Circumstantial Evidence Suggests Trump Wants Dollar to Weaken

March 14, 2018

As private citizen, presidential candidate, and president of the United States, Donald Trump has embraced the usefulness of commercial protectionism, that is the imposition of tariffs and other barriers to benefit strategic industries deemed at risk because of unfair foreign competition. He’s unafraid of trade wars and believes that America would win such disputes. Victory […] More

Known Unknowns

March 1, 2018

When you think about the number of meaningful changes with imprecise consequences, it’s no wonder that world financial markets are more volatile in 2018 and why investors remain very jittery. Four of the changes involve U.S. economic policies. The earliest to be undertaken was broad government deregulation including but not limited to the activities of […] More

January 2018 in Figures

January 31, 2018

The euro ranged from a low of $1.1914 to a high of $1.2583 in January, averaging $1.2195 in the month and closing 3.4% stronger than its end-2017 level. Against the yen, the dollar ranged between JPY 113.41 and JPY 108.28 during the month, with a mean value of JPY 110.92 and a 3.1% net drop […] More

2017 and December in Figures

January 1, 2018

2017 was a stellar year for equity and commodity prices. The dollar declined broadly, consistent with President Trump’s intent to trim the U.S. trade deficit and despite three tightenings of Fed policy implemented in March, June and December. The ten-year Treasury yield rose less sharply than 3-month rates, which flattened the yield curve. The dollar […] More

July in Figures

July 31, 2017

On the final day of July, the Dow hit a record high, and the dollar touched its weakest level against the euro since January 14, 2015 and softest yen value since mid-June. July was a difficult month for the U.S. presidency, even by Trump standards. Also, the future path of Fed policy became less certain, […] More

Markets Just Can’t Get Beyond Trump Administration Uncertainty and Contradictions

July 12, 2017

As the tenth anniversary of the start of the financial crisis nears to less than two months, the conventional wisdom is that a normalization of monetary policies will be kicking into a faster gear. The Fed leads in this process but is not the only monetary authority involved. In fact, the Bank of Japan has […] More

Populism Not a Good Recipe for Currency Strength

June 28, 2017

Among highly developed countries, the United States and Great Britain are some of the best examples in which the politics of populism has made the greatest inroads. Sterling is roughly 14% weaker now against the dollar than when the Brexit referendum was approved a little over a year ago, but even the pound has appreciated […] More

May in Figures

June 1, 2017

U.S. and European sovereign debt yields fell during May. Short-term European interest rates also fell in contrast to a rise of the 3-month U.S. deposit rate. In Japan, rates rose at the long end but fell in short maturities. Stock markets improved in all markets examined here except Canada’s. The dollar climbed against sterling and […] More

March and First Quarter in Figures

April 1, 2017

March saw an introspective pause to the market euphoria of the first two months of 2017, but the quarter still experienced a broadly lower dollar and strong stock market gains for the most part, the Japanese Nikkei being a notable exception. Ten-year sovereign debt yields were mixed and resulted in less supportive U.S. premiums at […] More

February in Figures

February 28, 2017

Equities were bid sharply higher in February, and the dollar appreciated mostly. Ten-year sovereign debt yields, which had risen during January, reversed course. Short-term interest rates were steady, and commodity prices climbed. 10-Yr Yield o2/28/17 01/31/17 Chg v End-Jan U.S. 2.38% 2.45% -7 Basis Points Germany 0.20% 0.43% -23 Japan 0.04% 0.07% -3 U.K. 1.15% […] More