Treasuries Experience A Huge Drop.
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In This Issue.

* Dollar continues to drift downward.

* Gold crosses a key level on Friday.

* Pound sterling picks up the pace.

* Our New MarketSafe CD.

And, Now, Today's Pfennig For Your Thoughts!

Treasuries Experience A Huge Drop.

Good day. And a Marvelous Monday to you! OK. I'm back for good now! Well, at least until I go for an oil and lube job to MD Anderson next month! I arrived home very late Saturday night, and attempted to recharge yesterday, but when I got up this morning, I quickly realized I had failed miserably, as I'm dragging the line this morning, but not to fret, I'm here, and will give it the old college try!

So. The San Francisco Money Show was a dud. The smallest show I've seen, attendance and vendor participation-wise. And there were very few talks that weren't centered around "Tapering". I of course steered clear of any talk of Tapering, for I've said my piece already, and as usual, I didn't want to be "like everyone else"! I like to say, "let them taper"... and then suffer the consequences. But it's what's on the markets' minds, so we have to talk about it here. or do we? I say NOT! Let's go on to other stuff!

The dollar drifted lower last week, as Mike & Chris told you, and I find that to be quite interesting, for if everyone thinks the Fed is going to Taper, then why is the dollar drifting lower? Makes no sense to me, folks. So, it IS What It IS. The euro is trading well within the 1.33 handle, and the Aussie dollar (A$) is nearing 92-cents! One of the currencies that has been on Santa's naughty list for the past 5 years, the pound sterling, has been one of the best performing currencies in recent weeks. The economic data from the U.K. has surprised to the upside, but remember folks, the Bank of England (BOE) is still doing everything it can to stimulate the economy. I just don't see how those "measures" either by the BOE , The Fed , or the Bank of Japan (BOJ) are going to turn out good.

Gold & Silver & the other precious metals had a good week too! I read a story on the Bloomie this morning, that talked about how the physical demand in Gold could be the thing that pushes Gold back to $1,450 by year-end. WOW! That's a huge move by year-end, eh? So, let's not go counting our chickens before they are hatched here, this is just someone's opinion, but they did have some good facts on the physical demand that showed that consumer demand soared 71% in India in the second quarter, while in China it jumped 87% (per the World Gold Council)

I had quite a few conversations with clients last week about Gold's performance. And here's what I told them. "To me, it appears that the price manipulators have pushed all the Johnny-come-latelys out of Gold, which drove the price of Gold down to a level that that the price manipulators were able to cover some short positions. I think that the Price Manipulators are gone for now, and that could mean that Gold has seen its lows for now" And that appears to be the case given that Gold is trading at $1,375.00 this morning, a far cry from the $1,180 price it fell to on June 28th.

Speaking of Huge moves. How about the move in the 10-year Treasury? I still had some notes jotted down of the prices on my desk this morning from last Monday, and there before my eye was the 10-year yield as I reported it last Monday at 2.58%... This morning, one-week later, the 10-year's yield has risen to 2.87%, nearly 30 bps. Now, remember bond pricing works like this. As the yield rises the price of the bond goes down, and vice-versa. That move last week? It caused a 2.50 price drop per 1,000 bonds. Now, we all know that the Big Boys, own bonds by the millions. Uh-oh!

Ouch! That's going to leave a mark! But then what do you expect to happen to bonds when the markets believe that the Fed is going to stop buying them? Pink Floyd's great song, "money" is playing on the IPod this morning, and I always find the words to the song to be apropos for just about anything! I always like this verse. Money, so they say, is the root of all evil today, but, if you ask for a raise, it's no surprise, that they giving none away.

That pretty much tells it like it is in the world of wages, eh? I keep reading stuff about how wages haven't grown since the 70's. That's amazing to me. (notice how I segued right into the wages thing from bonds? Pretty suave, eh? HA!) Well, according to a report by George Mason University, "over the last six months, of the net jobs creation, 97% of that is part-time work" The guy at the University is Keith Hall, the former head of the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) . OK, no wonder wages aren't going anywhere! And. do you think that the Fed Heads notice a report like this? I certainly hope so!

While we're talking about data, I won't go into a 6 paragraph detail here on data, but I will tell you that last week's data wasn't very strong. Retail Sales missed their target to the downside, Business Inventories did too, along with Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization. Then sprinkle in a bad number for Housing Starts and you have a week that would tell me, if I were a Fed Head, that the economy is sputtering, and has been since March, when the data began to go bad. There's not much in the way of market moving economic data from the U.S. this week, although we do have the Fed's meeting minutes printing on Wednesday afternoon.

There was another bad Trade Balance report from Japan last night. Japan's July Trade Deficit printed worse than expected at JPY -1.02 Trillion. I talked about Japan a bit last week in San Francisco, in comparing Japan's debt problems to the U.S. and talking about how at one time the markets were OK with Japan's Gov't debt because of its strong Current Account Surplus, and the thought that Japan's debt could be self financed. But now the Current Account Surplus has gone away, as the Trade Balance slips to negative, and as the demographics for Japan worsen, it appears that the younger generation have no desire to "help out the government" And so, now Japan is left with their debt. and how the markets were OK with it, until. they weren't! I think that's how it will happen here in the U.S. too folks. because you can go back to around 2003 or 2004, which was the first time I said that we were "turning Japanese, yes, I really think so"

I gave the crowds the details of our new MarketSafe CD, that I teased you about last Monday. I have to say that most people, while liking the idea of the 100% principal protection, were somewhat leery of the 4 Emerging Markets Currencies we chose to put in the CD. But I would say that's that the best thing about a MarketSafe, you have 100% principal protection!

While I'm on the new MarketSafe CD, I will tell you that the Indian rupee hit a new all-time record low today, and the Mexican peso is back above 13. But, I look at these downward moves as a good thing for our MarketSafe CD, as it gives the holders a chance to start out with some very cheap levels.

Getting back to the rise in Treasuries for a moment. Remember a few weeks ago, I told you that in a recent meeting with our mortgage gurus, that they said that a 3% 10-year yield would mean a 5% mortgage rate. I don't think that will give the housing recovery any help, do you?

The Canadian dollar / loonie has been taken lower this past week, as the rest of the commodity currencies move higher. The loonie is getting tarred with the same brush as the U.S. dollar, which I don't see lasting too much longer, given the fundamental difference between the two countries. Canada will see the color of their latest Retail Sales this week, and I don't think we'll have a repeat from the stronger than expected 1.9% gain in May. So, don't look for that data to underpin the loonie this week.

So. we have minutes from central Bank meetings in the U.S. and Australia this week, and the only two Central Banks meeting this week are Turkey and Thailand. no changes are expected. From everything I read on Turkey, the expectations are for interest rate hikes to begin next month and be 125 to 175 BPS higher by year end. That should be good for the Turkish lira. (one of the currencies in our new MarketSafe CD)

In one of my workshops last week in S.F. I looked out on the crowd, and I use that word loosely, and noticed it was sparse, I mean, I used to talk and the rooms would be so full, that people would be sitting on the floor, and now the room was only ½ full. I said, "Well, I guess no one cares about the debt any longer". My fears that first the markets grew Comfortably Numb with the debt numbers, and now investors have to, are becoming reality. And that's sad folks, really sad, for it's out of sight, out of mind, and no one cares about the "inconvenient debt" it will rise up and slap us in the face one day. According to the famous author, James Rickards, that time is coming very soon!

For What It's Worth. I saw this on Yahoo Finance, as I was checking our stock performance. And it just ticks me off to no end. it's about how a Federal Judge thinks Big Ben Bernanke should answer questions on trial, and the Gov't is attempting to block that. "The government is trying to block questioning of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke in a lawsuit by the former head of American International Group Inc.

The Justice Department told a federal appeals court Friday that high-ranking officials should not have to testify except in extraordinary circumstances.

Former AIG CEO Hank Greenberg sued the government over the $182 billion bailout of the insurance giant that has since been repaid. Greenberg claims the bailout terms were too onerous and is seeking at least $25 billion.

It is rare for a Fed chairman to be questioned in a lawsuit, but U.S. Court of Federal Claims Judge Thomas Wheeler ruled that Bernanke has firsthand knowledge of the bailout and should undergo questioning. Justice wants the appeals court to order Wheeler to block the questioning."

Chuck again. Oh great, so, the Gov't doesn't want Big Ben to talk under oath about what went on with AIG. If the Gov't gets its way, then we've become a lawless society folks, it's that simple.

To recap. The dollar continued to drift downward all week, and into this week VS most currencies. The C$, rupee, real, A$ are all down VS the dollar. Gold traded past a key level of $1,350 last week, a far cry from the $1,180 level of 6/28. The FOMC meeting minutes are the key data this week in the U.S. And Chuck feels that investors don't care about the "inconvenient debt" any longer.

Currencies today 8/19/13. American Style: A$ .9150, kiwi .8115, C$ .9675, euro 1.3355, sterling 1.5655, Swiss $1.0805, . European Style: rand 10.1720, krone 5.9090, SEK 6.5255, forint 225.35, zloty 3.1840, koruna 19.3475, RUB 32.95, yen 98.95, sing 1.2755, HKD 7.7545, INR 63.12, China 6.1690, pesos 13.01, BRL 2.3915, Dollar Index 81.27, Oil $107.21, 10-year 2.87%, Silver $23.22, Platinum $1,515.32, Palladium $756.18, and Gold. $1,372.61

That's it for today. Well, that was quite the month. Vancouver, Florida and back to the west coast, San Francisco. I hear that the weather here in St. Louis have been fabulous! Cooler than normal for August. That's a good thing, I guess, but since I wasn't here. I'm sure things will get back to normal now that I'm back! We had a good crew in San Francisco, thanks to the good job done by Lauren Grady, Michelle Wilson and Chris! I thought of many things I wanted to talk about while I was gone, but don't remember any of them this morning! UGH! My beloved Cardinals are one game back of the Pirates, with about 40 games to go. And the excitement toward another football season for my Missouri Tigers is really building around our house. And with that I thank you for reading the Pfennig, and hope you have a Marvelous Monday!

Chuck Butler
EverBank World Markets

Posted 08-19-2013 11:39 AM by Chuck Butler
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