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Monday October 15, 2007 - 12:12:32 GMT
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The Rubin Rule! Not yet, we think.

Key News

·         Asian currencies from the Indian rupee to the Chinese yuan are rising at a record pace as central banks turn to the foreign-exchange markets for help in fighting inflation.   (Bloomberg)

·         Europe became China's biggest export market this year, and Chinese exports to the European Union in the first nine months of this year expanded 30.8% from the same period last year, outpacing the 15.8% growth in exports to the U.S. And while China's currency has risen about 3.9% against the U.S. dollar this year, it has dropped 2.9% against the euro. (WSJ)

·         New Zealand's inflation rate slowed more than the central bank predicted in the third quarter.

·         The U.S. government regularly implores China to let its currency appreciate, but it seems to be India that is answering the call. Both emerging Asian nations have booming economies. Yet only India has allowed its currency, the rupee, to climb sharply against the dollar, underscoring India's willingness to adopt a market-guided approach to suppressing inflation and bolstering its new heft in the global economy. (WSJ)

Key Reports Due (WSJ):

8:30a.m. Oct NY Fed Manufacturing Index. Expected: 13.25. Previous: 14.70.


"The collapse of the southwest real estate bubble in the United States didn't prevent investors from over-investing in Asia. The Asian crisis didn't prevent the Nasdaq bubble from developing. [I was] surprised by how rapidly the crisis mentality vanished. People can forget the lessons of a painful experience very quickly, and that can lead to poor decisions."

                                                Robert Rubin (Sep 2004)

FX Trading – The Rubin Rule!  Not yet, we think. 

There was some jawboning of the dollar being undervalued at the G-7 meeting this weekend, but no action has been taken to try and change that, at least yet.  Two reasons possibly why:

1)    US policymakers could be finding the orderly decline in the dollar is just what the doctor ordered.  If the dollar keeps falling and US multinational corporate earnings remain robust as a result, AND liquidity continues to juice US stocks and emerging market growth, it appears to be a decent outcome.  Why?   Because the booming US stock market has a very positive wealth effect.  That takes a lot of sting out of the plummeting housing market.  Enough to keep Mr. US Consumer shopping?  Maybe!

2)    The Rubin Rule not applicable yet.  We’ve seen reports that Mr. Bernanke has been breaking bread with Mr. Rubin lately.  If the Rubin Rule was a topic, and Mr. B was listening, then intervention isn’t likely just yet.

Some analysts are publically calling for a rebound in the dollar.  Many good reasons may be cited.  Many make sense.  But, the fact that we still see dollar bulls in public means not everyone has capitulated to the trend.  And major capitulation to a price-led trend no matter the underlying fundamental rationale is when the Rubin Rule kicks into gear.   

Former Treasury Secretary Rubin was a good currency trader—he knows markets and understands the role of sentiment and sentiment extremes.  He knew central banks couldn’t fight the trend.  But he knew that once a trend was extended and everyone was in the trade, and there were decent background rationales, it was a good time to intervene i.e. it increased the probability of a successful intervention. 

We likely need to see more “Death of the Dollar” magazine covers.  And more extreme positioning i.e. more “acting” bears instead of “talking” bears. 

Jack Crooks

Black Swan Capital


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