• Steve H. Hanke
    05/04/2016 - 08:00
    Authored by Steve H. Hanke of The Johns Hopkins University. Follow him on Twitter @Steve_Hanke. A few weeks ago, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) sprang a surprise. It announced that a...

University Of Michigan

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Mike Bloomberg Booed After Lashing Out At College "Safe Spaces"





"... one of the most dangerous places on a college campus is the so-called safe space because it creates a false impression that we can isolate ourselves from those who hold different views. We can't, and we shouldn't try. Not in politics, or in the workplace..."

 
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USDJPY Plunges As Dollar Drops To 11 Month Lows, Commodities Rise





Following yesterday's Yen surge in the aftermath of the disappointing BOJ announcement, the pain for USDJPY long continued, with the key carry pair tumbling as low as 106, the lowest level since October 2014 before stabilizing around 107, and is now headed for its biggest weekly gain since 2008, which in turn has pushed the US dollar to to its lowest close in almost a year as signs of slowing growth in the U.S. dimmed prospects for a Federal Reserve interest-rate increase. As a result, global stocks fell and commodities extended gains in their best month since 2010.

 
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Key Events In The Coming Central Bank-Heavy Week





The April FOMC gathering headlines a crowded economic events calendar this week. The post-meeting statement, released Wednesday afternoon, should continue to strike a cautious tone. There will be no press conference and updated economic and financial forecasts will not be released. Few expect the FOMC to add the “balance of risks” sentence back into its communiqué at this point. Doing so would be quite bearish for risk assets as it would definitely open the door for a June rate hike.

 
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Futures Wipe Out Most Overnight Losses Following Dramatic Rebound In Crude





Following yesterday's OPEC "production freeze" meeting in Doha which ended in total failure, where in a seemingly last minute change of heart Saudi Arabia and specifically its deputy crown prince bin Salman revised the terms of the agreement demanding Iran participate in the freeze after all knowing well it won't, oil crashed and with it so did the strategy of jawboning for the past 2 months had been exposed for what it was: a desperate attempt to keep oil prices stable and "crush shorts" while global demand slowly picked up.  And whether it is central banks, or chronic BTFDers, just 12 hours after oil opened for trading with a loud crash, the commodity has nearly wiped out all losses, and both brent and WTI were down barely 2%, leading to both European stocks and US equity futures virtually unchanged on the session. 

 
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Futures Fade As Chinese "Good News Is Bad News" For Fed, Oil Drops As Doha Concerns Emerge





Good news is still bad news after all. After last night's China 6.7% GDP print which while the lowest since Q1 2009, was in line with expectations, coupled with beats in IP, Fixed Asset Investment and Retail Sales (on the back of $1 trillion in total financing in Q1)  the sentiment this morning is that China has turned the corner (if only for the time being). And that's the problem, because while China was a good excuse for the Fed to interrupt its rate hike cycle as the biggest "global" threat, that is no longer the case if China has indeed resumed growing. As such Yellen no longer has a ready excuse to delay. This is precisely why futures are lower as of this moment, because suddenly the "scapegoat" narrative has evaporated.

 
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Key Economic Events In The Coming Week





While the market is still enjoying the post-NFP weekly data lull, economic data starts to pick up again in the coming days, alongside the start of the reporting season. Below are this week's key events.

 
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Global Stocks Rise, Europe Rebounds As Oil Halts Decline





In a quiet start to the week following last week's surprisingly strong rebound which followed a stronger than expected jobs report (perhaps to demonstrate that good news is once again good news), Japan stocks continued to sink as the USDJPY dropped to fresh lows, while commodities declined for a fifth day as the supply glut from crude to copper weighed on prices, dragging down commodity currencies. European equities rose, rebounding from a one-month low.

 
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Japan Stocks Plunge; Europe, U.S. Futures, Oil Lower Ahead Of Payrolls





For Japan, the post "Shanghai Summit" world is turning ugly, fast, because as a result of the sliding dollar, a key demand of China which has been delighted by the recent dovish words and actions of Janet Yellen, both Japan's and Europe's stock markets have been sacrificed at the whims of their suddenly soaring currencies. Which is why when Japanese stocks tumbled the most in 7 weeks, sinking 3.5%, to a one month low of 16,164 (after the Yen continued strengthening and the Tankan confidence index plunged to a 3 year low) it was anything but an April fool's joke to both local traders.

 
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Global Stocks Levitate Despite Ongoing Oil Weakness; China Stocks Jump After Easing Margin Debt





At the same time as the PBOC was cautioning about the dangers of excess debt (just as it injected a record amount of loans into the financial system), China's central bank warned about dangers from a stock market bubble, and perhaps just to assure the bubble gets even bigger, at the same time China eased on margin debt limits, in the process sending Chinese stocks soaring higher by 2.2%, and pushing the Shanghai Composite over 3000 for the first time in months as China now appears set to attempt another housing bubble "soft landing" while at the same time restarting its housing bubble.

 
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On Opex Day, It's All About The Dollar: Futures, Oil Levitate As USD Weakness Persists





It may be option expiration day (always leading to abnormal market activity) but it remains all about the weak dollar, which after crashing in the two days after the Fed's surprisingly dovish statement has put both the ECB and the BOJ in the very awkward position that shortly after both banks have drastically eased, the Euro and the Yen are now trading stronger relative to the dollar versus prior. As DB puts it, "the US Dollar has tumbled in a fairly impressive fashion since the FOMC on Wednesday with the Dollar spot index now down the most over a two-day period since 2009" which naturally hurts those countries who have been rushing to debase their own currencies against the USD.

 
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All Eyes On The Fed: Key Events In The Coming Central Bank-Dominated Week





Last week it was all about the ECB, which disappointed on hopes of further rate cuts (leading to the Thursday selloff) but delivered on the delayed realization that the ECB is now greenlighting a tsunami in buybacks (leading to the Friday market surge). This week it is once again all about central banks, only this time instead of stimulus, the risk is to the downside, with the BOJ expected to do nothing at all after the January NIRP fiasco, while the "data dependent" Fed will - if anything - hint at further hawkishness now that the S&P is back over 2,000.

 
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Global Stocks, Oil Continue Streamrolling Shorts On Last Minute Hopes For G-20 Stimulus Announcement





With the conclusion of this weekend's G-20 unknown, and many still expecting a major stimulus, the squeeze will likely continue into the close of trading ahead of the  weekend when nobody will want to be caught short into what may end up being another global coordinated intervention to prop up markets. “With a lot of policy events coming there is a fair chance of more stimulus plans so the markets can squeeze higher,” said Benno Galliker, a trader at Luzerner Kantonalbank AG. "The big reversal shows that there is some expectation building up into those events."

 
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Global Stocks Soar On Stimulus Hopes After Miserable Chinese, Japanese Data; Short Squeeze





"The Chinese market didn’t react as bad as we feared and with the weak export data there is some big hope that he central banks will react quite fast," John Plassard, senior equity-sales trader at Mirabaud Securities LLP in Geneva, told Bloomberg. "It’s a mix of hope of intervention from the Asian central bank, short squeeze and also a relief in some energy and banking sectors, the most shorted sectors." And there are your catalysts for today's surge: hope of more central bank intervention and a global short squeeze.

 
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Americans' "Deflationary Mindset" Has Never Been Stronger





Having already warned of a "deflationary mindset," today's University of Michigan Confidence data suggests Americans are falling deeper into dis-inflation territory. Today's headline tumble in confidence to 4-month lows, with "hope" dropping to 6-month lows is dominated by the plunge in 5-10 year inflation expectations to 2.4% (from 2.7%) - a 36-year record low.

 
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