Will The Fed Cut Its Interest Rate Forecast

By Arkadiusz Sieroń – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

Some important pieces of the US economic reports, including the latest nonfarm payrolls, have disappointed recently. May indicators (including the leading ones) have hit a soft patch it seems. Will that push the Fed to downgrade its dot-plot or fine-tune the monetary policy mix anyhow? Can gold jump in reaction to the Wednesday’s FOMC policy meeting?

February Payrolls Disappoint

U.S. nonfarm payrolls plunged in February, falling way short of expectations. The economy added just 20,000 jobs last month, following a rise of 311,000 in January (after an upward revision) and significantly below 172,000 forecasted by the economists. The number was the smallest increase since September 2017, as one can see in the chart below. On an annual basis, the pace of job creation increased slightly last month to 1.8 percent.

Chart 1: Monthly changes in employment gains (red bars, in thousands of persons) from February 2014 to February 2019

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Continuing Brexit Travails

  • Mr Barclay voted against a Government plan for a delay to Brexit last night
  • He said he would support a short extension to Article 50  but not a long one 
  • Mrs May expected to make third attempt to get a Brexit deal thought next week 
  • Mr Barclay said: ‘If we don’t have a deal then we should leave with no deal ‘

Is May about to lose her THIRD Brexit secretary? Stephen Barclay hints he could quit if PM backs a long extension to Article 50 saying ‘we shouldn’t be afraid to leave with no deal’

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The Dollar – King Rat Of Failing Currencies

BY Alasdair Macleod – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

The explanation for the sudden halt in global economic growth is found in the coincidence of peak credit combining with trade protectionism. The history of economic downturns points to a rerun of the 1929-32 period, but with fiat currencies substituted for a gold standard. Government finances are in far worse shape today, and markets have yet to appreciate the consequences of just a moderate contraction in global trade. Between new issues and liquidation by foreigners, domestic buyers will need to absorb $2 trillion of US Treasuries in the coming year, so QE is bound to return with a vengeance, the last hurrah for fiat currencies. However, China and Russia have the means to escape this fate, assuming they have the gumption to do so.

Introduction

It may be too early to say the world is entering a significant economic downturn, but even ardent bulls must admit to it as an increasing possibility. Financial analysts, both bovine and ursine, face a complex matrix of factors when judging the future effect of any downturn on currencies, and of the prospects for the dollar in particular.

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Renewables and Climate Policy Are On A Collision Course

By John Constable – Re-Blogged From GWPF

Those advocating climate change mitigation policy have hitherto wagered everything on the success of renewable energy technologies. The steadily accumulating data on energy and emissions over the period of intense policy commitment suggests that this gamble has not been successful. Pragmatic environmentalists will be asking whether sentimental attachment to wind and solar is standing in the way of an effective emissions reduction trajectory.

For almost as long as there has been a climate policy, emissions reduction has been seen as dependent on the replacement of fossil fuels with renewable energy sources. Policies supporting this outcome are ubiquitous in the developed and developing world; markets have been coerced globally, with varying degrees of severity it is true, but with extraordinary force in the OECD states, and particularly in the European Union. The net result of several decades of such measures has been negligible. Consider, for example the global total primary energy mix since 1971, as recorded in the International Energy Agency datasets, the most recent discussion of which has just been published in the World Energy Outlook (2018):

Figure 1: Global Total Primary Energy Supply: 1971–2015. Source: Redrawn by the author from International Energy Agency, Key World Energy Statistics 2017 and 2018. IEA Notes: 1. World includes international aviation and international marine bunkers. 2. Peat and oil shale are aggregated with coal. 3. “Other” Includes geothermal, solar, wind, tide/wave/ocean, heat and other.

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Powell’s Testimony & The ECB Meeting?

By Arkadiusz Sieroń – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

Powell’s testimony before the Congress is behind us. The ECB meeting is ahead of us. Will Draghi support the gold prices after recent declines?

Gold Falls Below $1,300

Gold bulls might be disappointed. The upward trend apparently ended. As one can see in the chart below, gold fell below $1,300 on Friday.

Chart 1: Gold prices from March 1 to March 4, 2019

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Wall Street is Chasing Ghosts

By Michael Pento – Re-Blogged From Pento Portfolio Strategies

Wall Street’s absolute obsession with the soon to be announced most wonderful trade deal with China is mind-boggling. The cheerleaders that haunt main stream financial media don’t even care what kind of deal gets done. They don’t care if it hurts the already faltering condition of China’s economy or even if it does little to improve the chronically massive US trade deficits—just as long as both sides can spin it as a victory and return to the status quo all will be fine.

But let’s look at some facts that contradict this assumption. The problems with China are structural and have very little if anything to do with a trade war. To prove this let’s first look at the main stock market in China called the Shanghai Composite Index. This index peaked at over 5,100 in the summer of 2015. It began last year at 3,550. But today is trading at just 2,720. From its peak in 2015 to the day the trade war began on July 6th of 2018, the index fell by 47%. Therefore, it is silly to blame China’s issues on trade alone. The real issue with China is debt. In 2007 its debt was $7 trillion, and it has skyrocketed to $40 trillion today. It is the most unbalanced and unproductive pile of debt dung the world has ever seen, and it was built in record time by an edict from the communist state.

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Fed Chair Powell’s Rate Pause Won’t Save Stocks

By Michael Pento – Re-Blogged From Pento Portfolio Strategies

Jerome Powell threw Wall Street a lifeline recently when he decided to temporarily take a pause with the Fed’s rate hiking campaign. The Fed Head also indicated that the process of credit destruction, known as Quantitative Tightening, may soon be brought to an end.  This move towards donning a dovish plume caused the total value of equities to soar back to a level that is now 137% of GDP. For some context, that valuation is over 30 percentage points higher than it was at the start of Great Recession and over 90 percentage points greater than 1985. So, the salient question for investors is: will a slightly dovish FOMC be enough to support the massively overvalued market?

The S&P 500 is now trading at over 16x forward earnings. But the growth rate of that earnings will plunge from over 20% last year to a minus 0.8% in Q1 of this year, according to FACTSET. It might have made sense to pay 19x earnings back in 2018 because it was justified by a commensurate rate of earnings growth. But only a fool would pay 16x or 17x earnings if growth is actually negative?

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