years immediately following World War II....
  • 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....
  • 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....
  • FOMC Meeting Begins Today...

    * Mini-currency rally is cut short * Is it Japan or U.S.? * Gold stages a rally... * Swiss francs remain well bid... ** FOMC Meeting Begins Today... Good day... And a Terrific Tuesday to you! Well... We saw some profit taking in the currencies yesterday, which meant a mini-rally in non-dollar currencies for the first time in what seems to be a month of Sundays! At one point in the day, the euro had added more than 1-cent to its figure dragging sterling, Swiss, Canada and a host of others along. But, that didn't last in the overnight markets, and we're right smack dab back on square one where we left off yesterday. This morning we'll listen in on former Fed Chairman Volcker's speech, which ought to be a good one, don't you think? I mean, this is the guy that said a couple of years ago that the U.S. could see a currency crisis... And didn't it? OK, it's not now, but turn your clocks back to June, and you'll see what I'm talking about here. Volcker is a "hero" of mine in how he took on the inflation of the late 70's early 80's and didn't dance around the dance floor with it... He whipped it into shape, and then left it all in good shape for Big Al Greenspan... We all know what happened after that!...
  • A New Trading Theme...

    * Coordinated rate cuts...* Did the Fed reignite soaring inflation?* More pain in Iceland...* Revisiting the 90's in Japan... ** A New Trading Theme... Good day... And a Tub Thumpin' Thursday to you! Well... How about those wily veteran Central Bankers? They all got together and decided to cut rates... The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) went first with their 100 BPS cut, and opened the rate cut sea for the rest of the Central Banks around the world. The European Central Bank, The Riksbank (Sweden), Swiss National Bank, Bank of Canada, Bank of England, and the Bank of China all lined up at the rate cut table... The Bank of Japan, The Norges Bank (Norway), and Reserve Bank of New Zealand did not participate. The Bank of Japan doesn't have any rate to cut, The Norges Bank will wait until their regularly scheduled meeting on 10/15, and the RBNZ believes that they have taken their toxic waste bond flu shot......
  • Coordinated Rate Cuts!

    * Yen trades to 98! * Carry Trades unwinding hurt high yielders... * Gold rallies back to $900! * Central Bank rate cuts.... ** Coordinated Rate Cuts! Good day... And a Wonderful Wednesday to you! Well... There's a ton of stuff to talk about today, one of which is the amazing run that Japanese yen has had in the past month, but particularly the last week! No need to sneak a peak at the currency round-up, Japanese yen is trading 98.80! WOW! I could be acting like a contortionist and trying to slap myself on the back, but that would unprofessional... And besides, the rest of the currencies are taking shots to the mid-section. Anyway... Blow the horn, the Carry Trade (for yen) is dead, may it rest in peace! OK... The currencies tried like all get out yesterday to rally VS the dollar, the euro did end the day 1% higher on the day, which after the bloodshed of the past month, I'll take that any old time! I would love to go back to 2005 (not really, but for this conversation's sake I will) and pull out some old Pfennigs where I talked about all the naysayers talking about a break up of the euro... We had the NO votes from France and Denmark on accepting the European Union's (EU) Constitution, we had riots in the streets of France, we had rising interest rates in the U.S. and dozens and dozens of naysayers called out the euro and said it would collapse under the weight. I said then, and I'll say now... HOGWASH!...
  • Another Large Rate Cut From The Fed...

    * Are there more rate cuts coming? * Yen and Swiss kicking sand... * Emerging Markets High Yielders fall... * Buying Opportunities in Gold and Silver?...
  • Fed Force Feeds Funds Into the System...

    * Fed cuts discount rate...* Swiss franc above parity... * Japanese yen continues to climb... * Gold blows through $1,000......