- The euro zone’s financial system is under severe strain and net credit flows have started to fall in recent weeks, European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet said on Monday. (Reuters)
- Thailand’s economy shrank for the first time in nearly a decade in the fourth quarter as the global slowdown squelched exports and political unrest hit tourism, the government said Monday. (AP)
- The United Arab Emirates said Sunday it will spend $10 billion to bail out the once-highflying emirate of Dubai.
Key Reports (WSJ):
10:30 a.m. Feb Dallas Fed Mfg Production Index: Previous: -15.4.
"The general shape of the universal delusion may be indicated by three of its familiar features.
“First, the idea that the panacea for debt is credit.
“Second, a social and political doctrine, now widely accepted, beginning with the premise that people are entitled to certain betterments of life.
“Third, the argument that prosperity is a product of credit, whereas from the beginning of economic thought it had been supposed that prosperity was from the increase and exchange of wealth, ad credit was its product.
“Result: Much more debt. A world-wide collapse of foreign trade, by far the worst since the beginning of the modern epoch. Utter prostration of the statistical serpents. Credit representing many hundreds of millions of labor days locked up in idle industrial equipment both here and in Europe. It is idle because people cannot afford to buy its product at prices which will enable industry to pay interest on its debt. One country might forget its debt, set its equipment free, and flood the markets with of the world with cheap goods, and by this offense kill off a lot of competition. But of this thought occurs to all of them, and so all. With one impulse, raise very high tariff barriers against one another’s goods, to keep them out.”
Garet Garrett, A Bubble That Broke the World (1932)
FX Trading – Dodd Dollar Dump
Gold did the deed, closing over the $1,000 mark on Friday as the dollar was sideswiped by Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd. Mr. Dodd, a man who pontificates on any and every subject under the sun and never lets real knowledge of a particular subject area stand between him and the nearest microphone decided to try out the N word–nationalization! Traders viciously dumped the dollar on Dodd’s “deliberation.”
And of course the currency trading games continue!
The dollar was sharply lower on opening in Asia last night with nationalization of US banks ruling the headlines. But of course the US isn’t the only one flirting with bank nationalization. A second look at Europe and Japan and just about anywhere one cares to look and its ugly!
The euro has already reversed 200 pips from its high overnight, likely due in part to Mr. Trichet weighty assessment that Europe’s financial system is under huge strain. I say weighty because one should never confuse statements by Trichet with anything dribbling from the constantly flowing font that is Dodd.
We were of the opinion UK banks would beat others to the race toward complete bank nationalization. But it’s probably splitting hairs as de facto nationalization seems the order of the day. Why buy financials in your 401k when you own them anyway?
I used to tell people that currency analysis was like being the judge at an ugly contest; the least ugly wins. But now, there is little that separates the degree of ugliness among all competitors. Thus, we have gold printing over $1,000 and who knows where from here.
Though we cling to our story the world reserve currency continues to be buoyed at a time like this, we admit to covering our eyes with our hands when we see the US government’s supercharged attempts to spend its way out of a debt deflation…ugghh.
Replacing public debt to the same or increasing degree in which private debt is written down (public debt really means private debt because the private sector does all the wealth creation–while government mostly destroys it trying to “help” us) is no way to allow the system to cleanse. But with pontificating pandering politicians never more than two minutes away from a microphone, that is where we seem stuck. And we wonder why we aren’t seeing any “traction.” It is to cry, or maybe time to buy more gold. Maybe both!