Posts Tagged ‘Jesse’s Americain Cafe’

The Marriage of Mercantilism and Corporatism: When Free Trade Is Not ‘Free’

The Marriage of Mercantilism and Corporatism: When Free Trade Is Not ‘Free’

Courtesy of JESSE’S CAFÉ AMÉRICAIN

"The consequences of this policy are also stark and simple: in effect, China is taxing imports while subsidizing exports, feeding a huge trade surplus. You may see claims that China’s trade surplus has nothing to do with its currency policy; if so, that would be a first in world economic history. An undervalued currency always promotes trade surpluses, and China is no different." Paul Krugman

And he is exactly right. As regular readers know this matter of Chinese mercantilism and its toleration and acceptance by the West has been a key observation and objection here since 2000. Any economist who does not understand that devaluing and then maintaining an artificially low currency peg with a trading partner distorts the nature of that trade should review their knowledge of algebra.

And yet it was in 1994 during the Clinton Administration that China was permitted to obtain full trading partner "Most Favored Nation" status, while vaguely promising to float their recently devalued currency some day, and address the human rights issues that were endogenous to their non-democratic, totalitarian government.

"From 1981 to 1993 there were six major devaluations in China. Their amounts ranged from 9.6 percent to 44.9 percent, and the official exchange rate went from 2.8 yuan per U.S. dollar to 5.32 yuan per U.S. dollar. On January 1, 1994, China unified the two-tier exchange rates by devaluing the official rate to the prevailing swap rate of 8.7 yuan per U.S. dollar." Sonia Wong, China’s Export Growth

This served Mr. Clinton’s constituents in Bentonville quite well, and has some interesting implications for the Chinese campaign contributions scandals. It supported the Rubin doctrine of a ‘strong dollar’ while facilitating the financialization of the US economy and the continuing decline of the middle class wage earners, under pressue to surrender a standard of living achieved at great cost. "How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Currency Collapse." and China’s Mercantilism: Selling Them the Rope

Not to limit this, George W. ratified the arrangement when he took office, and so it has gone on for almost fifteen years…
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Note to Mish: The BLS Added About 145,897 Imaginary Jobs to the Non-Farm Payrolls Headline Number

Note to Mish: The BLS Added About 145,897 Imaginary Jobs to the Non-Farm Payrolls Headline Number

Courtesy of JESSE’S CAFÉ AMÉRICAIN

I like Mish Shedlock. He has intellectual integrity, and even when we occasionally disagree, as I recall over the inevitability of deflation and some of its particular consequences and manifestations, I listen to his arguments carefully. He draws conclusions that are difficult to fault. Most of the time we seem to be in agreement.

In his most recent blog, he indirectly poses an interesting question.

"Hidden beneath the surface the BLS Black Box – Birth Death Model added 145,000 jobs. However, as I have pointed out many times before, the Birth/Death numbers cannot be subtracted straight up to get a raw number. It contributed to this month’s employment total for sure, but the BLS will not disclose by how much."

Mish Shedlock, Jobs Decrease by 125,000

Here are the Imaginary Jobs added to the Non Farm Payrolls from the Birth Death Model of the BLS. As Mish reminds us, (thank you Mish. I have been nagging bloggers about this for years), the Imaginary Jobs are added to the unadjusted payroll numbers, which are dramatically impacted by the seasonal adjustments, which are sometimes quite significant.

I include this second chart show the Birth – Death numbers over time to show the historical trend. It is remarkable how ‘regular’ this number has been over the past six years despite an epic recession that devastated small businesses, which is purportedly what this model tracks.

Here is a visual depiction of the Seasonally Adjusted and the Unadjusted Non-Farm Payroll Numbers. As you can see, the adjustment is sometimes very significant. Remember, the Birth Death imaginary jobs are added to the unadjusted number, which is indicated in maroon on this chart.

So obviously one can calculate the ‘seasonality factor’ using a simple formula

Seasonality Factor (SF) = Seasonally Adjusted Number (SA) / Non-Seasonally Adjusted Number (NSA)

I do this each month in the Payrolls Spreadsheet that I maintain. I like to see if the BLS changes its calculations and assumptions over time, especially when they do major revisions.

And although I have never shown it in this blog before, it is relatively…
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Keiser Report No.19: Markets! Finance! Scandal! – And Karl Denninger

Keiser Report No.19: Markets! Finance! Scandal! – And Karl Denninger

Courtesy of JESSE’S CAFÉ AMÉRICAIN

Although I don’t always agree with them, obviously, I am always interested, informed, and entertained by what madcap Max Keiser and his cerebral colleague Stacy Herbert have to say on The Keiser Report. As you may know, Max is the latest American in Paris, having left the States after selling his Hollywood Stock Exchange to Cantor Fitzgerald of Wall Street. Perhaps some day we can have a drink at the Ritz and philosophize, as expatriates are often wont to do, about the tragic transience of empire. The Ritz. Alas, when I was a visiting student at ESSEC I could not afford it, and now that I can, I do not get out much anymore. But who can tell what the future may bring.

The most recent broadcast of the Keiser Report has an added attraction in its second half, Karl Denninger. Karl is probably more familiar to our American patrons as theoutre financial commentator from The Market Ticker.

Karl always has something interesting to say, spoken plainly, and without the kind of courtly manner towards corporate America that is so fashionable among the journalists in the mainstream media who are members of the Wall Street demimonde.

Mr. Denninger is particularly effective, when he gets it right as he frequently does, in describing complex transactions because he is not an economist or a financial professional, but a computer engineer, an honest technical sort, who brings some formidable analytical skills to a relatively unfamiliar subject. He often gets ‘nit-picked’ by the pros who play word games with their jargon, but more often than not he is directionally correct.

And he occasionally admits it when he is wrong, and changes tack, a refreshing trait amongst the greater universe of financial commentators. But if you post on his chat board, be prepared for ideological frisking, and little patience for deviation from the local standards and fundamental assumptions. A weakness perhaps, from the perspective of ideological diversity, but more common than most moderators care to admit.

Enjoy.

 

Bonus post by Jesse at the Cafe, 

How Bad Can It Get?

They have our money. What more can they want?

 


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Alternative View: Housing Prices Have Fallen Significantly Towards the Trend

Update by Jesse at the Cafe regarding housing prices. Glad to see I’m not the only person who struggled with the flu vaccine dilemma. To avoid the mercury, there’s FluMist, with the added attraction of delivering the (attenuated) virus via the natural route, through the respiratory system, rather than injected directly into the blood. It’s not recommended for those with asthma, however. Currently, the swine flu vaccine is not available in my city, but I did manage to track down the seasonal vaccine for a couple loved ones. The seasonal flu vaccine appears to afford some protection against swine flu. Nothing available for me, however, making my indecision rather besides the point for the time being. 

Best wishes for a speedy recovery with no notable residual brain damage, Jesse.  - Ilene

Alternative View: Housing Prices Have Fallen Significantly Towards the Trend

Courtesy of Jesse’s Café Américain

Here is the graph associated with a view of the deflating housing bubble that shows we have appreciably fallen, further than the 25% in the blog entry from yesterday.

For the details on this view read here.

It appears that both sets of numbers, the ones above and the ones from yesterday, have been adjusted somewhat.

The numbers from yesterday are Indexed to 1980 = 100, and are therefore a percentage of increase.

The numbers above are nominal prices, and then adjusted for inflation using some governmental measure presumably.

One appears to be based on median prices, and the other on total transactions.

I have not yet reconciled the two views, as I am rather tired and ‘under the weather,’ compliments of the children’s propensity to bring home their sniffles and sneezes at this time of year, the head colds that seem to linger endlessly, despite the repeated application of vitamins, chicken soup, sudafed, ibuprofen, and the occasional sip of Beaujolais Noveau. But for today at least I am, like Mr. Buffett is to the economic recovery, ‘all in.’

And yes, I did finally break down and listen to the spouse, obtaining a swine flu vaccination. Perhaps the mental slowness is merely due to my mercuy addled brain. Perhaps it will help me think like a Fed banker and figure out their gameplan. lol.

 


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Long Term Weekly Gold Chart Targets 1275

If you missed my enlightening interview with Jesse, click here. – Ilene

Long Term Weekly Gold Chart Targets 1275

Courtesy of Jesse’s Café Américain 

Now that gold seems to have successfully broken out from its continuation pattern (ascending triangle or inverse H&S) we should be able to chart its targets more precisely than the chart from 24 September that at least successfully projected the breakout.

If there is a major liquidation event, such as an equity market dislocation, gold will likely be hit as well, but will provide an exceptionaly buying opportunity and would historically rebound more sharply than equities and most other investments.

As always, this is a forecast with some probablities of success, rather than a prediction. It will therefore be subject to change, and will meet with a variety of success, or not.

Basically, the ascending triangle calls out 1275 and an inverse H&S targets 1300ish. A confirmed breakdown below 1000 deactivates the formations. We will know more about the first pullback when we see how far this current leg goes. It has moved much more quickly so far than most have imagined, but the short term trend is quite apparent on the chart.

gold chart

 


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Chart School

Weekly Market Recap May 18, 2019

Courtesy of Blain.

China – U.S. trade talk continued to dominate the week.   A heavy selloff Monday was followed by 3 up days, with Friday moderately down.

On Monday, Chinese officials announced retaliatory tariffs against the U.S., hitting $60 billion in annual exports to China with new or expanded duties that could reach 25%.

Then on Wednesday:

The Trump administration plans to delay a decision on instituting new tariffs on car and auto part imports for up to six months, according to media reports.

...

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Zero Hedge

Wall Street's Most Bearish Analyst Asks "What Did I Miss"

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Authored by Wall Street's most bearish sellside strategist, Morgan Stanley's Michael Wilson

As a macro strategist, my job is to try to make a very complex world easier to understand – something that’s very difficult to do. In an era of financial repression and seemingly elevated political uncertainty, the level of complexity has felt elevated too. This has created great opportunities for the past several years as a macro strategist – first to be more bullish than the consensus in 2016-17 when markets were overly worried about the outcomes, and then last year to b...



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Phil's Favorites

What's going on with Blue Apron?

By Ilene 

The Blue Apron business model appears, perhaps, flawed. While the service is convenient, I think it would appeal mostly to very busy people who don't have time to shop for food -- but enjoy cooking -- and have enough money that the trade off between paying for food delivery vs. spending time shopping is worth it. Here's the unfortunate stock chart and some numbers from Yahoo:

The company has been losing money, and is projected to lose money again next year. Revenue is projected to decrease in 2019 from the 2018 level, but pick up again in 2020, though still below 2018's revenue. Maybe a larger company that could integrate APRN's services into its existing infrastructure should acquire APRN and save it from its apparent...



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Digital Currencies

Cryptocurrencies are finally going mainstream - the battle is on to bring them under global control

 

Cryptocurrencies are finally going mainstream – the battle is on to bring them under global control

The high seas are getting lower. dianemeise

Courtesy of Iwa Salami, University of East London

The 21st-century revolutionaries who have dominated cryptocurrencies are having to move over. Mainstream financial institutions are adopting these assets and the blockchain technology that enables them, in what ...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Banks Sending Bearish Message To Stocks, Says Joe Friday

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Quality bull markets prefer to see Banks stronger than the broad markets or at least keeping up with it. Concerns often crop up when banks reflect relative weakness compared to the S&P.

This chart looks at the Bank Index (BKX) over the past few years, reflecting a falling channel of lower highs and lower lows has taken place inside of falling channel (1). This falling channel has now been in play for the past 15-months.

The index hit the bottom of the channel in December of 2018 and a counter-trend rally took place. The rally off the December lows saw the index hit the top...



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Insider Scoop

Analyst: US Sanctions 'May Not Kill Huawei'

Courtesy of Benzinga.

President Donald Trump signed an executive order Wednesday that limits how "foreign adversaries" conduct business with U.S. companies.

What Happened

The Department of Commerce said China's Huawei and 70 related companies will be included in the "Entity ...



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Biotech

DNA as you've never seen it before, thanks to a new nanotechnology imaging method

Reminder: We are available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

DNA as you've never seen it before, thanks to a new nanotechnology imaging method

A map of DNA with the double helix colored blue, the landmarks in green, and the start points for copying the molecule in red. David Gilbert/Kyle Klein, CC BY-ND

Courtesy of David M. Gilbert, Florida State University

...



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ValueWalk

More Examples Of "Typical Tesla "wise-guy scamminess"

By Jacob Wolinsky. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Stanphyl Capital’s letter to investors for the month of March 2019.

rawpixel / Pixabay

Friends and Fellow Investors:

For March 2019 the fund was up approximately 5.5% net of all fees and expenses. By way of comparison, the S&P 500 was up approximately 1.9% while the Russell 2000 was down approximately 2.1%. Year-to-date 2019 the fund is up approximately 12.8% while the S&P 500 is up approximately 13.6% and the ...



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Members' Corner

Despacito - How to Make Money the Old-Fashioned Way - SLOWLY!

Are you ready to retire?  

For most people, the purpose of investing is to build up enough wealth to allow you to retire.  In general, that's usually enough money to reliably generate a year's worth of your average income, each year into your retirement so that that, plus you Social Security, should be enough to pay your bills without having to draw down on your principle.

Unfortunately, as the last decade has shown us, we can't count on bonds to pay us more than 3% and the average return from the stock market over the past 20 years has been erratic - to say the least - with 4 negative years (2000, 2001, 2002 and 2008) and 14 positives, though mostly in the 10% range on the positives.  A string of losses like we had from 2000-02 could easily wipe out a decades worth of gains.

Still, the stock market has been better over the last 10 (7%) an...



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Mapping The Market

It's Not Capitalism, it's Crony Capitalism

A good start from :

It's Not Capitalism, it's Crony Capitalism

Excerpt:

The threat to America is this: we have abandoned our core philosophy. Our first principle of this nation as a meritocracy, a free-market economy, where competition drives economic decision-making. In its place, we have allowed a malignancy to fester, a virulent pus-filled bastardized form of economics so corrosive in nature, so dangerously pestilent, that it presents an extinction-level threat to America – both the actual nation and the “idea” of America.

This all-encompassing mutant corruption saps men’s souls, crushes opportunities, and destroys economic mobility. Its a Smash & Grab system of ill-gotten re...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of September 11th, 2017

Reminder: OpTrader is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current  trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).

We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options. 

Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.

To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here ...



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Promotions

Free eBook - "My Top Strategies for 2017"

 

 

Here's a free ebook for you to check out! 

Phil has a chapter in a newly-released eBook that we think you’ll enjoy.

In My Top Strategies for 2017, Phil's chapter is Secret Santa’s Inflation Hedges for 2017.

This chapter isn’t about risk or leverage. Phil present a few smart, practical ideas you can use as a hedge against inflation as well as hedging strategies designed to assist you in staying ahead of the markets.

Some other great content in this free eBook includes:

 

·       How 2017 Will Affect Oil, the US Dollar and the European Union

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About Phil:

Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

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