Meeting of Minds – October 2017

Published on: October 28th, 2017

This month, our contributors focus their attention on 2 essential parts of the US economy – consumption and inflation. With consumption now an unprecedented 70% of GDP, understanding consumption patterns will be crucial to determine the timing of the next recession. Raoul expects 2018 to be the turning point. Julian, on the other hand, looks at the US inflationary impulse, which leads him to strengthen his call for higher bond yields before Christmas. He goes on to look at what implications this may have for other assets including USD.

Comments

  • BD
    Borut D.
    15 November 2017 @ 13:41
    Dear Raoul, I hate to say it, but I think there is an ongoing inconsistency in your interpretation of charts. In your talks, you've mentioned quite a few times the term "rate of change". In this piece, you present a few charts that display the rate of change, however, your interpretation is as if they were normal charts and not a chart displaying a derivative of the observed parameter. For example: - you say " consumption overall is weakening and there is less demand for goods and service" - but the chart clearly shows that the growth of consumption is 4% YoY - so there is not less demand, but more demand for goods and services than last year - then you state "Durable Goods bought by the household sector also appear to be slowing..." - it is not true, they are still growing and accelerating -- just the growth rate is slowing - then you state "Clothing Sales have also collapsed and are at levels only seen in a recession..." - no they have not collapsed - they are growing and are bigger than the previous year - only the rate of growth is at recessionary levels - "Restaurant Sales are in freefall... " - no they are not - they are growing - but at a slower rate - ... So I think either the charts are wrong or your interpretation is wrong. What bothers me is also that when you want to make a point, you provide charts that are a little bit misleading because the axises do not intersect at 0. For example, the chart displaying the US consumption as % of GDP. If you had presented the chart with the whole scale down to 0, it would be much less dramatic. (btw: The chart has been at an all-time high most of the time in the last 40 years...so maybe it does not tell a lot). Also if the charts are right, that the whole premise of your piece is wrong - since the consumption is not slowing. You can think about this also from another point of view: if we have GDP growth and consumption as % GDP is rising, how the hell can we have falling consumption.?? I kindly ask for more exact wording and less bias. I am also a little bit disappointed that a report that should be world class and premium is in some parts banalized and downgraded to a pub conversation...however without the obligatory beer :) Best Borut
  • BD
    Borut D.
    15 November 2017 @ 13:41
    Dear Raoul, I hate to say it, but I think there is an ongoing inconsistency in your interpretation of charts. In your talks, you've mentioned quite a few times the term "rate of change". In this piece, you present a few charts that display the rate of change, however, your interpretation is as if they were normal charts and not a chart displaying a derivative of the observed parameter. For example: - you say " consumption overall is weakening and there is less demand for goods and service" - but the chart clearly shows that the growth of consumption is 4% YoY - so there is not less demand, but more demand for goods and services than last year - then you state "Durable Goods bought by the household sector also appear to be slowing..." - it is not true, they are still growing and accelerating -- just the growth rate is slowing - then you state "Clothing Sales have also collapsed and are at levels only seen in a recession..." - no they have not collapsed - they are growing and are bigger than the previous year - only the rate of growth is at recessionary levels - "Restaurant Sales are in freefall... " - no they are not - they are growing - but at a slower rate - ... So I think either the charts are wrong or your interpretation is wrong. What bothers me is also that when you want to make a point, you provide charts that are a little bit misleading because the axises do not intersect at 0. For example, the chart displaying the US consumption as % of GDP. If you had presented the chart with the whole scale down to 0, it would be much less dramatic. (btw: The chart has been at an all-time high most of the time in the last 40 years...so maybe it does not tell a lot). Also if the charts are right, that the whole premise of your piece is wrong - since the consumption is not slowing. You can think about this also from another point of view: if we have GDP growth and consumption as % GDP is rising, how the hell can we have falling consumption.?? I kindly ask for more exact wording and less bias. I am also a little bit disappointed that a report that should be world class and premium is in some parts banalized and downgraded to a pub conversation...however without the obligatory beer :) Best Borut
  • WD
    Wim D.
    5 November 2017 @ 10:48
    In this scenario with higher yields, higher USD and higher USDJPY, I do see gold as short.
  • CS
    C S.
    28 October 2017 @ 13:09
    A November 'tape bomb' would be political spats that seemingly cast either dark clouds else rainbows over the prospect of timely tax/USD repatriation deals in US(?) In the event of risk-off effects, would AUDUSD be approximate to USDCAD, or USDCAD better? Maybe it depends on user familiarity/preference.
    • JH
      Jonathon H.
      5 November 2017 @ 09:43
      USD/CAD more oil driven, AUD/USD more China/iron ore driven. They do however trade somewhat similarly
    • JH
      Jonathon H.
      5 November 2017 @ 09:43
      USD/CAD more oil driven, AUD/USD more China/iron ore driven. They do however trade somewhat similarly
  • NR
    Nicholas R.
    29 October 2017 @ 21:27
    If people aren’t buying as much food, appliances, cars and houses, how does GDP rise 3%. Nicholas R
    • TB
      Teresa B.
      1 November 2017 @ 04:12
      Inflation..
  • MP
    Mark P.
    1 November 2017 @ 02:55
    Great stuff again. Thanks. Regarding Julian's USDJYN trade, I contemplate the outcome of the tail risk of a Korean Hot War or at least signficantly increased tensions. Assuming this would be risk off, carry trade would unwind through Tokyo by necessity, but as Tokyo is in the N Korean crosshairs, liquidity could leave i mediately for safer havens ( UST, USD, gold?) and unxpectedly devaluaing the JYN.
    • MP
      Mark P.
      1 November 2017 @ 03:00
    • MP
      Mark P.
      1 November 2017 @ 03:03
      YPY. Sorry not my day job.
    • MP
      Mark P.
      1 November 2017 @ 03:04
      JPY Too old school to have learned to type as well. Doomed.
  • SW
    Steven W.
    31 October 2017 @ 13:55
    I cannot access this article either. Others had issues days ago. So still not rectified!
    • MP
      Mark P.
      1 November 2017 @ 02:57
      Milton suggested I clear my cookies on my iPad and it fixed it immediately. I am Luddite not techie, so my relay if suggestions ends there, but I hope it works for you as well. Mark
  • MP
    Mark P.
    31 October 2017 @ 01:28
    I started reading the other night and like some other subscribers am unable to access article on my iPad. Tapping on center icon and all the usual, but no text.
  • RI
    R I.
    30 October 2017 @ 12:20
    I thought Julian's section was insightful. Separately, a general question for the authors, what do you make of the consistent phenomenon that the oil price tends to peak right in the middle of NBER recessions?
  • WE
    William E.
    29 October 2017 @ 19:33
    Many thanks gentlemen!
  • DW
    Daniel W.
    29 October 2017 @ 10:18
    Does anybody know if trading 5y breakevens is possible via Interactive Brokers? I was searching for TIPS but the search did not yield any results.
    • DW
      Daniel W.
      29 October 2017 @ 12:04
      There is an ETF "TIPZ" which includes 2 to 5y TIPS. The "ISTB" includes 1-5y regular bonds. Any opinions if These securities are sufficient to trade the spread JB mentioned? If so, would I just buy x Dollars worth of TIPZ and sell x Dollars worth of ISTB?
  • JV
    Jason V.
    28 October 2017 @ 12:03
    Excellent report. But regarding Julian's 'In Focus' piece on USDJPY, the recommendation was to "buy some USDJPY in this retracement period, somewhere in the 111 to 109.60 area". As the lowest tick we've had since that report was released has been 111.65, then we shouldn't have entered yet on that pullback. And to the upside, Julian was looking for a "punch up and through our highlighted 114.25/115 zone" for entry. Again, with the highest tick to date being 114.43, we still shouldn't be in the trade yet until 115 is breached. In the intro to today's 'Meeting of Minds' it says that Julian "recommended buying USDJPY with plans to add on a break above 114; since that piece ... JPY has weakened to levels where one should think about adding to the position". So according to the 'In Focus' piece we shouldn't be in the trade yet, and according to the 'Meeting of Minds' piece we should already have been in the trade and now looking to add to a profitable position. Which is it?
    • jm
      joeri m.
      28 October 2017 @ 13:05
      Julian stated that it was a possibility that we wouldn't see a pullback: "An even more near-term bullish outcome would be that we track sideways and don’t pull back much before we break to new highs. This reflects my view that the sideways phase that has lasted all year, is coming to an end and that the next meaningful trade is likely to be a break higher. Should we fail to hold 109.50, I would worry that this has been another false start and that the time is not yet right."
    • JV
      Jason V.
      28 October 2017 @ 21:18
      Scenario 1 was to buy on a pullback into the 111.00 to 109.60 zone. Scenario 2 was to buy on a breakout with a daily close above 115.00. At this moment neither event has occurred. Therefore technically we should not be in the USDJPY trade yet. In the conclusion section of Julian's 'In Focus' piece he says "As always, risk/reward is key, and I will be looking for either a retracement or a punch up and through our highlighted 114.25/115 zone." Or have I completely misread this?
    • CS
      C S.
      29 October 2017 @ 09:40
      Not sure the kind of margin youre working with Jason but (coming from a non-expert) I might buy say one lot of JPY now and perhaps add to it when it breaks/or breaks and restests 115. You will have to determine where you might stop-out if the trade doesnt work. I havent bought yet either. I use the recommendations as a guide (direction) and a little of my own judgement on details. Seems a working risk/reward ratio is 1:5 and if youre/theyre right more than 20% of the time then you make a profit.
  • DS
    David S.
    29 October 2017 @ 01:17
    I cannot acess the article as well.
  • BS
    Bruce S.
    28 October 2017 @ 19:05
    I cannot access the article!
    • TH
      Thomas H.
      29 October 2017 @ 00:50
      Click the center icon.
  • SD
    S D.
    28 October 2017 @ 18:20
    A really valuable piece of research. Thanks.