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Tuesday August 15, 2006 - 10:33:32 GMT
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Confusion reigns

Key News
• Key Reports (WSJ):
7:45a.m. ICSC Store Sales Index For Aug 12 Wk.
8:30a.m. July Producer Price Index. Consensus: +0.4%. Previous: +0.5%.
8:30a.m. July PPI, Ex-Food & Energy. Consensus: +0.2%. Previous: +0.2%.
8:30a.m. Aug NY Fed MFG Index. Consensus: 14.0. Previous: 15.64.
8:55a.m. Redbook Retail Sales Index For Aug 12 Wk.
9a.m. June Treasury International Capital Flows. Previous: $69.6B.
1p.m. Aug NAHB Housing Index. Previous: 39.
5p.m. ABC/Wash Post Consumer Conf For Aug 13 Wk. Previous: -12.

• UK Inflation rates: CPI annual inflation fell to 2.4% in July down from 2.5% in June. RPI inflation remained unchanged in July at 3.3%.

UK Inflation
July: CPI falls to 2.4%, RPI unchanged at 3.3%

Annual inflation rates - 12 month % change

Source: National Statistics

• The euro briefly hit a record high against the yen on Tuesday. The euro rose as high as 148.61 yen according to Reuters data -- its strongest since the single currency was launched in 1999 -- before retreating to trade at 148.07 yen, down 0.2 percent on the day.

"We came back to the highs from Aug. 10 and saw sharp rejection there ... Looking at a more medium term prospective, I am not sure we've seen the peak," said Knuthsen [Danske Markets], forecasting that the euro could rise to 149-150 yen in coming weeks.

"There is suspicion that the Japanese economic activity is slowing a little bit, and the fact that Bank of Japan is no match for the tightening pace set for the ECB," he added. (Reuters)


"I'm tired of economists who say, 'On the one hand ... and then on the other hand.' Send me a one-armed economist."

Harry Truman

FX Trading – Confusion reigns

Truman had it easy compared with what we have to contend with.

Reading the usual news yesterday we concluded the following based on the views of several different economists:

1) Global growth is set to slowdown
2) Global growth is poised to speed up
3) Chinese growth is slowing
4) Chinese growth will continue
5) Japan has lost growth momentum
6) Japan is poised for strong uninterrupted growth
7) Inflation is a problem that is separate from economic growth
8) Slower economic growth will slow inflation
9) US wage growth is deteriorating
10) US wage growth is strong
11) There will be a hard landing in housing
12) There will be a soft landing in housing
13) The Fed is done
14) The Fed is poised to hike again
15) The Fed will begin cutting in the first quarter of 2007

Is this anyway to treat a so-called “science”? No wonder those of us out here in the hinterlands—speaking for ourselves at least—are more than a bit confused about where we are in this cycle.

We think all these diverging views go to the point that many tried and true economic indicators are having trouble in a world dominated by deeper and deeper integration of technology, a shift to service based economies, and the full-bore embrace of globalization. And the icing on the cake is the vast and varied sources of liquidity and creative use of credit not only on the liability side of corporate balance sheets, but the embrace of these techniques by individuals.

So, would you please show Uncle Ben some compassion the next time he seems confused about exactly what it is he supposed to be doing; it isn’t easy being an economist today, no matter how may arms one might have intact.

Jack Crooks, Black Swan Capital Black Swan Subscription-based Service


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