In retrospect it was awareness of the impact of FASB 141, and awareness of AIG's difficulties, as well as those at Washington Mutual, that turned the market in favor of gold.The US Dollar Turned Down Today, Friday September 12, 2008 To Close At 79
Stockcharts.com reports that the US Dollar, $USD
, closed yesterday at 80.22; today it closed at 78.98 ... $USDGold Turned Up To Close At 766 Today, Friday September 12, 2008
, it closed at $766. Chart is courtesy of Ted Burge
The gold ETF, GLD, closed at 75.55; chart is courtesy of Ted Burge
The Privateer provides the 2x3 chart for gold
showing support at $750.
The ongoing Yahoo Finance chart
of the 200% inverse of the emerging markets, EEV, compared to DRR, FXP, DEE, GLD and EFA reflects that the Euro, FXE, has temporarily found support; gold and the world markets rose ... GLD and EFA are up while FXP, DEE, DRR, and EEV, are down
... FXE has found support
... DRR shows a parabolic turn lower
The Yahoo Finance five day ongoing chart of of UUP and DRR compared to GLD
shows that GLD rose and DRR and UUP fell ... GLD is up and DRR and UUP are down
The Yahoo Finance five day ongoing chart of USD/EUR relative to GLD
reflects that the US Dollar fell and gold rose.
The Yahoo Finance five day ongoing chart of EUR/USD relative to GLD, XME and EFA
reflects that the Euro, FXE, rose taking gold, the metal manufacturing shares and world stocks higher,
The Yahoo Finance five day ongoing chart of the USD/JPY relative to the EUR/JPY
reflects that the rise in the EUR/JPY pulled gold higher and the US Dollar lower.The Yen Fell Lower Today
CMS Forex in ActionForex article Yen Gives Up Yesterday's Gains as New Deal for Lehman Boosts Risk Appetite
reports that the Yen, FXY, fell.Forex Analysts Report An Uptick In The US Dollar ... And Some Give Bearish Prospects The US Dollar
ActionForex in article Is Market Turning Around?
shows the EUR/USD
ticked up to trade at 1.4093.
ActionForex in article Dollar Retreats Further on Poor Retail Sales
reports that the GBP/USD
rose to trade at 1.7768.
Candice Zachariahs of Bloomberg in aticle Australian, N.Z. Dollars Gain as Investors Boost Carry Trades
provides a bullish report: "The Australian and New Zealand dollars rose as Asian equities rallied, increasing investors' appetite for higher-yielding assets ... "We've got quite a strong rebound under way", said Tony Morriss, a currency strategist at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. in Sydney. Australian government bonds fell. The yield on the 10-year note rose 2 basis points, or 0.02 percentage point, to 5.68 percent".
ActionForex in article USD/JPY Mid-Day Outlook
shows the USD/JPY
trading at a level of support at 107.06.
Crown Forex in ActionForex article Majors Extend Gains against Greenback
reports in bearish tone that "the worst than expected retail sales didn't do the U.S. dollar any good".
Global Forex Trading in ActionForex article Dollar Rally Done For Now?
reports that the Chinese may diversify away from dollar assets according to China Daily; and that strong Strong AUD employment data may keep RBA stationary in October; and that Fed's Kohn sees no housing bottom yet; and that CB Trichet is unabashedly hawkish stating that inflationary pressures remain enormous and that the ECB will need to guarantee price stability.
TheLFB-Forex in ActionForex bearish toned article Midnight For The US Dollar
reports that the dollar fell on increased speculation of a Fed rate cut by December. And that The Pound, FXB, made its biggest one day gain since September 2005. The Aussie, FXA, made its biggest one day advance since May 16, 2008, as gold futures advanced nearly $15. The Canadian Dollar, FXC, fell for the fist time this week as prices for gold, oil and other commodities rose. The Swiss Krona, FXS, rose.
AC Markets in ActionForex article US Trade Deficit And Weaker Stocks Weighed On Dollar
reports that late on Thursday, the Dollar dropped against majors, weighed down by a combination of weaker global stocks and data showing the US trade gap expanded to $62.2b, it's widest since March 2007.
TheLFB-Forex in AtionForex article Dollar Index And The Financial Sector
provides a bearish slant that Washington Mutual, WM, the nation's largest savings and loan, had its debt ratings cut on Thursday. The bank is heading to its fourth straight quarterly loss and is facing as much as $19 billion in loses tied to residential mortgages. The drop on its credit ratings could force WaMu to sell part of its $143 billion deposit base, which would mean selling branches. "Toxic" might be the best descriptor for the Financial Sector. It would seem there just is no reason to invest while so much uncertainty exists. AIG (-27%), FRE (-23%), LEH (-15%), FNM (-9.6%) and MER (-9.2%) were the biggest percentage losers on Friday. WM (+4.24%) was an unlikely bright spot after the company issued statements saying its capital position was adequate, allaying market fears that it might be the next big bank to go down. On the day, the XLF fell 0.30 points (-1.40%) to close on 21.15, Chart of XLF is courtesy of Ted Burge
... XLF Trader Tim Knight Is Terrifically Bearishg Gold
Tim Knight in article Getting Ready for the Gold/Energy Short
relates: I wonder what cuteness the Feds are going to pull this weekend? Use taxpayer dollars to bail out Lehman? Send everyone a $2,000 check they can spend at WalMart? Cut interest rates to 0%? Make short-selling illegal? You just never know. verything is waiting to see what happens to LEH, of course. With only 365 cents left to its share price, there's not much left to fall. This last posting of the week is going to be somewhat different - - I'm not going to provide any opinion on the broad market. Instead, I'm going to offer a "theme" to invest. Specifically - - re-entering short positions on the energy/gold sector (I think of them as one sector these days, strange as that may sound). My narrative is pretty simple. I think the EUR/USD, which has been firming up, won't get much past the ~1.43 level, tinted below. Peak US Treasuries Has Been Observed
The Resourceful Bear News Service is reporting that the interest rate on the 10 Year Note, $TNX
, is going up from 3.6% ... $TNX
The bailout of the debt toxic and debt overwhelmed mortgage guarantors was "the mother of all credit writedowns" making for "Peak Treasuries On September 9, 2008
The chart of the Treasuries ETF, TLT, shows the fall of the US Government bonds ... TLT
And the gravestone doji in BTTRX relates that the zero coupon bonds have peaked out ... BTTRX
All debt got a write-down this week because of the bailout, as is seen in LQD and AGG falling lower ... LQD
The Direxion mutual fund, DXKSX
, which is 200% inverse of the rate on the 10 Year note, as seen in The Street ongoing monthly chart of DXKSX
will provide low risk and good growth of investment for corporations seeking to preseve corporate wealth ... Chart of DXKSX
For historical note, the spike down bottom low of 13.25 in DXKSX was established September 9, 2008
.Recent Peak Stock Wealth Occurred August 11, 2008
In as much the dollar rally in stocks ended August 11, 1008
, recent "Peak Stock Wealth" has occurred.
The stock market is in bearish mode, primarily over concerns of growth, as is seen by the Proshares bear market ETFs QID
rising. It's recent bearish engulfing candlestick, followed by today's small gain provides a safe entry point for going short the Nasdaq, 100, QTEC. Chart of QID is courtesy of Ted Burge
... QID Hurricane Ike Is Reported Bearing Down On Houston
Mary Foster of the Associated Press relates that a Hurricane Hunter monitoring Ike, says: "it's a big one, and it's going to get bigger
".Kondratieff Winter Settles In As Conflict, Bank Insolvency, Stagflation And The Mortgage Crisis IntensifiesConflict
Mike Mish Sheldon in article Test Of Wills At Boeing
relates "Time will tell who, if anyone, wins the battle. Most often both sides proclaim victory even though no one does".
Peter Symonds in GlobalResearch.ca article President Bush Authorises US Ground Operations Inside Pakistan
reports that the US carried out a military strike to crack down on militant groups in its Federally Administered Tribal Areas, FATA.
Kaveh L Afrasiabi in GlobalResearch.ca article US a Step Closer to Iran Blockade
reports that the EU US Western World Government has imposed new sanctions on Iran, this time targeting its shipping industry, by blacklisting the main shipping line and 18 subsidiaries, accusing the maritime carrier of being engaged in contraband nuclear material, a charge vehemently denied by Iran.
While the economic impact of the measures against Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines, IRISL, will be minimal in light of the near absence of any connection between the shipping company and US businesses, this latest US initiative against Iran sends a strong signal about the US's intention to escalate pressure on Iran, even unilaterally if need be. And, perhaps, it is a prelude for more serious and dangerous actions in the near future, above all a naval blockade of Iran to choke off its access to, among other things, imported fuel.Bank Insolvency
Scott Lanman of Bloomberg reports in article Fed Direct Loans Lose Stigma as Banks Push Borrowing to Record
relates that the use of Federal Reserve Facilities has gone balistic as banks desperately seek liquidity and capital.
The article reports: "The low cost may 'delay necessary adjustments': at banks, said Vincent Reinhart, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington who was director of the Fed's monetary affairs division from 2001 to 2007. Lenders may 'have a hard time if the Federal Reserve tries to take it away,' he said.
Geithner, along with Fed Vice Chairman Donald Kohn, told a group of banks including Citigroup Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Bank of America Corp. on an Aug. 17 conference call that tapping the so-called discount window was a 'sign of strength' ".
Yes, a sign of strenght indeed -- not of the banks who avail themsleves of the liquidity, but rather of growing state corporatism, that is state corporate rule in a desperate move to achieve financial stability.
Elaine Meinel Supkis in article US Struggles As Ports Are Hammered By Mother Nature
writes: "Note how the bankrupt Citigroup head as well as Geithner are calling this obvious raid on the Cave, a sign of strength! HAHAHA. Up is down, in is out and negative is positive. This is pure Outer Darkness Lightning territory. Whenever we see people stand reality on its head, we are looking at magic. Magicians believe that if you lie about the true condition of things, reality changes. This belief is stupid, of course. The gods control reality and the gods are really all goddesses: Mother Nature and the three evil sisters, History, Inflation and Depression. They love to use numbers and charts and unlike the liars who try to fool us, they keep very accurate accounts. Everything is carefully tracked and when the graphs show the 'hockey stick' sudden rise upwards, these demonic forces sharpen their fangs and claws and tear into whatever has dared to go off the charts. They hate things going off the charts. Balance is everything with them! They love to make everything equal zero."Stagflation
Kevin Franco of CEP News in ActionForex article BOE's Tucker Says Slow Growth, Higher Inflation Likely
reports that Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee Member Paul Tucker said: "If in the interests of sustaining growth in the short run, we were to let inflation become established at higher levels, things could easily get out of control as higher medium-term inflation expectations would become embedded," Tucker said. "We would then find it much harder to bring inflation back to target, and could well end up having to generate a serious recession to put the genie back in the bottle."Mortgage Crisis
Dan Levy of Bloomberg in article U.S. Foreclosures Hit Record in August as Housing Prices Fell
reports that U.S. foreclosure filings rose to a record in August as falling home prices made it harder to sell or refinance homes to pay off the mortgage, RealtyTrac Inc. said. California had eight of the 10 metropolitan areas with the highest foreclosure rates, led by Stockton at one in 50 households. Merced, Modesto, Vallejo-Fairfield and Riverside-San Bernardino ranked second through fifth. Bakersfield, Salinas- Monterey and Sacramento, the state capital, ranked eighth through 10th.Presidential Candidate Obama Appeals To The Idealism Of Youth And Students For National Service
Patrick Martin in WSWS.org article Obama Calls For US Military Mobilization
reports that the Democratic candidate said at the Forum on National Service, Thursday September 11, 2008, sponsored by Time at Columbia University in New York.
As president he would stand behind a National Service Initiative: "There was that sense of sacred obligation that, frankly, we have lost during these last two wars," Obama said. "I want to restore that." The candidate continued: "And I think it’s important for the president to say, this is an important obligation. If we are going into war, then all of us go, not just some."
The Zoo provides Key Quotes in Video Format
Douglas Hester in article Hitler Obama Youth
recalls that another country went down this road 60 years or so ago, and it didn't work out so well.
Obama said: "'We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we've set,' ... 'We've got to have a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well funded.'"
He said he would make federal assistance conditional on school districts establishing service programs and set the goal of 50 hours of service a year for middle and high school students.
The night's forum seems to just be a continuation of Obama's speech in Colorado Springs where he is quoted by Reuters saying: " Loving your country must mean accepting your responsibility to do your part to change it." Colorado Springs is in a conservative region of the state that is home to a military base, the U.S. Air Force Academy, and is the hub of many christian religious non-profit organizations, as well as to a host of Evangelical Christian megachurches.
Yes, the Hitler Youth
will be returning, so get your brown shirts and jack boots ready if Obama is elected.
Hitler Youth recruitment poster
. The wording translates to: “Youth serves the leader. All ten year-olds into the Hitler Youth.“
To some degree I find it strange that black man would endorse slavery. But then again, his words, prove that even he is a neocon. Yes there are neocons on the left and on the right. And they take morality, taxation and investment every which way but right.The Question Is: Will Gold Rise Or Fall?
The Euro moved above a support line first at 141.140 and then at 142 to close at 142.38; and the Yen fell to close at 92.43 ... FXE
The Stockcharts.com chart of the EUR/JPY
, that is, FXE:FXY, shows the EUR/JPY at support. This abeyance, but not abatement, to the unwinding of the yen carry trade, enabled gold to rise today ... FXE:FXY
Greg Michalowsk in article EURUSD approaches resistance at 1.4225. Expect Resistance
writes: "The 1.4225 level is approaching. The price corresponds to the high from September 9th and the 200 hour moving average (at 1.4227). I would expect sellers at the level".
James Chen in ActionForex FXSolutions article Chart Of The Day
shows the strong downdraft of the EURUSD.
And Catalin in Euro Daily Update
provides an Andrews Pitchfork view of the EUR/USD which to me suggests further down.
And Greg Michalowski in article USDJPY Is Testing Key Technical Resistance Aat 107.70
relates "The USDJPY is testing the 200 hour moving average resistance at the 107.70 level." It appears that the USD/JPY is bouncing around the top of an Ellott Wave 2 up and sometime will go down into an Elliott Wave 3 Down.
The real mover has been the EUR/JPY; it is forcefully down, as it is in an Elliott Wave 3 Down.
Unlike Elliot Wave 3 Ups which are powerfully sweeping up, Elliott Wave 3 Downs are aggressive and very severely down as we see in the fall of the Euro, FXE, taking down the world stocks, EFA, the emerging market stocks, EEM, and the natural resource stocks, such as metal manufacturing, XME, the HUI indexed precious metal mining shares, GDX, steel producres, SLX, coal producers, KOL, energy producers, XME, and energy service, OIH as well as the whole commodity complex, RJI, oil, USO, and even gold, GLD.
The chart of UUP weekly shows a massive gravestone doji. The gravestone doji would suggest an end to the dollar rally and a rise in gold, yet all this is is just an ETF, it is the outcome of greater currency trading ... UUP Weekly
If Holistic Forex comments, I will post its comments here
Here is the comment of Jesse, in article US Dollar Weekly Chart with Commitments of Traders
which says: "The explosion in the open interest, which is unprecidented in our memory, and the record level of funds long positions suggests a blow off top driven by forced panic buying probably in some short of squeeze or unwind."
Jesse is a Dollar Bear and a Gold Bull.
I have to ask how did the explosion get there? Did the plunge protection team produce the explosion by using US Federal Reserve dollars to go long the futures market? Did yen carry traders use loans from the bank of Japan to long the futures as well? Did the Federal Reserve twist the primary dealers to create it by going long? Or did the Saudis or the Bank of Japan use their massive reserves to drive the US Dollar up?
What if the explosion is not a blow off top but rather a blow down top -- a top to blow down of oil and gold. In other words, Jesse sees the committment of traders report as bearish, while the fact is it could be bullish, if the longs keep committed to the US Dollar.
The deflationry presssure in EUR/JPY is terrific, and I really do not see any particular reason for it to let up.
Although I am bearish the US Treasuries, and have documented that a top is in for them, I do not see a run on them, so therefore, I do not see any particular flight from the dollar yet.
Could it be that "they", the currency traders, will continue to drive gold down by shorting the EUR/JPY? I rather think so, simply because they are in control, and probably don't feel any need to take profits and go long?
Yes, the effect of shorting EUR/JPY will be more down for the Euro, FXE, Gold, GLD, the world stocks, EFA, the emerging market stocks, EEM, and its leaders Russia, RSX, and Brizil, EWZ, and the natural resource stocks, such as metal manufacturing, XME, the HUI indexed precious metal mining shares, GDX, steel producres, SLX, coal producers, KOL, energy producers, XME, and energy service, OIH.
Here is the big "but": there is a systeic risk event coming, the banks are really insolvent, that is in desperate need of obtaining capital. And because of the impact of FASB 141, unable to get capital to stay liquid, so they have to rely on the lending window at the Federal Reserve to stay operational.
AIG insurane had a capital loss event today. Greg Farrell and Nicole Bullock in FinancialTimes article
AIG Falls On Fears Over CDS Exposure report
that "Investor panic over the state of the US financials spread to AIG on Friday, as the stock dropped 31 per cent during active trading. The shares fell 2 per cent further in extended trading after Standard & Poor's, the credit rating agency, said it may cut the insurance company's credit rating. More than other insurance companies, AIG has significant exposure in real estate and the credit default swap market, two segments that have been crushed in the past year by the decline in asset prices. Although it boasted revenues of $110bn in 2007, AIG has taken $18.5bn in losses over the past three quarters".
Felix Salmon in SeekingAlpha article AIG The Mark-to-Lehman Market
relates that "Ooh now this is ugly. AIG's shares are down 26% today to their lowest level in over 15 years; the firm's credit default swaps, CDS, are wider than Lehman's. Note that AIG is not trading at zero, in the way that Lehman (LEH) and WaMu (WM) are: its market capitalization is still a substantial $35 billion or so. But the credit markets are certainly far from reassured that there's any value in the equity. Your shares can -- and quite possibly will -- go all the way to zero".
Doug Noland writing in Safehaven.com article, Too Big To Fail
, writes that "while the media directed its attention to Lehman, the pricing of AIG Credit Default Swaps, DCDS, exploded this week. This is a company with a Trillion dollar balance sheet and enormous exposure to the CDS market and other derivatives. And although its balance sheet is only about a third the size of AIG's, Washington Mutual also saw its CDS blow out. And while most holders of Fannie and Freddie obligations have come out of the GSE fiasco unscathed (or better), one can see how this crisis going forward will see more pain meted out to the corporate bondholder - not just the poor lowly equity owner. Perhaps the prospect of Lehman debt holders suffering losses has pushed the acutely vulnerable CDS market to the edge."
I want to go back to concept mentioned above of bank insolvency. The banks are on life support, they use to get a little triage, then they got a transfusion, but now they are on total life support, sustained only by TAF, TSLF and PDCF as related by Adrian Ash of BullionVault in Safehaven.com article Safehaven.com article PLIF!! Just an Everyday Emergency
The banks and investment bankers, will one day have an "AIG Insurance like event", where they will get further capitally depleted, and then kaboom, the stock market fall, and the whole world wide financial system freeze up, and the US Dollar go into a nosedive.
At that time those owning gold will survive; and those who do not own gold will not. Peter Schiff Last in Safehaven.com article Last Gasp of a Doomed Currency
writes: When the dust settles, the Federal government will be left with staggering liabilities that will be impossible to repay with legitimate means (taxation or borrowing). To make good, they must rely on the printing press to create money out of thin air. The rapid expansion in money supply will push the dollar down mercilessly. Right now every asset on the planet is being sold except the U.S. dollar. To me this rally looks like the last gasp of a dying currency. Just like a toy rocket ship, once the dollar runs out of fuel it will crash back down to Earth.
So what is one to do?
Does one invest in gold now, only to suffer loss at a falling EUR/JPY?
Does one go short gold, GLD, now? or short with DRR, DEE or DZZ
now, as the the EUR/JPY is likely to continue to fall sharply lower?I Encourage That Pay For Investment Insight From Two Sources
1) Ted Burge TedLines
2) Gary Dorsch's Global Money Trends newsletter
or call toll free to order, Sunday thru Thursday, 8 am to 9 pm EST, and on Friday 8 am to 5 pm, at 866-553-1007. Outside the US call 561-367-1007.
Mr. Dorsch wrote in Safehaven.com artcle Safehaven.com Is The Super Commodity Cycle Dead Or Alive
that the direction of gold prices and inflation expectations also hinge on the direction of world oil prices. It's doubtful that the ECB hawks and the Group-of-Six central banks would have been so successful in knocking gold and oil prices lower without the help of Saudi king Abdullah, the central banker of oil. Iran and Venezuela would like to see the Saudis cut their oil output at the upcoming OPEC meeting on Sept 9th to stabilize the oil market, and prevent prices from moving lower.
However, the Saudi kingdom might be looking at the US political calendar, and would feel more comfortable with a John McCain presidency, thus Riyadh might be inclined to leave its oil output unchanged awhile longer. Already, the 25% drop in crude oil prices from five-weeks ago is paying dividends for Riyadh. In a sharp turnaround, Republican John McCain has opened a 5-point lead on Democrat Barack Obama in the US presidential race, wiping out Obama's solid 7-point advantage in July, and taking his first lead in the monthly Reuters/Zogby poll.
So is the "Commodity Super Cycle" dead or alive? Is now the time to buy badly battered commodities? The answers to these tough questions will be published in the August 23rd edition of Global Money Trends.
And Mr. Dorsch wrote in Safehaven article "Maverick McCain" and the Resurrection of the US$
that "As soon as you think you've got the key to the stock market, they change the lock," lamented Joe Granville, who is mostly remembered for his bearish calls on the US stock market during the 1970's, 1980's, and the 1990's. Nowadays, many currency traders are scratching their heads, trying to figure out what's behind the sudden resurrection of the US-dollar, which is flexing its muscles for the first time in two-years, and defying conventional logic, by climbing sharply higher against most foreign currencies, including those that offer much higher rates of interest.
The Euro has plummeted 12% vs the US-dollar since July 15th, tumbling to as low as $1.410 today. Earlier this week, Euro-zone Finance chief Jean-Claude Juncker gave currency traders the green-light to trash the Euro. "Things are developing in the right direction, in line with the commitments of the US Treasury that it stated in recent months. The Euro is less than $1.44, and it reflects economic fundamentals better than the Euro flirting with $1.60. I still think that the Euro is overvalued, not only against the dollar, but also against other currencies," he said.
What's behind this sea-change in market psychology towards the US-dollar, where the focus has shifted away from interest rate differentials, and instead, has veered-off towards other key factors? They are several reasons that are beyond the scope of this article, but were highlighted in the August editions of the Global Money Trends newsletter.
Throughout the US-dollar's tortuous 40% slide over the past six-years, the Arab oil kingdoms in the Persian Gulf stayed loyal to their archaic US-dollar pegs, even while the Fed's indifference to the sliding US-dollar sent inflation shock waves through their dollar-linked economies. Saudi Arabia was forced to expand its M3 money supply by more than 20% in order to defend the dollar peg, which in turn, fueled inflation to +11.1% in July, it's highest in 30-years. In Abu Dhabi, the biggest member of the UAE federation, prices were 12.9% higher in June.
The Arab oil kingdoms rescued the US-dollar from the brink of collapse, by rapidly expanding the supply of Kuwaiti dinars, Saudi riyals, and UAE dirhams, and then recycled about $250 of Petro-dollars into US Treasuries over the past 12-months, through their brokers in London. In return, the US armed forces are defending the Arab Oil kingdoms from their dangerous neighbors to the north in Iran, which seeks nuclear weapons, and is closely aligned with czarist Russia, and Venezuela's mercurial kingpin Hugo Chavez, - forming the "Axis of Oil."
The recycling of Arabian Petro-dollars into US Treasuries put a floor under the US$ Index at the 70-level this summer, and persuaded bearish currency traders to cover massive short positions that had been built-up in the US$ over the past six-years. King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia upped the ante, in support of the dollar, by boosting the kingdom's oil output by 1.1 million barrels per day (bpd) from a year-ago to 9.7 million in July, which finally deflated the crude oil bubble by $45 barrel so far.
On Sept 3rd, Saudi Arabia announced that it had started pumping crude from the Khursaniyah field, which would boost the kingdom's output capacity by 500,000 bpd to around 11.8 million barrels, and aims to boost its total oil production capacity to 12.5 million bpd by the end of next year. But with crude oil experiencing its largest slide in history, (in dollars) OPEC hawks Iran and Venezuela called for production cutbacks, to put a floor under the market at $100 /barrel.
On Sept 8th, OPEC chief Chakib Khelil said he expected the oil market to be oversupplied at the end of this year. "There is plenty of oil in the market, stocks are pretty good. There will be an oversupply of one-million bpd by early next year," he predicted. Khelil also noted that oil prices were easing as the value of dollar rose. US crude fell to under $102 as the dollar hit an 11-month high against the Euro. "What we are seeing now is the inverse relationship between the US dollar and the oil price is verified. The dollar is strengthening, the oil price is going down," he added.
In a compromise, to placate the mullahs in Tehran, the Saudis agreed to a surprising cutback in oil output, in an effort to stabilize the market. OPEC is pumping roughly 790,000 bpd above target, the bulk of which comes from Saudi Arabia, the central banker of oil, which is pumping around 750,000 bpd above its official quota. "If you do your own calculations properly, OPEC will be a lowering its production by about 520,000 barrels per day," said OPEC chief Khelil.
But the Arabian monarchs also have their eyes on the US political calendar, and have driven oil prices lower, in order to help John "Maverick" McCain get elected, and become the next commander in chief of the US armed forces in the Persian Gulf. On August 31st, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham reminded the Arab oil kingdoms that Democratic vice-presidential nominee Joe Biden lacked the backbone to stand up to powerful foes or to fix broken governments in the Middle East.
"Biden has national security experience. But experience and judgment need to come together. Biden voted against the first Gulf War to evict Saddam Hussein from Kuwait. He opposed the surge in Iraq. He wants to partition Iraq," Graham said. As chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Biden did oppose the recent US troop buildup to defeat al-Qaeda and has called for separating Iraq into three autonomous provinces - Shiite, Sunni, and Kurdish, which is diametrically opposed to the views of the Arab oil kingdoms in the Persian Gulf.
Between now and Nov 4th, the Saudi and Kuwaiti monarchs will attempt to put a lid the oil market, allowing US gasoline prices to trickle lower, and ease the anxieties of jittery swing voters who are worried about the economy. Soybean and corn prices have already plunged by 30% since early July, in sympathy with lower oil prices, and with a little bit of luck, Americans might see lower food prices before the November 4th election. What's likely to happen to the oil market after Nov 4th, will be presented in the upcoming Sept 12th edition of Global Money trends.
Not since the contest between Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan in 1980, has expectations of the outcome of a US-presidential election impacted the currency markets in a big-way. In 1980, any signal that Carter was pulling ahead in the polls, would send the dollar plummeting in the foreign exchange market. Conversely, Reagan's landslide victory, by a 51% to 41% margin in the popular tally, and a whopping 489 to 49 in electoral-college votes, set in motion a vigorous four-year bull-run for the US dollar, and lifted the greenback to 3.50 German marks.
In 1980, when Reagan defeated Carter, the British pound lost 10% vs the dollar after six-months, 22% after one-year and 47% by the end of Reagan's first term. The "Reagan Revolution" included big tax cuts, and wide swaths of working-class Democrats defected to the Republican Party, which Mr McCain hopes to attract in the weeks ahead, with his plan to stimulate the US economy by cutting the corporate tax rate 10% to 25%, and extending the Bush tax cuts beyond 2010.
There are several reasons that explain the sudden plunge in the Euro, including the unwinding of "yen carry" trades, but few traders have noticed that the dollar's resurrection is mirroring the odds of a McCain victory in November. Futures traders dealing at the on-line parlor Inntrade, based in Dublin, Ireland, have lifted their bids on "Maverick" McCain to a 47.5% probability of winning the election, up from 30% in mid-July. The perceived shift in "Maverick" McCain's" political fortunes are linked to the latest Gallup poll, putting him 5% ahead of Mr Obama, due to a huge 15% shift of independent voters and women, leaning towards Alaskan governor Sarah Palin.
Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska introduced herself to America before a roaring crowd at the Republican National Convention last week, as "just your average hockey mom" then pitched herself as a champion of government reform, sliced and diced Democratic candidate Barack Obama as an elitist, and attacked the liberal media. McCain wants to put Sarah Palin in charge of US oil and energy policy if he becomes president, to lessen American dependence on foreign sources of oil, which in turn, could have a big impact on the dollar in the years ahead.
Alongside McCain's jump in the polls, the US-Dollar Index rallied 12% towards the 80-level, gaining support from the emergence of a militaristic Russia, which invaded South Ossetia and Abkhazia, and threatened to cut-off energy supplies to Europe. Kremlin kingpin Vladimir Putin has refurbished the US-dollar's traditional status as a "safe haven" currency. Not since the end of the Cold War, has the US-dollar been treated as a "safe-haven" currency in times of dangerous geopolitical turmoil.
Nowadays, the Persian Gulf oil kingdoms regard the possibility of a nuclear armed Iran as a "dire and direct threat" to their own existence, and are flocking to the US-dollar as a safe haven. The sovereign wealth funds (SWF's) controlled by Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia have roughly $1.7 trillion between them, dwarfing the largest private equity funds in the world. During the first half of 2008 alone, Saudi Arabia raked in $192 billion from oil exports,just $2 billion less than the kingdom's total oil export revenues in 2007.
With their enormous size, the Persian Gulf SWF's can easily move global financial markets. By 2015, the Persian Gulf SWF's could grow to $5-6 trillion. If Chinese, Russian, and Korean SWF's are taken into account, the total global SWF value could top $12 trillion, or almost equal to the output of the Euro-zone's economy. SWF's are quickly becoming the most powerful investors in the world, and account for 12% of the trading volume in commodities. Their activities will increasingly impact financial markets, and the distribution of strategic resources.
Russia holds the world's largest natural gas reserves and the eighth-largest oil reserves. It supplies one-quarter of Europe's oil supply and 30% of its natural gas. In July, deliveries to the Czech Republic through the Druzhba pipeline were cut by 40% after Prague signed an agreement with the US to install an anti-missile shield. The emergence of a militaristic Russia, under former KGB spy master Putin, in alliance with the "Axis of Oil," has tarnished the Euro's stellar image, and added an extra degree of risk in investing in European stock markets.
Putin has declared that a new Cold War with the West has already begun and is considering arming Russia's Baltic fleet with nuclear warheads and pointing them at European cities. "Of course we are returning to those times. It is clear that if a part of the US nuclear capability turns up in Europe, and, in the opinion of our military specialists will threaten us, then we are forced to take corresponding steps in response. The strategic balance in the world is being upset and in order to restore this balance, we will be creating a system of countering that anti-missile system. Naturally, we will have to have new targets in Europe," Putin warned.
Since Russia invaded South Ossetia and Abkhazia on August 7th, the Kremlin's foreign exchange reserves have declined by $16.4 billion, the biggest outflow of capital since the country's financial meltdown in 1998. Foreign investors, who hold roughly half of all Russian shares outstanding, many listed in London and New York, have sold an estimated $20 billion of Russian stocks. The Russian central bank was forced to sell US$5 billion in the foreign exchange market to stabilize the Russian rouble, after it tumbled 10% against the resurgent US$, to a one-year low.
While the Kremlin's coffers have mushroomed, the Russian corporate sector is still heavily reliant on foreign investors. The local bond market is small, with just $60 billion worth of ruble issues. Russian companies borrow funds on the world capital markets, and foreigners own half of the $1 trillion debt. But now, Russian companies are facing a liquidity crunch, since foreign lenders are balking and won't touch any Russian paper. The impact on the Russian stock market has been severe.
The Russian Trading system Index (RTS) was roiled by the exodus of foreign investors, who are on high alert for political risk. Since peaking in May, the Russian stock market plunged 40%, shaving roughly $500 billion from the value of Russian stocks. Foreigners dumped large blocks of Russian mining companies after Kremlin kingpin Putin, accused a large steel and coal mining company, Mechel, MTL.n of tax evasion, causing its share price to collapse. When Putin targets a company, there can be dire consequences, such as the demise of Yukos, a big oil company that was bankrupted on trumped-up tax charges.
Roughly half the RTS Index is comprised of energy related companies, which have also been hard hit, by the slide in crude oil prices to $102 /barrel. Soaring oil prices were behind Russia's political and economic resurgence, and help lift the RTS Index by an astounding 720% from six-years ago. But nowadays, the term "Peak Oil" is invoking images of a peak in oil prices and global demand, due to a synchronized slide in the global economy, rather than fears that the world is running out of oil.
One big surprise at this week's OPEC meeting was the presence of Russian deputy prime minister Igor Sechin, sent by Putin, who announced that "Broad cooperation with OPEC is one of Russia's top priorities. OPEC is one of Russia's key partners on the global oil market." In the past, Russia has agreed to trim production in line with OPEC output cuts to support prices, and traders must monitor Putin's next move.
Most interesting is the observation that the Euro's slide against the US$, is the near-perfect inverse image of the US-dollar's climb against the Russian rouble. The emergence of militarist Russia, ready to aim its nukes at Europe, and a stranglehold over Europe's energy supply, has triggered a mini-flight of capital from the Euro and the Russian rouble. In contrast, the US-dollar, backed by the world's most powerful military, wins by default as a safe haven.
The foreign Exodus from Brazil's Bovespa stock exchange, EWZ, and undermines the Brazilian currency The Real.
Yet there appears to be more reasons behind the US-dollar's rally against all major foreign currencies, than just its newly polished image as a "safe-haven" currency. Brazil is not under any threat of military attack from Russia or Iran, and it's self-sufficient in energy, yet it's currency, the real, has lost -14% against the US-dollar in recent weeks, even though Brazil's interest rates are +11% higher.
Foreign investors pulled money out of Brazil's stock market for a third straight month in August, triggered by the steepest plunge in commodities in five decades. Slumping commodity prices led Sao Paulo's Bovespa stock index sharply lower, to below the psychological 50,000-level, or 34% off from its May 20th all-time high. More than half of the Bovespa index is made up of natural resources companies and steel mills, whose fate largely hinges on the direction of the global economy.
The Dow Jones Commodity Index has tumbled 27% from a record high set eight weeks ago. Steel prices have plunged 30%, and soybeans are 30% lower. Brazil had posted a trade surplus of $40 billion last year on exports of $160 billion, and strong demand for commodities helped secure a 27% jump in exports, from January to July of this year, compared to the same period a year ago.
An unwinding yen carry trade unravels Brazil's trade surplus.
Latin America's largest economy enjoyed a current account surplus for the last five years, its currency rose to a nine-year high while the central bank stockpiled enough US-dollars to pay off its entire foreign debt and become a net creditor for the first time. But imports are growing at twice the rate of exports this year, due to the super-strong real, and Brazil's trade surplus plunged 42% in the first half of this year. Now the virtuous cycle is moving in reverse, as commodity prices slide, and foreigners repatriate their money, to avoid losses related to the Bovespa index.
The unwinding yen carry trade has deleverage the top two emerging markets.
The Brazilian real has plunged 10% in the past 10-days to 1.77, its lowest level against the dollar since February. The performance of Brazil's currency and stock market, which largely hinge on the direction of commodity markets, haven't differed much from Russia's. These top-2 emerging markets are leveraged plays on the global economy, and when commodities trend lower, it has a double barreled selling effect on emerging markets.My Personal Investment Strategy
ActionPoints in article Index Watch For September 15, 2008
provides the article Weekly Dollar Chart
which shows $80.40 to be strong resistance for the US Dollar.
Gold trades inversely of the US Dollar, and so the implication is that gold has the potential to go up, as the US Dollar hits resistance and falls lower.
Jesse documents that there is a terrific number of futures contracts long the US Dollar in article US Dollar Weekly Chart with Commitments of Traders
which says: "The explosion in the open interest, which is unprecidented in our memory, and the record level of funds long positions suggests a blow off top driven by forced panic buying probably in some short of squeeze or unwind."
I take the comments recognising that Jesse is a Dollar Bear and a Gold Bull, so I tone it down a bit and think that there is a massive position long that is supporting the US Dollar.
From reading the Gary Dorsch article "Maverick McCain" and the Resurrection of the US$
, I conclude that the future postions are probably owned by the Saudis, who are likely to hold their position until their McCain-Palin team is elected.
The falling EUR/JPY, that is a falling Euro, FXE, since the selling by speculators of oil futures on July 14, 2008, enforced by a historic level of longs in the futures market for the US Dollar, $USD, has sent the price of gold lower, and will likely continue to send gold lower even more ... FXE
... Chart of FXE:FXY -- EUR/JPY
Soon we will have a systemic risk event, most likely, a "liquidity scare" will come, on issues surrounding mortgage backed securities, credit default swaps, CEDS, counterparty risk, and the inability of financial organizations to obtain capital due to FASB 141.
When the world wide financial breakdown comes, and only then, will gold rise in value, and establish itself as the defacto international currency, and means of garnering and maintaining wealth.
I am currently long a few SKF and have a few gold coins, so it's going to be a while before I see any investment gain.
Gold could easily fall to the $650 to $675 to $690 range shown in the July 11, 2007 Kitco Alf Field article Gold We Have Lift Off
The Jesse article Gold and Oil Long Term Weekly Charts As of August 27, 2008
provides the chart of gold
where $675 is seen as strong support.Dollar Exuberant Stocks Will At One Time Fall ... I Present These Charts As Tombstones To The Bygone Era Of ProsprityCY