Japan's a likely target if it all kicks off, right ? And it's plainly in range ..... so why

Actually, if anything things are a bit calmer this morning ..... the market has taken Mr Trump's "All options open" comment as a restrained response to N. Korea's highly provocative missile launch early yesterday. By the President's own standards, they're probably right. And Kim Jong Un's declaration that the launch was in response to the annual joint S. Korea / US military exercises almost came as something of a relief, given that N. Korea always likes to assert it's own military prowess when these exercises come around. In that sense, this was nothing unusual from this most unusual and unpredictable N. Korean leader. Even if some might consider this to be a somewhat rose-coloured interpret

Just in case ALL the attention was switching to Jackson Hole .... a not-so-gentle reminder from the

As we are all aware by now, the Jackson Hole "symposium" for central bankers and associated acolytes begins today. Just time then for Donald Trump to grab the headlines once more in his inimitable fashion. One might have assumed that some of Mr Trump's more controversial campaign promises, early attempts at policy even, had been shelved once the political and financial realities of his plans had become apparent. If not shelved, then at least put on the back-burner. How could we have been so naive ? It's tempting to suggest that you can always rely on the Donald to let you down. We'll let someone else do that ...... it's a comment that reveals a lack of impartiality and professionalism with w

The US couldn't really default, surely ? Well, actually ...... ref :- "McConnell says ther

The US couldn't really default, surely ? Well, actually ...... ref :- "McConnell says there is "zero chance" Congress will fail to raise debt ceiling" , The Washington Post , Workblog The great temptation is to believe that for all the brinkmanship that habitually accompanies the regular upward adjustments to the debt ceiling, Congress will inevitably back a measure (though probably at the eleventh hour) that will prevent the most powerful nation on the planet from slipping into technical default -- a status that would most likely be triggered by the non-payment of interest obligations on US Treasury Bills, Notes and Bonds. Well, given the enormous ramifications of a default you'd certainl

ref :- "Yellen, Draghi Head to Jackson Hole Amid Inflation Unease " , Bloomberg Markets

Monday 21st August 2017 Bannon's gone and Jackson Hole looms ..... the market's not sure what to make of either one ref :- "Yellen, Draghi Head to Jackson Hole Amid Inflation Unease " , Bloomberg Markets As Svengalis go, Steve Bannon has been less of the "Spider in his Web" type character as originally imagined by author George du Maurier , and more of a particularly belligerent political idealogue picking fights at every turn . His brand of "alt-right" economic nationalism champions an inward-looking "America First" policy and a fervent desire for an all-out trade war with the likes of China. In Donald Trump, no-one's idea of your average Republican politician, he found an enthusiastic co-b

The Fed minutes confirm a healthy debate ..... but don't tell us anything we didn't already

The Fed minutes confirm a healthy debate ..... but don't tell us anything we didn't already know. ref : "Fed Sees Balance-Sheet Move Soon as Inflation Debate Heats Up" , Bloomberg Markets There's a problem with the modern-day practice, necessity even, of examining every word and punctuation mark uttered or published by central banks for startling new insights into future policy ..... it's all a bit of an anticlimax when there aren't any. Let's face it, there generally aren't and one could argue that if the market had found anything truly revelatory in the minutes of the Federal Reserve's policy meeting held over three weeks ago, then something must have gone amiss with lines of communication

The desperate search for yield spells danger for the unwary...

"Still crazy after falling yields" , The Economist , Finance and Economics Some people were of the opinion that we would have turned the corner by now. Even if returns on high-grade investments are still minimal, at least the path towards an investor paradise (comparatively speaking) of rising rates and higher yields would be clear. It hasn't turned out that way, though ..... In the US, the Trump administration's plans for the kind of tax-cutting and fiscal spending packages that would promote growth, inflation and rates have yet to materialize. We won't go off on one again , suffice to say that self-inflicted wounds have undermined support for the President even within his own party and sev

The answer to "What's going to give the Fear Index a boost ?" was staring us in the fa

You'll remember that we've visited the subject of the CBOE's Volatility Index ..... a.k.a. the VIX ..... a.k.a. the Fear Index ..... a number of times in recent weeks and months. In particular, our attention was drawn to the startlingly low levels of volatility, the lowest in decades, at a time when stock markets were repeatedly making record highs. It seemed reasonable to highlight the concern that such a combination suggested a degree of complacency on behalf of investors that might not be entirely healthy. Others were keen to put it more strongly ..... the markets, in blinkered bullish mode, were in danger of sleepwalking into a nightmare against which they had taken no protection. A bit

The Euro bandwagon makes perfect sense of course , but be careful ..... there's no such thing in

The Euro bandwagon makes perfect sense of course , but be careful ..... there's no such thing in markets as a foregone conclusion. ref :- "Investors Jump Back Into the Euro as Going Short Proves "Lethal" " , Bloomberg Markets Everything's easier with the benefit of hindsight, and nothing more so than trading. What were all those people thinking at the turn of the year when they were calling for a continuation of the strong dollar story which saw EUR / USD make a 14yr low around $1.04 in January ? Just look at it now .... the Euro made a 3yr high last week at $1.1910 (last at 1.1810), it's the best G10 performer in 2017 and from the sound of this piece the world and his wife are betting that

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