Japan – A Curious Conundrum Tuesday, Oct 12 2010 

I apologize for the lack of posts over the past few days but the move made by the markets last week has drawn more than a passing interest and caused me to delve into deep thought.

As I mentioned in the Week in Review the move last week by the Bank of Japan to cut interest rates and enact a new quantitative easing program along with the lack of moves by Indonesia and Australia coupled with the immediate rally in equity markets looks increasingly like a coordinated global intervention to push up equity prices to help Japan.

Looking at other Asian markets there is a flood of hot money roaring through these markets like a tsunami. For someone who was and still is bullish on the equity markets I have to take pause here. The Thai Bhat has rallied down below a crucial support level at 30 and there are calls from the business community to help stem the appreciation in the Bhat as this is hurting FDI and exporters just as the political climate is showing signs of stabilization.

This is more than a short-term issue and this flood of money will cause unintended consequences in 2011 as the Asian growth machine continues to lead the world out of the recession.

Strong growth across Asia, ex-Japan, is fueling inflationary worries as increased purchasing power is driving demand in local markets. The increased demand for products is beginning to fuel the flames of inflation.

But there is a thorn in the side of the central banks as they attempt to stomp out inflation before it takes root and that is Japan.

Continued slow economic growth in Japan is hampering efforts by other Asian central banks to stem the flow of hot money into their capital markets.

A rise in interest rates by Asian central banks would risk creating an enormous carry trade between Japan and the other Asian countries possibly adding further to flows of hot money into Asian equity markets.

But what has me most concerned was a simple picture a few weeks ago of a young Japanese woman putting up a poster extolling the virtues of investing in JGB’s. My concern here is twofold. First, as Japan enters into an environment where their aging population must increasingly redeem their JGB’s and foreign capital markets are unlikely to chase yield in Japan the only pool left to tap is the younger generation. By doing so this pulls money that would go into consumption or the Japanese equity markets.

If the younger generation decides to follow in the path of their parents and buy JGB’s it is unlikely that local participation in the equity markets will rise and create a new bull market in Japanese equities. Just as well, consumption figures will remain low and if consumption does not increase then it is likely that deflation will continue well into the future.

Disclaimer
Communications are intended solely for informational purposes. Statements made should not be construed as an endorsement, either expressed or implied. This article and the author is not responsible for typographic errors or other inaccuracies in the content. This article may not be reproduced without credit or permission from the author. We believe the information contained herein to be accurate and reliable. However, errors may occasionally occur. Therefore, all information and materials are provided “AS IS” without any warranty of any kind. Past results are not indicative of future results.
PAST RESULTS ARE NOT INDICATIVE OF FUTURE RESULTS. THERE IS RISK OF LOSS AS WELL AS THE OPPORTUNITY FOR GAIN WHEN INVESTING IN THE STOCK, BOND, AND DERIVATIVE MARKETS. WHEN CONSIDERING ANY TYPE OF INVESTMENT, INCLUDING HEDGE FUNDS, YOU SHOULD CONSIDER VARIOUS RISKS INCLUDING THE FACT THAT SOME PRODUCTS: OFTEN ENGAGE IN LEVERAGING AND OTHER SPECULATIVE INVESTMENT PRACTICES THAT MAY INCREASE THE RISK OF INVESTMENT LOSS, CAN BE ILLIQUID, ARE NOT REQUIRED TO PROVIDE PERIODIC PRICING OR VALUATION INFORMATION TO INVESTORS, MAY INVOLVE COMPLEX TAX STRUCTURES AND DELAYS IN DISTRIBUTING IMPORTANT TAX INFORMATION, ARE NOT SUBJECT TO THE SAME REGULATORY REQUIREMENTS AS MUTUAL FUNDS, OFTEN CHARGE HIGH FEES, AND IN MANY CASES THE UNDERLYING INVESTMENTS ARE NOT TRANSPARENT AND ARE KNOWN ONLY TO THE INVESTMENT MANAGER.
Before making any type of investment, one should consult with an investment professional to consider whether the investment is appropriate for the individuals risk profile. This is not intended to be investment advice or a solicitation to purchase any of the securities listed here. I will not be held liable or responsible for any losses or damages, monetary or otherwise that result from the content of this article.

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Week in Review – September 10, 2010 Saturday, Sep 11 2010 

Slow trading dominated as the Rosh Hashanha holiday on Thursday and Friday along with Labor Day on Monday caused traders and managers to take an additional week off.

The Reserve Bank of Australia held the line on interest rates ‘for the time being’ while 2nd Quarter GDP grew by 1.2% QoQ and 3.3% YoY.

The Bank of Japan held interest rates steady and said that they were prepared to add more monetary stimulus to the economy if needed.

The Bank of Canada hiked rates to 1% and in a brief statement which showed no real bias but gave a mention to a slightly weaker than expected US recovery.

The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) cut its policy rate by 50 bp to 6%. Markets view this rate cut as the final one as the recession was quite mild for South Africa compared to the rest of the globe. Economic growth has been recovering, boosted this year by the World Cup, and now appears to be moderating. The SARB has been in a more restrained rate cut cycle and appears to be having success against inflation as the CPI is now in the 3.5-4% area down from around 11% in 2008.

The Bank of England and the Bank of Korea both kept interest rates at current levels.

Links:

Fascinating article about Japanese politicians wondering why the Chinese are buying their bonds

Japan Machine Orders

Deutsche Bank weighing share sale

Next Week

Sunday – Basel III meeting

Monday – European Union Industrial Production (July)

Tuesday – US Retail Sales (August), Japan Industrial Production (July), DPJ Leadership Election in Japan

Wednesday – US Capacity Utilization and Industrial Production (August)

Thursday – US PPI (August)

Friday – US CPI (August), Germany Producer Prices (August)

Disclaimer
Communications are intended solely for informational purposes. Statements made should not be construed as an endorsement, either expressed or implied. This article and the author is not responsible for typographic errors or other inaccuracies in the content. This article may not be reproduced without credit or permission from the author. We believe the information contained herein to be accurate and reliable. However, errors may occasionally occur. Therefore, all information and materials are provided “AS IS” without any warranty of any kind. Past results are not indicative of future results.
PAST RESULTS ARE NOT INDICATIVE OF FUTURE RESULTS. THERE IS RISK OF LOSS AS WELL AS THE OPPORTUNITY FOR GAIN WHEN INVESTING IN THE STOCK, BOND, AND DERIVATIVE MARKETS. WHEN CONSIDERING ANY TYPE OF INVESTMENT, INCLUDING HEDGE FUNDS, YOU SHOULD CONSIDER VARIOUS RISKS INCLUDING THE FACT THAT SOME PRODUCTS: OFTEN ENGAGE IN LEVERAGING AND OTHER SPECULATIVE INVESTMENT PRACTICES THAT MAY INCREASE THE RISK OF INVESTMENT LOSS, CAN BE ILLIQUID, ARE NOT REQUIRED TO PROVIDE PERIODIC PRICING OR VALUATION INFORMATION TO INVESTORS, MAY INVOLVE COMPLEX TAX STRUCTURES AND DELAYS IN DISTRIBUTING IMPORTANT TAX INFORMATION, ARE NOT SUBJECT TO THE SAME REGULATORY REQUIREMENTS AS MUTUAL FUNDS, OFTEN CHARGE HIGH FEES, AND IN MANY CASES THE UNDERLYING INVESTMENTS ARE NOT TRANSPARENT AND ARE KNOWN ONLY TO THE INVESTMENT MANAGER.
Before making any type of investment, one should consult with an investment professional to consider whether the investment is appropriate for the individuals risk profile. This is not intended to be investment advice or a solicitation to purchase any of the securities listed here. I will not be held liable or responsible for any losses or damages, monetary or otherwise that result from the content of this article.

Week in Review – September 3, 2010 Saturday, Sep 4 2010 

Stocks moved up this week led by better than expected economic reports and a rebound from oversold conditions.

The US ISM rose to 56.3 countering many regional reports which indicated a weakening manufacturing sector.

US unemployment held steady and was taken by the markets as a net positive after some worse than expected job numbers the past two months.

The ECB kept interest rates unchanged during their meeting this week.

In an odd move, the ECB announced before the ECB conference a plan to ban naked short sales of stocks and government debt.

Sweden’s Riksbank raised repo rates by 25 bp and indicated that they will continue to raise rates going forward.

Have a great Labor Day weekend everyone.

Next Week

Monday – Bank of Japan Policy Meeting

Tuesday – Bank of Japan Policy Meeting, Reserve Bank of Australia Policy Meeting, Japan Leading Economic Index, German Manufacturing New Orders,

Wednesday – Bank of Canada Policy Announcement, UK Industrial and Manufacturing Production

Thursday – US and UK Trade Balances, Bank of England Policy Meeting

Friday – Japan 2nd Quarter Final GDP

Disclaimer
Communications are intended solely for informational purposes. Statements made should not be construed as an endorsement, either expressed or implied. This article and the author is not responsible for typographic errors or other inaccuracies in the content. This article may not be reproduced without credit or permission from the author. We believe the information contained herein to be accurate and reliable. However, errors may occasionally occur. Therefore, all information and materials are provided “AS IS” without any warranty of any kind. Past results are not indicative of future results.
PAST RESULTS ARE NOT INDICATIVE OF FUTURE RESULTS. THERE IS RISK OF LOSS AS WELL AS THE OPPORTUNITY FOR GAIN WHEN INVESTING IN THE STOCK, BOND, AND DERIVATIVE MARKETS. WHEN CONSIDERING ANY TYPE OF INVESTMENT, INCLUDING HEDGE FUNDS, YOU SHOULD CONSIDER VARIOUS RISKS INCLUDING THE FACT THAT SOME PRODUCTS: OFTEN ENGAGE IN LEVERAGING AND OTHER SPECULATIVE INVESTMENT PRACTICES THAT MAY INCREASE THE RISK OF INVESTMENT LOSS, CAN BE ILLIQUID, ARE NOT REQUIRED TO PROVIDE PERIODIC PRICING OR VALUATION INFORMATION TO INVESTORS, MAY INVOLVE COMPLEX TAX STRUCTURES AND DELAYS IN DISTRIBUTING IMPORTANT TAX INFORMATION, ARE NOT SUBJECT TO THE SAME REGULATORY REQUIREMENTS AS MUTUAL FUNDS, OFTEN CHARGE HIGH FEES, AND IN MANY CASES THE UNDERLYING INVESTMENTS ARE NOT TRANSPARENT AND ARE KNOWN ONLY TO THE INVESTMENT MANAGER.
Before making any type of investment, one should consult with an investment professional to consider whether the investment is appropriate for the individuals risk profile. This is not intended to be investment advice or a solicitation to purchase any of the securities listed here. I will not be held liable or responsible for any losses or damages, monetary or otherwise that result from the content of this article.

Gold in Uncharted Territory with Silver Following Along Tuesday, Oct 20 2009 

Many reasons have been given for the rise in Gold and Silver during the month of October but overlooked by the mainstream press is an important point; the beginning of the 2010 United States fiscal year. Spending is expected to balloon to upwards of $3.55 trillion dollars with a budget deficit of $1.75 trillion dollars.

It is clear that the next bubble is not in US Treasuries but in the US Government itself. Under Bush II, government was allowed to expand far in excess of what was necessary. Discretionary spending exploded and deficits were allowed to run rampant. Sprinkle in a massive increase in US Treasury issuance along with artificially low interest rates, a touch of monetary supply growth while interest rates were being increased, the collapse of the US real estate market severely weakening the US banking system, and you sow the seeds for the massive increase in government spending we have today.

Three points are certain at this moment in time.

The first is that the United States, with the amount of debt outstanding and coming down the pipeline, is not able to undertake a policy of raising interest rates from these low levels to normalized levels for a number of years.

The second point is that Asian economies, starting with Australia, are going to lead the rate cycle as their economies and banking sectors have weathered the storm in better shape than the US and Europe. Expect to see conventional and unconventional (by Western standards) monetary tightening during this cycle.

The increased focus on Asia will provide investors with very interesting opportunities in a number of sectors.

The third and final point is that Gold and Silver will only go higher from here over the next 6 month period with a spike in price during the March-May time frame after which we trade sideways for at least a year in order to digest the run higher and the increase in gold supply coming on market from new mines coming into production.

The peak in Gold should coincide with a peak in Silver as well along with a test of the USD lows made last year.

In terms of supply, we should remember that Penasquito, Goldcorp’s massive mine in Mexico, is scheduled to come into commercial production in January of 2010. This supply of gold, silver, and zinc should be enough to keep each market in a sideways range for some time until the supply is properly digested.

Investors who do their homework should find themselves well rewarded by the end of the first quarter next year.

Disclaimer
Communications are intended solely for informational purposes. Statements made should not be construed as an endorsement, either expressed or implied. This article and the author is not responsible for typographic errors or other inaccuracies in the content. This article may not be reproduced without credit or permission from the author. We believe the information contained herein to be accurate and reliable. However, errors may occasionally occur. Therefore, all information and materials are provided “AS IS” without any warranty of any kind. Past results are not indicative of future results.
PAST RESULTS ARE NOT INDICATIVE OF FUTURE RESULTS. THERE IS RISK OF LOSS AS WELL AS THE OPPORTUNITY FOR GAIN WHEN INVESTING IN THE STOCK, BOND, AND DERIVATIVE MARKETS. WHEN CONSIDERING ANY TYPE OF INVESTMENT, INCLUDING HEDGE FUNDS, YOU SHOULD CONSIDER VARIOUS RISKS INCLUDING THE FACT THAT SOME PRODUCTS: OFTEN ENGAGE IN LEVERAGING AND OTHER SPECULATIVE INVESTMENT PRACTICES THAT MAY INCREASE THE RISK OF INVESTMENT LOSS, CAN BE ILLIQUID, ARE NOT REQUIRED TO PROVIDE PERIODIC PRICING OR VALUATION INFORMATION TO INVESTORS, MAY INVOLVE COMPLEX TAX STRUCTURES AND DELAYS IN DISTRIBUTING IMPORTANT TAX INFORMATION, ARE NOT SUBJECT TO THE SAME REGULATORY REQUIREMENTS AS MUTUAL FUNDS, OFTEN CHARGE HIGH FEES, AND IN MANY CASES THE UNDERLYING INVESTMENTS ARE NOT TRANSPARENT AND ARE KNOWN ONLY TO THE INVESTMENT MANAGER.
Before making any type of investment, one should consult with an investment professional to consider whether the investment is appropriate for the individuals risk profile. This is not intended to be investment advice or a solicitation to purchase any of the securities listed here. I will not be held liable or responsible for any losses or damages, monetary or otherwise that result from the content of this article.