It Takes Two To Tango, But Almost Everybody Likes Dancing

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Nic Lenoir Of ICAP

The bell ringed a little louder today at 4PM with a nice 5-digit print for the Dow. People were no doubt clapping and smiling on the floor of the NYSE, far detached from the emails going around pointing out how much higher most commodities are compared to the last time we crossed 10,000, or how the dollar lost 25% in the meantime. Why wouldn't they clap? It's working! Printing cash in the end will make almost every asset go up. The only asset class that should not be going up is Treasury Bonds, but since part of the printing scheme consists of supporting that market... well everything is up other than the USD!

What I thought was very concerning when the clapping settled is reading the FOMC minutes released today in detail and find a cheerful comment that "International trade in emerging market economies picked up, supported by Chinese demand". I expected that from CNBC, but not from an official release by the Fed. Let's recap a little bit what China's economic policy has been: buy and store large amounts of commodities, to a point where recent reports indicate the country is freezing steel production capacity for 3 years because of fears of price collapse, peg the Yuan to the USD, buy EURUSD everytime the uptrend is threatened in order to de-facto devalue their currency, while being hedged by the stockpiles of commodities purchased prior to that, and make the most of the explosion in monetary growth (28% annually) necessary to keep the peg going to further buy commodities and stimulate the economy because 14% of GDP in stimulus might not just be enough. About China buying EURUSD by the way, if anybody has doubts talk to your nearest FX dealer and you will see: the PBOC supported the market at 1.4480 when we threatened the uptrend, and at 1.47 when we tried to reverse after hitting 1.48 the other day. These actions are not only visible by anybody in the market, they are also market-timed and clearly part of a plan a lot more elaborate than just diversifying currency reserves. I forgot to mention the talks of side deals with Russia to settle energy purchases in Ruble and Yuan. This has nothing to do with paranoia or conspiracy theory, in fact if I were the Chinese government I would probably do the same thing. After all China is simply trying to run a policy that maximizes the country's economic power. It's a perfect set-up for a bubble and implosion, but when it comes to the intentions behind the policies it's hard to blame China.

On the other end, it is absolutely unbelievable that anybody in the US government would be cheering about this. The game plan for the demise of the US economy might is being laid out in front of our eyes, and officials cheer about it? Are we that worried about European competition that we are actually winking at other countries in Asia organizing the USD devaluation for us so we gain a competitive advantage? Certainly concerns are rising in Europe that there is a secret handshake agreement between the US and China regarding an organized and controlled currency devaluation. Hard not to wonder about it at the very least looking at the facts. This past weekend the Chinese government raised the ceiling that foreign institutions can invest in the domestic A-share Chinese stock market. That comes at a time when China is concerned about excess liquidity in its own market and on the heels of a 22% drop in August. That would certainly help China support stocks without encouraging any more frenzy by local speculators considering the notional in equities exchanged in China on July 28 was already greater than that exchanged in NY, Europe, and Tokyo combined. Better than printing yourself: get someone to do it for you, and return the favor by devaluing their currency!

Despite much better export numbers last night the Shanghai composite gave back some of its advance to close below the 50 and 100 daily moving averages. As those two averages are in fact threatening to post a bearish cross if the market sells a little bit more from here, we can expect intervention out of Beijing. I also pointed out the Nikkei the past couple days because it has been relatively resilient to advances elsewhere the past few weeks. If you want to know where all the liquidity is going the answer is not Japan, as the JPY is levelling after appreciating against the USD. A chart of the Bovespa gives us a hint along with the recent decision to host the Olympics in Rio. It takes a world traveller to chase bubbles these days, thank god for ETFs as you can enjoy the frenzy from the comfort of your couch!

The sad thing is that all this is done at the expense of future generations and when the bubble bursts nobody will be better off... I am at a loss of words, and I can only recommend carry traders to buy Gold against Copper and ride that wave until the ratio hits 10. It is probably the most sensible trade since Copper is in over-supply, and has rallied considerably proportionally from the lows compared to gold. Since world trade is not about to explode to the upside, the liquidity is much more likely to pile up in gold and demand in copper faces plenty of supply to handle it. Also if there is a relapse in the markets copper should get hurt just as much as gold would on a flight to quality towards USD, so it is a fundamentally very sound trade. Ideal entry is around 3 but nothing tells us we will retest these levels so at 3.7 the ratio is still very much in the lower part of the historical range. I will not recommend carry trades outright because I think there will be a short covering in USD in the next few weeks or months, and when that happens I think it will be very violent.

Good luck trading,


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Anonymous's picture

great read...curious...your thoughts on silver ?

Ben Graham Redux's picture

That was a terrific read.  I couldn't help but think that Chinese buying of Treasuries may have something to do with our low rates.  China jawbones the dollar to facilitate a lower greenback and export advantages for the Middle Kingdom, meanwhile spreading the largesse in the form of commodity buying that helps the emerging markets. 


Perhaps we have the answer to low rates and weak dollar staring us in the face.

putbuyer's picture

Love Wednesdays on ZeroHedge, as it seems like its beef and potatoes day. It's just me as this is my day to notice lots of hump day events. Obama's comments about the great middle class again sickened me today - and he knows nothing about this class and I believe he wants to kill it. Aside from that, DOW 10k plus - and I have checked the volumes on the usual suspects (low volumes), which I again see the same thing happening as pre crash 1929 events. Yes, I have read the book many times.


Allow me to quote David Kahane again, because this is where we are going.


I have a nightmare that I will still be alive when the Mother of All Ponzi Schemes finally beggars the nation, and the heroic, eco-friendly childless couples starve to death as they realize they forgot to manufacture their old-age meal tickets.


BM's picture
BM (not verified) Sep 10, 2009 11:05 PM

or years...

you can forget about short covering till the moment the great Bubblenanke stops blowing, stops printing paper to buy MBS that is.

hint: NEVER.

Anonymous's picture

"hint: NEVER."

O cmon, get real. You know who says never? Little children. Listen, try to be less emotional. Yeah it sucks, but so does half of your life. You somehow are able to deal with that fact. So deal with this one as well.

phaesed's picture

Seriously man, maybe you can explain to me why it is that people don't purchase the national debt?


Why don't corporations in this country buy our debt, why do we have to go to China?

The debt's what? 11trill?

American's own at least 3-4 of that, so what happens if we purchase another 6 trillion? (Obviously the bits in the FFB can't be purchased)

Can you tell me what would be so wrong with that?

Why should China be crashing us have us worried, why are Americans going to anything but the dollar? Don't they get that this in turn weakens the dollar?

Why aren't we keeping our cash at home to buy all the cheap things around us INSTEAD of stock? Why are we sending it to China or Exxon?

Seriously, is it so insane to think that American's should buy the national debt out and say fuck you to China?


ghostfaceinvestah's picture

Easily Nic's best post yet.

Finally people are starting to get what I have been saying for months - this is a liquidity bubble the likes of which we haven't seen ever.

ghostfaceinvestah's picture

To someone's comment about MBS purchases.


Never seems like a reasonable estimate for a stopping time.

Anonymous's picture

"I think there will be a short covering in USD in the next few weeks or months, and when that happens I think it will be very violent."

Indeed... the dollar isn't dead yet. The destruction of a fiat currency requires a feedback loop that our economy can not currently provide.

Anonymous's picture

"I think there will be a short covering in USD in the next few weeks or months, and when that happens I think it will be very violent."

Indeed... the destruction of a currency requires a feedback loop that our economy cannot currently provide.

QuantumCat's picture

"I think there will be a short covering in USD in the next few weeks or months, and when that happens I think it will be very violent."

Indeed... the destruction of a currency requires a feedback loop that our economy cannot currently provide.

aus_punter's picture

"Indeed... the destruction of a currency requires a feedback loop that our economy cannot currently provide"

can you please elaborate on this point ?

Cheeky Bastard's picture

spending, consumer and likewise. you need the money created to hit the streets '06 style in order for the currency to enter the last days of it existence. if the spending is sectoral, the inflation will also be sectoral. for a broad range inflation you would need to have broad range spending, which is currently not happening due to the freeze in the credit markets for small, medium and big sized businesses, as well as for consumers. I think that's what he was trying to say.

Nick Utah's picture

Maybe the freezing of the credit markets is by design to limit inflation to isolated sectors. This does allow the printing presses to run full tilt with focused usage without a fear of hyperinflation.

Anonymous's picture

This seems like a pretty important point to me.

Anonymous's picture

the dollar carry trade will be around for years and years and hence low interest rates and continued capital flight...the purpose is to finance chinese and indian expansion through pillaging of america....the low interest rates will decapitalize america as part of global wealth redistribution ordered by the rockefeller / rothschild cabal....

one of the beneficiaries of this trade will be gold - something which the chinese are sucking in at astonishing rates....

the other purpose of currency devaluation is to permit massive purchasing of usa assets....china and india will be the new overlords of this continent....

read this interesting article which quotes liar alan blinder about the loss of up to 1/3 of usa jobs to india and china...there will not be a single policy erected to stanch the hemorraging....

rape doesn't even begin to describe what is happening to this country....jeffery dahlmer is a better metaphor...

Anonymous's picture

DEBT is the problem. Keynes talked them into leaving the printing presses on after they bailed out Goldman,JPM,Mellon and a few others in "29". What happened was.........THE GREAT DEPRESSION!!! They tried to shove Tbills down our throats for years after that. If americans buy the 12 trillion they will never turn the press off. In 2008 the same folks got bailed out again,same Keynes theory,same wide open presses. It was bad in "29" and it will be worse this time. Keynes reminds me of a crack whore,always looking for a loan but never ever a thought of paying it back. Let me know how that Keynes is working out for you in a couple of years.

phaesed's picture

But see, that's the point.... If we ever actually funded our country on our own, a lot of things would change.... First of all, we wouldn't have to go begging to the communists, but even more, the Government would actually answer to the people funding them (yea right). Seriously, look at the public vs privately own debt issues.....


On top of it, the Banks right now are selling back 30 year T Bills to the Fed at prices of 130+ when they were going to mature at 100.... more robbery! *sigh* This is so doomed, nobody even thinks its serious that America could buy their own debt and ZH is fanning the fears nice and well. Saying that we are printing currency is a misstatement, we're expanding credit... the printing is the illegal part (and yes, it is going on, but not to the degree that is commonly declared), which is why if we actually held CASH rather than equities, it would work. Americans continue to distort their dollar by putting it into alternative instruments which dilute the concentration. You have to understand the math, if you don't then you assume that all creation is equal to printing...... and it's NOT.

Cheeky Bastard's picture

Remember folks; while we may have or may not have inflation or deflation on a universal level; we do have BOTH simultaneously on a local level; i.e both sectoral deflation and inflation. Don't believe me ? Compare the movement in housing prices and movement in stock prices. It is pretty simple; you have locally hyper-inflation environments; locally inflation environments; locally deflation environments and locally hyper-deflation environments. Call it the topology of economic spaces, or geometry of economics or financial topology i don't care; but it is here; has always been here; and i'm puzzled by the lack of any rigorous investigation done in this.  Universal consensus can be established by algebraic operations on the deflation/inflation rates of local environments. But still, it would only be a abstract universal consensus, not at least pragmatic. 

Gunther's picture


you point to some obvious facts. Stocks inflate, housing deflates.
That reality seems to be to complicated for economists; they squeeze the complex world into one number that can only indicate one outcome. That is reductio ad absurdum.
To me the only astonishing thing is that somebody still trusts the dismal (performing) “scientists.”


Cheeky Bastard's picture

Gunther; i don't find Economy to be a science, to me, it is nothing more than a theory of woulda-coulda-shoulda. It is terribly inaccurate and completely lacks any pragma.  Basically, it is completely worthless. 

Chumly's picture

Thank you.

Example:  Do the events that cause reversals in the fundamentals happen before or at the time of the reversals?  The same goes for TA.

While I'm busy throwing acronyms around, I will repeat my longstanding argument I was making even before I was The Arbitrageur at the ZH Blog and Chumly here now, that the BS QTM models our brilliant PhD Economist (insert ZB & Co.) run through their Cray SC's designed by quants are without an ounce of common sense.  On the other hand, MPD was formulated and argued by an economist Palyi who had diverse background prior to his becoming one.  MPD is exponentially negative (inflationary) against so-called positive "GDP" driven by fiat QE , hence the whole is actually deflationary, hence we are in a depression.  While the microeconomic aspects of various sectors may take a fair amount of brains to quantify, the overall picture is not complicated whatsoever - it's not rocket science nor is it science.



Gunther's picture


I did not want to imply that you think of economy as a science.

Cheeky Bastard's picture

Gunther, i know you didn't i was just making my humble contribution in the form of a opinion to what you have said about how lame the economists are in your post. 

Nick Utah's picture

It reminds me of playing Wack-A-Mole. Timmy and Ben are beating down pockets of inflation while overall all asset classes are deflating as the dollar tanks.

chindit13's picture

No COLA for Social Security, but as Nomi Prin reminded us, 91% of all the tens of trillions in bailout and backstop funds has gone to the Upper Class on Wall Street.  Such priorities!  The greatest transfer of wealth in the history of the human species has taken place under our not-so-watchful eye.  And let us not forget who spearheaded this entire debacle.

Why the blades on the guillotines are not already soaked with bankers' and public officials' blood is either a testament to the great patience of the populace, or else an indication of their ignorance and lack of courage.

Anonymous's picture

"And let us not forget who spearheaded this entire debacle."

Math nerds?

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Good read. Everyone talks about the demise of the dollar and that might be so long term. But at some point, in the spiral of competitive currency devaluations, the USD will firm up in relation to the other currencies in the DXY and the dollar will rebound, setting up the next leg down in the US stock market.

Might not happen but it seem likely in my view. 

Cheeky Bastard's picture

CD, go see my post under the Dow 10 000 article ...

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Below is your post from the Dow 10,000 article.

"try to picture this paradox. lets say that the dollars starts falling at the rate seen in fall of 08 in the equities, the equities start falling at the same rate,and Bernanke starts to print like crazy on a daily basis. Also, lets say the DXY gets hammer like a mofo losing 20% in a day or two; where do you think people and institutions will hoard their money ? Bingo into dollar denominated bonds and treasury bills. Even if the death of the dollar is imminent and easily seen, it is still THE only safe heaven in this economic crisis. Of course we could say that the money will be hoarded into metals; but the thing is; there doesn't exist nearly enough quantity of metals, as seen with the recent development in gold futures where central banks needed to give their reserves to private banks for private banks to deliver them."

I fully agree for one simple reason. Nobody really thinks the government has fixed anything at all. They have simply kicked the can down the highway in exchange for bigger problems in a year or two. Because of this, the scenario you outline above is a high probability.

Cheeky, for all your trash talk and kidding around, I love your alternative views. I'm a contrarian myself but you bring much to the table and I benefit from your comments.


aus_punter's picture

i could not agree more

to play devils advocate though, the JPY carry trade lasted a long, long time

Chumly's picture

Regarding Lenoir's piece above, and this has probably been stated elsewhere either here or with other commentators, consider this:  What is happening with the Chinese is horribly dangerous.  The de facto devaluing of the Yuan via the EUR/USD proxy and resulting commodities carry trade is putting a glass floor under commodities, including precious metals.

AR's picture

Good report Nic:  This we found key:  "...peg the Yuan to the USD, buy EURUSD everytime the uptrend is threatened in order to de-facto devalue their currency, while being hedged by the stockpiles of commodities purchased prior to that, and make the most of the explosion in monetary growth (28% annually) necessary to keep the peg going to further buy commodities and stimulate the economy because 14% of GDP in stimulus might not just be enough."

JR's picture

Pre-Script:  Nic’s report and the comments here have restored my equanimity and my faith in my fellow man.  The American Revolution will never end.  Thank you.

Each week brings it closer. America is finally rushing toward a breakup of government.  The private sector will force it.  The investment banker chiefs have plugged almost all the critical posts in Washington with their puppet “yes” men. Goldman, JPM and Citigroup have a Barney Frank or a Tim Geithner who’s going to do every single solitary thing they say in the Senate, in the World Bank, in the White House, in the FCC, in the Federal Reserve…    They’re nearing capacity in America—to the point all seats of importance are saturated with their people.

This is when it breaks.

The next step is backlash--when the people stand up and clear them out. These profiteers aren’t self-sacrificing men or serving the interests of the United States as did our founders and forefathers. No. We the people are paying the taxes and they the investment bankers are calling the shots.  Why bother to elect "representatives" if Goldman make all the decisions?   It’s one thing to have a Congress that doesn’t pay any attention to the people; it’s another to have a Congress that steals from the people. 

The people have asked for openness on banking.  But, no!  Goldman voted it down.  Whether it’s cap and trade, foreign trade, stock market trade, dollars and SDRs, banking firewalls and regulations, domestic policy, war…Goldman will decide.  The three profiteers reached this danger point in America with their activities cloaked in secrecy.  But the secret is out and spreading faster than a speeding bullet, and the intensity of determination to stop these bankers by the people who will count is at code livid.  Goldman has nowhere to go from here and the force of we the people working together can break the strongman’s hold on our government.

We have no choice.  It’s survival. Self-dealing private interests are robbing the Treasury, destroying jobs and livelihoods, killing incentives and progress.  These developments don’t occur in a cycle. Their progression is linear.  The situation develops to a certain point and then it breaks, as in Soviet Russia where the lines of people got longer and longer and the black market bigger and bigger. When Reagan pulled U.S. support, the iron grip of the Soviet system couldn’t make the country work any longer. The block of countries broke apart and began to revert back to the private sector. This private sector is what created Western Civilization and its bounty from free markets.

Individuals pulling together can defeat the strongman. America can’t have a system of government that provides freedom and equality and representation of and by the people with Goldman Sachs, JPM and Citigroup living off the people, distributing their obscene largesse to each other and bragging about how much smarter they are.  I hear it every day on the radio and read it on the Internet.  Every entity except the financial toadies is lashing out at Goldman and its financial “system”--the left wing and the right wing, bloggers and columnists, Republicans and Democrats—as the profiteers get fatter and the economy starves.

The following AP blockbuster -- When Wall Street Calls, Geithner Answers -- that appeared October 8 is still being talked about on NPR:


As Business Insider said: Today ( October 8) the AP revealed that Geithner doesn't give equal access to all of the banks, or even all of the largest banks. Likewise, being one of the biggest, most well-connected investment banks doesn't get you close to Geithner. Instead, it's a small select group of financial firms that have Geithner's ear, at least judging by a review of his phone records.

Who is Geithner chatting with on the phone?

  • Goldman Sachs
  • JP Morgan Chase
  • Citigroup

Most obviously left off the list are Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Morgan Stanley.

AP) October 8, 2009 -- Even during his most frenzied days, when Congress is demanding answers or the president himself is calling, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner makes time to talk to a select group of powerful Wall Street bankers.

They are a small cadre of businessmen who have known and worked with Geithner for years, whose multibillion-dollar companies all survived the economic crisis with help from U.S. taxpayers.

When they call, Geithner answers. He has spoken with them immediately after hanging up with President Barack Obama and before heading up to Capitol Hill, between phone calls with senators and after talking with the Federal Reserve chairman, according to a review by The Associated Press of seven months of his appointment calendars.

The calendars, obtained by the AP under the Freedom of Information Act, offer a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the continued influence of three companies - Citigroup Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. - whose executives can reach the nation's most powerful economic official on the phone, sometimes several times a day…

What the calendars show…is that only a select few can call the Treasury secretary.

After one hectic week in May in which the U.S. faced the looming bankruptcy of General Motors and the prospect that the government would take over the automaker, Geithner wrapped up his night with a series of phone calls.

First he called Lloyd Blankfein, the chairman and CEO at Goldman. Then he called Jamie Dimon, the boss at JPMorgan. Obama called next, and as soon as they hung up, Geithner was back on the phone with Dimon…

Partly this is explained by the extraordinary clout of these companies. Goldman, JPMorgan and Citigroup are among the dominant players on Wall Street. Their executives can move not just markets but entire economies. Treasury invested heavily in all of them to keep the industry afloat.

But size does not tell the whole story. Treasury has a huge financial stake in North Carolina-based Bank of America Corp., but CEO Ken Lewis appears on Geithner's calendars only three times. Morgan Stanley CEO John Mack also appears three times…

At the New York Fed and then at Treasury, Geithner helped put together multibillion-dollar taxpayer bailouts for Wall Street investment firms, including Goldman, JPMorgan and Citi. Even banks that have repaid the money still enjoy massive subsidies. Their quick returns to record profits and million-dollar bonuses sparked outrage…  The full story here:

ElvisDog's picture

The description in this post makes complete sense in that the weak dollar policy benefits both the Chinese and U.S. leadership. The losers are the American middle class, but they can be mollified in the near-term by the rising stock market, caused in large part by the falling dollar.

JR's picture

What I'd like to know, how does the rising stock market with the widespread knowledge that the big banks are the primary beneficiaries mollify the American middle class? 

The point is, Obama is a citizen of the world. US-based multinational corporations are making money reneging on their tax responsibilities to this country on income earned by outsourcing America to foreign countries.  Obama and Hilliary Clinton campaigned heavily against this.

Obama once said, according to San Francisco Chronicle columnist Andrew S. Ross, that for U.S. multinationals, the current tax code “makes it perfectly legal for companies to avoid paying their fair share.”

Obama had said earlier that he favors a proposal that would raise $210 billion in taxes on US multinationals who presently defer paying taxes on revenues earned overseas.  Ross says that The Hill, a DC daily, reported that Obama’s proposal “has been put aside temporarily.”  Ross linked this set aside to furious lobbying by tech companies, including Intel and Oracle, against this proposal.

In today’s Chronicle, Ross has a comment concerning Intel’s financial report this week which helped put the DOW over the 10,000 mark:  “Any ideas on how to get Intel, which just reported a quarterly profit of $1.86 billion, or Oracle, whose CEO is the fourth richest man in the world, to pay, if not their fair share, at least a fairer share?”