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Monday March 9, 2009 - 12:22:11 GMT
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Economic thought is becoming an oxymoron

Key News
• Turkey’s lira dropped to the lowest on record against the dollar after industrial output slumped the most in at least 23 years.  (Bloomberg)

Key Reports Due (WSJ):
No major economic indicators scheduled.

“Before a man speaks it is always safe to assume that he is a fool. After he speaks, it is seldom necessary to assume it.”

  H.L. Mencken

 FX Trading – Economic thought is becoming an oxymoron  
If you have been following this morning missive for awhile you know we’ve been expecting export models to be crushed on the major secular theme of global imbalances starting to balance i.e. overconsumption in the West being balanced against overproduction in the East. 

Thus, higher savings in the West means lower demand for imports and the specter of positive current account surpluses.  The lower exports from the East raises the specter of current account deficits ruling the day (Japan posted its first current- account deficit in 13 years in January after exports collapsed) and shrinking that hoard of foreign exchange reserves that were indicative of the East winning all the chips to many.  The game is changing.

Not a painless process this rebalancing thing we are all now learning.  However, overall it is probably quite good for sustainable long-term balanced global growth once we get through it.  We would expect to see more manufacturing jobs eventually shift back to the West as the pool of savings here increases (reducing the need for Eastern funding which is a shrinking pool—and a pool they will need to try to build a vibrant domestic sector)and the East creates more import demand for Western goods.  [Keep in mind the if Eastern economies run more on domestic demand and less on export demand, the need for them to suppress the value of their currencies will be reduced and the pool of exchange reserves should decline accordingly—less recycling and a big change in global liquidity dynamics.]

A more vibrant Western saver and Eastern consumer is just what the global rebalancing doctor recommended, but of course, once again, we have our government overseers to “help us” and mess up the quasi-free market process which seems their mission in life.  

Reuters story today:
“U.S. President Barack Obama's National Economic Council director Larry Summers said stimulating demand should be the focus of the G20, after Japan said the global recession had crushed export demand and overseas investment income in January.
“’The right macro-economic focus for the G20 is on global demand and the world needs more global demand,’ Summers said in an interview with the Financial Times.
“’This notion that the economy is self-stabilizing is usually right, but it is wrong a few times a century. And this is one of those times,’ Summers said, adding that kickstarting growth should take precedence over ironing out global imbalances.”
We love that—“take precedence over ironing out global imbalances.”
Not too long ago we were told endlessly by the economic elite and mindless dollar bear crowd the boogey man for all things bad in the global economy was the US current account deficit—the mirror image of all those surpluses in Asia.  Now it turns out that the US current account deficit is back in demand.  In short, governments are saying pump more US dollar-based credit back into the global economy to artificially pump up asset bubbles again so we can all be better off. 
Thus our elite are hoping it will be déjà vu all over again in their seemingly new efforts to pump up demand through the IMF (can you say US taxpayer on the hook for a bigger portion of global healing—ugghhhh). 
The great thing about being a government economist:  You never have to say you’re sorry.  It seems in that job you have the wherewithal to keep on giving no matter how thoughtless your gifts may be.  
In the “you just gotta love it” category:
In the ongoing charade about China growing by 8% according to the Commie elite, we noticed this comment in the Financial Times over the weekend (our emphasis):
“The government is starting to believe its own propaganda,” said an analyst who asked not to be named for fear his employer would lose business in China.  “Their projections for fiscal stimulus are overly optimistic.”
Ahh…we await that big leg down in emerging once Mr. Market and social unrest end this charade…

US$ Index vs. MSCI Emerging Market Index Weekly—next page:
 (Chart unavailable in text format.)

Another mirror image above?  The dollar continues to rally as liquidity drains off the emerging markets and hides. 
Jack Crooks
Black Swan Capital LLC


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