Disappointing Jobs Report, N. Korea, Weigh Heavily On Dollar!

Chuck Butler’s: A Pfennig For Your Thoughts 

September 5, 2017  

* Jobs report is disappointing…

* N. Korea test another bomb…

* China moves to replace dollar!  

 

 

Good day… And a Tom Terrific Tuesday to you! I sure hope you all had a fantabulous 3-day holiday weekend! I know I sure did! I cooked all day Saturday, and part of the day on Sunday, in preparation for the Annual Butler Labor Day BBQ… The weather was just absolutely beautiful all weekend, until storms rolled through last night, but the storms cooled things down a bit, and we’re off to another forecasted beautiful week here weather-wise. Congrats to good friend, Duane, and his son Dane, they were the “Champions of the World” in washers on Sunday! I’ve got a ton of BIG stories that hit the newswires this weekend that are going to affect the value of the dollar, for you today… Los Bravos greet me this morning with their 60’s song: Black is Black… My iPod got a workout on Sunday, playing nonstop music from 1 o’clock in the afternoon, until well after midnight!

OK… First things first… I told you, I told, you, I double, double told you, I put a penny in my shoe to remind me to tell you…
Oh, stop it Chuck! Even a blind squirrel can find an acorn now and then, and your call last week that the BLS jobs report would be disappointing was bang on, as only 156,000 jobs were, so-called, created in August, not the 170,000 or 180,000 that was being forecast… The Unemployment Rate inched higher to 4.4%, and the Avg. Hourly Earnings were only up 0.1%! OK, this is where I go into my monthly tirade about the BLS and their hedonic adjustments. The BLS added, after the surveys were all received, mind you, 103,000 jobs… That means that when the surveys came in they revealed only 53,000, jobs created in August… Now put that in your rate hike pipe and smoke it, Federal Reserve!

A couple of months ago after the rate hike in June, I said that I thought that the June rate hike would be the last in this cycle that is… My former colleague, Antione, sent me a note and said, “no rate hike for September?” And I said no… and that by December the Fed would be discussing a reversal of their rate hikes… Wow! He said! Well, for now, it looks as though the Fed is going to bypass a rate hike at the September meeting, which would fall into my scenario, very nicely, because, of course depending on what they say, they could be swinging the door wide open for Gold to really go on that strong run that I’ve been talking about.

So, the currencies and metals, especially the metals rallied after the disappointing Jobs report here in the U.S. And that rallied carried through to yesterday, in thin trading, with the U.S. on holiday. Overnight, it’s been more of the same, trades that are getting done, are dollar sells…

We also received news this weekend that N. Korea probably tested a hydrogen bomb, thus defying the warnings from both the U.S. and China…  N. Korea’s leader is a nut job folks, and is hell-bent and whiskey bound to start a war… Well, the safe havens of Treasuries, Gold, euros, francs, and yen are all being bought in response to the bomb testing and defying of warnings by N. Korea. 

OK. I have, like I said above, a couple of HUGE news items to tell you about, and I’m not going to wait for the FWIW section with these! So… Are you ready? Let’s go!

This was from the Nikkei Asian Review… “The world’s top oil importer, China, is preparing to launch a crude oil futures contract denominated in Chinese yuan and convertible into gold, potentially creating the most important Asian oil benchmark and allowing oil exporters to bypass U.S.-dollar denominated benchmarks by trading in yuan.” OMG! This is a real game changer folks!

So, how many of you recall me telling you over and over again that once China got the Oil producing countries to accept renminbi (same as yuan) that the end for the dollar as a Reserve Currency was in the making? Well, that’s what’s going on here folks! And the renminbi will be Gold backed, which is another thing I kept telling you would eventually happen, thus making the renminbi the most valuable currency in the world! These are all things that I kept saying over and over again, like a broken record, and people were beginning to think I had lost it!

OK, I’m sure I’ll have more on this as the week unfolds… Then to throw salt in the dollar’s wound from that announcement, the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and S. Africa) have announced theat they, well, I’ll let the article tell you all about it that can be found here: http://theduran.com/brics-talks-create-crypto-currency-another-blow-us-dollar/

And here’s what it’s all about: “The Head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) Kirill Dmitriev has stated that the BRICS may opt to create their own cryptocurrency for the purposes of global commerce.

A cryptocurrency is a digitally based means of exchange wherein the value of said currency is not determined by a central-bank. Most cryptocurrencies can be converted into state-issued currencies (Dollars, Euros, Yuan, etc.) through various foreign exchange services.

While the US Dollar remains the most popular global trading and reserve currency, this is rapidly changing. A BRICS backed cryptocurrency may be both the proverbial ‘Dollar buster’ as well as a ‘sanctions buster’.”

OK… boy I was frustrated with my laptop just then, and was ready to throw it in the trash… But if finally came around to my way of thinking! HA! So… what do you think? Is the rest of the world ganging up on the Empire that is the U.S? After years of shoving dollars that were losing value decade after decade down these countries throats, the rest of the world is stepping up their game, and moving aggressively with their de-dollarization plans…

Someone’s knocking at the door, someone’s ringing the bell, do me a favor open the door and let them in… Hello! Yes, I’m the guy that called the end of the strong dollar trend months ago, Oh, you just wanted to let me know that I was bang on, and now we’ll begin to see the strong run in Gold, euros, and other currencies? Well, thank you, I appreciate that, because nowadays I get no kudos any longer…  But I guess that’s goof for me, to go down that road, and be respectable about the whole thing! Um, Chuck, just a brief mention here, you did carry on in today’s Pfennig above about being right on the Jobs Jamboree call… Yes, but that was before now! HA!

Seriously,  the BRICS cryptocurrency article was interesting especially with the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) issuing an announcement regarding Initial Coin Offerings (ICO’s) saying that: All ICO’s are illegal and that they should be stopped, and money refunded to all who participated in the ICO…  It also said digital token financing and trading platforms are prohibited from doing conversions of coins with fiat currencies. Digital tokens can’t be used as currency on the market and banks are forbidden from offering services to initial coin offerings…. WOW  Not that I want to get into a discussion about cryptocurrencies here, I saw that Bitcoin took a tumble in price when the PBOC issued this announcement.   

So…  The Dollar Index has dropped into the 92 handle… And Gold finally moved past $1,325…  In the early morning trading I’m seeing some pairing of the gains made Friday, yesterday and last night. The euro had climbed to 1.1925, but has fallen back to 1.19, and Gold had reached $1,340, briefly, but has backed off that figure. 

The price of Oil has finally moved higher after spending a fortnight in the $46 handle, and is trading toward $48 this morning at $47.79…  And the Petrol Currencies are taking notice of Oil’s move higher, with moves higher of their own, led by the Canadian dollar/ loonie, which had lost the 80-cent handle last week, but has regained that and more. The Russian ruble has pushed through the 58 figure and the Norwegian krone is cooking with gas, as is the Brazilian real this morning.  

I mentioned above that Gold was a safe haven that was getting bought due to the goings on in N. Korea, but I didn’t give you the details! UGH!  So, Gold gained $9.40 yesterday in a thinly traded market. See what happens when the “boys in the band” are missing their biggest member, who was out on holiday yesterday?  Gold closed yesterday at $1,333.80, and is up about $4 in the early morning trading today.  I still believe that one day, we’ll look back at these prices and wish that we had backed up the truck…  I’m just saying…  And that’s my opinion and I could be wrong, of course… 

But I seem to be on a roll… “Don’t stop him he’s on a roll” “Over? Did you say “over”? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!”   I still think that’s one of the funniest lines in a movie ever…  I used that quote quite a few years ago in the Pfennig, and I actually had someone write me and tell me that I needed to get my history straight, that it was the Japanese that bombed Pearl Harbor!  I about fell out of my chair laughing so hard! I still smile and have a little chuckle when I talk about it again!  

OK.. enough silliness, The U.S. Data Cupboard had the ISM (manufacturing index) also on Friday and it showed a healthy 2 point gain in the index number…  I’m kind of miffed at this improving ISM each month, when Factory Orders, which will print today for July, Durable Goods Orders, and Capital Good Orders have all been weak… But, I’m not going to lose any sleep over it…  And like I said, today’s data print is July Factory Orders, which will attempt to come out of the red that was all over June’s numbers…  

To recap…  The jobs data was disappointing on Friday, and N. Korea tested a hydrogen bomb over the weekend, and these two things have weighed heavily on the dollar, as the safe havens of Treasuries, Gold, euros, francs and yen are all on the rally tracks.  China is going to issue a futures contract for Oil that’s denominated in renminbi and backed by Gold… Chuck’s view for China replacing the dollar denominated world is all coming to us in living color!  

For What It’s Worth…  I saw this article and thought… “OMG! what is going on in this country?”  This is about a law that was passed, quietly I might add, that is going to lead to others just like it just wait-n-see!  And you can find it here: https://needtoknow.news/2017/08/us-congress-quietly-passed-bill-allowing-searches-homes-without-warrant/  

Or, here’s your snippet: ” Congress passed a new law that allows warrantless searches in the DC Metro area under the guise of improving safety. President Trump signed the bill.  The law gives the Washington Metrorail Safety Commission, located in Virginia, Maryland and Washington, DC, the power to enter property near the Metro Rail System “without limitation” and without a warrant, for the purpose of “making inspections, investigations, examinations, and testing.”  [Only five congressmen voted against the bill, proving that most politicians would burn down their grandmothers’ homes so long as it was claimed to be for national or local security.” 

Chuck again…  I just shake my head in disgust, over and over again… What will come next? 

Currencies today 9/5/2017:  American Style: A$ .7978, kiwi .7187, C$ .8074, euro 1.19, sterling 1.2942, Swiss $.9597, … European Style:  rand 12.9509, krone 7.8046, SEK 7.9655, HUF 257.57, zloty 3.5616, koruna 21.9574, RUB 57.69, yen 109.38, sing 1.3549, HKD 7.8250, INR 64.08, China 6.5332, peso 17.83, BRL 3.1388, Dollar Index 92.63, Oil $47.79, Silver $17.96, Platinum $1,005.05, Palladium $980.50, and Gold…. $1,337.60 

That’s it for today…  That was quite the interesting morning read today wasn’t it? China in the middle of everything de-dollarization wise, and N. Korea stirring the pot once again…  It was great seeing a lot of our friends and family Sunday, the day was just grand! Braden spent the night with us Saturday night.  Him and I played Sorry until I couldn’t play it any longer! He’s OK when he loses, but when he wins, he sings, dances, and carries on… Today’s youth, right?  My beloved Missouri Tigers won on Saturday, but did they really? Their defense is awful once again this year… UGH!  And the Cardinals are hanging around keeping a foot in the door of the playoffs.. Can they get in? I doubt it, but at least they have everyone interested right now…  The great Al Stewart takes us to the finish line today with his song: Song on the Radio…   You’re on my mind like a song on the radio… And with that, it’s time to go! I hope you have a Tom Terrific Tuesday, and Be Good To Yourself! 

It’s A Jobs Jamboree Friday!

Chuck Butler’s: A Pfennig For Your Thoughts  

September 1, 2017  

* Currencies rebound VS dollar

* Gold gains $12.70 on the day!

*More trouble for Wells Fargo… 

 

Good day…. And a Happy Friday to one and all! Since this is the official start of the 3-day Holiday weekend here in the U.S. I ask, why shouldn’t this be a Fantastico Friday? And with that, I announce today to be a Fantastico Friday! I hear that my beloved Cardinals won last night, so that makes today even sweeter! I say that today is the official start of the 3-day Holiday weekend, because as of noon yesterday, traders began closing their books and heading to the Hamptons! Billy Joel greets me this morning with his song: Scenes From An Italian Restaurant… 

Well, It’s 3 o’clock in the morning and I couldn’t sleep, so I thought, what the heck, go write the Pfennig and then go back to bed, and see if that works… So, if the time stamp on the email seems a little early/ odd, it is, it’s just Chuck, and his awful sleeping habits…  

The euro was able to gain some of the ground it had lost the previous two days, yesterday. Fundamentals in the Eurozone are looking healthier all the time, with inflation for the Eurozone rising to 1.5% from 1.3% in July. The Eurozone continues to see inflation rise toward the European Central Bank’s (ECB) 2% target rate, and the thing to look at here is the trajectory of inflation, and it’s not stalled out like it has in the U.S., and will hit 2% probably by year-end… So, the euro was given some love by traders, who see this as an indication that the ECB might be ready to begin to remove monetary stimulus… Germany, the Eurozone’s largest economy, saw their inflation rate rise to 1.8%, so it won’t be long now before the unwinding of monetary stimulus begins, here folks… 

When I checked the currencies last night before going to bed, the euro had climbed back above 1.19 on the day, but as has been the recent trend of events, in the overnight markets, the euro saw some slippage, and slipped back below 1.19…  But still better than it was yesterday morning… 

On the other side of the “pond”, U.S. inflation can’t find any traction, and only gained 0.1%… And like I said, inflation is stalling out… Remember the old cars that would stall out? It always came a the worst time, and usually on a first date, when you’re trying like hell to impress the young lady… I have a funny story I’ll share with you… I had a 62 Ford Falcon, that almost always needed help starting with a shot of ether in the carburetor, and sometimes the carburetor would catch fire, so I always carried with me this thick rag that I could put over the fire and put it out… I really impressed the fathers of the young ladies I took out back in the day, when I would open the door for my date, and then open the hood… Class, eh?

OK, sorry about that discussion, I just had to tell you about that because, well… I can’t be all business all the time… I’ve never been that way, and never will be . There has to be a silver lining, or funny story in just about everything, right? Ok… back to the lifelessness in U.S. inflation, even though Personal Income was the highlight of the day rising 0.4% in July… Oh, and Personal Spending was up 0.3% missing the expectation of 0.4%, and that’s better than the revised upward previous month’s 0.2% rise… But again, these aren’t the kinds of numbers that equal what the Gov’t told us the previous day was going on in the 2nd QTR, Spending-wise… I’m just saying…  

Not that I would ever be someone that called out the Government for cheating, fudging & cooking the numbers, right?  HAHAHAHAHAHA! I wasn’t in a funny-Ha-Ha mood until being facetious there… Alright then let’s begin our talk! Ahem, Chuck, you started it already! Oh… Well then let’s continue… 

I was writing down the currency prices the other day, and noticed that the Aussie dollar (A$) had rallied but kiwi didn’t follow it’s kissin’ cousin across the Tasman, so I began my daily hunt to find out what the heck was going on in New Zealand… Well, according to the Bloomberg, it appears there could be some political upheaval going on in New Zealand, and longtime readers know that since I’ve pounded into their collective heads for years now, that traders don’t like uncertainty…  And when there’s uncertainty in the political arena, that country’s currency is going to suffer…  And so it is with kiwi right now…

But I view this as a prolonged opportunity to get some kiwi while the price of the currency is cheaper, and before the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) starts their rate hike cycle… You may recall me telling you months ago, that I saw the RBNZ hiking rates maybe by year-end, but for sure in the 1st QTR 2018, and we had an opportunity to buy kiwi before traders began to smell what the RBNZ was cooking… 

Another fixing in China and another appreciation for the renminbi last night… Simply impressive, how much the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) has allowed the renminbi to appreciate in the recent months… But like I said yesterday, I think the Chinese are up to something here..  I would keep an eye on them and how they respond to the proposed tariffs on their exports to the U.S. 

I mentioned earlier in the week that the S. African rand had not gotten caught up in the dollar buying that was going on… Well, the rand has continued to steadily move higher and now trades with a 12 handle, instead of the 13 handle it held for what seems like a month of Sundays…  But remember the rand is a very volatile currency, and could just as easily be back to 13 and change in NY Minute on some political circus that always seems to be going on there! 

Well, Gold found some traction yesterday, and in the after hours trading through to the early morning trading, and is sitting at $1,324 and change right now as I write… A couple of days ago, Gold hit $1,331, and was quickly sold like funnel cakes at a state fair, by “the boys in the band”, so we’ll have to see what happens now, especially with most traders waking up in the Hamptons this morning instead of at their trading desks! 

Nevertheless, Gold gained $12.70 yesterday, and there were 335,000 contracts traded in the shiny metal! WOW! We had a day of 433,000 contracts traded earlier this week, and now 335,000… Gold is one popular investment asset, eh? 

Well, look at me… almost to the Big Finish and I haven’t mentioned that it’s a Jobs Jamboree Friday!  I told you yesterday that I am intrigued by what the BLS prints this morning…  The so-called experts think that the number of jobs created in August will equal 170,000, which is not a very optimistic forecast.  I went on record this week saying that I thought that the report would be disappointing, and I’m sticking with that thought…

But the BLS jobs report isn’t the only piece of economic data that will print today…  We’ll also see the color of the August ISM Index (manufacturing index), which I would think would print an increase in the index number… If China and the Eurozone can print increases in their manufacturing indexes, then the U.S. can too! 

Before I head to the Big Finish, I can’t let this go without a comment…Oh man these problems that keep popping up for Wells Fargo, reminds me of the early 2000’s when one corporate scandal was reported after another one… Yesterday, Wells Fargo just discovered another 1.4 million bogus accounts it opened without its customers’ knowledge or consent.

These are accounts dating to roughly 2009–2011… on top of the 2.1 million we already knew about from 2011–15. And the bank ever so quietly took fees and charges from about 190,000 of them — up to $39 a month. OMG! That’s just downright shameful… As Gomer Pyle used to say… Shame, Shame, Shame… and I’ll add, and more shame! I just have one question for the Gov’t Authorities in charge… Why aren’t the lawmen lining up at the doors of Wells Fargo to arrest the leadership and board members? I’ll stop there, because this is just not right, and I’m getting ill talking about it! 

To recap… The currencies, led by the euro, recovered some ground lost the past couple of days, yesterday. Gold gained more than $12 on the day, and it’s a Jobs Jamboree Friday! Chuck thinks the labor report will be disappointing, we’ll have to wait-n-see, eh? There’s some political upheaval going on in N. Zealand, and kiwi is getting ignored while the A$ rallies…   

For What It’s Worth….  I had quite a few readers send me a link to this article that was on zerohedge.com yesterday, regarding how the Wall Street Journal is finally seeing the trees in the forest, and calling out the Fed as political… I said it during the election (and got called our for that) and said it, in so many words, on Monday this week… One of the readers said, “Look Chuck the WSJ agrees with you!”  So, you can find the article here: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-08-30/wall-street-journal-lashes-out-our-political-central-bankers?utm_medium=email&utm_source=sharpspring&sslid=M7G0NDc0NDMxNzexAAA&sseid=MzM1NDAwsDA2AwA&jobid=41bb03fa-ff6d-4402-8098-03de59217f33    

Or, here’s your snippet: “

While the concept of ‘independence’ among the unelected central bank cognoscenti is as cute as the tooth fairy or Santa Claus, it is nevertheless defended by those on high as sacrosanct to our very democracy. That is until The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board finally had enough of Fed officials joining the ‘resistance’ against financial reform…

Janet Yellen didn’t run for President, but you wouldn’t know it from her policy démarche Friday at the Federal Reserve’s annual Jackson Hole retreat. The Fed Chair unleashed a defense of post-crisis financial regulation that shows how political the world’s central bankers have become.

“Already, for some, memories of this experience may be fading-memories of just how costly the financial crisis was and of why certain steps were taken in response,” Ms. Yellen said.
She added that regulatory changes “should be modest” and retain the superstructure built under Dodd-Frank.

Ms. Yellen’s comments followed a blunter recent warning from Fed Vice Chair Stanley Fischer, who told the Financial Times that “one can understand the political dynamics of this thing, but one cannot understand why grown, intelligent people” would “reach the conclusion that” you should “get rid of all the things you have put in place in the last 10 years.” Thank you, Senator Warren, er, Fischer.

You have to ignore history to believe that regulators are suddenly so wise that they know the current regulatory regime will prevent the next crisis. The Fed misjudged the economy in the mid-2000s and kept feeding easy credit that produced the housing bubble. Fed officials Ben Bernanke and Tim Geithner then underestimated the financial risks in early 2008 when the stresses were already apparent.

So until she runs for public office, she and the Fed ought to stick to executing regulatory policy rather than trying to dictate it.”

Chuck again…. WOW! And this came from the WSJ folks! Not some blogger, not some country bumpkin in Missouri, but the WSJ! If they’re seeing what’s going on, why haven’t the markets, yet? Hmmmm….

  Currencies today 9/1/17… American Style: A$ .7930, kiwi .7160, C$ .7746, euro 1.1884, sterling 1.2910, Swiss $.9613, … European Style: rand 12.9495, krone 7.79, SEK 7.9789, HUF 256.88, zloty 3.5759, koruna 21.9518, RUB 58.25, yen 110.18, sing 1.3569, HKD 7.8254, INR 63.91, China 6.5938, peso 17.88, BRL 3.1531, Dollar Index 92.77, Oil $46.75, 10yr 2.12%, Silver $17.61, Platinum $997.57, Palladium $937.90, and Gold… $1,324.10  

That’s it for today…  The start of a 3-day Holiday weekend, and the unofficial end of summer. I’ll be cooking all day tomorrow in preparation for the Annual Butler Labor Day BBQ… My good friend Duane, is helping with some of the cooking, and I’m grateful to him for that help. Tomorrow is the real beginning of the College Football Season. YAHOO! My beloved Mizzou Tigers take on Missouri State in their opener… And I’ll have the Tigers game first, and then the Cardinals game to watch tomorrow while cooking…  Actually after I get it all steadied and loaded, the Big Green Egg does the cooking for the next 8 hours!  Sunday looks like a beautiful very warm day, so let’s get this weekend going!  Paul Young takes us to the finish line today with the Hall & Oates song: Every Time You Go Away…  What a great song…  And with that, I send you on your way to having a Fantastico Friday!  Be Good To Yourself, and don’t forget, today is a Good Day to have a Good day!   

It’s Only Numbers…

Chuck Butler’s: A Pfennig For Your Thoughts  

August 31, 2017  

* Gov’t says Consumer Spending is strong!

* Chuck says, not so fast there!

* Gold can’t find any traction again… 

 

Good Day… And a Tub Thumpin’ Thursday to you! What a poor display of major league baseball by my beloved Cardinals yesterday, as they lost a very important game. When you give the team your playing 3 unearned runs, and lose by 1, it’s time to reexamine what’s going on… I’m going to warn you up front this morning, that I’m in no mood to deal with dolts, and Central Banks, and Gov’ts that attempt to pull the wool over our eyes this morning… So, I’ll be a little hard on the Beaver this morning…  If you don’t like it when I’m in “one of those moods”, and prefer a sunshine and lollipops letter, then come back tomorrow and take a chance that I’ll have moved on from this mood… I’m just saying… Steely Dan greets me this morning with their song: Rikki, Don’t Lose That Number..   

Front and Center this morning I want to wish everyone in the area where a Chemical Plant has had two explosions overnight, a safe day… Please be safe…     

Well, it was another one of those days yesterday, the euro couldn’t find any traction, Gold couldn’t either, and that means all the other currencies and metals couldn’t find traction either! Man, until you see the power of Lola, AKA Government Sachs, and their words, you just don’t realize how they can move markets… On Tuesday we had Lola come out and tell their clients and anyone else that was listening on Bloomberg TV, that the dollar was very, very attractive… And since then the euro has fallen from 1.2070 to the 1.18 handle yesterday… And Gold, which had climbed to $1,331. And change on Tuesday morning, has fallen back to $1,313, where it closed yesterday… Not humongous moves, more like speed bumps, but a pause in the trajectory of these two anti-dollar assets.

Yesterday we even had some good economic news from the Eurozone, and even that wasn’t enough to put some sand under the euro’s tires for traction. Eurozone Consumer Confidence rose to the highest level in a decade last month… That’s right a decade! And their flash estimates for Eurozone CPI (consumer inflation) showed an increase from the previous month, which should bode well for today’s print of the actual CPI…

Hmmm, a decade ago… now that got me thinking… 10 years ago at this time, I was still walking with a walker, I had not graduated to a cane yet. I was still at home recovering from two back to back cancer surgeries… Little Delaney Grace, and boy was she little, was only a couple weeks old, when Dawn brought her to the hospital to see me after they discovered blood clots in my surgically reconstructed leg. But enough of that… The rock song at this time of the year in 2007, was by 3 days Grace, titled: Never Too Late… I’ve got to admit, I don’t really think I ever heard that song before… In 2007, we were still celebrating the 2006 World Series Championship by my beloved Cardinals. And our debt in this country stood at $9 Trillion… 10-years later we are knocking on the door of $20 Trillion… and that’s just the current debt, not the unfunded liabilities which according to the Debt Clock is $107 Trillion, and according to professor Lawrence Kotlikoff, the unfunded Liabilities are more than $200 Trillion!

See how I do that? You’re reading along about what went on 10 years ago, and the suddenly, smack, dab, out of left field comes a Chuck tirade about Debt… Simply amazing if you ask me… HA!  

A lot of the dollar’s move yesterday came courtesy of the revised 2nd QTR GDP report, to which, I say, lies, lies, and more lies! The Gov’t said that 2nd QTR GDP grew at a faster pace than expected, all the way to a 3% annualized rate… Now, if you could believe everything the Gov’t. tells you, that would be a good number.. .But where in the world did they get that number? Retail Sales for the quarter were dismal, Consumer spending was just as bad, and things like Factory Orders, Durable Goods Orders, etc. were all equally bad! I have friends that said that they were the slowest they had been in their jobs during the 2nd QTR, for years! But, here we have the Gov’t trying to convince us that GDP in the 2nd QTR grew to 3%, because Consumer spending grew at 3.3%! Wait! What? That’s right, that’s the garbage they are trying to jam down our throats, people! I just said that Consumer Spending in the quarter was not good, but according to the folks that put together the numbers for the GDP report, they saw Consumer Spending being strong! Hogwash I say, simply Hogwash!

Unfortunately though, the markets are not very bright, and they took this report and swallowed it hook, line and sinker! And I’m just a lonely boy out here in the Midwest, trying to explain what happened, and how the report is hogwash, but I’m not the “markets”… So, go ahead and think that this is all good for the dollar, and the economy and further rate hikes… But what happens if this Friday’s Jobs Jamboree doesn’t meet expectations? What happens if it falls very short of those expectations, which right now call for 175,000 jobs to have been created in August? Uh-oh… it’ll be back to the drawing board won’t it? So, even though I’ve sworn myself off of caring about the BLS jobs report once a month, I will be paying close attention to this one… I wonder how many jobs the BLS will add to their surveys using hedonic adjustments this month? 

OK, slow down here Chuck, it’s just numbers, and you learned at an early age that numbers can be massaged, cooked, and worked to say two or three different things…  

The “boys in the band” must have been worn out from the 433,000 Gold contracts they traded on Tuesday, as they still had a large number of contracts traded yesterday, but not as gaudy as the 433,000 on Tuesday… Instead they put through 287,000 contracts, which is nothing to ignore for sure! But the price of Gold lost less than a buck at the end of it all on day yesterday, and this morning it has opened up in the early morning trading down a couple of bucks and is currently at $1,311.60, as I write.

 The geopolitical tensions did not back off yesterday, and that is keeping Gold from succumbing to the “boys in the band” and their short Gold paper trades.  

Reuters is reporting today that If President  Trump follows through on his threat to start the withdrawal process for the North American Free Trade Agreement, (NAFTA), Mexico will walk away from renegotiation talks, Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray says. Trump has said he will probably have to terminate NAFTA to get what he wants from Mexico and Canada. Remember Ross Perot? Remember his 1992 run for President, and his famous quote about, “do you hear that giant sucking sound” when talking about NAFTA?  He had it right 25 years ago, but he didn’t play the saxophone,  and was different looking, so he was pushed to the side… 

The Chinese renminbi continues to climb and get stronger with every fixing these days…. Last night’s fixing saw the renminbi fall below 6.60, which it hadn’t seen since spring 2016, and then it was moving steadily upward with every fixing… The renminbi is a European priced currency, so as the price goes down, it gains more value VS the dollar, and vice-versa. 

So…. What’s going on with the renminbi? Why is seeing appreciations at each fixing these days? Well, first of all, the capital flows out of China have subsided, and come to a small amount each day, which means you don’t have tons of sell orders of the renminbi each day. And then there’s this… China loves to use the renminbi as a political tool, and right now with all the talk about tariffs on Chinese exports, I think, and here I go again with the Chuck thoughts, but I think that China is pushing the value of the renminbi stronger, so that when the U.S. announces the tariffs, China can devalue the renminbi as a statement of protest but in the end, the renminbi would be just right back to where it was when the appreciations began.   Far fetched? We’ll have to wait-n-see, eh? 

We already went through the GDP report that printed yesterday out of the U.S. Data Cupboard, but there was another print that also helped the dollar on the day… The ADP Employment Report showed that 237,000 jobs were added in August! WOW!  I’m so sure that there’s much more than this in the BLS Jobs report tomorrow, and I’m still thinking that it’s going to be disappointing… even with the jobs added out of thin air by the BLS!   

Today’s Data Cupboard has two of my fave economic prints… Personal Income and Spending… This report will represent the activity from July… June’s Personal Spending grew at only 0.1%. So, this July print will be interesting, since the Gov’t said that consumer spending was up 3.3% in the 2nd QTR, July’s print had better be very large, or the Gov’t’s lies, will be exposed…  We’ll also see Core Inflation for July, and it won’t register much, I’m sure…  

To recap…  More dollar buying on a few things that went the dollar’s way yesterday… 1. Government Sachs’ favorable words for the dollar still rung a bell with traders, 2. 2nd QTR GDP ratcheted up to 3% annually, and 3. ADP says 237,000 jobs were created in August…  Chuck is in “one of those moods” this morning, so no sunshine, rainbows and lollipops in the letter today…  

For What It’s Worth…  I found this on Ed Steer’s letter today (www.edsteergoldandsilver.com) about Capitalism, and you can find it here: http://www.internationalman.com/articles/capitalism-a-new-idea

Or, here’s your snippet: “Capitalism, whether praised or derided, is an economic system and ideology based on private ownership of the means of production and operation for profit.

Classical economics recognises capitalism as the most effective means by which an economy can thrive. Certainly, in 1776, Adam Smith made one of the best cases for capitalism in his book, An Inquiry Into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (known more commonly as The Wealth of Nations). But the term “capitalism” actually was first used to deride the ideology, by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, in The Communist Manifesto, in 1848.

Of course, whether Mister Marx was correct in his criticisms or not, he lived in an age when capitalism and a free market were essentially one and the same. Today, this is not the case. The capitalist system has been under attack for roughly 100 years, particularly in North America and the E.U.

A tenet of capitalism is that, if it’s left alone, it will sort itself out and will serve virtually everyone well. Conversely, every effort to make the free market less free diminishes the very existence of capitalism, making it less able to function.

Today, we’re continually reminded that we live under a capitalist system and that it hasn’t worked. The middle class is disappearing, and the cost of goods has become too high to be affordable. There are far more losers than winners, and the greed of big business is destroying the economy.”

Chuck again… Pretty interesting read…  

Currencies today 8/31/17… American Style: A$ .7887, kiwi .7147, C$ .7765, euro 1.1855, sterling 1.2878, Swiss $.9665, … European Style: rand 13.0433, krone 7.8325, SEK 7.9980, HUF 258.46, zloty 3.5935, koruna 22.02, RUB 58.58, yen 110.59, sing 1.3596, HKD 7.8254, INR 63.89, China 6.5912, peso 17.79, BRL 3.1625, Dollar Index 93.10, Oil $46.13, 10yr 2.15%, Silver $17.48, Platinum $988.34, Palladium $938.25, and Gold… $1,311.60 

That’s it for today… I was so frustrated with the baseball game yesterday, that I had to make a visit to my local watering hole! UGH! The next two nights my beloved Cardinals will be in S.F. so the games will start late, and I won’t be able to stay up to watch them…   Today is the last day of August! Summer is almost over, boy that went fast, didn’t it? So, I guess, I’ll See you in September, see you when the summer’s through! HA! this time of year, I love to pull out the movie: Weekend at Bernie’s, and laugh until it hurts…   Scott McKenzie takes us to the finish line today with his song: San Francisco…   I love the city of San Francisco, but I doubt I ever get back there again now that I don’t travel to speak at conferences any longer…  the things you give up when you “retire”…   And with that, I bid you farewell, but first wish that you go out and have a Tub Thumpin’ Thursday!  Be Good To Yourself!   Oh… and one more thing… It’s a Good Day to have a Good Day!

Trump: All Options Are Open…

Chuck Butler’s: A Pfennig For Your Thoughts  

August 30, 2017 

* Lola sends the dollar higher on the day… 

* Gold sees 433,000 contracts in a day’s trading!

* Why are Americans so confident right now? 

 

Good day… And a Wonderful Wednesday to you! Yesterday was a “turn down day”…  The Cyrkle sang a song in the 60’s titled “turn down day”… It’s a turn down day, nothing on my mind, It’s a turn down day, and I dig it…  Well, I didn’t dig the turn down day yesterday, but it was what it was, and now we have to dig through the rubble and try to put together another rally for the currencies and metals…  The stylistics greets me this morning with their ballad song: Betcha By Golly Wow…  Betcha you don’t have that on your iPod! HA!  

Well, I nailed that scenario that I described yesterday, nearly bang on! But instead of European Central Bank (ECB) President beginning the jawboning to stop the bleeding in the dollar, it was Lola instead… Ahhh, yes, good old Government Sachs, pun intended, AKA Lola, showing that the old girl still gets what it wants, whenever she wants it… So, there we were going along just fine there was a little slippage in the euro but nothing to speak of, my goodness, there had to be some profit taking, don’t you think? But then the major move came, and I was frantically looking for the reason the dollar rebounded so strongly, and there it was… Lola had gotten the wink and nod from the Treasury to say something about the dollar, and Lola did… (Ok, longtime readers know that I’m just playing this out in my mind, that I don’t know if it really happened this way or not) So, what did Lola say that got the dollar so gussied up after getting sand kicked in its face all day on Monday? I’ll tell you… I just have to take a deep breath and exhale. Because I still don’t see how we got to this point with Government Sachs running the show… OK… here’s the main quote from Lola…

“The biggest pain trade, no question, has been the dollar. You really have to look at fundamentals and step back from, geopolitical risk, political risk, and weaker inflation over the course of the last few months, and really look at what’s going on from the economic perspective. The dollar is very, very attractive right now.” – Mike Swell, co-head of global fixed-income portfolio management at Goldman Sachs.

I’m playing this whole thing out in my head here… So, this guy gets a instant message that his boss wants to see him, and he thinks, “I’m in the money, I’m in the money”, and he reports to the boss, and the boss gives him this note of what to say, and he walks out of the office very dejected, thinking, “me? Why me? Why do I have to go on Bloomberg TV and say this stuff, when everyone else in the markets is thinking the opposite? I’m going to look very foolish, but wait! We’re Government Sachs, what we say is the gospel! So, I’m going to go there and sound very convincing, and then watch the markets react”

OK, I’m back from my visit to the funny farm… I really do believe that it all happened like that, but the point is, that Government Sachs doesn’t say stuff unless they have some skin in the game… That’s right, they probably had either short trades lined up, or really needed to buy a large sum of euros, at a much cheaper price… That’s how the game is played by the Big Boys folks… So, does this mean the euro rally is over? Not just no! Hell-no! Like I described yesterday, the set backs from jawboning will be short-lived, but on a short-term basis effective, as the trajectory of the euro and the Dollar as witnessed by the Dollar Index is quite evident, and I don’t think can be all-out stopped at this point!  

And if you think that was the only place we saw the intervention taking place (dollar/ euro) well think again, because Gold also got taken to the gauntlet of intervention… Folks, there were 433,000 contracts traded yesterday in Gold… ARE YOU KIDDING ME?  Sadly, no… 433,000 contracts to see the fluctuation of Gold rise to $1,331.90 but end the day around $1,308.00… The after hours trading saw Gold recover a bit, and has opened in the early morning trading today at $1,316…  

I was happy that “the boys in the band” didn’t whack Gold that much that it fell below $1,300…  Was this just a warning shot across the Gold Bugs bow by “the boys in the band” to remind the Gold Bugs what kind of hell they can bring down on Gold if they want to?  You know, I’m really not that upset about this move yesterday, for I saw it coming… Of course that doesn’t mean I liked it, but if it does one thing, it gives Gold a cheaper price to buy today, before the shiny metal gets back on the rally tracks, which in my mind is going to happen, no two ways about it!  Of course that’s my opinion and I could be wrong…  

As I mentioned above, the Dollar Index sure got a boost from the jawboning, and probably some actual intervention from the PPT (plunge protection team). I say that because the Dollar Index was in a free fall folks… Last Monday morning, the Dollar Index was 93.49, and yesterday before the turnaround the Dollar Index had fallen to 91.78… That’s free fall for that index folks… And if my job was to make sure the dollar retained its value, I would have been in a panic!  “Hello, yes it’s me, we need to intervene to stop the dollar’s plunge, can you give me some help here?” “sure we can, let me make some calls to the other members, and you’ll see the results later today, OK?” “yeah, thank you very much!” 

Boy, I’m sure playing out in my head a lot of conversations today, eh? Sorry if that bothers you, but if you’re a new reader, then you need to know that I’m a Simple Man that needs to have explanations for things, because without the explanation, there’s no logical reason for the event to have happened… And this is how I put closure on those unexplained events…   OK? 

Well, let’s see..  There were a small handful of currencies that didn’t get caught up in the whirlwind dollar trading yesterday…  And they include, the Chinese renminbi, the S. African rand, Swiss francs, and Indian rupee…   We could play the, “one of these currencies is not like the others” game, but Swiss francs are as evident here as that currency that’s not like the others, as a man with hatchet in his forehead!  OUCH! 

What the Swiss franc has become in the minds of traders is an ally of the dollar… The euro has taken liberties with both the dollar and the franc, so far this year… Remember when the SNB (Swiss National Bank) tried to hold a floor in the cross with the euro at 1.20?  Well that cross today sits at 1.1430…   The SNB came out late last year and said that the franc was overvalued, and then he repeated that line in a speech on July 28th… So, he’s wanting more weakness in the franc, and traders are more than happy to oblige him!  

Yesterday, I talked about European Central Bank (ECB) President, Mario Draghi, and how he would begin the jawboning, but Lola beat him to it…  Draghi’s next opportunity to speak will come on Sept. 7, when the ECB next meets…   By then, I would think the euro was back to following its trajectory higher, and then we’ll see what Draghi thinks of this euro strength. The ECB could make some comments that would slow down the euro’s ascent, but I don’t expect them to have an all-out stop effect on the euro… The currency has gained 14% VS the dollar so far this year, and you don’t just step out in front of a bus moving at that speed to stop it.. 

The price of Oil continues to wallow in the mud, but slip a little lower each day…  The price of gas has sure gone higher due to the problems that Hurricane Harvey is having on Oil refineries in that area of Texas… Now the Hurricane, which has been reduced to a tropical storm will move North, and bring us rain this weekend… UGH! But compared to what the people of Houston and areas surrounding Houston are going through, that’s nothing!  

Well…  I have to get this off my chest this morning… On Monday we saw Consumer Confidence rise from an index number of 120, to 122.9… And this is a pulse that was taken this month! But yet we have floods of great magnitude in Texas, and are on the brink of nuclear war with N. Korea, but hey! Let’s be confident, and dance in the streets!   I can’t get over the non-caring about this stuff that’s going on…  Following North Korea’s firing a ballistic missile across Japan overnight, China has warned that tensions on the Korean peninsula have reached a “tipping point” and urged all sides to avoid provocations.  

Provocations? Aren’t we past that point? N. Korea fired a ballistic missile over the country of Japan, for crying out loud!  And then they brazenly boasted about shooting one over Guam, next!  And we thought Hussein was a nut-case!  President Trump responded by saying that “all options are open” And maybe with China and Russia pleading with N. Korea to back off, some diplomatic resolution can be gained…  But if you asked me, on the Butler Patio, I would say, this is too crazy for diplomacy…  We’ve tried that T-shirt on, and it didn’t fit…  But as long as there’s still a chance, and only a chance because Slim left town, we have something to pray for…     

OK, I’m down from my soapbox now… Sorry for that tirade, but things are looking pretty grim, and yet people don’t seem to see the writing on the wall… UGH!   The U.S. Data Cupboard today has the latest revision to 2nd QTR GDP, which should be around 2.8%, and the ADP Employment Report, which is used as an indicator of Friday’s BLS experiment, I mean Jobs report.. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, that the ADP report should play a larger role in determining our jobs picture in this country… 

As Pfennig readers, you know I don’t believe one iota of the BLS’s jobs report… I get my numbers from the Debt Clock…  And I even have a Debt Clock app on my iPhone!  And I just have one question for the Fed… What are you going to do about the 94+ Million Americans that are “not in the work force now?”  Raise interest rates again? yeah, that will do the trick…  NOT!   

To recap…  Well it was a turn down day on Tuesday, and Lola made certain that the euro and Gold’s ascents were at least slowed down… The ECB meets next week, what will Draghi have to say about euro strength? N. Korea fires a ballistic missile over Japan, and the tensions ratchet higher… And what’s up with Swiss francs?  

For What It’s Worth…  I searched and searched this morning for a FWIW article and had to settle on this one, which is about how the smaller, dictator run, countries are issuing bonds this year, and they are in demand, for their higher yields…  There can’t be anything that goes wrong with that is there? I shake my head in disbelief, but anyway, you can find the article here: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-08-30/looks-like-2017-is-the-year-of-the-dictator-bond  

Or, here’s your snippet:”Investors’ thirst for yield has lured many a dollar-bond virgin to market this year, with Tajikistan the latest to be testing the waters.

The Central Asian nation starts investor meetings on Thursday, and may sell dollar notes thereafter, a first for Tajik President Emomali Rahmon, who last year won a referendum to rule the remittances-dependent country for life.

Tajikistan wouldn’t be the first sovereign issuer currently rated B- by Standard & Poor’s to sell dollar-denominated bonds in 2017, with at least five others issuing. But at $850, it has one of the lowest GDP-per-capita ratios of all the sovereigns S&P rates.”   

Currencies today 8/30/17… American Style: A$ .7954, kiwi .7244, C$ .7979, euro 1.1947, sterling 1.2927, Swiss $.9561, … European Style: rand 13.0351, krone 7.7947, SEK 7.9547, HUF 255.63, zloty 3.5069, koruna 21.8282, RUB 58.63, yen 109.86, sing 1.3556, HKD 7.8299, INR 63.89, China 6.6010, peso 17.87, BRL 3.1655, Dollar Index 92.45, Oil $46.19, 10yr 2.13%, Silver $17.50, Platinum $993.78, Palladium $941.75, and Gold… $1,316.00

That’s it for today… Boy I sure did carry on about stuff today, eh? Sorry, for those of you who want a short letter every day. There are just days when I have to get stuff off my chest! My Cardinals get another good pitched game by the rookie, Weaver, and win last night. A day game today, but it’s in Milwaukee!  My CPAP machine isn’t doing the trick for me, as I think the effects of my chemo infusions are trumping the CPAP… And that means I’m up in the middle of the night. That’s a bad habit to fall into again, I’ve got to do something different! I mentioned the Cyrkle in the opening, and guess who’s taking us to the finish line today?  The Cyrkle takes us the finish line with their song: Red Rubber Ball…  the Cyrkle’s claim to fame is that they were the opening band for the Beatles! And with that I’ll get out of your hair for today… I hope you have a Wonderful Wednesday, and Be Good To Yourself!

Russia Pays Off USSR’s Debts!

Chuck Butler’s: A Pfennig For Your Thoughts 

August 29,2017

* Currencies have a strong performance day

* Gold pushes past $1,300! 

* Chuck remembers the currency roundup today!

 

Good Day… And a Tom Terrific Tuesday to you! What a day, what a day, yesterday for the currencies and metals! I know this could all end abruptly with interventions, so I’m going to savor a day like yesterday for a long time! No baseball for me last night, had me in front of the computer, reading article after article, so you would think I would be loaded for bear this morning… I guess we’ll have to see?  Frank Sinatra greets me this morning with his song: The Way You Look Tonight… That was the song that my darling daughter, Dawn, and I danced to at her wedding reception. So, whenever I hear this song on my iPod, I get nostalgic, and remember just how beautiful she looked that day…

Front and Center this morning… Boy did I have a brain drain or what yesterday? I had written all the prices down for the currency roundup, and then completely forgot to put them in the Pfennig! UGH! This senior moment has been brought to you by the makers of my chemo drug! And for once I wasn’t being sheepish about the reporting the prices, they were all good! Oh well, I’ll make certain they are included today. Sorry about that! But going forward, remember that I’m not the one to ask to remember to bring you your hear pill! HA!

Well, I don’t know where to start… Either with the euro’s rise, or Gold’s rise… Hmmm…  OK, I’ll flip my Mogambo Guru, 1 0z. Silver coin that I keep in my pocket…  heads it’s the euro, tails it’s Gold…  OK, it’s heads, so Gold, which end of the field would you like to defend? HA!

The euro has climbed back to trade well above the 1.20 handle overnight, after moving steadily through the 1.19 handle in yesterday’s trading. In the middle of June, I wrote about how the sentiment was changing toward the dollar, and it was being questioned as to whether or not the dollar deserved the love of traders any longer…  The euro was 109…  Last night I read an article from a currency trader, who basically said the same thing I did back in June!   Here’s what the trader actually had to say… ” If you are a global asset allocator, the status of the U.S. dollar is really being questioned. Is it necessarily the currency that justifies the same status as it has in the past years? I think strategically you can make the case that the dollar could see its status revisited downwards which would benefit the euro, and not only the euro, but also the Chinese renminbi.”

OK, Chuck again, glad to see this guy jumping on my euro train that left the station back in June!  OK, I mentioned the “I” word above, and here’s where I have to let a little air out of the currencies’ balloons… When is European Central Bank (ECB) President, Mario Draghi, going to say, “Whoa there partner, we can’t have the euro soaring like this, as it will wipe out the rising inflation we have right now.” And with that, he’ll attempt to jawbone the euro back down, and when that doesn’t work, look for some coordinated effort among the G-7 nations to slow down the dollar’s decline.

That’s just how I see this playing out… the good news about this scenario is that all the potential buyers of euros, that procrastinated and wanted to see more proof of a weak dollar trend, will be able to buy at cheaper levels for the next leg up because, as I just mentioned… This is a weak dollar trend that began in January 2017… and there won’t be any stopping it in its tracks by jawboning or actual intervention for these things can only halt the forward movement for a short-lived period of time.

The rest of the currencies are attached to the euro train, so they all look good this morning, but I wanted to make special mention of the Norwegian krone and Swedish krona… I told you last week that these two have been quite active in the recent months, and now that more traders, investors, hedge fund managers, etc. have jumped on board the euro train, currencies that were dragged down by the euro, are being rewarded as the euro rises again.  The Norwegian krone is especially standing out, in that the rise in the price of Oil has petered out, and has actually lost ground the last few trading days.

Well, it’s time to switch to the other side of the coin, which is me talking about Gold..  Gold too, had a strong, steady climb yesterday, gaining $18 on the day and has gained a few more bucks in the early morning trading today to sit at $1,325 as I write…  I had been telling you, dear readers, over and over again that this dance is gonna be a drag, no wait! Try this instead, I’ve been telling you over and over again that I believed that Gold was getting ready to go on a strong run…  And in my humble, country boy opinion, this is just the beginning…  For if the dollar’s status is being questioned like I talked about above, then Gold is the natural replacement for the dollar…  Got it? Good!

Back in the 2003, I used to write in this space about Gold and how everyone needed to buy some Gold… I know, I know, I still say that all the time, but back in 2003, this was new to people’s ears…  About 6 years later, I was at my local watering hole with my buddies, and someone said, that they didn’t have enough money to retire, and my good friend, Duane, said, “Well, if we had all just listened to Chuck 6 years ago,  and bought Gold, we’d all have enough money to retire!” I smiled like the Cheshire Cat… For I had bought Gold, over and over again as it rose in price…

OK, that’s enough of that Chuck! Even a blind squirrel can find an acorn, so don’t go thinking you’re all that and then some!  HA! Of course I don’t think that way! I’m just a country bumpkin that uses logic and fundamentals and trend analysis to get him through this every day… Oh, and I still think that Gold can get to $1,400 by year end… I’m just saying…

When the price of Oil began its recovery from $25 last year, every day I would mention the Russian Ruble as leading the pack of Petrol Currencies…  The ruble, in recent weeks, has taken a back seat and allowed the Canadian loonie to get in the driver’s seat on some days, and the Norwegian krone on others, and then the Brazilian real on the remainder of days…  But there’s an article out there today regarding Russia paying down all of the USSR’s debts, and that should be a good thing for the ruble!

I don’t know if you’ve noticed or not but the Central Bank of Russia (CBR) has slowed down their rate cuts… I thought that by now the CBR would be cutting rates at nearly every meeting, but they’ve slowed those rate cuts down, and that has helped underpin the ruble, while the price of Oil wallows around in the mud.  So, that article about Russia paying off all of the Soviet Union’s debts ($70 Billion) is the featured article in the FWIW section today, make sure you check it out… 

The U.S. Data Cupboard has a couple of prints for us to view today… First up in the Case/Shiller Home Price Index, which was last seen printing at 5.6% on the good side… Of course the excuse that was given for the awful print last week of New Home Sales was that home prices had gotten too high, so this will be interesting to see…  Then the stupid Consumer Confidence report, which will probably show a rise in the index number…  This report always floors me, in how ridiculous it is, for it’s really just a pulse of the stock market… And that really digs at me, because when will these people ever learn that “THE STOCK MARKET IS NOT THE ECONOMY”!    Oh well… it is what it is, and I’ll just move along now to the Big Finish!

To recap…  It was a Marvelous Monday and overnight trading sessions for the euro and Gold… The dollar’s status is being questioned and that has the euro on the rise, while as I said yesterday, Yellen, opened the doors to a rise in the price of Gold when she failed to talk about interest rates or monetary policy last Friday. Might as well get used to this kind of stuff folks, because the weak dollar trend is here to stay!   

For What It’s Worth…  Well, I mentioned this above, so no reason to get into a long discussion about it… You can read all about Russia paying off the USSR’s debts here: http://russiafeed.com/russia-pays-last-soviet-debt/    

Or, here’s your snippet: “An aspect of the events surrounding the dissolution of the USSR in 1991 which rarely gets discussed is that Russia took on itself the entire burden of paying the whole of the foreign debt owed by the USSR at the time of its collapse.

By contrast the other fourteen Soviet republics – now all of them independent states – were not required to pay any of this debt when the USSR collapsed.

The result was that from the moment it came into existence Russia found itself liable for the entire burden of the USSR’s debt – estimated to be around $70 billion – with just a few billion dollars held in the Russian Central Bank’s gold and foreign currency reserves to cover it.

By contrast the other republics of the USSR when they became independent found themselves entirely debt free.

In the event Russia has successfully discharged the whole of this huge Soviet debt burden it took on itself, steadily paying off all the USSR’s debt ever since Vladimir Putin became Russia’s President in 2000.
The final payment of $152 million to Bosnia has just been made, clearing the debt completely.” 

Chuck again…  That’s pretty impressive if you ask me! Especially since the country has had economic sanctions placed on it by not only the U.S. but also the European Union for the last 3 years… And like I said above, this should be good for the ruble!   

Currencies today 8/29/17… American Style: A$ .7955, kiwi .7276, C$ .8022, euro 1.2043, sterling 1.2965, Swiss $.9444, … European Style: rand 13.0763, krone 7.7127, SEK 7.9215, HUF 253.50, zloty 3.5404, koruna 21.6911, RUB 58.49, yen 108.52, sing 1.3518, HKD 7.8240, INR 63.97, China 6.6273, peso 17.89, BRL 3.1575, Dollar Index 91.78, Oil $46.62, 10yr 2.12%, Silver $17.57, Platinum $996.05, Palladium $943.88, and Gold… $1,325.60    

That’s it for today…  Looky there! I remembered the currency roundup today! YAHOO! Who says you can’t teach an old dog a new trick? HA!  Boy those are some pictures of the devastation of Hurricane Harvey aren’t they? I traded texts with my sister Joanie who lives in Tomball Texas, and she had to move out of her house to another location.. Living here by a river I know all about floods, but not of that magnitude!  I hope it’s just material things that get destroyed there, and not any human lives…  The Rev. Al Green takes us to the finish line today with his song:  Love and Happiness…  I love the beginning of this song, it just sets the stage for the rest of the song…  And with that thought, it’s time to go… So, please go out and have a Tom Terrific Tuesday, and Be Good To Yourself!

 

Here We Go!

Chuck Butler’s: A Pfennig For Your Thoughts 

August 28, 2017  

* Yellen & Draghi disappoint on Friday

* Euro soars! Loonie does too!

* A way to hold off the wolves… 

 

Good day… And a Marvelous Monday to you! Well, I bounced back much quicker after last week’s infusion, so I had that going for me this weekend! Friday night, I had friends, Kevin, Rick and Laura stop by to watch some of the baseball game with me, and yesterday, Dawn, Jerry, Delaney and Everett were here to watch the game with me. The only game the Cardinals won over the weekend was the game I watched by myself! Hmmm… The Gin Blossoms greet me this morning with their song: Allison Road, which is my name for the Rick and Laura’s youngest girl, Allison. She’s in 8th grade now, so I don’t see her that often, but when I do, it’s Allison Road to me!  

Front and Center this morning, the euro is at a 2-year high, Gold is back to $1,300 and the assault on the dollar that began on Friday, was not cooled off any in the overnight markets last night. So, we begin the week with the dollar on ropes…  Let’s now talk about what the heck happened, or didn’t happen on Friday…   

Talk about disappointment! Whew! It was like going to the bottom of the ninth, when the Cardinals had, Jim Edmonds, Albert Pujols, and Scott Rolen, coming up to bat, and all three went down in order…. Both Janet Yellen and Mario Draghi decided to leave monetary policy discussions at home, and instead talked about regulations… Well, the euro soared, and I mean soared when the markets didn’t hear nary a word about interest rates from Janet Yellen. Nor did they hear nary a word from Draghi about euro strength, and with that it was off to the races for the euro!

I have no inside information on why she chose to talk about regulations, but I do have my imagination, and it was just my imagination, once again, running away with me… No wait! No time for songs Chuck, we need to be serious here… Had Yellen seen the writing on the wall, that she is going to be replaced when her term expires in February, and took this opportunity to take a shot at the President, who’ll be replacing her with someone else in Feb.? I mean it sure looked that way to me, as President Trump, has stated that he wants to delete some of the Volcker Rules, and Yellen comes out and talks tough about not changing regulations? You tell me, this sure looked like a shot in the dark to me..

So, the euro soared on Friday, all the way to 1.1926, from 1.786 earlier in the morning on Friday… That’s basically a 10-cent rise in the currency since I told people around the 3rd week of June when the euro was 1.09-ish, that the sentiment had changed, and traders were going long euros… About 3 weeks ago, I told readers that a hedge-fund manager, said that it was “lethal to be short euros”… When a hedge fund manager says something like that, folks… it’s time to back up the truck… So… I have to wonder, wonder who, who wrote the book of Love… But also wonder who read the writing on the wall back in June and July?

The Big Dog (euro) was off the porch chasing the dollar down the street, once again, just like in the days of 2003-2011… And for the most part the little dogs, (the rest of the currencies) followed the Big Dog’s lead… One of the best performing currencies on the day was the Aussie dollar (A$), followed by its kissin’ cousin across the Tasman, kiwi… And with hurricane Harvey devastating the South Texas coast, Oil held strong, and the Petrol Currencies led by the Canadian dollar / loonie, which gained 2-cents on the day, rallied too.

Gold was able to carve out a few bucks of gains, which surprised me, and I would have to think that the “boys in the band” kept a tight check on the shiny metal throughout the day… Boy I sure miss when Ed Steer is on vacation, because I don’t get his letter each morning, that is chock-full-news-and-information, and has the number of contracts traded each day in the metals. (edsteergoldandsilver.com) Gold closed on Friday at $1,297 and change, so for the week it lost $3, as it was Monday morning last week that I shouted out that Gold was trading at $1,300… 

And looky who is back to $1,300 on this Marvelous Monday morning! Why, it’s none other than Gold, as it has added $5 to it’s closing price on Friday in the early morning trading today to climb to $1,302, as I write.

Well, bust my buttons! I learned something on Friday that I had never heard of before, so I sure didn’t know about it! But now I do, thanks to the 5 Minute Forecast! (www.agorafinancial.com) So, there I was Friday evening, when I should have been at my local watering hole, but instead had just awakened from a fog brain induced afternoon nap. I woke up, and I was feeling better so I took a shot a reading email, and it was then that I learned that the U.S. Treasury holds its Gold at Fort Know at a value of $42.50 per ounce, instead of the market value of $1,297… James Rickards was explaining in “The 5” that, well, I’ll let him tell you… “The Treasury could get $355 billion in cash from thin air without increasing the debt simply by revaluing U.S. gold to a market price. Once the Treasury revalues the gold, the Treasury can issue new ‘gold certificates’ to the Fed and demand newly printed money in the Treasury’s account under the Gold Reserve Act of 1934. Since this money comes from gold revaluation, it does not increase the national debt and no debt ceiling legislation is required. This would be a way around the debt ceiling if Congress cannot increase it in a timely way.”

Chuck again… Hmmm… I also found out that this had been done before, by the Eisenhower administration in 1953! Wow! I love it when I learn new stuff to throw out at cocktail parties! HA! .  But that would sure be a simple way of not allowing the Gov’t to shutdown if an agreement on the Debt Ceiling can’t be worked out…  You know, holding off the wolves, if you will…  I don’t want to talk politics here, but since it involves debt I’ll give myself a pass…  I recall being in Panama on my last visit there, and woman from Texas cornered me, and asked me what I thought about the Tea Party. It was a loaded question, because I later found out that she was the Tea Party regional chair…  

Well, I said, that I thought the idea of the Tea Party was good, and that someone needed to step up and stop the madness of expanding our unsustainable debt. But then I went on to say that IF the Tea Party failed to stop the madness, then they will have failed…  So, look where we are now… Debt discussions and from what I read, the Tea Party members aren’t going to fold like a lawn chair like their colleagues when it comes to raising the Debt Ceiling… Good for them!     OK, now back to the currencies and metals… This debt talk usually gets me all frustrated, and I don’t need to be that way on a Marvelous Monday morning!  

I sent out a Tweet on Friday about the disappointment I had, and the markets had with the Yellen / Draghi Jackson Hole speeches… Just a reminder that should you want to get periodic tweets from me about things in the markets or even the Cardinals, you can find my handle by typing in: ChuckOButlerjr…  

  I don’t mean to slight the other currencies out there folks, there are just so many of them that it would be a 10-page letter if I talked about all of them! But the currencies that I like to follow are usually the ones I talk about, but that doesn’t mean I’m not watching the other ones. Each morning I scour the currency values to see if there’s a rally going on that I wasn’t aware of…  So with that in mind, here are some of the currencies that really put on the Ritz in Friday’s trading…   The Norwegian krone, The Swedish krona, the Hungarian forint, Polish zloty, Czech koruna, Russian ruble, Singapore dollar, Indian rupee, Chinese renminbi, and Brazilian real…   

Adding to the dollar’s problems on Friday was the awful print of Durable Goods Orders for July of a negative -6.8%… The U.S. Data Cupboard didn’t have to take all the heat for the dollar’s drop on Friday though, and most observers and participants weren’t paying much attention to this awful print, of real economic data… 

 

To recap… Yellen and Draghi chose not to talk monetary policy or currency strength in their Jackson Hole speeches on Friday, and that gave the markets an indication that rate hikes are on hold here in the U.S. and that Draghi, isn’t concerned about euro strength. With those two things in mind, the euro soared! And took the other currencies along for a ride on the euro rally train. Gold has climbed back over $1,300 in the early morning trading today, and Chuck rambles on and on about other things this morning…  

This week’s Data Cupboard has some data prints that aren’t earth movers, but will be interesting to see, like the Case/ Shiller Home Price Index, and of course on Friday, we’ll have a Jobs Jamboree… Ooohhh, I can’t wait for that!  NOT!  

For What It’s Worth….   Well, there’s a ton of talk going around about the tariffs, taxes, or other trade barriers that the U.S. Gov’t is going to implement VS China… I shake my head in disbelief that it has come to this, but it is what it is, and this article on zerohedge.com talks about how China might respond to these measures, and can be found here:http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-08-27/unloading-dollar-assets-would-be-most-effective-chinese-state-media-outlines-trade-w    

Or, here’s your snippet: “China state media immediately signaled the nation would hit back against any trade measures, as it has done in past episodes, and now, thanks to a treatise in Chinese official mouthpiece, China People’s Daily newspaper, we have an idea of what those countermeasures could be…

China could take three countermeasures against the recent “Section 301” investigation initiated by the U.S. government, experts told Chinanews.com

With growing trade friction between the two largest economies, the spokesperson of China’s Ministry of Commerce made a strong response on Monday, saying China strongly opposes unilateral and trade protectionism acts conducted by the U.S., and will take all appropriate measures to safeguard its legitimate interests.

According to the report, limiting imports from the U.S., reducing exports to the U.S., and unloading dollar assets would be the [[[three]]] most effective countermeasures.”  

Chuck again… One has to take a good long look and think about the last countermeasure listed there… “unloading dollar assets”…  Talk about something that could send the dollar for a long ride on the slippery slope!

That’s it for today… I put the finishing touches on my DTL letter for this Thursday over the weekend. I know, you’re asking, “does the guy ever stop writing?”  HA!  This week’s letter is about the ban on cash that’s going on, and I don’t hold back with my thoughts from the Butler Patio! I know it costs to read the Dow Theory Letters, but I think it’s money well spent! www.dowtheoryletters.com    Well, next Monday, I’ll be recovering from two days of cooking, and having fun at the Butler Labor Day BBQ! This traditional BBQ got its start many years ago, when former neighbor Kevin, said let’s do a BBQ together and invite the neighbors. Well he moved a few years later, and I took the whole shebang over…  if you’re in the neighborhood next Sunday, drop on in! HA! Cheap Trick takes us to the finish line today with their song: Surrender…  And with that, it’s time to wish you a have a Marvelous Monday… And Be Good To Yourself!     

 

Waiting For Tomorrow’s Jackson Hole Duo…

Chuck Butler’s: A Pfennig For Your Thoughts 

August 24, 2017 

* Weak U.S. data sends the dollar down

* Sweden’s Unemployment Rate drops!

* Norway’s 2nd QTR GDP beat expectations!

 

Good day…  And a Tub Thumpin’ Thursday to you! I saw a sign yesterday in a doctor’s office that I’m going to adopt as one of my own, it read: Today is a good day to have a good day…  Loved it! It’s amazing what they can do these days. Yesterday, they put four probes on me, waved a wand in front of my pacemaker, and voila! The computer lit up and reports started printing with all the data about what my heart has been doing in the past 3 months…  And they could do it remotely! Journey greets me this morning with their song from their early days (before Steve Perry): Of A Lifetime…  If you’ve never heard the pre-Perry, Journey stuff, you should take a listen…   

As we start the day today, the dollar, which got sold yesterday for a couple of reasons, has recovered some of those losses in the overnight trading.. But the Dollar Index which yesterday morning sat at 93.41 is lower this morning at 93.31…  Front and Center this morning, the dollar got sold yesterday because of weak economic data, even if it was 2ns Tier data, the large drop in New Home Sales of 9.4%,  to a 7-month low of 571,000… Apparently, new home prices are soaring and that kept the sales out of the reach of the Joe-six pack crowd.  

The other thing weighing on the dollar was the Trump speech in Arizona, where he threatened to shut down the government if he didn’t get funding for his wall… This wasn’t the first time the President had mentioned shutting down the government.  Is he sending a message to Congress to get off their duffs and get something done?   Maybe, or then maybe he was just playing to the crowd in Arizona yesterday who would love a wall!  Either way, the dollar got sold on the comments. 

We were supposed to see the color of the Markit PMI for the U.S. yesterday, but apparently the folks at Markit, hadn’t finished working the numbers…  So, comparatively speaking yesterday, we had Eurozone Flash Composite PMI rise, and in the U.S. we saw New Home Sales drop 9.4%, so the dollar got sold, and the euro got bought…  One thing I’ve noticed and I’m sure of you currency round up watchers have too, is that the euro has seen some good performances during the U.S. markets, and then sees selling in the overnight markets… You don’t think , nah… that couldn’t ever happen! Oh, shoot Rudy, I’ll just throw this out there… You don’t think that the European Central Bank (ECB) is intervening to keep the euro in check?  Well, if the markets get wind of that, the ECB will be in deep dookie for sure!  

Old school traders would love it if they found out a Central Bank was intervening in a market that the traders were thinking should be higher…  There used to be an old saying that I used over and over again, and that the markets have deeper pockets than any Central Bank…  But that thought has to be reviewed and changed, because these days, as we’ve found out, Central Banks print money like there’s no tomorrow, and there’s no recourse for doing so…   

I shake my head in disgust at what Central Banks have become… But that’s a discussion for the Butler Patio, which BTW is the name of my weekly letter that the paid subscribers at Dow Theory Letters get to read each Thursday night…  If you’re interested in checking them out, go to: www.dowtheoryletters.com  

Earlier this morning, Sweden printed their July Unemployment data, and Sweden’s unemployment rate decreased less-than-expected in July, figures from Statistics Sweden showed Thursday. The jobless rate dropped to 6.6% in July from 7.4% in June. Economists had expected the rate to fall to 5.9%. So, the real good news we hoped for here didn’t materialize, although a drop from 7.4% to 6.6% isn’t chopped liver, but I don’t think that this will be enough to get the Riksbank (Sweden’s Central Bank) to begin to significantly unwind their monetary policy of bond buying and negative rates.  

In Norway this morning we saw the color of their 2nd QTR GDP… REcall I had told you in a previous Pfennig that the hopes here were that 2nd QTR GDP would rise from the first QTR’s 0.2% print to 0.6% in the 2nd QTR… Well, Norway’s economic growth accelerated in the second quarter largely driven by investment and exports, Statistics Norway said Thursday with GDP  rising to 1.1% , which using my new math skills is  faster than the 0.2% expansion in the 1st QTR. At the same time, growth in Mainland-Norway held steady at 0.7%  in the 2nd QTR.  This is all good for Norway, folks, and should be a strong underpin for the krone’s rally.   

Today, on this infusion Thursday, the Fed’s Jackson Hole Boondoggle gets started, with the usual meet and greet, and cocktail reception, I’m sure, but tomorrow is what the markets and observers are waiting for… And that is the day that both Janet Yellen and Mario Draghi will both give speeches… Oh to be a bug and be able to read what they are going to say ahead of time would be cool…  I’m thinking it’s going to quite the market moving speeches you don’t want to miss, that is if you’re into that kind of thing… Some people could give two hoots about currencies, and economies as long as they have a job, put money in the bank so they can pay their bills, and have some left over for gas, groceries and giggles…

The folks over at the FXStreet.com who, first of all, think enough of my writing that they repost the Pfennig each day on their site, sent me a note and said if I had any initial reaction to the speeches tomorrow to send it to them…  Well, I might have some reactions, but I’m sure I won’t be able to focus on them long enough to write them out…  But, I might be ready to focus on Saturday or Sunday, when I just might Tweet out some thoughts…  

Gold wasn’t much of a participant in the markets yesterday, and this morning’s early morning trading has the shiny metal down $3, I guess the olive branch that President Trump extended to N. Korea is playing out here, but I wouldn’t get too upset with the $3 drop today, or Gold’s inability to move past $1,300 right now, and instead think of it as the train getting ready to leave the station, and keeping its doors open an extended time to allow everyone that wants to get on board to get on board! 

Today’s U.S. Data Cupboard has Existing Home Sales for July, along with the usual Tub Thumpin’ Thursday fare, of the Weekly Initial Jobless Claims, so not much here, but as yesterday’s 9.4% drop in New Home Sales proved, if the data moves that much, the markets will react accordingly! 

Tomorrow’s Data Cupboard finally has a real economic data print for us, in the July print of Durable Goods, along with Capital Goods… I expect these two to be very disappointing tomorrow, but I’m not sure the markets will even see them, as their focus is going to be on the Jackson Hole speeches later in the day…   

To recap…  Weak data in the U.S. deep sixed the dollar once again yesterday, although the dollar has rebounded a bit in the overnight markets. Chuck thinks there’s some funny business going on at the ECB…  Trump talked about a government shutdown again yesterday, which weighed on the dollar too. Sweden’s Unemployment Rate didn’t fall as much as they expected but still had a significant fall from 7.4% to 6.6%, and Norway’s 2nd QTR GDP printed better than expected at 1% with strong domestic activity… And Gold couldn’t find a bid or offer yesterday, but is down $3 in the early morning trading today.  

For What It’s Worth…  Last Friday, at our Fantasy Football League Draft, I don’t know how the conversation got to this, but I put on my tinfoil hat and began to preach to the guys about how the cashless society would mean the end of their privacy, and so forth… They all looked at me like a deer with the headlights on them…  So, I stopped…  Well, this is an article / opinion  by William Engdahl that I have no link to, that’s about a cashless society,  that dear reader Bob sent me…  

Here’s your snippet of this blog:

“Has it ever occurred to you that when you have no cash, you have no privacy?

An operation that began as a seemingly obscure academic discussion three years ago is now becoming a full-blown propaganda campaign by some of the most powerful institutions in the industrialized world. This is what rightly should be termed the War on Cash. Like the War on Terror, the War on Cancer, or the War on Drugs, its true agenda is sinister and opaque. If we are foolish enough to swallow the propaganda for the complete elimination of cash in favor of pure digital bank money, we can pretty much kiss our remaining autonomy and privacy goodbye. George Orwell’s 1984 (1949) will be here on steroids.””

Let me be clear. Here we discuss not various block-chain digital technologies, so-called crypto-currencies. We are not addressing private payment systems such as China’s WeChat. Nor do we discuss e-banking or use of bank credit cards such as Visa or Master Card or others. These are of an entirely different quality from the goal of the ongoing sinister war on cash. They are all private services, not state.

What we are discussing is a plot, and it is a plot, by leading central banks, select governments, the International Monetary Fund in collusion with major international banks to force citizens – in other words, us! – to give up holding cash or using it to pay for purchases. Instead, we would be forced to use digital bank credits. The difference, subtle though it may at first seem, is huge. As in India following the mad Modi US-inspired war on cash late in 2016, citizens would forever lose their personal freedom to decide how to pay or their privacy in terms of money. If I want to buy a car and pay cash to avoid bank interest charges, I cannot. My bank will limit the amount of digital money I can withdraw on any given day. If I want to stay in a nice hotel to celebrate a special day and pay cash for reasons of privacy, not possible. But this is just the surface.”

Chuck again…  I can’t even begin to express how important it is that we attempt to stop this in its tracks… But then most people just don’t care about this stuff, because it’s not the latest crazy Despacito song! But one day when there is no cash, they’ll look around and say, “how’d this happen?”  

Currencies today 8/24/17… American Style: A$ .7894, kiwi .7213, C$ .78, euro 1.1786, sterling 1.2820, Swiss $.9650, … European Style: rand 13.2085, krone 7.8557, SEK 8.0723, HUF 257.12, zloty 3.6311, koruna 22.1067, RUB 59.03, yen 109.34, sing 1.3615, HKD 7.8253, INR 64.00, China 6.6607, peso 17.69, BRL 3.1542, Dollar Index 93.31, Oil $48.18, 10yr 2.18%, Silver $17.01, Platinum $974.66, Palladium $932.34, and Gold… $1,291.70 

That’s It For Today… And this week, as I explained earlier this week, on infusion weeks, there’ll be on Pfennig on the Friday following the infusion…  Well, order was restored in the kingdom last night, as my beloved Cardinals beat the Padres… The heart doc says I’m doing fine, but wishes I wasn’t on chemo that messes up his numbers, I told him, “I feel for you” He laughed and said, “I didn’t mean to minimize your problems with chemo”…  I’ve been home alone the last two nights, which meant I was on my own for dinner, which in the old days would have meant eating food that’s not exactly good for you… But these days my appetite has gone to hell in a hand basket, so it’s not big deal as I don’t eat anyway!  And with that… The Temptations takes us to the finish line today with their song: Papa Was a Rolling Stone…   Now go out and do some Tub Thumpin’ today, OK?  And Be Good To Yourself!  And remember today is a good day to make it a good day!

 

Dollar Bugs Positioning For A Jackson Hole Rebound!

Chuck Butler’s: A Pfennig For Your Thoughts 

August 23, 2017 

* Eurozone Composite PMI rises!

* Oil and Petrol Currencies can’t find a bid! 

* We need to get out of the mud! 

 

Good Day… And a Wonderful Wednesday to you! Well, the “day after” had everyone sharing their personal experiences with the Great American Solar Eclipse, they were all good stories! My beloved Cardinals got whacked by the Padres… Yes, I said the Padres… Yesterday’s trading was a real dud, and Elton John greets me this morning with his song: Mona Lisas and Mat Hatters… A good early morning song, for sure! 

Watching paint dry would be for interesting than the action in the currencies yesterday, as the Dog Days of Summer really had a grip on traders… In the overnight markets the euro was taking on some water,  which was easily bailed out when their latest PMI report printed and showed that manufacturing in the Eurozone is expanding faster than expected, and it’s not just Germany pulling the weight on this, folks… France showed a nice expansion too, as did the Club Med countries. 

For those of you who are keeping score at home the Eurozone PMI Index grew to 55.8 in August, which I’ll remind you any number over 50 represents expansion… The previous month’s index number was 55.7, so the recovery of the Eurozone economy continues, and this should go a long way to convince the European Central Bank president Mario Draghi that the economic stimulus of bond buying a negative deposit rates needs to begin to be unwound. 

So, the euro is a bit stronger this morning because of a fundamental economic report, but the rest of the currencies haven’t shaken the mud that they’ve been stuck in, off, yet…  So, a Jackson Hole Rebound (JHR) is what dollar bugs are positioning themselves for…  And that’s why if there’s been any movement in the currencies so far this week, it’s been about the dollar.  

So, what’s this JHR all about? Well, recall on Monday this week, I talked about the Fed’s Jackson Hole Wyoming Boondoggle that takes place this time of year every year, and how both Janet Yellen and Mario Draghi would be there, and my hopes were for Janet Yellen to not keep to the company line about how the U.S. economy is doing great, blah, blah, blah, but that Draghi would announce plans to unwind the Eurozone’s monetary stimulus.  

Well, apparently my wishes for Yellen, aren’t held by everyone… Hmmm, imagine that! Chuck’s thoughts being different than everyone else’s… I never would have thought that to take place, but there it is… amazing, don’t you think? HA!   OK, back to being serious…  Yes, apparently the dollar bugs believe that Yellen will also dive into the unwinding of the Fed’s Balance Sheet, and if that happens the dollar could very well rebound for a day or two. 

But all that doesn’t get started until tomorrow, but the positioning for a JHR is taking place now… UGH!  I prefer, much more that these markets react to what’s happening at the time, so there is no need to unwind positions and see the currencies whip around… But, it is what it is, and we are left to deal with everything. 

Above, I mentioned that the currencies, for the most part, are still stuck in the mud, and left that open for me to talk about the stealth moves of the Norwegian krone and Swedish krona…  I’ve been mentioning the krone and how it’s receiving love from the Oil rebound, and the euro rebound, but usually stop there and leave out the krona…  But the krona’s rally has been nearly as impressive as the krone’s rally, and today and tomorrow the krona could step up its moves if the economic data prints as I expect it to.  

For those of you who missed class on Monday or just a refresher on the data that will print in Norway and Sweden today and tomorrow, here you go… Norway will see a labor report and 2nd QTR GDP, and Sweden will see a labor report… I would love to see these two currencies react accordingly to the data prints, for that would mean fundamentals were present, if not for just a day…  

Pound sterling has seen itself in a gauntlet formed by the BREXIT talks… Apparently, the latest development that sent the pound to the woodshed, is the report that European Union laws will still affect the U.K. even after BREXIT…  Right now, I don’t think I would touch the pound with your ten foot pole… There are just too many unanswered questions surrounding the BREXIT talks and how they will weigh on the pound…  So, move along here, for these are not the droids you’re looking for! 

The price of Oil appears to be stuck in the same mud as the currencies, and therefore the Russian ruble and Brazilian real, along with the Canadian loonie, also remain in the mud. I have to think that sooner or later, love is gonna getcha, no wait!  I have to think that sooner or later, we’ll see the mud dry and the currencies and commodities will be able to break out of the mud’s grip…   

Next week, for example, we’ll return to a week of economic data here in the U.S. and that will provide the drive for the currencies to react.  And next Friday Sept. 1, will be a Jobs Jamboree, and we all know what kind of emphasis that report has on the dollar. I sit here and chuckle at that thought, because I have to wonder how many traders will actually be around on that Friday, since next weekend will be Labor Day…  

Speaking of Labor Day… it’s the last party weekend of summer, and when I was a kid, it meant the return to school, but these days they go back way before that! I have a big BBQ on Labor Day every year, and as we grow older, friends end up spending time away from home on Labor Day, and our crowds dwindle each year, but those that come are treated to what the Big Green Egg produces and a lot of comradery and games…  So, until it’s just me and Kathy attending the BBQ, I’ll keep cooking!  

Alrighty then, let’s get back to the markets!  Gold didn’t find a bid or offer to move it yesterday, and in the early morning trading today, it’s up a whopping $1.90!   One might be content with the move that Gold has booked so far this year…. But not me!  I still believe that Gold is cooking up something, and is gearing up for a strong run…  of course that’s my opinion and I could be wrong…  

  You know I say that a lot in this letter, that “it’s my opinion and I could be wrong”…  But in reality, isn’t the whole letter my opinion?  Oh well, it’s far better to put things out there front and center than to hide them in the fine print! 

The U.S. Data Cupboard has a couple of prints today, 2nd Tier that is… First up is the Markit PMI for August, and then the New Home Sales for July will print. I’m sure traders  will take a look at these two prints, shrug them off and move on to their appointment to get their boats primed and ready to go for this weekend!  

To recap…. Another day of doldrums as the Dog Days of Summer really have a grip on the markets right now. The euro was losing some ground overnight, but then a strong Composite PMI for August turned thing around for the single unit and it is up a bit on the day.  It appears that traders are positioning themselves for a Jackson Hole Rebound for the dollar…  

For What It’s Worth…  Well, I talk so much about debt, and consumer debt, that when I saw this report on MarketWatch I thought it would be good as an add-on to those talks about consumer debt…  So, it can be found here: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/one-thing-not-to-do-when-trying-to-improve-your-credit-score-2017-08-22?link=MW_popular  

Or, here’s your snippet:”People with bad credit who try to improve their score by signing up for “subprime” credit cards could be doing themselves more harm than good.

Personal-finance company NerdWallet analyzed 10 popular “subprime specialist issuer” cards (SSIs), which are marketed to people who have low credit scores and may have difficulty getting a regular credit card. On average, they cost consumers more than $150 a year in annual fees, application fees and maintenance fees, NerdWallet found.

“A lot of people don’t understand how subprime cards work,” said Kimberly Palmer, a credit card expert at NerdWallet. “When you dig into the details, they can actually really hurt you.” If every subprime consumer had one subprime specialist issuer card, and they all paid $150 a year in fees, they would be paying some $2.5 billion a year.

Consumers with low credit scores often find it difficult to get out of that credit category because they have few options for credit products to use, and the ones they can be approved for, including subprime credit cards, often have undesirable terms. In contrast, there are many credit cards available to people with higher scores that have no annual fee, application fee or maintenance fees. ” 

Chuck again…  This is the kind of stuff that people with credit problems need to hear, not tricks of the trade, or get rich quick schemes… 

Currencies today 8/23/17… American Style: A$ .7897, kiwi .7223, C$ .7812, euro 1.1785, sterling 1.2802, Swiss $.9691, … European Style: rand 13.2379, krone 7.8939, SEK 8.0969, HUF 257.40, zloty 3.6345, koruna 22.1604, RUB 59.02, yen 109.36, sing 1.3627, HKD 7.8258, INR 64.07, China 6.6598, peso 17.77, BRL 3.1602, Dollar Index 93.41, Oil $47.73, 10year 2.22%, Silver $17.14, Platinum $980.39, Palladium $936.46, and Gold… $1,292.90 

That’s it for today… I sat outside last night to watch the Cardinals/ Padres game, it was a nice cool evening, strange for August, but about 9pm I bagged it and came inside!  Well, as soon as I hit send on this today, I have to begin to get ready for my scans this morning.  it’ll be a busy morning for me, with scans, and then a visit with the heart doctor, and then a visit with the cardiac device people… By the time I’m finished with all that, I’ll be starving!  Alice in Chains takes us to the finish line today with their song: No Excuses…  And that reminds me of a saying that the old football coach used to say over and over… “Excuses never won a ballgame for anyone”…  And with that, I’ll send you on your way to having a Wonderful Wednesday… Be Good To Yourself!   

“I Assume The Gold Is Still There”

Chuck Butler’s: A Pfennig For Your Thoughts 

August 22, 2017 

* Euro rises, then falls with in 24 hours!

*A$, kiwi, krone and krona are quite active

* Munchin visits Fort Knox! 

 

Good Day… And a Tom Terrific Tuesday to you! Well, that was quite the experience yesterday, witnessing the Great American Solar Eclipse (GASE)… Everything got still, the crickets were chirping, because they thought it was night time, and in two minutes, it was over… Pretty cool, but I have to say, that’s one thing off my bucket list! It’s been a strange trading session in the past 24 hours, folks, and hopefully I can straighten it all out for you… Emerson, Lake and Palmer (ELP) greet me this morning with their iconic rock song: Lucky Man…  

Well, here goes…  Yesterday, the euro shot up past 1.18 and nearly hit its 2.5 year high  on comments in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) “Draghi is likely to layout the end of Europe’s QE”. This article helped the euro after we saw some anonymous European Central Bank (ECB) sources that were  throwing ice water on the notion just last week. But the euro’s rise was short-lived, and in the overnight markets, it was put back below 1.18… But if you just looked at yesterday morning’s price of 1.1749, and today’s price of 1.1769, you would think that the euro had a good day… 

Well, “good day” in the whole scheme of things, to me 20 ticks in price is like removing a bucket of sand off the beach… nobody notices…  But all the other currencies have basically followed the euro’s lead, as they rose in price yesterday, and fell in price in the overnight trading. The Aussie dollar (A$) and kiwi have been two of the most active currencies in recent weeks, as traders position themselves for rate hikes from the countries of these two currencies, that should be coming sometime in the next 6 months… And yes, traders do look that far out at times..

 In kiwi’s case… This is the scenario I tried to tell you about months ago, when I told you that now would be the time to buy kiwi when traders and other big market participants weren’t pricing in a rate hike yet, and therefore you could get cheap kiwi prices before the Big Boys began to price a rate hike in…  

In both currencies, A$’s and kiwi, their respective Central Bank Governors will fight the markets tooth and nail every step forward either of these currencies take, so keep that in mind, there’s no one-way street in currencies, sorry…   

Another pair of currencies that have been quite active these past couple of months is the Norwegian krone and Swedish krona… I told you yesterday that both these countries have some important economic data reports printing this week, and the reports could underpin these two more… I would really love to see Sweden get out of the bond buying and negative rates monetary policy, as it would go a long way toward helping the krona continue its move VS the dollar. 

And then there’s the Chinese renminbi, of which, I talked about last week, and reminisced about 2003 and how back then you could almost bet and win that the renminbi would be appreciated overnight… Well, the renminbi is seeing appreciations in the overnight fixings on a frequent basis in the past couple of months, which coincides with better economic conditions in China… 

The Capital Flows out of China have subsided, and the Chinese Gov’t no longer has to spend their reserves to defend the currency, from these Capital outflows, and the reserves are in recovery mode, increasing the past few months. China is not out of the woods in any sense of the imagination, but at least they’ve moved closer to the edge of the forest..

 “I assume the Gold is still there”… Those were the words from U.S. Treasury Sec. Steve Mnuchin when he visited Fort Knox on Monday, marking only the 3rd official visit there by the Gov’t since it was built to house the Gov’t’s Gold in 1936 after FDR had confiscated the citizen’s Gold for $25 an ounce and then repriced it to $35… But that’s another story, this is about the Treasury Secretary’s visit to Fort Knox, where he quipped, “It would really be quite a movie if we walked in and there was no Gold” Funny guy, eh? He then assured his audience after taking the tour that the Gold was there… $200 Billion worth… However, he did also say seriously, that the Gold hasn’t actually been counted since 1953… 

Gold rallied a few bucks yesterday to $1,295… And I couldn’t get that Bob Dylan song out of my head all day… Knock, knock, knocking on heaven’s door, but replacing the lyrics with knocking on $1,300’s door… but before we book flights to watch Gold surpass $1,300, I have to tell you that the shiny metal has lost $6 in the early morning trading today, and is back to $1,290 and change…

I have to say that my attention has been grabbed by the industrial metals of Platinum and Palladium, and the narrowing of the spread between the two… Last week it was around $75, this week Palladium has closed the gap to just $40. That’s less frustrating to talk about than the goings on with the short Gold paper trading, for sure!  

I received an email from former colleague and friend, Chris Gaffney the other day, and in it was an article from the CFA, the organization that Chris belongs to. And in the article, they pretty much throw cold water on the reports about Consumer Debt hitting an all-time high… They conclude, and I somewhat agree, that the report doesn’t take into consideration the increase in population… So, basically more people can take on more debt…  And that’s a valid point, but… Should we be celebrating the fact that debt just keeps rising here in the U.S. no matter how many people there are?  I prefer to look at the debt of consumers on a “household basis”…   And on a household basis, consumer debt is still out of control, folks…  

My dad taught me at an early age, that numbers can be massaged and cooked to tell any story you want to hear… Do you want to hear that everything is hunky-dory, peaches and cream and sunshine, lollipops and rainbows, or do you want to hear that something might cause a problem down the road?  And depending on which mantra you take, you’ll go to that source for your data… It’s that simple…  

Me? I just tell it like it is, and let you dear reader decide what you want to listen to and what you don’t…  

OK, time to move on… The U.S. Data Cupboard is empty today, and I mean empty, not even a third tier data report like the one we saw yesterday when the Chicago region activity index printed negative…  Tomorrow we get back in the saddle with data as the Markit PMI (manufacturing index) for this month and July’s New Home Sales will print…  So, the dollar is on its own today, and in recent weeks that hasn’t been good for the green/peachback…  

To recap… A sharp rise in the euro yesterday was sold off in the overnight markets, but on a morning to morning comparison the euro is up today VS yesterday… All the other currencies are tagging along with the euro, which makes sense since the euro is the offset currency to the dollar. Chuck points out a couple of pairs that have been quite active lately, and the Treasury Sec. visits Fort Knox!   

For What it’s Worth….  this is really good folks… It’s a professor of economics at John Jay College, CUNY and a fellow at the Roosevelt Institute, named J.W. Mason, who points out that the economy is not running at full capacity and can be found here: “http://rooseveltinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Monetary-Policy-Report-Brief.pdf  

Or, here’s your snippet: “U.S. GDP has not recovered from the 2008 financial crisis. Unemployment has returned to the level considered to be full employment, and price inflation is close to—if still short of—the Fed’s 2 percent target, seeming to indicate that the economy is using all productive labor, capital, and resources, or “operating at potential”. But participation in the labor force has declined and labor productivity (output per worker) has stagnated. The result: Output (or GDP) remains 15 percent below the pre-2007 trend line, a gap that is getting wider, not narrower, over time.

There is no historical precedent for the GDP slowdown, nor was it predicted by pre-recession forecasts. In the 60 years since World War II, periods of above-average growth have followed periods of below-average growth, and vice versa. But this is not the story since the Great Recession. The apparent recovery—the closing of the gap between potential GDP and actual GDP—is due to downward revisions of the estimated potential output. These estimates have been steadily revised downward since 2007, as economic growth has continued to disappoint. And so while the proverbial GDP ball has gotten closer to its goal, that is because the goalposts have been moving backward, not because the ball has been moving forward.”  

Chuck Again…  This is a very good dissection of the things the Fed and other economists have been pointing out that is holding back the economy, and if you’re into this stuff, this is definitely worth the read… 

Currencies today 8/22/17… American Style: A$ .7915, kiwi .7292, C$ .7788, euro 1.1769, sterling 1.2842, Swiss $.9655, … European Style: rand 13.2208, krone 7.9066, SEK 8.1027, HUF 258.12, zloty 3.6388, koruna 22.1784, RUB 59, yen 109.24, sing 1.3622, HKD 7.8262, INR 64.10, China 6.6681, peso 17.67, BRL 3.1467, Dollar Index 93.41, Oil $47.52, 10yr 2.20%, Silver $16.94, Platinum $974.32, Palladium $933.72, and Gold… $1,290.70 

That’s it for today… yesterday’s bright blue sun filled skies have given way to dark angry rain clouds this morning. There’s lots of noise going on outside as I write.  Did I hear that the President is going to send more troops to Afghanistan? And Graham Nash’s song: Military Madness is playing as I wrote that!  Hey! I don’t make that stuff up folks! Like I said above, I’m a “tell it like it is” kind of guy!  And one of my fave songs, and what I think is Jefferson Starship’s best song: Miracles takes us to the finish line today… If only you believed in miracles baby, so would I…  I hope you have a Tom Terrific Tuesday, and remember to Be Good To Yourself!

Got Glasses?

Chuck Butler’s: A Pfennig For Your Thoughts 

August 21, 2017 

* It’s Solar Eclipse Day!

* Currencies stuck in the mud… 

* A ton of overseas data this week!

 

Good day… And a Marvelous Monday to you! Well, today’s the day… The day the Solar Eclipse will take place across the U.S. Here in my little river town, we are in what’s called the “the path of totality”, which means we’ll get a good look at it… That is, as long as we have protective glasses to wear. I was very upset to read last week that there were glasses being sold as “protective” but weren’t… If I were king, I would put that CEO in jail and throw away the key, just to show Corporate America that we aren’t going to stand for that kind of greed, any longer! 

The day will turn to night, and the temps will drop, it will be very eerie… If you’re wanting to witness it, I hope you’re in a place that will allow you to see it today.  OK… now onto other things… But this Solar Eclipse is a BIG DEAL today, so that’s why I’ve taken up so much time with it to start the week.  

  Friday was a typical Dog Days of Summer trading wise in the currencies, as there was just no movement, to speak of, and little conviction of traders to make a call.  The euro is trading in the same clothes it has been in for a few days now, and I’m sure they are beginning to get a little rank! Time to change clothes, if you ask me! But there’s just nothing out there to move the currencies one-way or another right now… We went through the gauntlet of U.S. Data prints last week, and nothing… And now the Jackson Hole boondoggle will attempt to rattle the cages of currency traders… 

The Jackson Hole boondoggle won’t get started until Thursday this week, and this COULD be an important boondoggle, as both Fed Chair, Janet Yellen will attend, along with European Central Bank (ECB) President, Mario Draghi…   Both of the Central Banks that these two attendees represent, are looking at the unwinding of their balance sheets in the coming months, and either of these two, or maybe both will lay out plans for doing so at this meeting.  

You know… while Quantitative Easing (QE) / bond buying to this degree, has been done for some time by the Japanese, no Central Bank has ever gone through the unwinding of balance sheet… Think about that for a minute, and then come back… Ok, now doesn’t that scare the bejeebers out of you? It does me!  So, other than the presentations of these two Central Bankers, the rest of boondoggle will take a back seat and a nice ride through the Wyoming countryside!  

We will see a ton of overseas data this week, that could at least budge the currencies from the muck they’ve been stuck in for the past week…  But most of it doesn’t get printed until Wednesday and Thursday, which will still be before the JH Boondoggle, but it will seem like an eternity in the currency markets…  But here’s a roll call of the data print this week in places other than the U.S.   

Aug. 23:  Japanese Aug. Prelim. PMI (manufacturing index)… Considering how strong the 2nd QTR GDP in Japan was, this should be an interesting print, to see if the momentum is continuing.    Also on 8/23, we’ll see the color of Norway’s Unemployment Rate, which is expected to remain unchanged…   And the Eurozone’s Flash PMI’s for the month… And finally on 8/23, S. Africa will print their latest CPI report…   

Aug 24: Norway will lead us off on Thursday morning with their 2nd QTR GDP print, which is expected to have grown 0.6%, VS 0.2% in the 1st QTR, and that could add some flavor to the krone on Thursday…  Sweden will join the economic data prints party on Thursday with their July Unemployment Report, which is expected to see a HUGE drop from 7.4% to 5.9%!  And that could add some spice to the krona…  And then we’ll see the color of the prelim. 2nd QTR GDP report from the United Kingdom (UK) and here they are expecting 2nd QTR GDP to print at 0.3%, and the annual rate to be 1.7%…   Not a very good annual rate for the U.K.

And  that’s it, which is enough as far as I’m concerned! Too much data makes for a very boring letter, Chuck! I know, I know, but I had to find something that could shake the currencies out of these Dog Days of Summer! 

Well, I guess my fears on Friday morning about Gold climbing to $1,300 were not misplaced, as the “boys in the band” made sure that the shiny metal did NOT close at $1,300… Instead it fell to $1,292, which is where it starts the day today, as the early morning trading in Gold has not moved the price very much. OK, I don’t recall if I told the DTL (Dow Theory Letters) readers this, or I told you… So, if it’s new to you, we know which one it is… But unwinding the balance sheets is like raising interest rates, so keep an eye on that… 

So, why on earth did you decide to say that in the middle of a discussion on the price of Gold, Chuck? Ahhh grasshopper, come, sit and you’ll hear why…  You see, I’m darn sure stuck on proving that Gold can thrive even with higher interest rates, and so if the unwinding of the balance sheet is like rate hikes, then we’ll have to see how Gold reacts… And I’m about as sure as this as I am that the Cardinals are NOT going to the playoffs this year, that Gold will perform just fine with higher rates! 

Oh, there will be knee-jerk reactions to higher rates, but in the long run, they won’t matter… So, hear me now, and listen to me later about this…

 Longtime Pfennig readers, JMR Doug, recently sent me the latest print of the Great Mogambo Guru, and after I read it, I said, “darn, he’s not lost a beat, he’s still as good as he ever was”…  Should you ever want to read his stuff, which I’ll warn you hits on the Fed quite hard, simply go to: www.mogamboguru.com  

The U.S. Data Cupboard is going to go on a mini-vacation this week with only some housing reports to print until Friday when two real pieces of economic data, Durable & Capital Good Orders will print…  Friday’s Data Cupboard saw the U. of Michigan Consumer Confidence Index soar to a 97 handle from a 94 handle… What are all these people so confident about? 

Before I head to the Big Finish today, I have to make an IMPORTANT ANNOUCEMENT…  From now on the Fridays after my infusions, there won’t be a Pfennig… I used to have a bullpen of writers to fill in for me on those days, as Frank Trotter coined it: Infusion Confusion… But now it’s just me at my writing desk in my basement, with my IPod playing music and my fat fingers flying across the keyboard!  So… we’ll begin this new set up this Friday…  I hope you understand.  

To recap…  Today’s the Solar Eclipse, do you have glasses? The currencies are stuck in the Dog Days of Summer, and my fears about what the “boys in the band” would do to the price of Gold that had climbed to $1,300 on Friday morning we’re bang on, as Gold saw a ton of selling on Friday… We’ll see a ton of economic data print from overseas this week, and maybe there’s something there to rattle the cages of the currency traders… And the Fed’s Jackson Hole, Wyoming boondoggle starts this week…  

For what it’s worth…  One would think that I would be loaded for bear with FWIW articles today, but that’s not the case, but I did find this that I found interesting, and it’s in the NY TImes to boot! I’m no fan of the NYT, but every once in a while they have something FWIW worth, and you can find this one here: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/08/07/opinion/leonhardt-income-inequality…

Or, here’s your snippet: “Many Americans can’t remember anything other than an economy with skyrocketing inequality, in which living standards for most Americans are stagnating and the rich are pulling away. It feels inevitable. But it’s not. A well-known team of inequality researchers … has been getting some attention recently for a chart it produced. It shows the change in income between 1980 and 2014 for every point on the distribution, and it neatly summarizes the recent soaring of inequality. The message is straightforward. Only a few decades ago, the middle class and the poor weren’t just receiving healthy raises. Their take-home pay was rising even more rapidly, in percentage terms, than the pay of the rich. The post-inflation, after-tax raises that were typical for the middle class during the pre-1980 period – about 2 percent a year – translate into rapid gains in living standards. At that rate, a household’s income almost doubles every 34 years. In recent decades, by contrast, only very affluent families … have received such large raises. Yes, the upper-middle class has done better than the middle class or the poor, but the huge gaps are between the super-rich and everyone else. The basic problem is that most families used to receive something approaching their fair share of economic growth, and they don’t anymore.” 

Chuck again… you should really hit the link above and see the graph/ chart they have on the site… OMG! no wonder the U.S. Economy can’t get off the canvas!  

Currencies today 8/21/17… American Style: A$ .7926, kiwi .7312, C$ .7760, euro 1.1749, sterling 1.2890, Swiss $ .9677, … European Style: rand 13.1557, krone 7.9062, SEK 8.0970, HUF 258.08, zloty 3.6376, koruna 22.1927, RUB 59.02, yen 109.13, sing 1.3624, HKD 7.8236, INR 64.07, China 6.6701, peso 17.69, BRL 3.1521, Dollar Index 93.49, Oil $48.63, 10-year 2.19%, Silver $16.99, Platinum $981.87, Palladium $933.40, and Gold… $1,292.30  

That’s it for today… Well, Jerry Lewis dies this weekend, as did Dick Gregory, a St. Louis native.. I know Jerry Lewis did stuff with Dean Martin early on, but all I can think about is his Muscular Dystrophy Telethons… He’ll be missed for sure…  Well, yesterday, was my darling daughter Dawn’s birthday! Happy Birthday scrawnie! I call her scrawnie, Dawnie, because she’s so tiny! 3 doctor visits, two scans and one infusion for me this week… Gee, I know how to have all the fun, eh? HA!  It was great seeing: Aaron, Mike, Christine, Jen, and Danielle on Friday afternoon, as they came to my little river town to see me! And then I participated in our Fantasy Football league draft… I don’t like me team already! UGH!   The Searchers take us to the finish line today with their song: Love Potion #9…   And with that I hope you have a Marvelous Monday and Solar Eclipse!  Be Good To Yourself!