The Market Radar


We anticipate monitor and comment on market-moving global economic and geopolitical issues.  No dark side brooding, no wanting the world to end, no political rants.  Traders, investors, policymakers, or market observers can’t afford to ignore us.  In one word, perspicacity.

An educated citizenry is a vital requisite for our survival as a free people– Thomas Jefferson

By seeking and blundering, we learn. – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Don’t Be A Free Rider.  Help Us Keep The Lights On.  Contribute with major credit cards by clicking on PayPal widget on the right-hand side of the blog.

free rider

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

The Night the Red Light Went Out in Georgia?

Is Roxane about to put off the Republican red light in Georgia?

Stunning New Poll In Georgia

It ain’t over ‘til it’s over but the latest polling data from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution is nothing less than stunning.   A Republican presidential candidate has only lost twice in the past 40 years:  to Bill Clinton by less than one percent as Ross Perot took 13 percent of the vote in 1992, and to the hometown boy, Jimmy Carter in 1980.    Hard to believe but even Georgia is now in play.

Pelosi Net Favorability Higher Than Trump And McConnell

What really caught our attention in the poll is that, though the data illustrate national politicians are still unpopular in Georgia, the San Francisco liberal, Nancy Pelosi’s net favorability numbers are higher than both Trump and Mitch McConnell:  Pelosi -6,  Trump -13.7, and McConnell -17.1.

Georgia_1

Polling Internals

The poll’s internals also confirm what we have been tracking before 2018 mid-terms:  1) Women make up the majority of registered voters and are more likely to vote than men,  2) Trump’s approval rating remains consistently 20-30 points underwater with women (see above chart), even in Georgia and these data are pretty much set in stone no matter where the Dow or the unemployment rate will be in November 2020, and 3) Ditto for younger voters, under the age of 45 years old, where Trump consistently polls almost 30 points underwater.

Yes, even in Georgia.  If they show up at the polls in 2020,  which is highly likely as they did in the 2018 mid-term, POTUS will be renamed Donald Thumped.

Georgia_2

Finally,   Trump is polling behind almost all the leading Democratic candidates but only Biden’s lead is outside the margin of error.   With one year to go in the horse race, these data are pretty much meaningless but are, for sure, an eye-opener and big flashing orange light for the Republicans,

Georgia_3.pngTrump’ National Daily Tracking Poll

While we are at it, let’s take a look at the latest daily presidential tracking poll from IPOS.

It is clear impeachment is taking its toll on the President’s approval ratings and his disapproval is pushing up toward that magical 60 percent level where some say Republicans will begin to panic.  We look beyond the headline number and like to dig deeper into the data to analyze the strongly approve and strongly disapprove, which are less likely to move than say, “somewhat”, “lean”, “slightly,” which are squishy and not really bankable.  President Trump is more underwater, 21 points in the “strongly” category than the 19 points he is in the totals.  Not positive.

Taking Candy From A Baby

If you think people make all the wrong emotional moves in trading, do your homework and make some political bets.  Put your political bias aside and study the data, it’s like taking candy from a baby.   

Recall our post the day the Mueller Report was released,

We’re not making a political statement or being partisan but just trying to give our readers a heads up on the results of our brief analysis and how we see it playing out.  The odds of impeachment have gone from around 6:1 to 4:1 in the past two weeks.

We expect the market price at PredictIt to move up another 30-50 percent in the next few weeks, or 3:1 odds for impeachment.  Don’t think your gonna make that in Amazon in two weeks, though the shares might get an impeachment bump. — GMM, April 18

We have been in and out of this trade as it did look like Trump was going to walk after Robert Mueller testified.  The impeachment contract, if bought on April 18th, the day of our post, would have returned 225 percent to date, compared to Amazon’s -5.8 return. The markets now believe there is about an 80 percent probability POTUS will be impeached in his first term.

As a dog returns to its vomit, so fools repeat their folly. – King Solomon, Book of Proverbs

The very next day, we repeat, the very next day after Mueller testified to Congress and POTUS thought he was off the hook – by the way, the Mueller Report documented the Trump campaign met with the Russians over 100 times and the campaign “expected to benefit” from those meetings and contacts, which sounds like collusion but not conspiracy —  he rings up the newly elected President of Ukraine on that “perfect phone call” asking for ”a favor” in his 2020 campaign, which then unravels into another political mess.

Our bet, with this POTUS, there are many more skeletons in the closet to come out in the next year.  Not a partisan statement, just what our algorithm predicts based on past data it is fed.

Remember, Mr. Market thinks Trump will be re-elected.

“Right now, the market is assuming Donald Trump is reelected.”  – Leon Cooperman

Everything is awesome.  Stay tuned.

 

Ipsos_Tracking

Ipsos_Tracking_2

Posted in Politics, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

How Central Banks Steal From Savers

This chart is an incredible disgrace and illustrates how conservative savers, especially seniors, have been robbed by the central bankers.  Christine Lagarde’s recent comment fueled our ire,

We should be happier to have a job than to have our savings protected – ZH

And she was talking about nominal rates!  If the central bankers continue to destroy savings, nobody is going to have a job.

Real CD Yields

The chart below hardly reflects the “greatest economy ever.”  It illustrates and asset-driven economy addicted to negative real interest rates and easy money.

The Fed, bowing to political pressure, pushes short-term rates lower hoping to turn that 70-year old pensioner relying on her marginal interest income to pay for 18-holes at the local muni, into a stock jockey to keep the S&P afloat at its historical valuations.

Yes, it’s hypobole, but we are trying to make a point, comrades.

This is nutz. This is super nutz!

 

CD Rates

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Trade Wars And Boeing’s Supply Chain

Boeing’s supply chain is just one example of how global trade friction can affect the company’s plane production.  Boeing recently announced that it will reverse the expected boost in monthly output of the 787 Dreamliner from 14 back t 12 due to the trade war, which among other things, is slowing demand in China.

Boeing_Supply_Chain_3

Boeing’s enormous global supply chain delivers more than a billion parts to its assembly plants every year, everything from buckets full of fasteners to entire wings for its 787 Dreamliner.   Trade uncertainty wreaks havoc on planning and reduces capital spending.

Boeing_Supply_Chain_787

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

World’s Fastest-Growing Economies – October 2019

We have updated the GDP growth rates for the 2019 and the 2020 forecasts and ranked the world’s fastest-growing economies in the ginormous table below.  The data are from the October 2019 IMF’s World Economic Outlook.

Note, even though India tops G20 growth in 2019 the economy is expected to accelerate in 2020.  India has been and will remain our favorite emerging market

Africa dominates with the most rapidly growing economies in the world tables.

 

WEO_GDP_Growth_G20

 

WEO_GDP_Growth

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Economics, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Why The Tide Is Turning Against Big Tech – FT

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Priorities, Priorities, Priorities

Thank goodness POTUS gets it.  The Republic depends on it. Are we embarrassed yet?

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Jamie Dimon On 60 Minutes

Great 60 Minutes interview with JP Morgan CEO, Jamie Dimon, last night.

This is a must view, folks.  Take 15 minutes to watch as it will be a very high return on your time investment.

Jamie is very impressive and his leadership skills shine in the short talk with Leslie Stahl. JP Mo’s private-public partnership in helping to rebuild Detroit is a blueprint for rebuilding the rustbelt, in our opinion.

Here is Dimon on JP Mo’s 2008 government-subsidized bailout/purchase of Bear Sterns.

Jamie Dimon: The CEO of Bear Stearns called me up and said, “Can you lend me $29 billion before the night’s out? Because if I don’t get it, I’m gonna go bankrupt?” And I said– I said, “Even– even I can’t get (LAUGH) $29 billion.”

But then the treasury secretary, Hank Paulson leaned on him to buy Bear Stearns.

Jamie Dimon: And Hank Paulson said, “You gotta buy it, you gotta buy it, you gotta buy it. And I said, “If I can responsibly do it.” I said can’t jeopardize my own company, we’ll do it.

Three days later he did it. He bought Bear Stearns for $1.2 billion.

Jamie Dimon: We thought we saved the system. You know, we thought that that would’ve been the domino that would’ve caused the whole system to go down. And it was because JPMorgan was strong that we could do it.

Lesley Stahl: Did they–

Jamie Dimon: As I pointed out in Congress, it wasn’t like buying a house. That was buying a house on fire.

Still, it was JP Mo that almost stuffed investors with the WeWork toxic waste IPO in September.  WeWork has lost over $40 billion of value along with its CEO in the past few months.   Hey, nobody’s perfect but this is exactly why Wall Street needs regulation and watchdogs as we know from past experience unfettered capitalism can burn down more than just the house.

Jamie Dimon

Click here for the full interview. 

Posted in Uncategorized, Video | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Beam me up, Scotty, it’s getting too real!

This is stunning.

I never was even close to a Treky but now starting to rethink.  The Starship Enterprise is getting too real.

Jeff Bezos certainly is and betcha was thinking of the mother ship in designing his new delivery system.

The “Star Trek” cameo was Bezos’ idea, all the way. He’s been a fan since childhood, and has told interviewers that Amazon’s Alexa AI assistant was inspired by the patient, know-it-all computer on the Starship Enterprise. A movie-prop Enterprise holds a prominent place at the Kent headquarters for Bezos’ Blue Origin space venture.  – GeekWire

Amazon is building another Disruption city.

Trucking jobs are the most common jobs in 29 out of 50 states in the U.S., and there are millions of people working for the trucking industry in non-driving positions.  – Doft

Truckers must begin their retraining and start their Python Courses, ASAP!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

China Still Looking For A Rollback

We posted our,  Roll back: The Verb China Is Looking For,  two months ago and China is still looking for a rollback on some of the tariffs that have already been implemented.

We wondered out loud if President Trump is about to cave and cut another meaningless trade deal — Phase 1, Phase 2, Phase 7, whatever  — which has already caused enormous pain with almost no gain,

So, after all the American economic carnage caused by Trump’s trade war, is the administration about to, or willing to cave on what they said were the most important issues:  1) intellectual property protection, 2) industrial policy reform?

Will Trump cut another meaningless Potemkin Trade Deal?

Markets salivate at the prospect of the end of trade conflict no matter who is the perceived winner.  However,  from a game-theoretic perspective, it is hard to imagine President Trump caving on tariffs unless the Chinese make major concessions on some of the structural issues, such as economic restructuring, lest he looks weak going into the 2020 election.

President Trump is not a rational actor, has no strategy,  and his negotiating team is divided, in our opinion, so who knows what will happen.  It’s clear to us, President Xi has the upper hand and the administration is grappling behind the scenes.

It is widely expected that, as part of a phase one deal, the U.S. and China will roll back part of the tariffs levied during the year-long trade dispute. 

But Peter Navarro, assistant to the president and director of the Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy, argued forcefully against and even shook his head no at the suggestion of tariff relief in an interview with Yahoo Finance’s The Final Round on Friday, casting a shadow over the much-anticipated deal signing. 

“There’s no rollback at all,” Navarro said. “So we need the tariffs there, but the tariffs are really our best insurance policy as well to make sure that the Chinese are negotiating in good faith.”  – Yahoo Finance

China says no deal without a rollback.  Peter Navarro says no rollback.  It sounds like we are at Walmart.

We may or may not know more as President Trump delivers his speech at the Economic Club of New York on Tuesday.

Must View

By the way,  we highly recommend you watch the latest Frontline documentary (here) about the global struggle for AI supremacy to gain some perspective on what is really going on underneath the surface of these trade negotiations.

Roll back: The Verb China Is Looking For

Roll back is the verb China is looking for.

Mr. Market is all lathered up this morning on the following report,

ChinaTrade_Ag_2

Source: @FerroTV

Not so fast.

ChinaTrade_Ag_3

A senior White House official said the U.S. is “absolutely not” considering an interim trade deal with China.

Bloomberg News reported earlier Thursday the Trump administration discussed putting together a limited trade deal that would delay and remove some China tariffs, citing five people familiar with the matter. The news had driven stocks to session highs. — CNBC

Major Cave 

From our cheap seats in the peanut gallery, we can’t help but notice for the past month the Chinese have been sending signals and tossing the Trump negotiating team a few bones to walk back the new tariffs that went into effect on September 1st with more to come.   No bite from Trump as the September 1st tariffs went live.  Ditto for China’s retaliatory tariffs.

Then we heard China is willing to buy American ag products to jump-start negotiations.

ChinaTrade_Ag

The source said China could also offer more market access, better protection for intellectual property and to cut excess industrial capacity, but would be more reluctant to compromise on subsidies, industrial policy and reform of state-owned enterprises.  – SCMP

 

That would be short-term positive for the farmers but, come on, man,  central planning in trade?  Remove the price distortions and let the market forces rip and do their thing.

We also wonder if Trump’s negotiators understand the concept of hysteresis,

Hysteresis in the field of economics refers to an event in the economy that persists into the future, even after the factors that led to that event have been removed.  – Investopedia

Even if tariffs are completely rolled back, it may take a long time for U.S. farmers to restore their export markets, if ever.

Deal Or No Deal?

So, after all the American economic carnage caused by Trump’s trade war, is the administration about to, or willing to cave on what they said were the most important issues:  1) intellectual property protection, 2) industrial policy reform?

Will Trump cut another meaningless Potemkin Trade Deal?

We don’t know.  These clowns are so unstable and divided, losing the support of the American electorate, and seem to be in panic mode as Trump’s polling numbers continue to drop like the Hard Rock Cafe in Atlantic City!

The polls du jour show President Donald Trump trailing basically every Democrat in the 2020 general election, both nationally and in individual states — even in Texas.

…Their [polls] message is pretty simple: Trump looks weak. The president is lagging in the low 40s in head-to-head polls, consistent with his stubbornly low approval ratings. A lot of Americans seem to be fully committed to or are actively considering voting for somebody else. That’s not where the incumbent, after three years in office, should be if they want a second term. – Vox, Sep 12th

China Will Never Cave On The Big Issues

We are fairly certain Trump will never force the Chinese to speak English as their primary language…err…change the structure of their economy.

A Potemkin trade deal?

It is looking more likely but a big political risk for President Trump as his right flank will begin to turn on him as looking weak.   The left will bring out massive firepower and label the deal a “No gainer, but massive pain.”

Deals Galore? 

We also wonder if the Administration is on the verge of a “deals galore” flurry with, say, China, North Korea, Iran, and the Taliban (“the Fab Four”) before the election?  We are perplexed by, and the way John Bolton exited the White House yesterday,

And as impulsive and unpredictable as the president’s actions may be, firing Mr. Bolton reveals a certain consistency in Mr. Trump’s worldview: Though attracted to never-been-done theatrics like bringing the Taliban to Camp David or meeting with Mr. Kim, the president is also moored by suspicion of military adventures and has a huge appetite for deals.

What Mr. Trump really wants from his foreign policy is a diplomatic victory as he heads into his 2020 re-election campaign. — NY Times, Sept 10th

Why do we have that sinking feeling the “Fab Four” are licking their chops and looking at each other, thinking

Time to feast! 

Place your bets, folks.

P.S…. We have given up on any short-term calls on the market as it already difficult enough fighting against the algos and trading ‘bots, much less the central planners who now manipulate the markets almost hourly with their twitter accounts and the dropping of tape bombs.  Pretty fracking disgusting.

SEC where the f&*k are you?   That’s right, we forget, a sitting president cannot be indicted.

Nevertheless, we are sellers at 3025-3100 on the S&P and feel pretty confident the market can be bought at much lower prices sometime during the next 18 months.  We do reserve the right to be wrong and to remain solvent, thus our stop at 3125.

Posted in China, Trade War, Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Highest Paid Public-Sector Employee In Each State

Though the following map doesn’t surprise us, it is a bit disheartening to see where our priorities lie.  Panem et circenses (bread and circuses), baby, even at the public Academy!

If the data are true, there are only nine states in the nation where the highest-paid public-sector employee is not a coach.  No doubt, however, a highly paid coach at a public university operates under different incentives than, say, a third-grade school teacher, where universities are constantly reassessing their return on investment in the football coach.

Does Nevada surprise you?  The new Silicon Valley?

Is your highest-paid state employee the teacher who spends every day of the school year with your children? Nah. It’s most often the football coach.

Football coaches at public universities make, on average, more than $1 million per year. 

Only 11 states have non-jock employees earning the most coin. Top-paid employees include university presidents, deans and superintendents, with salaries ranging from $231,210 to $876,442.  — farandwide.com

States

 

Posted in Charts, Demographics, Uncategorized | Tagged | 1 Comment