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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OIL AND TROUBLED ECONOMIC WATERS © Leo Haviland, August 8, 2011

Petroleum prices will remain in a sideways to down trend. At least in the OECD, industry inventory in days coverage terms is currently higher than average. Due to renewed economic weakness and still relatively lofty oil prices, petroleum demand for the balance of 2011 and calendar 2012 probably will be less than many believe. Thus days coverage in the petroleum world probably will remain adequate for some time.

Petroleum remains partially hostage to variables of and trends and levels in key equity, currency, and interest rate (and other commodity) battlefields. Equity declines seem to be intertwining with those in the petroleum complex. Consumer balance sheets and incomes in the United States and many other nations remain under pressure. Substantial fiscal deficits (US, several European nations, perhaps Japan) undermine stock marketplace strength. A weak US dollar has convinced many that equities as well as petroleum prices should inevitably keep climbing, or at least stay high. However, a very (especially) weak US dollar situation- which seems to be emerging these days- may coincide with both feeble stocks and falling petroleum prices.

Petroleum bulls underline that if the economic recovery retains strength, supplies could get fairly tight unless OPEC raises its production quite a bit. Admittedly, as the Libyan situation shows, there’s always a chance that some event will significantly interrupt supplies. Some petroleum players therefore prefer to keep a handful of extra inventory around “just-in-case”. Alternative investment by noncommercial players has not evaporated. Some observers have faith that if the American economy weakens substantially, the Fed will engage in a third wave of quantitative easing (money printing) which would rally petroleum prices in nominal terms.

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Oil and Troubled Economic Waters (8-8-11)

China: Currencies, Commodities, and US Treasuries, November 22, 2010

Since America continues to issue more and more debt, sustained patterns of reduced net Chinese buying (and of course net selling) of US Treasury securities is a bearish factor for US government note and bond prices. And quite unsettling for those worthy financial watchdogs who yearn to keep US interest rate levels low! What if other nations behave the same as China? In any event, perhaps other foreign sources or Americans will replace Chinese demand.

But perhaps the Federal Reserve will be the key incremental American buyer of such US debt securities via its beloved quantitative easing (monetary printing) extravaganza. The Fed clearly is willing to gobble up US  government notes and bonds. And who knows, the Fed may even renew its taste for mortgage-backed securities.

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China- Currencies, Commodities, and US Treasuries