• Gold Money
    05/26/2016 - 14:27
    Here’s a question that might have you pondering: Is gold a commodity? More importantly, are we doing a disservice to the gold industry by calling gold a commodity? These may sound like silly...

Consumer Confidence

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Key Economic Events In The Holiday-Shortened Week





It may be a holiday shortened week in the US with Thanksgiving and Black Friday sales on deck (some of which may be starting as soon as Wednesday) but there is a lot of macro data to digest in the next few days.

 
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"Economic" Advice To The President (Laissez-Faire Austrian Vs. Anti-Market Keynesian)





Dear Mr. President, your country faces a stagnating economy... The truth is it is too late for our politicians to act, because the speculative peak that precedes the crisis is already upon us.

 
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Stocks Jump On Hope For More Central Bank Intervention After Japan's Quintuple Recession, Syrian Strikes





As so often happens in these upside down days, was the best thing that could happen to the market, because another economic slowdown means the BOJ, even without sellers of JGBs, will have no choice but to expand its "stimulus" program (the same one that led Japan to its current predicament of course) and buy up if not government bonds, then corporate bonds, more ETFs (of which it already own 50%) and ultimately stocks. Because there is nothing better for the richest asset owners than total economic collapse.

 
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Mid-East Stocks, US Futures Slide As Goldman Warns Of Paris Attacks' Negative Implications For Markets





Following the weakness in the few minutes of after-hours trading on Friday's US session that overlapped with the first headlines from France, we are getting a first glimpse at the posible fallout from the Paris terror attacks. The Middle Eastern stock markets tumbled significantly with Saudi Arabia's Tadawul All Share index down 3% (biggest drop in 3 months) to its lowest since December 2012, and Dubai's FMG Index plunged 3.7% to its lowest since 2014. Short-run implication for the equity market is likely to be negative according to Goldman, with a notably higher risk premium regarding uncertainties about the medium-term political implications.

 
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Frontrunning: November 10





  • Bonds Rise as China Drags Down Metals, Selloff in Stocks Resumes (BBG)
  • European Stock Rally Runs Out of Steam Amid China Growth Concern (BBG)
  • Obama's immigration action blocked again; Supreme Court only option left (Reuters)
  • Ukraine: Cyberwar’s Hottest Front (WSJ)
  • With $170.4 Million Sale at Auction, Modigliani Work Joins Rarefied Nine-Figure Club (NYT)
  • IEA Sees OPEC Market Share Growth in 2020 as Rivals Stagnate (BBG)
 
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Weekend Reading: Copious Contemplations





"After many years of ultra-accommodative polices, it is clear that ongoing interventions have failed to boost actual economic growth and only exacerbated the destruction of the middle class. It is clear that employment growth has only been a function of population growth, as witnessed by the ongoing decline in the labor-force participation rates and the surging levels of individuals that have fallen out of the work-force. While we will continue to operate to foster maximum employment and price stability, the reality is that the economy overall remains far to weak to sustain higher interest rates or any tightening of monetary policy."  

 
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Futures Fade Overnight Ramp After BOJ Disappoints, Attention Returns To Hawkish Fed





Back in September we explained why, contrary to both conventional wisdom and the BOJ's endless protests to the contrary, neither the BOJ nor the ECB have any interest in boosting QE at this - or any other point - simply because with every incremental bond they buy, the time when the two central banks run out of monetizable debt comes closer. Since then the ECB has jawboned that it may boost QE (but it has not done so), and overnight as reported previously, the BOJ likewise did not expand QE despite many, including Goldman Sachs, expecting it would do just that.

 
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Goldman 'Explains' This Is Not A "Low Quality" Rally, It Is "Macro-Free" - So Don't Worry





It appears even Goldman Sachs was surprised by the recent rally in US equities - especially in light of the explicit hawkishness of The Fed yesterday. In a trading note this morning, the bank says that market risks are real and rising (but are not overwhelming) as it explains, we assume with no intent at humor or sarcasm, that they "prefer to think of the recent equity rally as 'macro-free' rather than 'low quality'," reiterating their view of the cycle and of markets as "fundamentally upbeat." They do, however, admit over the last month, the likelihood of a drawdown in the US equity market further increased, and remains at mildly elevated levels.

 
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Italians More Confident Than Germans For The First Time Since 2009





The latest batch of European consumer confidence data is a very mixed bag. On the weak side, the French continue to be miserable, notable outliers to the rest of the majors, and German confidence has now fallen for 7 straight months. However, Italians have not been this confident since 2002 and for the first time since 2009, both Italian and Spanish consumer confidence is higher than Germany's. So if everyone is so damn confident, why does Draghi continue to push for moar emergency easing?

 
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Futures Fade As Hawkish Fed Deemed Not So Bullish After All





Based on the overnight market prints which are an oddly reddish shade of green, it took algos about 12 hours to realize that the reason they soared for most of October, namely hopes of an easier Fed which were launched with the terrible September jobs report and continued with increasingly worse US economic report in the past month, can not be the same reason they also soared yesterday after the announcement of a more hawkish than expected Fed statement which envisioned a stronger US economy and a removal of foreign considerations, which even more curiously took place on even worse data than the Fed's far more dovish September statement.

 
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Markets On Hold Awaiting The Fed's Non-Announcement As Central Banks Ramp Up Currency Wars





We would say today's main event is the culmination of the Fed's two-day meeting and the announcement slated for 2 pm this afternoon, however with the 90 economists polled by Bloomberg all expecting no rate hike, today's Fed decision also happens to be the least anticipated in years (which may be just the time for the Fed to prove it is not driven by market considerations and shock everybody, alas that will not happen). And considering how bad the economic data has gone in recent months, not to mention the recent easing, hints of easing, and outright return to currency war by other banks, the Fed is once again trapped and may not be able to hike in December or perhaps ever, now that the USD is again surging not due to its actions but due to what other central banks are doing.

 
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US Automakers' Worst Nightmare (In 2 Charts)





With the second half of 2015 "grim" for Chinese auto sales, US automakers - who have field-of-dreams-like built inventories to record levels - have turned domestic for growth by extending credit for decades to anyone who can fog a mirror. That was all well and good until we discover this morning that the government's consumer confidence survey shows Americans auto-buying attitude is the lowest since Jan 2013. Automakers have two options, offer buy-one-get-one-free to all new Syrian refugees or cut production dramatically in hopes of easing inventory excess. Good luck.

 
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Consumer Confidence Slides As Low Gas Prices No Longer Lift Sentiment





Despite ongoing low gas prices, a recovery in stocks, and the nationally-advertised unemployment rate remaining low, Consumer Confidence tumbled in October from eight-year highs to three-month lows. Worse still, "hope" slid to its lowest in 3 months as "jobs plentiful" slid notably with fewer jobs and decreasing income.

 
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