gold

Gold: Big Difference Which Kind of Hedge It Truly Is

By |2019-08-30T16:16:19-04:00August 30th, 2019|Bonds, Commodities, Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets|

It isn’t inflation which is driving gold higher, at least not the current levels of inflation. According to the latest update from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation calculation, the PCE Deflator, continues to significantly undershoot. Monetary policy explicitly calls for that rate to be consistent around 2%, an outcome policymakers [...]

Monthly Macro Monitor: Market Indicators Review

By |2019-08-29T16:08:52-04:00August 29th, 2019|Alhambra Research, Bonds, Commodities, Currencies, Markets|

This is a companion piece to last week's Monthly Macro report found here. The Treasury market continues to price in lower nominal and real growth. The stress, the urgency, I see in some of these markets is certainly concerning and consistent with what we have seen in the past at the onset of recession. The [...]

The Corroboration and Costs of Fear Gold

By |2019-08-27T17:02:18-04:00August 27th, 2019|Bonds, Commodities, Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets|

Gold is the ultimate hedge, but it is far from perfect. Unlike, say, sovereign bonds there should be no expectation for a negatively correlated price. You can buy a UST or German bund even at negative yields and at least expect the price to rise when things are at their worst. Flight to safety or [...]

Monthly Macro Monitor: Market Indicators Review

By |2019-07-19T18:19:10-04:00July 19th, 2019|Alhambra Research, Bonds, Commodities, Currencies, Economy, Markets|

The markets we use to monitor the economy (and those that influence it, which amounts to the same thing) have been tracking an economic slowdown since the 4th quarter of last year. That's when interest rates, real and nominal, long term and short term, started to decline, credit spreads started to widen and the copper [...]

Monthly Macro Monitor: The Tempest

By |2019-05-13T16:25:15-04:00May 13th, 2019|Alhambra Research, Bonds, Commodities, Currencies, Economy, Markets|

The Trump administration raised tariffs last week from 10% to 25% on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods and are considering tariffs on another $300 billion of Chinese goods. The Chinese retaliated this morning, raising tariffs to 25% from 5% and 10% on various goods totaling $60 billion. Obviously, the trade negotiations are not going [...]

The T-bill Lie: Even More Completely Full of It

By |2019-05-03T16:37:34-04:00May 3rd, 2019|Bonds, Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets|

When all this federal funds business started, the effective federal funds (EFF) rate was pretty well established at 16 bps above the RRP “floor.” It had been that way, consistently, all throughout Reflation #3, all throughout 2017. So consistent, that dependable spread was a very solid indication of reflation. As of yesterday, EFF was…16 bps [...]

COT Blue: Distinct Lack of Green But A Lot That’s Gold

By |2019-04-23T18:49:42-04:00April 23rd, 2019|Bonds, Commodities, Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets|

Gold, in my worldview, can be a “heads I win, tails you lose” proposition. If it goes up, that’s fear. Nothing good. If it goes down, that’s collateral. In many ways, worse. Either way, it is only bad, right? Not always. There are times when rising gold signals inflation, more properly reflation perceptions. Determining which [...]

Global Asset Allocation Update: The More Things Change…

By |2019-02-22T10:08:02-05:00February 22nd, 2019|Alhambra Portfolios|

I haven't written a formal asset allocation update since November so this one will be a little bit of catch-up for non-clients as we did make some minor changes in early January. On January 7th we shifted our bond allocation somewhat to reduce duration. Continuing to hold longer-dated bonds at that point essentially meant betting [...]

Chinese Robots, New York Heartburn, and Goldman Sach’s Central Role

By |2019-02-05T17:59:06-05:00February 5th, 2019|Bonds, Commodities, Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets|

In the continued absence of regular data, as the US federal government attempts to get back up to speed before the next lull, it is perhaps appropriate to continue on with this week’s parade of anecdotes. Here I’ll discuss three of them, each seemingly unrelated to the others. To begin, we start with Chinese robots. [...]

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