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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  • 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....
  • 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.......
  • 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."...
  • 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......
  • 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!"...
  • 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....
  • 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!...
  • 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... ...
  • 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....
  • 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!...
  • Automakers Say They Need Funding Now...

    * Currencies trade in a tight range... * China... * Commodity prices to blame... * "Safe" Treasuries? ** Automakers Say They Need Funding Now... Good day... And a Wonderful Wednesday to you! Well... I went "shopping" yesterday evening... At least I can say I did my bit to keep the economy afloat! HA! Thanks to all who sent along notes to me yesterday with kind words. I truly appreciate the kind words, you are all too kind! The automakers made their pleas to Congress yesterday, and they claim they are in deep dookie! GM says they need $4 Billion right now! And... The original $25 Billion figure has grown to $35 to $40 Billion... The currencies were lifeless yesterday, with only a blip up in euros to 1.2740, only to give it back overnight. Aussie dollars (A$) rallied on the Huge 100 BPS rate cut news from the previous night, but at the end of the day, that was all but forgotten... It was as if the currencies did a Hans and Franz... Got all pumped up... But then turned into 100 lb weaklings again as the day turned to night....
  • Buying Buicks Instead Of Bonds...

    * Currencies trade in a tight range... * Another new plan to help homeowners... * RBNZ and Riksbank slash interest rates! * The Governorator speaks! ** Buying Buicks Instead Of Bonds... Good day... And a Tub Thumpin' Thursday to you! It's going to be a Tub Thumpin' Thursday in Europe for sure, given the Central Banks of England and the Eurozone are meeting and will probably cut interest rates to levels that haven't been seen in a while! The automakers are in deep dookie folks, according to them, and are in need of funds / bailout money right now! The head of Ford believes his company can withstand the recession, but fears for GM and Chrysler... The UAW has made some concessions to help the automakers, but it could be a case of too little, too late... Well... Another day of doldrums in the currencies, with the bias, what little there is, to buy dollars. The stock jockeys received some manna from heaven yesterday when it was announced that the U.S. Treasury Department is considering a plan to halt the slide in home prices that would lower mortgage rates using Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The plan could reduce rates for newly issued loans to as low as 4.5%....
  • It's All About The Jobs Jamboree...

    * Currencies rally then fall back... * Rate slashers! * Following Japan? Let's hope not! * Canada's woes mount... ** It's All About The Jobs Jamboree... Good day... And a Happy Friday to one and all! A Fantastico Friday! A Jobs Jamboree Friday! Anything else, Chuck? No, I don't think so, I'll stop there... It's all about the Jobs Jamboree today. It's all about finding out just how badly the rot on the labor vine has gotten... The Weekly Initial Jobless Claims, yesterday, remained above 500K per week, which doesn't bode well for next month's data... But first... November's Jobs Jamboree on the docket! The "experts" have forecast a -335K drop in jobs for November... But, your old Pfennig writer believes that this forecast is low. I think it will be closer to -375K... The reason I say that is the employment piece of the ISM report that printed the other day... The employment index of that report showed some real serious rot on the labor vine... I read a report last night, where an economist was attempting to show how the report should read -750K... As bad as -375K is, I don't think the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) would have anything to do with printing a -750K report!...
  • 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....
  • Spending More Money...

    * Turn back the clocks to 1950... * Currencies rally on the day... * Bank of Canada to cut rates today... * Fed Funds to zero? ** Spending More Money... Good day... And a Terrific Tuesday to you! It's raining like cats and dogs outside, and that rain is supposed to turn to snow tonight, so we've got that going for us! Always love that rain to snow bit, as it puts a nice layer of ice under the snow! Well... It looks like the new president wants to spend more money... Yes, President-elect Obama, presented his economic plan yesterday, and before doing so, issued a warning that the economy is going to get a lot worse before it gets better. His plan calls for a pledge to spend the most on infrastructure since the 1950's... Now, let me say this... The Big Boss, Frank Trotter, and I talk about this all the time... To spend money on Financial Institutions and things that don't get used more than once like bullets and bombs, isn't our "fave" way to spend money... But building something that could be used over and over again, well, that makes sense... However, this spending could be coming at the absolute most awful timing, as the Deficits are exploding in front of our eyes, and it certainly isn't as appealing as watching the fireworks display in Vancouver!...

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