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Tag Archives: GFC2

A Second Against Consumer Credit And Interest ‘Stimulus’

Credit card use entails a degree of risk appreciated at the most basic level. Americans had certainly become more comfortable with debt in all its forms over the many decades since the Great Depression, but the regular employment of revolving credit was perhaps the apex of this transformation. Does any commercial package on TV today not include one or more credit card offers? It certainly remains a staple of junk mail. Leaning more and more on credit cards during the...

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GDP + GFC = Fragile

March 15 was when it all began to come down. Not the stock market; that had been in freefall already, beset by the rolling destruction of fire sale liquidations emanating out of the repo market (collateral side first). No matter what the Federal Reserve did or announced, there was no stopping the runaway devastation. It wasn’t until the middle of March that the first major shutdown orders began to appear – on Twitter feeds – and these weren’t the total lockdowns...

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COT Black: No Love For Super-Secret Models

As I’ve said, it is a threefold failure of statistical models. The first being those which showed the economy was in good to great shape at the start of this thing. Widely used and even more widely cited, thanks to Jay Powell and his 2019 rate cuts plus “repo” operations the calculations suggested the system was robust. Because of this set of numbers, officials here as well as elsewhere around the world chose the most extreme form of pandemic mitigations, trusting...

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An International Puppet Show

It’s actually pretty easy to see why the IMF is in a hurry to secure more resources. I’m not talking about potential bailout candidates banging down the doors; that’s already happened. The fund itself is doing two contradictory things simultaneously: telling the world, repeatedly, that it has a highly encouraging $1 trillion in bailout capacity at the same time it goes begging to vastly increase that amount. Very reassuring. The IMF is becoming like the Federal...

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The Real Diseased Body

Another day, another new Federal Reserve “bailout.” As these things go by, quickly, the details become less important. What is the central bank doing today? Does it really matter? For me, twice was enough. All the way back in 2010 I had expected other people to react as I did to QE2. If you have to do it twice, it doesn’t work. And if Ben Bernanke grew so concerned he felt a second dose was required… Put another way, if a central bank keeps doing “bigger” things,...

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It’s Hard To See Anything But Enormous Long-term Cost

The unemployment rate wins again. In a saner era, back when what was called economic growth was actually economic growth, this primary labor ratio did a commendable job accurately indicating the relative conditions in the labor market. You didn’t go looking for corroboration because it was all around; harmony in numbers for a far more peaceful and serene period. Ever since the Great “Recession”, however, the unemployment rate has really struggled. Nearly the...

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Banks Or (euro)Dollars? That Is The (only) Question

It used to be that at each quarter’s end the repo rate would rise often quite far. You may recall the end of 2018, following a wave of global liquidations and curve collapsing when the GC rate (UST) skyrocketed to 5.149%, nearly 300 bps above the RRP “floor.” Chalked up to nothing more than 2a7 or “too many” Treasuries, it was to be ignored as the Fed at that point was still forecasting inflation and rate hikes. Total financial resilience otherwise. Yesterday was,...

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China’s Back!

The Washington Post began this week by noting how the US economy seems to have lost its purported zip just when it needed that vitality the most. Never missing a chance to take a partisan swipe, of course, still there’s quite a lot of truth behind the charge. An actual economic boom produces cushion, enough of one that President Trump and his administration may have been counting on it when opting for full-blown shutdown. The coronavirus recession is exposing how...

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Three Short Run Factors Don’t Make A Long Run Difference

There are three things the markets have going for them right now, and none of them have anything to do with the Federal Reserve. More and more conditions resemble the early thirties in that respect, meaning no respect for monetary powers. This isn’t to say we are repeating the Great Depression, only that the paths available to the system to use in order to climb out of this mess have similarly narrowed. That’s what’s ultimately going to matter the most, not what...

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Stagnation Never Looked So Good: A Peak Ahead

Forward-looking data is starting to trickle in. Germany has been a main area of interest for us right from the beginning, and by beginning I mean Euro$ #4 rather than just COVID-19. What has happened to the German economy has ended up happening everywhere else, a true bellwether especially manufacturing and industry. The latest sentiment figures from ZEW as well as IFO are sobering. Taking the former first, it had been quite buoyant last year on the false...

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