Central Banks Diversify Out Of The Dollar!
Daily Pfennig

Blog Subscription Form

  • Email Notifications


.........But First, A Word From Our Sponsor..........
Countries poised to benefit from rising commodity prices: combined into one CD

That's the Global Power Shift Index CD from EverBank®. In one CD, get the currencies of 4 countries rich in natural resources-and whose economies may benefit from rising commodity prices. The CD equally combines the following currencies:

*Australian dollar
*Brazilian real
*Norwegian krone
*Canadian dollar

CD features: 3 and 6 month terms, no monthly account fees and $20K minimum to open. Apply or learn more at http://www.everbank.com/001CurrencyCDIndexGlobalPowerShift.aspx?referid=11808

EverBank is an Equal Housing Lender and member FDIC.

In This Issue..

* Currencies rally VS the dollar...                    
* Reasons why the U.S. wants a cheaper dollar...                      
* Interest rate differentials...                                    
* Trade Deficit narrows...                                                                                  

And Now... Today's Pfennig!

Central Banks Diversify Out Of The Dollar!                              

Good day... And a Marvelous Monday to you! An absolutely awful weekend for our professional sports teams, as the Cardinals, Blues, and Rams all lost! The Cardinals were swept out of the playoffs! UGH! Talk about a downer for yours truly... I sat there, at the game, with my little buddy, and beautiful bride, and saw the writing on the wall early in the game... No life from those redbirds... And so, another baseball season comes to an end here in St. Louis...

Friday morning, after drying out from Thursday nights drenching, no wait, super soaking at Faurot Field in Columbia, I sat down to breakfast, and read the Pfennig... I noticed that Chris was on a roll about Geithner... I thought that it was a good finish to the things I said about him the previous day! Chris will have the conn on the Pfennig Tuesday through Friday this week...

OK... 3rd paragraph in before I get to the currencies, but Hey! Good things come to those who wait! HA! Well... The non-dollar currencies are back on the rally tracks VS the dollar this morning, after giving back some ground on Friday. The story that I brought to you on Thursday morning, about Central Banks diversifying, is really going around the block this morning... In case you forgot, the gist of the story was that Central Banks added to their currency reserves in the last quarter, and that they had put 63% of that new cash into euros and yen... For those of you keeping score at home, that's more than $80 Billion in one quarter!

No wonder, the euro and yen were taking liberties with the dollar in April, May and June... Of course, these two have continued taking liberties with the dollar in July, August and September, but we won't get the Currency Reserves data for another 3 months! But we all know what happened, and what has happened since March 1st of this year... Round and round we go, where we stop nobody knows!

Well... That is short-term wise, which over the years short term prognostications for currencies have proven to be very difficult to get right... Long term? Well, currencies for the most part make long sweeping moves, not one-way streets mind you, but long sweeping moves... And this long sweeping move by the dollar downward, is being aided by the U.S. Gov't! That's right, the U.S. Gov't, has shown a willingness to allow the dollar to weaken... Oh, yes, they carry on about a "strong dollar policy" and all that, but they don't back it up one iota... And, when we get down and dirty regarding U.S. dollar policy, it is my opinion, that the Gov't sees no way out... That they only chance they have to pay back debts, is with a cheaper dollar... That's it in a nutshell... The Gov't wants, and needs a cheaper dollar...

However, they don't want it overnight! They don't need it overnight! The debts aren't due right now... So, that's why you see them spit out stupid statements about a strong dollar policy, they all know that that's not what they really want, but they can't be seen as no willing to defend the dollar...

OK... I've given you Chuck speak... This is what I tell audiences all over North America that care to listen to me... It's all there in front of you... The deficit spending, the quantitative easing, the bailouts, the stimulus, the zero rate interest policy, the corporate scandals that go unchecked leaving foreign investors weary about their investments... And on and on and on... And then there's this little ditty, that should give you all the information you need to make the decision to diversify a portion of your investment portfolio out of the dollar... THE U.S. WANTS CHINA TO ALLOW THEIR CURRENCY TO GAIN VS THE DOLLAR!

When lawmakers, Central Bankers, U.S. Treasury Secretaries all go the China year after year, and beg, and plead, and whine, to the Chinese authorities that the renminbi needs to get stronger VS the dollar, what's a currency investors supposed to think? That's right, that the U.S. wants a weaker dollar, period.

Oh! And one more thing that's really scaring the bejeebers out of foreign investors including Central Banks, is the fact that the U.S. has this enormous national debt, and doesn't seem to care... U.S. lawmakers are oblivious to the deficit... In fact, they continue to look for new ways to deficit spend! UGH! This stuff just gets me going folks... If you could be here to see me pounding on the keys, shaking my head, and yelling at the wall, you might think I had gone crazy... Well, not as crazy as spending another, whatever, when we don't have it!

Last week, we had the former Fed Chairman, and the man I believe is at the roots of this whole financial mess we're in, Big Al Greenspan, talking about the economy, and the growth prospects, and what have you... I have no idea why anyone would listen to this guy... If you read Bill Fleckenstein's book on the Fed (Ignorance at the Federal Reserve... Greenspan's Bubbles) you'll have a Big Al's track record of wrong decisions, that go back to his days before becoming a Fed Head... Well... Ty sent me a note from James Kunstler's newsletter, where he jumped all over the Greenspan comments last week... This is a snippet of what James Kunstler had to say...

"Greenspan's greatest success may be to drive economics into such disrepute that it will be cut loose from the universities and only be taught by mail order or internet subscription from the same outfits that offer PhD's in astrology."

Now that's funny!

Alright then... Let's take a look around the horn, and see what's moving this morning... As I told you, the non-dollar currencies were back on the rally tracks VS the dollar this morning, and so, the Big Dog, euro, is moving higher, along with the Aussie dollar, Canadian dollar / loonie, and Norwegian krone...

Let's take the euro... Last week, The European Central Bank (ECB) met, and left rates unchanged, as suspected they would, and the risks were with ECB President, Trichet, after the meeting... When asked about the euro's strength, he simply repeated his statement from the previous meeting... Something about, the need for U.S. dollar strength... But nothing new, here folks, nothing to see, move along... I think his non-new statement was a indication that he's not willing to fight for dollar strength any more than he has, if the U.S. is not going to step in and join the fight! Memo to Trichet... You had better figure out who's going to be in that foxhole with you before you jump in! Bernanke? Geithner? YIKES!

The Aussie dollar (A$) continues to push the envelope of strength that a currency can gain by raising interest rates 25 BPS! I knew in my heart of hearts that a rate hike would underpin the A$, but didn't think it would be as beneficial as it has been... But then, maybe the thought that I shared with you last week, is gaining some credence... That thought? OH! I guess it would help if I reminded you what it was, eh? The thought, was that with the latest employment report showing such strength, that the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) would be back in November for another rate hike of 25 BPS!

The interest rate differentials just keep widening to the dollar, folks... And while, as I always say, interest rate differentials are the "end all" of currency valuation, it does go a long way toward attracting investment, and attracting investment goes a long way toward currency valuation! You know, the hip bone is connected to the leg bone, the leg bone is connected to the knee bone, etc., etc...

And while Canada certainly doesn't have a rate differential to the dollar, it does have the commodities, that are associated with energy... Oil, natural gas, and coal... If the prices of those commodities begin to rise it won't be long before we see the Bank of Canada (BOC) hike rates, whether the economy is ready for the rate hikes or not! And that thought has lit a fire under the loonie recently...

And finally, the Norwegian krone... Norway's Central Bank, The Norges Bank, resisted cutting rates to the bone, and while they never did get as low as the U.S. and Canada, they did get pretty low... But, remain higher than those in the U.S. and as I've said over and over again in the past couple of months, the Norges Bank will raise rates in 2009, so... That means the rate differential will widen.. And again, being forward looking, the currency markets' participants have taken the krone higher VS the dollar.

On the data front... Friday, the Trade Deficit narrowed for the first time in a couple of months... The thought is that the cheaper dollar during August, was the main reason for exports outpacing imports... While, a cheaper dollar won't cure the Trade Deficit completely, it certainly can put a major dent into it... So, here's another reason the U.S. Gov't would love to see a weaker dollar! Talk about "killing the golden goose"! If the U.S. Gov't were to talk up the dollar, it could very well, kill that golden exports goose!

We're still waiting for the Budget Statement to print folks... I'm always of the thought that the longer you have to wait for a piece of data to print, the more it's getting cooked, massaged, "adjusted"...

Wednesday this week, we'll see Retail Sales for September... The Butler Household Index (BHI) tells me that Retail Sales will be OK... Not negative, but OK... Not strong, but OK... Shoot Rudy, I even spent some money in September! But, my buying is small potatoes in the BHI!

Chris will bring you the results of the Retail Sales data along with the other data due this week...

So, to recap... The currencies are stronger this morning, with the euro leading the charge VS the dollar. The Central Banks diversification story that I told you about last Thursday, is really getting around the block, and causing dollar weakness. We went over the reasons for this diversification, and the willingness of the U.S. to just ignore their deficit, and spend more! Aussie, Norway, Canada's respective currencies join the euro  with gains of their own VS the dollar... And... How the U.S. doesn't want to kill the golden goose... You'll have to read the entire report to get the details!

Currencies today 10/12/09: .9060, kiwi .7345, C$ .9680, euro 1.4760, sterling 1.58, Swiss .9725, rand 7.4150, krone 5.6390, SEK 6.96, forint 182.50, zloty 2.88, koruna 17.49, RUB 29.52, yen 90.10, sing 1.3970, HKD 7.75, INR 46.48, China 6.8228, pesos 13.21, BRL 1.74, dollar index 76.22, Oil $72.97, 10-year 3.38%, Silver $17.89, and Gold... $1,053.92

That's it for today... Happy Columbus Day! Did you know that bricks and mortar Banks are closed today, along with Federal offices, including the Post Office? Then why am I here? Oh! That's right, we're an internet/ direct bank! It will be a short day for us though, as we'll get everyone out of here early afternoon, hopefully. I'm headed to corporate meetings this week... I'm like the bull in the China Shop when it comes to being "corporate"! It rained so much here last week... The rivers and creeks were all over their banks... But the weekend was beautiful fall weather, ruined just a wee bit by the play of our teams! But, I won't go into that any more! It rained so much that my little buddy, Alex's, football game was postponed, now this weekend he has a game on Saturday and Sunday! OK... Onto my "other job"... HA! I hope your Columbus Day Monday is Marvelous!

Chuck Butler
EverBank World Markets

Posted 10-12-2009 9:42 AM by Chuck Butler