Silence Is Always Golden...
Daily Pfennig

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In This Issue..

* It's a Risk On day!                          
* Commodity Currencies have the "stuff"!                                
* Gold's one-day window slams shut!                                   
* RBA to not wait 2 months to hike rates!                                                                                          

And Now... Today's Pfennig!

Silence Is Golden...                                   

Good day... And a Wonderful Wednesday to you! We're stuck in the mud with the rain again, but according to the weather people it should end tomorrow... Geez Louise, I guess it could be snow, which would have crippled this city by now!

Well... The currencies gave back all that ground they gained the day before on Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, yesterday... But, have turned around this morning in the European session as Eurozone stocks are up, and whenever equities trade with some zip in their step, it has been good for the Big Dog, euro...

Someone asked me yesterday a question about the euro... He said, "Chuck, I know you like the euro, but couldn't the Aussie dollar be a better choice going forward?" And I answered like this... The euro is the offset currency to the dollar... But that doesn't mean it is the best performer when the dollar moves down. The Aussie dollar (A$) has outperformed the euro since 2002, and will probably continue outperform the euro... But so has the Norwegian krone, and the New Zealand dollar, and the South African rand, and the Canadian dollar... Hmmm... Does that list ring a bell?

Why, yes, Chuck, it does! For these are all "Commodity Currencies"... You've Gotta Love 'Em!

Countries that have "stuff" to sell to other countries, that either don't have the "stuff" or are too lazy to deal with it!

Hey! Did you see my bit on Bernanke that I wrote yesterday made the "5-Minute Forecast"? WOW! My friend Ian Mathias, does such a great job on the "5", and I get a HUGE kick out of him putting stuff I write in his great letter!  You should see the two of us standing side by side in Vancouver, where we meet up each year... The old kids song about fat and skinny went to bed, fat rolled over and skinny was dead... HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

OK... Chuck, quit the back slapping of yourself, and get back to the task at hand!

Yesterday, my fat fingers made an appearance in the Pfennig, as I mis-typed the price of Gold, in the currency round-up... I had just talked about how those people waiting for a pull-back of Gold's price, might still be waiting when the cows come home... And then I type the price of Gold $100 cheaper than it was selling for! What a fat fingered dolt! Oh well, not many people pointed it out to me, as always letting me know that "Chuck made a mistake"...

Speaking of Gold... Well, you had a 1-day window to buy it cheaper, for the overnight sessions has the shiny metal hitting on all 8, and soaring once again to $1,148!!!!! Don't you just hate those 1-day windows? I mean, you wanted to pull the trigger and buy, but thought, what if Gold drops more today, that would mean I could buy it cheaper tomorrow... Don't be fooled! It's like this folks... If you want to buy something, buy it! Trying to time a purchase will leave you sitting the sidelines with a baseball cap turned backward on your head and holding a clipboard!

I used to tell people that if you're standing at the bus stop waiting for the bust to take you downtown, and the bus pulls up, but it's an old bus, and the rumor is going around that a brand spankin' new bus is on the way, you decide to not get on the old bus, but wait for the new bus... Then the new bus arrives, and there's a rumor that an even newer, updated bus is on the way, and you decide to wait for that one... If you never get on the freakin' bus, you'll never get downtown!

OK... So... Remember when I questioned the current administration's claims that instead of "creating jobs" they were "saving jobs"? I pointed out that claiming that jobs were saved, would be difficult to prove... Well, guess what? Proving that the jobs saved don't exist, has been pretty easy... And the people claiming that the stimulus "saved jobs" have egg all over their collective faces...

Speaking of Jobs... One of my fave economists, Nouriel Roubini, had this to say about jobs...

"Think the worst is over? Wrong. Conditions in the U.S. labor markets are awful and worsening. While the official unemployment rate is already 10.2% and another 200,000 jobs were lost in October, when you include discouraged workers and partially employed workers the figure is a whopping 17.5%.

While losing 200,000 jobs per month is better than the 700,000 jobs lost in January, current job losses still average more than the per month rate of 150,000 during the last recession.

Also, remember: The last recession ended in November 2001, but job losses continued for more than a year and half until June of 2003; ditto for the 1990-91 recession.

So we can expect that job losses will continue until the end of 2010 at the earliest. In other words, if you are unemployed and looking for work and just waiting for the economy to turn the corner, you had better hunker down. All the economic numbers suggest this will take a while. The jobs just are not coming back."

Chuck again... And you think the recession / depression is going to end with the unemployment problem in this country? Not when the consumer is needed to generate nearly 70% of the GDP...

And all that tells me that the cartel / Fed (Fartel!) is going to believe that they need to keep rates near zero for some time to come...

So... It's Risk On today! It was Risk Off yesterday! Don't ask me why... Tell me why, you cry, and no wait! Don't go singing songs, Chuck! This is serious stuff!

Yesterday's data cupboard was a mixed bag of economic data for the U.S. PPI wasn't as strong as forecast, Industrial Production slowed in October, but Capacity Utilization bumped higher, and the TIC Flows for September were $40.7 Billion, which was more than the $34.2 Billion in August. The report showed that Japan, China and the U.K. all increased their holdings of Treasuries. September's TIC Flows were probably the best report of the day, and the best report that this series has printed in a long, long time... Does this mean that the all-clear horn is blaring, telling us not to worry any more about whether we finance our deficit or not? Well... It might be, but I'm not listening to it!

Well... The President ended his visit to China, with a call for a more flexible Chinese currency (renminbi)... And... The Chinese said... Nothing! They met the President's words with silence... I used to date a girl that would say to me when I wasn't talking... "Silence is Golden, Chuck" and I would say... "Then shut up and we'll make a million!" HA!

Now, while it would nice if the Chinese played ball with us... I understand their dilemma... The IMF still believes that China's currency is about 25-40% undervalued... China could not deal with a floating currency that went up 40% overnight!

Did you know that America's trade deficit with China widened to a 10-month high in September? Well... It did, thus raising concern that the combination of a recovering U.S. economy and a fixed renminbi exchange rate against the dollar will worsen global imbalances. But... As I've said at least 100 times before this... The Chinese will do what they believe is best for their country, and that's not floating the renminbi at this time, no matter who the U.S. sends to visit them to persuade them to do so!

Moving further south in the Pacific, we land in Australia... I thought about this next Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) quite a bit the past couple of days... And have come to the conclusion that the Dec 1st meeting of the RBA will net another 25 BPS rate hike... The reason I think this, is the fact that there will be no meeting in January, thus leaving a 2-month gap, which in these economic times could be devastating... So... Look for another rate hike in Australia on December 1st... Which would be their 3rd consecutive meeting rate hike, and could be the harbinger to parity for the A$... Could be... I didn't say it "would be"!

I know that yesterday morning, I talked about how the RBA meeting minutes had been perceived as "dovish", and that spooked the markets into thinking that the RBA would NOT hike rates in December... But upon further review, the meeting minutes were really pretty vague, and while they didn't sound outright hawkish, they also didn't sound "dovish" either... After reading the minutes, I got the feeling that overall, the minutes support the idea of "steady rate hikes"... I don't think the RBA will stop until they reach an internal rate of 4.25% early next year...

I was giving an interview last week with a writer from Business Week... And he asked me when this dollar weakness all started... I told him that, "Over the past nine years congress and two administrations have instituted fiscal policies that have undermined the value of the U.S. dollar, and the deficit spending has gone from $350 Billion Budget Deficits to $2 Trillion (annualized) Budget Deficits in a wink of an eye... So... The dollar made brief comebacks in 2005 and in the financial meltdown of August 2008 through Feb 2009, but other than that, the dollar continues to decline, and I just don't see anything on the horizon that will stop this decline."

Well... As I look across the desk, where the light only comes from the computer screens, yes, I like it dark here while I'm writing, it keeps me focused! HA! Any way, as I look across the desk at the currency screens, I notice that every currency that supposed to lighting up green (going up) is doing so, and every currency that supposed to be lighting up red (going down, but that's what you want in a European style currency) is doing so... We've got it all going on today... One of these days, we'll quit this stupid game of street hockey, you know, Risk On, Risk Off... Or the Mr. Myagi, with the wax on, wax off, bit! But until then we have to deal with this stupid game of street hockey, or karate training!

OK... To recap... The currencies have gained back the ground they lost in yesterday's Risk Off trading sessions. Gold is back to soaring after a 1-day stall... Data yesterday in the U.S. was a mixed bag. Chuck expects the RBA to hike rates in December, and China responds to the U.S. President's request to allow greater flexibility in the renminbi, with... Silence...

Currencies today 11/18/09: American Style: A$ .9325, kiwi .7490, C$ .9550, euro 1.4960, sterling 1.6810, Swiss .99, European Style: rand 7.4290, krone 5.58, SEK 6.8275, forint 177.50, zloty 2.7370, koruna 17.0130, RUB 28.67, yen 89.10, sing 1.3830, HKD 7.75, INR 46.22, China 6.8270, pesos 12.99, BRL 1.7080, dollar index 74.97, Oil $80.03, 10-year 3.34%, Silver $18.75, and Gold... $1,148.30

That's it for today... Chris will have the conn on the Pfennig tomorrow morning, as I report to the retina institute at the Center for Advanced Medicine. God willing, I'll be back on Friday morning! My younger sister, Terri, was just diagnosed with breast cancer. I'm waiting to hear what the game plan is for her... I picked up my son Alex's electric guitar last night, and played it a little... I've played acoustic guitars for so long, that his electric guitar felt very strange.. I played a song, and little Delaney Grace, who had sat still listening to me play, cheered, and then got up and left... Cracked me up! Every day it's something with her! Time to get this out the door, folks... I hope you have a Wonderful Wednesday!

Chuck Butler
EverBank World Markets

Posted 11-18-2009 2:17 PM by Chuck Butler
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