U.S Debt Downgraded By Chinese

Finally we get a solid move on the fundamentals, as last nights downgrade of U.S debt from Chinese ratings agency “Dagong” sent the U.S Dollar spiralling down.

Now Dagong is no “Moody’s or Fitch” ( currently rating on “negative watch” ) but this in itself brings about a very interesting point.

A Chinese ratings agency having such a significant impact on the dollar? Wow.

You might expect this kind of move given that a “reputable” agency in the U.S gave the “thumbs down” on the debt ceiling debacle sure…but a Chinese ratings agency?

As the largest holder of U.S Debt / Treasury Securities on the planet it is now painfully clear how much influence China truly has. The agency suggested that, while a default has been averted by a last-minute agreement in Congress, the fundamental situation of debt growth outpacing fiscal income and GDP remains unchanged. “Hence the government is still approaching the verge of default crisis, a situation that cannot be substantially alleviated in the foreseeable future”.

Kicking the can a couple of months further down the road makes little difference when the U.S will just be back in the news then…..still unable to pay its bills.

The short USD trades obviously made big moves here overnight, but not exactly as expected. Great gains in EUR, GBP as well CHF but oddly the “commodity currencies” have shot higher. An interesting dynamic and certainly one to keep an eye on as NZD as well AUD approach overbought levels.

Gold up a wopping 34 bucks here this morning, so perhaps we’ve got the “risk off” flows on the move.

Forex Positions Update – USD Weak

Short USD Trades – October 14 – 17th?

As per my posted “trade ideas” Friday, a couple of the “short USD” ideas have taken shape. In fact nearly everything is moving in said direction short of the pesky NZD. This damn currency has been bobbing around / consolidating for nearly a month and has proven to be a real stubborn pain in the ass.


For the most part USD weakness “again” appears to be the move , although at this point nearly every single chart ( looking at nearly any time frame) could almost / just as easily go the other way.

The U.S Dollar is undoubtedly the “tough nut to crack” here, and “with it goes” the rest of it so…..

Here we sit. On the fence again.Kinda.

With risk events such as the U.S Gov Debacle only days away, it makes perfect sense that currency markets aren’t moving too much, as it also remains to be seen where equities, bonds and gold will find their direction.

I like where I’m positioned here but again, am trading with 1/2 to 2/3  smaller position size than when “out on the highway” so we keep things small while we come around the corners.

The Big Story Last Week – You Missed It

Unlikely to have been mentioned on your local T.V last week, the “real big deal”  had little to do with the “circus in Washington” as, quietly behind the scenes The European Central Bank (ECB) and The Peoples Bank Of China (PBC) signed China’s second largest “currency swap agreement” for a wopping 350 billion Chinese Yuan.

In an unpresedented move The European Central Bank said: “The swap arrangement has been established in the context of rapidly growing bilateral trade and investment between the euro area and China, as well as the need to ensure the stability of financial markets.

In doing so, the parties involved avoid swings in exchange rates. They can also be considerably less reliant on the U.S Dollar for bilateral trade and business deals.

China’s central bank has now signed currency swap deals amounting to some 2.2 trillion yuan with 22 countries and regions, with its continued efforts to internationalize the Yuan and rival the U.S Dollar as the world’s reserve currency.

What do “I” think this deal suggests with respect to the long-term future sustainability of USD, now with Janet Yellen a “shoe in” for continued money printing? Continued money printing???

What do “you think” I think?

Wow. Now EU Zone looking for options moving forward.

Safe Haven Trade – USD Or Gold?

Something important came up in the comments area last night, and I thought it worth pointing out.

When we consider the impact of a “flight to safety” ie…….a move in markets where “true fear” pushes investors to dump risky assets ( and to literally….seek safety ) it’s impossible not to consider the U.S Dollar as being “top of the list” as the place to run and hide.

Now, this may seem “counter – intuitive” considering the recent ( and ongoing ) blunders within the Unites States but – that’s not even the point. Take a look at the chart below and note the total % of global currency trading for the top 10 most widely traded currencies in 2013.



That’s 87% of transactions to include the U.S Dollar, compared to a piddly 33.4% for Euro and only 23% in JPY rounding out the top 3.

As a simple matter of “default” when risk comes off and investors get scared – there is absolutely no question that USD will take massive in flows, as risk is unwound and risky assets and investments in emerging markets are converted “back” to USD.

Now, we’ve still not seen a “true flight to safety” as global markets have so embraced the never-ending flow of “free money” coming out of both the U.S as well Japan – with the general investment climate being one of accommodation. This can’t last forever.

You’ll recall I had envisioned a time where “all things U.S would be sold” and to a certain degree I see that this has already happened. Starting with bonds ( as suggested ) then the currency, and lastly ( alllllways lastly ) stocks now starting to show their “true value”.

I’m not concerned with much further “downside” in USD at this point, as one has to keep a couple other “macro” things in mind.

How long do you think the Chinese and Japanese holders of American debt are looking to stand around and watch their U.S denominated assets decrease in value? How far do you “really” think that Ben and the printing presses can push before somebody “really” pushes back?

Food for thought no?

Forex Turning Point – Today Is The Day

Ok “mother market”…..I’m gonna give you exactly 24 hours before you’ve got a major decision to make.

I know, I know , I know…….you are the boss – and I’m just a boy trying to make a buck but seriously…you’ve gone a bit too far this time and I’m close to running out of patience.

This “pesky little thing” you call “the dollar” has just about done enough to frustrate me and my friends to the degree that we will soon be pulling out our hair – short of you making up your mind.

Are you going to let this thing get away on you? Or are you going to do “stick to the plan” and toast it like a marshmallow?

Yes , yes I understand – you can’t just make these decisions on the turn of a dime, so let’s do this……

If USD doesn’t poke its head back under 82.23 and turn red (really red) mighty quick…..then we’ll just let you have your way,  and start to consider the opposing view.

I will look to get “bullish USD” should you decide to make such a mistake right  here…right now.

Personally, I feel it’s a tad early – but if this is what you want…..so be it.

24 hours – and I won’t bother you again.

Eyes On U.S Unemployment Data At 8:30 A.M

This morning’s unemployment data out of the U.S is always a real show stopper. Traders from around the globe sit patiently huddled around their stations waiting……..waiting.

Waiting to hear how many 100’s of thousands of Americans have filed for unemployment insurance for the first time during the past week. Will it be more than the 329,000 projected new unemployment claims? How much more? Ooooooooh! Will it be less than the 329,000 American citizens projected to have filed for unemployment insurance just last week? Last week? In just a single week? Are you kidding me?

What possible difference could it make if the number was even 20k more than projected? or 20k less in a single week, when we are talking about 100’s of thousands of NEW CLAIMS!

No question that the endless printing on money has equated to “spurred job growth” eh?


I’ll wait for the numbers to consider adding to my current ´positions “short USD” or take a decent one on the chin “if” USD takes off higher here. It’s getting closer and closer to the time ( Sept) I had originally considered looking “Long USD” so I’m careful here.

I feel it’s still too early for Ben to just let this thing get out of control and see USD skyrocket so I’m going to sit tight another round here and see how this plays out.


Canada Continues To Pull Ahead – Short USD/CAD

More good numbers out of Canada today as the economy appears to be firing on all cylinders.

Firms in Canada may look to raise consumer prices amid the underlying strength in job growth along with the expansion in private sector credit, and a positive development may heighten the appeal of the Canadian dollar should the data spark bets for a rate hike.

Meanwhile south of the border:

The city of Detroit filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection in federal court Thursday, laying the groundwork for a historic effort to bail out a city that is sinking under billions of dollars in debt and decades of mismanagement, population flight and loss of tax revenue.

The bankruptcy filing makes Detroit the largest city “so far” in U.S. history to do so.

Obviously I’m suggesting short USD/CAD sets up quite well at these levels. I’ve booked 2% on the trade and will look to reload on any further “pop” in USD which gets less and less likely by the day.

Flight To Safety – Not USD

As suggested some months ago – I had envisioned a time where “all things U.S” would likely be sold. We saw the trend appear first in bonds, then considerable US Dollar weakness and finally the inevitable spill over into U.S equities.

Trouble is that now….we need to consider that indeed rates in the U.S will be on the rise (not “tomorrow but in general), and in turn hurt corporate borrowing ( and the ability for companies to increase profits ) which in turn will create even “further” weakness in the U.S economy in general….as earnings will likely suffer as a result.

The bond market is much, much larger than Ben Bernanke – and all the printing in the world can’t change that. When fear sets in and sellers “sell” – the 20% that Ben doesn’t control can bury him in a second.

I don’t see the “flight to safety” being U.S Dollars this time around folks.

I’m leaning LONG JPY here as of this morning, as well looking to limp into SHORT USD trades over the next couple of days.


USD Expectations – Trade Ideas For Bears

The normal correlation of  “dollar up = stocks down”  and visa versa – has been on its head for some time now. As you’ve likely seen over the past few days while stocks have staged a small rebound, the USD has also continued higher. The two have been trading in tandem.

I’m expecting the dollar to turn downward tomorrow or very early next week – with full expectation that stocks will also make another leg lower.

Something else to watch in coming days will be the currency pair USD/JPY, as the BOJ’s recent efforts to further weaken the Yen has spurred buying across markets with carry traders (as suggested month earlier) clearly taking advantage of the easy money. Weakness in USD/JPY will now correlate with weakness in risk, and markets in general.

I don’t imagine the BOJ has much more to  add ( here at their meetings over the weekend ) and in turn – expect this would be a great time for a bounce in Yen, and a further move toward “risk aversion”.

 I’m looking to get short USD and “long” JPY ( at the same time – which some months ago would have been sheer lunacy as they are both considered “safe havens” – and I would never have had opposing trades including these currencies) giving you further indication how significant the moves out of Japan have been for markets in general, and add further credence to the study of fundamentals in trading.

Stock guys…..I would look for hedges, or short-term plays in some kind of inverse or  “bearish” ETF.

QE5 Coming – Fed Will Print Even More

When you really stop and think about it – so far the “Fed’s Quantitative Easing” has done very little for the U.S economy, short of inflate the price of stocks. Last week’s unemployment claims numbers came in considerably higher than expected with 357,000 new claims for the week ending March 23rd.

Stop for just one minute……… and seriously think about that number again.

357,000 people in the Unites States of America filed applications for unemployment benefits last week! With essentially the same number of  people filing the week before that, the week before that – and oh yes…the week before that. It’s truly mind-boggling.

With interest rates already at 0% there’s nothing else that can be done there. Stocks are now at all time highs with very little upside opportunity left there – and now with every other country on the planet devaluing their currencies to promote exports, the U.S efforts to weaken the dollar (with the printing of 85 billion per month) has barely made a dint!

As absolutely insane as it sounds there is really no other option.

QE5 is coming, as the Fed will find some way to justify printing more, and more, and more, and more……….

I’ve inserted the following video (it’s a 24 minute interview) with Jim Rickards the author of “Currency Wars” – he explains things very well. It’s the long weekend so….perhaps sneak away and find a little time for yourself, crack a cold one and have a listen.