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Home / Tag Archives: 5.) Alhambra Investments (page 5)

Tag Archives: 5.) Alhambra Investments

Crude Contradictions Therefore Uncertainty And Big Volatility

This one took some real, well, talent. It was late morning on April 11, the crude oil market was in some distress. The price was falling faster, already down sharply over just the preceding two weeks. Going from $115 per barrel to suddenly less than $95, there was some real fear there. But what really caught my attention was the flattening WTI futures curve. Up in the liquid front, it was closing in on contango and had it achieved that reshaping it would have been,...

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Weekly Market Pulse: TANSTAAFL

TANSTAAFL is an acronym for “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch”. It has been around a long time – Rudyard Kipling used it in an essay in 1891 – but it was popularized by Robert Heinlein’s 1966 book, “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress”. In economics it most often refers to tradeoffs or opportunity costs; resources are scarce and if you choose to use them in one way they aren’t available for an alternate use. The other way the phrase is often used is to describe a...

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Peak Inflation (not what you think)

For once, I find myself in agreement with a mainstream article published over at Bloomberg. Notable Fed supporters without fail, this one maybe represents a change in tone. Perhaps the cheerleaders are feeling the heat and are seeking Jay Powell’s exit for him? Whatever the case, there’s truth to what’s written if only because interest rates haven’t been rising based on rising inflation/growth expectations. Quite the contrary, actually. It’s all FOMC and the...

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Synchronizing Chinese Prices (and consequences)

It isn’t just the vast difference between Chinese consumer prices and those in the US or Europe, China’s CPI has been categorically distinct from China’s PPI, too. That distance hints at the real problem which the whole is just now beginning to confront, having been lulled into an inflationary illusion made up from all these things. To start with, yesterday China’s NBS reported the index for its consumer prices rose 2.1% year-over-year in April 2022. That’s up from...

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Neither Confusing Nor Surprising: Q1’s Worst Productivity Ever, April Decline In Employed

Maybe last Friday’s pretty awful payroll report shouldn’t have been surprising; though, to be fair, just calling it awful will be surprising to most people. Confusion surrounds the figures for good reason, though there truly is no reason for the misunderstanding itself. Apart from Economists and “central bankers” who’d rather everyone look elsewhere for the real problem. The Establishment Survey was right in the (statistical) zone, so for most of the public the...

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Eurobonds Behind Euro$ #5’s Collateral Case

The bond market is allegedly populated by the “smart” set, whereas those trading equities derided as the “dumb” money (not without some truth). I often wonder if it’s either/or. The fixed income system just went through this scarcely three years ago, yet all signs and evidence point to another repeat. So, how smart can Eurobond agents really be if they’ve gone and done it again? What is it? Let’s roll the clock back to the landmine of 2018. Collateral shortage,...

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Industrial Synchronized Demand

Are the industrial commodities starting to get a whiff of demand side rejection? Short run trends suggest that this could be the case. From copper to iron and the highest (formerly) of the high flyers, aluminum, this particular group has been exhibiting a rather synchronized setback going back to the end of March, start of April. This despite supply bottlenecks and production shortfalls which continue to plague each. Copper has now fallen to its lowest since last...

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Who’s Playing Puppetmaster, And Who Is Master of Puppets

Cue up the old VHS tapes of Bill Clinton. The former President was renowned for displaying, anyway, great empathy. He famously said in October 1992, weeks before the election that would bring him to the White House, “I feel your pain.” What pain? As Clinton’s chief political advisor later clarified, “it’s the economy stupid.” Jay Powell is no retail politician in near the same company as Mr. Clinton. Yet, the Federal Reserve’s current Chairman is attempting to...

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China Then Europe Then…

This is the difference, though in the end it only amounts to a matter of timing. When pressed (very modestly) on the slow pace of the ECB’s “inflation” “fighting” (theater) campaign, its President, Christine Lagarde, once again demonstrated her willingness to be patient if not cautious. Why? For one thing, she noted how Europe produces a lot of stuff that, at the margins of its economy, make the whole system go. Or don’t go, as each periodic case may be: Europe in...

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Collateral Shortage…From *A* Fed Perspective

It’s never just one thing or another. Take, for example, collateral scarcity. By itself, it’s already a problem but it may not be enough to bring the whole system to reverse. A good illustration would be 2017. Throughout that whole year, T-bill rates (4-week, in particular) kept indicating this very shortfall, especially the repeated instances when equivalent bill yields would go below the RRP “floor” and often stay there for prolonged periods. There was, as I wrote...

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