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Friday April 20, 2007 - 10:28:07 GMT
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Reader Response (SPU in Gold and Credit Crunch)

Key News

• China may raise interest rates twice this year and order banks to set aside more money to slow lending after economic growth accelerated to 11.1 percent in the first quarter, a survey showed. (Bloomberg)

• Key Reports Due (WSJ):
There are no US economic indicators scheduled today.

“The sciences do not try to explain, they hardly even try to interpret, they mainly make models. By a model is meant a mathematical construct which, with addition of certain verbal interpretations, describes observed phenomena. The justification of such a mathematical construct is solely and precisely that it is expected to work.”

John Von Neuman

FX Trading – Reader Responses today

Reader Response from Wednesday’s Currency Currents showing the S&P Index relative valuation to the US$ Index:

“I think you are not looking at the coupling of the S&P and the dollar correctly. The question "are stocks too high or is the dollar index too low" cannot be answered.

“If the dollar drops in value, being a fiat currency, things that have real intrinsic value must rise in dollar terms -- this is seen with oil or gold. Since the S&P has risen as the dollar falls, it only proves that stocks have an intrinsic value independent of the currency they are traded in. IBM still has the same value whether purchased in terms of euros, yen or dollars, so as the dollar falls it would still be in demand from investors with a more valuable currency.

“A more interesting graph would be the S&P change in relation to gold or a basket of commodities (since individual commodities would be subject to more volatility). My guess without doing the work is that it has risen, but not to the extent shouted by the newswires. Maybe, after these adjustments of true valuation, the stock market is not at an all-time high, or not as high as we would like to think.”

From E.K.

Thank you Ed! They were great points. So we have included the S&P 500 Index divided by gold weekly chart below for your review. And Ed is exactly right. In terms of gold, the S&P 500 Index isn’t anywhere near its old highs…


Reader Response on a dollar bounce, liquidity crunch, and top in stocks:

“But for us the level of risk has risen considerably more. I am therefore calling this to be the secondary top [in stocks]. It will be followed by a violent move down. The hypothesis remains the same. We are heading toward a liquidity crunch. I expect US treasury and the US dollar to rally.
The Yen will outperform all other currencies. Not in favor of gold temporarily. I am a major bull on NatGas , 30yrs Treasury , sugar and Yen. We rarely advocate shorting. The last time we did was in 1990 at the top of the Japan mkt. For us this is unusual but we are going to start recommending being short the mkt.

“I had this funny feeling at the top of the Japanese mkt. I am however able to measure risk with my tools that I did not have back then. I believe a <> is about to reprice the whole structure of the derivatives mkt. The repercussions are not measureable because the size of the market over 400 trillions today has never been tested. Some surprises are coming. By the way I rode the Euro up along with Gold and both are sold here. Why? If it is a liquidity crunch then we have better buys a bit latter. The anecdotal evidences are building up some are funny! People never change
Cheers from sunny Montreal.”

From Y.L.

We tend to agree with Y.L. One of our major concerns too is the derivatives market. Many hedge funds say it’s no big deal, no cause for concern, because their derivatives portfolios have been “stress tested” by the quants. But have we really seen a market test since hundreds of trillion have been layered on in the last few years? We noticed others are increasingly worried about this stuff. ECB President Jean-Claude Tritchet made some comments yesterday (Financial Times) about the lack of transparency in the derivatives market.

• “The opacity of the credit derivatives market, and especially of structured synthetic instruments, is a potential source of concern,” Mr Trichet said.

• “Aggressive investors display a more volatile risk-­taking attitude, and their balance sheets are not necessarily resilient enough to withstand major shocks or increases in volatility,” he said.

• “Derivatives do not eliminate risk – they simply redistribute it. The underlying risks still exist,” he said.

Have a great weekend.

Jack Crooks


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