Around the Globe 04.11.2013

Abenomics’ kimono effect: Japan spending thaws at high end | Reuters.

Japanese Retail Sales with Trend Line

A trend story weaves a few anecdotes into a narrative that ignores the big picture.  The attempt to predict the future blinds the writer to the current truth.  In this article, a guy buys his wife a new kimono, and a few retailers report better results.  These unrelated incidents are are offered to support the meme that the Japanese consumer is awakening from his torpor.  You could believe all of that, or you could look at the Japanese retail sales chart above.

Should Traders Trust Anything Goldman Says?— CNBC.

No.

These 12 Banks Got the Fed Minutes a Day Early— CNBC.

Nothing to See here

Move along folks.  Nothing to see here.

Why are lobbyists and banks receiving the Fed minutes in the same batch as Congressional staffers? The Fed’s independent structure protects it from government control.  Nature abhors a vacuum, so while the institution is unaccountable to the citizens of the U.S. it has been hijacked by the banks it is supposed to regulate.

CEOs of biggest U.S. banks to meet with Obama on Thursday: sources | Reuters.

There’s nothing to worry about here.  I’m sure that this meeting will be completely transparent, and the CEOs and president will be more than happy to answer questions about it even though everyone refused comment for the article.

Fed officials at odds over when to cut bond buys | Reuters.

Fed Balance Sheet

This headline is a bit misleading.  It should read, “Fed officials at odds over when to cut mortgage bond buys.”  The Fed will continue buying $85bn of bonds a month until 2014.  The issue at hand is the composition of the purchases not whether or not it will cease.  I do not see an end to this money printing.  If the market starts dropping towards the end of the program, they will announce a new one.

Cash boost for troubled eurozone economies | Gavyn Davies.

I do not agree that the EU is changing its crisis fighting strategy.  The basic plan is to hold the Eurozone together via the ECB’s printing press while the magic of the internal devaluations makes the periphery economies more competitive.  Austerity is still the name of the game, just at a slower pace.  Relaxing the budget requirements is moot, anyway.  After it was realized that none of the crisis countries will hit their budget targets, the goal posts were moved.

Moreover, the EU has been discussing the problem with countries not paying suppliers for years.  These arrears are not included in official budget deficit reports, which gives countries an incentive to forgo paying bills in order to massage the numbers.  Nothing has changed.

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