GLOBAL ECONOMICS AND POLITICS
Leo Haviland provides clients with original, provocative, cutting-edge fundamental supply/demand and technical research on major financial marketplaces and trends. He also offers independent consulting and risk management advice.
Haviland’s expertise is macro. He focuses on the intertwining of equity, debt, currency, and commodity arenas, including the political players, regulatory approaches, social factors, and rhetoric that affect them. In a changing and dynamic global economy, Haviland’s mission remains constant – to give timely, value-added marketplace insights and foresights.
Leo Haviland has three decades of experience in the Wall Street trading environment. He has worked for Goldman Sachs, Sempra Energy Trading, and other institutions. In his research and sales career in stock, interest rate, foreign exchange, and commodity battlefields, he has dealt with numerous and diverse financial institutions and individuals. Haviland is a graduate of the University of Chicago (Phi Beta Kappa) and the Cornell Law School.
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The rap music group, “Wu-Tang Clan” sings in “C.R.E.A.M.”: “Cash, Rules, Everything, Around, Me C.R.E.A.M. Get the money Dollar, dollar bill y’all.”
The United States dollar commenced a bear trend in spring 2020. Its depreciation probably will continue over the long run.
“Dollar Depreciation and the American Dream” (8/11/20) warned of and analyzed various reasons for a significant depreciation in the real Broad Dollar Index (Federal Reserve Board, H.10) from its lofty April 2020 high at 113.7. These factors generally remain in place. “American Inflation and Interest Rates: Painting Pictures” (5/4/21) stated: “Suppose United States inflation in assorted key indicators such as the Consumer Price Index continues to climb, and that America’s federal budget deficit and debt situation remains very dangerous. Suppose the Federal Reserve remained unwilling to tighten its current highly accommodative policies. Though much depends on other variables, including the economic and political situation in and prospects for other important countries around the globe, this scenario probably will tend to weaken the US dollar.”
January 2021’s real Broad Dollar Index at 103.3 approached a critical support level, March 2009’s 101.6 peak during the 2007-09 worldwide economic disaster (May 2021’s height is 104.1). A sustained break beneath March 2009’s elevation probably will be important for numerous economic playgrounds. Why? That dollar depreciation likely will occur alongside rising American inflation indicators and the major expansion of American federal indebtedness of recent years (with further national spending extravagance looming). This situation probably will increase pressure on the Fed to significantly reduce (taper) its quantitative easing (money printing) program as well as to boost the Federal Funds rate and thereby US Treasury yields. Climbing UST interest rates accompanied by a tumbling dollar probably will reduce the avid “search for yield/return” in the S+P 500, dollar-denominated debt securities (such as US corporate bonds) and other dollar-priced assets (including many commodities). These developments probably will trigger and sustain slumps in the S+P 500 and “related” asset arenas.
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Marketplace Rolling and Tumbling- US Dollar Depreciation (6-1-21)
CONCLUSION AND OVERVIEW
Not only have emerging marketplace growth rates slowed. Many sentinels fear the substantial fall in emerging marketplace equities and currencies has “reached crisis proportions”. (Financial Times, 9/8/15, p3; citing the Institute of International Finance). The World Bank’s chief economist warned the Federal Reserve risks creating “panic and turmoil” in emerging marketplaces if it raises rates in its September 2015 meeting (Financial Times, 9/9/15, p1). However, in today’s globalized economy, central bankers and other important regulators and politicians also fear insufficient growth in many advanced nations. They also worry about further substantial increases in the United States dollar and drops in stock benchmarks such as the S+P 500. Some probably dread that an international crisis akin to the 2007-09 one, even if much less devastating, is underway or may soon appear.
The verbal barrage recently unleashed since late August 2015 by key central bankers and their comrades displays their fears and goals regarding these financial fronts. In any case, their enthusiastic wordplay at times raises marketplace hopes significantly. Their windy talk perhaps for the near term will stabilize the dollar around its recent highs and stop benchmark stock marketplaces from substantially breaching the lows reached in the past few weeks.
However, the foundations of worldwide growth nevertheless remain shaky, despite about seven years of highly accommodative monetary policy by the Fed and its allies. In addition, substantial debt and leverage troubles still confront today’s intertwined global economy. Consequently, this magnificent rhetorical display aiming to boost real global economic growth, significantly alter currency patterns (reverse the dollar’s strength, or at least significantly slow its appreciation) and substantially rally (or at least successfully support) stocks probably will not achieve long-lasting success.
The sustained rally in the broad real trade-weighted US dollar since mid-2011, and particularly its recent climb slightly beyond March 2009’s crucial peak, has played a key part in encouraging (confirming) weakness in emerging marketplace stocks and commodities “in general”. The S+P 500’s slide since its 5/20/15 pinnacle indicates that its major trend probably will not diverge significantly from those of emerging equity marketplaces.
Focusing on the trials and tribulations of emerging/developing countries and their stock and foreign exchange playgrounds indeed helps analysis of other marketplaces around the globe. However, concentrating on and comparing exchange rates of “commodity currencies” offers additional notable insight into various interrelated financial marketplace trends. “Commodity currencies”, associated with countries with large amounts of commodity exports, are not restricted to emerging nations. Commodity exports are significant to the economies of advanced nations such as Australia, Canada, and Norway, so they likewise can be labeled as commodity currencies.
Paying attention to the currency trends of important emerging and advanced nation commodity exporters highlights the similar trends among them during the 2007-09 worldwide economic disaster era as well as nowadays. Such past and current collective effective exchange rate weakness contrasts with the robust strength of the trade-weighted US dollar. The feebleness both in 2007-09 and in recent times for the commodity currency group, as it involves both advanced and emerging marketplace domains, hints at global (not merely emerging marketplace) crisis. The exchange rates of many commodity exporters are at or near their lows achieved during 2008-09.
Thus noteworthy rallies, if any, in these commodity (exporter) currencies from their recent depths will tend to confirm (inspire) climbs in commodities “in general” and emerging (and advanced) nation stock marketplaces. Renewed deterioration of the effective exchange rates of the commodity currency fraternity “in general” probably will coincide with renewed (additional) firming of the US dollar. Such depreciation in the commodity currency camp likely will signal worsening of the current dangerous global economic situation and another round of declines in global stock marketplaces.
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Marketplace Twists and Shouts- as the World Turns (9-10-15)