Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. Gold vs Cash in a Financial Crisis - Richard_Mills
2.Current Stock Market Rally Similarities To 1999 - Chris_Vermeulen
3.America See You On The Dark Side Of The Moon - Part2 - James_Quinn
4.Stock Market Trend Forecast Outlook for 2020 - Nadeem_Walayat
5.Who Said Stock Market Traders and Investor are Emotional Right Now? - Chris_Vermeulen
6.Gold Upswing and Lessons from Gold Tops - P_Radomski_CFA
7.Economic Tribulation is Coming, and Here is Why - Michael_Pento
8.What to Expect in Our Next Recession/Depression? - Raymond_Matison
9.The Fed Celebrates While Americans Drown in Financial Despair - John_Mauldin
10.Hi-yo Silver Away! - Richard_Mills
Last 7 days
Is Crude Oil Firmly on the Upswing Now? - 20th Feb 20
What Can Stop the Stocks Bull – Or At Least, Make It Pause? - 20th Feb 20
Trump and Economic News That Drive Gold, Not Just Coronavirus - 20th Feb 20
Coronavirus COVID19 UK Infection Prevention, Boosting Immune Systems, Birmingham, Sheffield - 20th Feb 20
Silver’s Valuable Insights Into the Upcoming PMs Rally - 20th Feb 20
Coronavirus Coming Storm Act Now to Protect Yourselves and Family to Survive COVID-19 Pandemic - 19th Feb 20
Future Silver Prices Will Shock People, and They’ll Kick Themselves for Not Buying Under $20… - 19th Feb 20
What Alexis Kennedy Learned from Launching Cultist Simulator - 19th Feb 20
Stock Market Potential Short-term top - 18th Feb 20
Coronavirus Fourth Turning - No One Gets Out Of Here Alive! - 18th Feb 20
The Stocks Hit Worst From the Coronavirus - 18th Feb 20
Tips on Pest Control: How to Prevent Pests and Rodents - 18th Feb 20
Buying a Custom Built Gaming PC From Overclockers.co.uk - 1. Delivery and Unboxing - 17th Feb 20
BAIDU (BIDU) Illustrates Why You Should NOT Invest in Chinese Stocks - 17th Feb 20
Financial Markets News Report: February 17, 2020 - February 21, 2020 - 17th Feb 20
NVIDIA (NVDA) GPU King For AI Mega-trend Tech Stocks Investing 2020 - 17th Feb 20
Stock Market Bubble - No One Gets Out Of Here Alive! - 17th Feb 20
British Pound GBP Trend Forecast 2020 - 16th Feb 20
SAMSUNG AI Mega-trend Tech Stocks Investing 2020 - 16th Feb 20
Ignore the Polls, the Markets Have Already Told You Who Wins in 2020 - 16th Feb 20
UK Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic WARNING! Sheffield, Manchester, Birmingham Outbreaks Probable - 16th Feb 20
iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF IBB AI Mega-trend Tech Stocks Investing 2020 - 15th Feb 20
Gold Stocks Still Stalled - 15th Feb 20
Is The Technology Stocks Sector Setting Up For A Crash? - 15th Feb 20
UK Calm Before Corona Virus Storm - Infections Forecast into End March 2020 - 15th Feb 20
The Growing Weaponization of Space - 14th Feb 20
Will the 2020s Be Good or Bad for the Gold Market? - 14th Feb 20
Predictive Modeling Suggests Gold Price Will Break Above $1650 Within 15~30 Days - 14th Feb 20
UK Coronavirus COVID-19 Infections and Deaths Trend Forecast 2020 - 14th Feb 20
Coronavirus, Powell and Gold - 14th Feb 20
How the Corona Virus is Affecting Global Stock Markets - 14th Feb 20
British Pound GBP Trend and Elliott Wave Analysis - 13th Feb 20
Owning and Driving a Land Rover Discovery Sport in 2020 - 2 YEAR Review - 13th Feb 20
Shipping Rates Plunge, Commodities and Stocks May Follow - 13th Feb 20
Powell says Fed will aggressively use QE to fight next recession - 13th Feb 20
PALLADIUM - THIS Is What a Run on the Bank for Precious Metals Looks Like… - 13th Feb 20
Bitcoin: "Is it too late to get in?" Get Answers Now - 13th Feb 20
China Coronavirus Infections Soar by 1/3rd to 60,000, Deaths Jump to 1,367 - 13th Feb 20
Crude Oil Price Action – Like a Coiled Spring Already? - 13th Feb 20
China Under Reporting Coronavirus COVID-19 Infections, Africa and South America Hidden Outbreaks - 12th Feb 20
Will USD X Decline About to Trigger Precious Metals Rally - 12th Feb 20
Copper Market is a Coiled Spring - 12th Feb 20
Dow Theory Stock Market Warning from the Utilities Index - 12th Feb 20
How to Get Virgin Media Engineers to FIX Hub 3.0 Problems and NOT BS Customers - 12th Feb 20
China Under Reporting Coronavirus COVID-19 Infections by 66% Due to Capacity Constraints - 12th Feb 20
Is Coronavirus the Black Swan That Takes Gold To-Da-Moon? - 12th Feb 20
Stock Market 2020 – A Close Look At What To Expect - 12th Feb 20
IBM AI Mega-trend Tech Stocks Investing 2020 - 11th Feb 20
The US Dollar’s Subtle Message for Gold - 11th Feb 20
What All To Do Before Opening A Bank Account For Your Business - 11th Feb 20
How and When to Enter Day Trades & Swing Trade For Maximum Gains - 11th Feb 20
The Great Stock Market Dichotomy - 11th Feb 20
Stock Market Sector Rotation Should Peak Within 60+ Days – Part II - 11th Feb 20
CoronaVirus Pandemic Stocks Bear Market Risk 2020? - Video - 11th Feb 20

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Nadeem Walayat Financial Markets Analysiis and Trend Forecasts

Why the World Needs the US Economy to Struggle in 2015

Economics / US Economy Jan 05, 2015 - 12:52 PM GMT

By: John_Mauldin

Economics

The headlines this morning talk about the US dollar hitting an 11-year high. I have been saying for years that the dollar is going to go higher than anyone can imagine. This trade is just in the early innings. And the repercussions will be dramatic, not only for emerging markets that have financed projects in dollars, but also for commodities and energy, gold, and a variety of other investments. The world is at the doorstep of a new era of volatility and currency wars.


In this week’s letter, my associate Worth Wray explores what a rising dollar means for emerging markets and what central banks are likely to do in response. Can they smooth the ride, or will it be the world’s scariest roller coaster? This letter will print long because of the number of fabulous charts Worth provides. I might make a brief comment or two at the end. Here’s Worth.

On the Verge of a Disaster… or a Miracle

By Worth Wray

Twenty years after the first divergence-induced currency crisis of the 1990s, commodity prices are tumbling, the US dollar is rallying, and externally fragile emerging markets are reliving the horrors of their not-so-distant past. Except, this time, major economies like the United States, the United Kingdom, the Eurozone, Japan, and the People’s Republic of China may not be able to side-step the ensuing contagion.

With 2014 now behind us, I want to focus this week's letter on what may prove to be the most important global macro pressure points in the coming year(s):

  • The growing divergence among the world’s most important central banks
  • The ongoing collapse in oil and other commodity prices as a function of excess supply and/or weakening global demand
  • The rise of the US dollar, driven by divergence and risk aversion… and the squeeze it’s putting on the multi-trillion-dollar carry trade into emerging markets
  • The vicious slide in emerging-market currencies
  • The rising risk of 1990s-style contagion and financial shocks
  • And what, if anything, can avert the next global financial crisis

But first, let me tell you a story.

As some of you already know, I was born and raised in Baton Rouge, Louisiana – an old Southern city built on a bluff above the Mississippi River. It’s about an hour northwest of New Orleans – you can see it circled on the map below.

Given its inland position, Baton Rouge is fairly insulated from the fiercest impact of coastal storms; but hurricane season still tends to be the most stressful time of year. Our oak-covered neighborhoods and low-lying swamplands are vulnerable to the high winds and flood rains that can accompany a direct hit – not to mention the violent tornadoes that occasionally occur in the unpredictable northeastern quadrant of the tropical cyclone zone.

These storms don’t hit us often, but locals recall a handful of hurricanes that dealt heavy blows to the area over the years. And it goes without saying that the damage from any storm gets dramatically worse the closer you get to the Gulf of Mexico. Entire towns along the Gulf Coast have been swallowed up and swept away over the years by catastrophic storms like Camille (1969), Andrew (1994), and more recently Katrina (2005).

Twelve years ago, my father and I found ourselves in the path of such a storm.

According to the National Hurricane Center, Hurricane Lili was “supposed” to make landfall as a relatively weak storm. Just another named hurricane for the record books that would soon fade from our collective memory… or so we thought.

At 10:00 PM on Tuesday, October 1, 2002, Lili was a Category 2 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 105 mph. Routine hurricane season stuff.

I went to sleep that night expecting a little rain and few uneventful days home from school; but when I woke up on Wednesday, October 2, I was shocked to see Lili develop an incredibly well-articulated eye wall and grow more powerful by the hour – from 110 mph at 7:00 AM that morning to 135 mph at 1:00 PM and finally to 145 mph at 10 PM that night.

I remember the nervous look on my dad’s face that night as the two of us boarded up our doors and windows. A little earlier that evening, one of his local government contacts shared that, behind closed doors, state and local officials were expecting “mass casualties” from Morgan City (on the coast) to Baton Rouge… but it was already too late to order an evacuation so far inland. Given the mild forecasts, few were prepared for a major hurricane; and at that point in the day, making a public announcement would do little more than spark a panic. The best we could do was hunker down and pray.

This was the last advisory I saw before my head hit the pillow that night: Lili had strengthened to a strong Category 4 hurricane with maximum sustained winds around 145 mph, reported gusts above 210 mph, and the very real possibility of making landfall as a merciless Category 5. If you look at the Saffir Simpson hurricane scale, there’s a reason the first word you see next to Category 4 and 5 storms is catastrophic. These storms are real killers.

Expecting to wake up early the next morning to sounds of thunder, pounding rain, and the eerie whistle of gale-force winds – or worse, I went to sleep Wednesday night with this image swirling through my mind:

But when I woke, I was shocked once more to learn that Lili – for reasons no one had anticipated – had all but died in the night and made landfall that morning as a small Category 1 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of only 90 miles per hour. In less than twelve hours, it had sharply decelerated from what could easily have been one of the most catastrophic storms on record to an inconvenience for most inland communities. Sure, it inflicted some damage along the coast – tearing up marshlands, knocking down power lines, blowing over trees, and flooding homes – but a Category 4 or 5 storm would have swallowed those areas whole.

As far as I know, there was no precedent in the Gulf of Mexico – or anywhere in the world – for Lili’s sudden death. It baffled even the most experienced meteorologists and left us all scratching our heads. Some people talked of miracles; others insisted there had to be a logical explanation. I imagine there’s some truth to both ideas.

While the press coverage surrounding Lili’s remarkable weakening has largely faded into obscurity, I was able to find one surviving article from USA Today that captures the confusion in the storm’s aftermath: “Scientists Don’t Know Yet Why Lili Suddenly Collapsed.”

Hurricane Lili showed forecasters there is still a lot they don't know about hurricane intensity. Lili weakened in the hours before landfall Thursday as rapidly as it had strengthened into a ferocious storm the day before. Forecasters with the National Hurricane Center in Miami had hinted as early as Monday that Lili could rev up into a dangerous hurricane over the extraordinarily warm Gulf of Mexico, though they were surprised to see it grow so strong so quickly. But Lili's quick demise … had them admitting they didn't know what had happened…. National Hurricane Center Director Max Mayfield agrees. At a loss to explain Lili's fluctuations, he says, “A lot of Ph.D.s will be written about this.”

We still don’t have a definitive answer, but three theories emerged in the immediate aftermath:

1) Dry air was pulled into the storm and ate away at its moisture-sucking core;

2) Winds aloft increased across the storm, creating wind shear and tipping the delicate balance that keeps intense storms going;

3) Water cooler than the 80° necessary to sustain a hurricane sapped Lili's strength when it moved over the same part of the north-central Gulf of Mexico that had been churned up by a smaller hurricane, Isadore, a week earlier.

Regardless of why it happened, I learned something that day that will stay with me for the rest of my life: Even when a disastrous course of events is set in motion, disaster does not always strike. Surprises happen. Even miracles. Forecasts are often wrong – but it always pays to prepare.

Let me explain…

Boom & Gloom

Just before Halloween, I wrote a letter (“A Scary Story for Emerging Markets”) explaining that the widening gap in economic activity among the United States, Japan, and the Eurozone was starting to demand a dangerous divergence in monetary policy.

Within a matter of days, the FOMC announced the end of its QE3 program... and then the Bank of Japan shocked the world, announcing a massive expansion in its own asset purchases timed to coincide with the government pension fund’s announcement that it was getting out of JGBs and into global equities.

Just as I had feared, the US dollar and Japanese yen were breaking out in opposite directions on real policy action, as Mario Draghi meanwhile continued to talk the euro down with the threat of future action. This may seem like a trivial shift in global FX markets, but it may have been the most important development we have seen since the global crisis peaked in 2008.

Since then, global economics has been a story of boom, gloom, and doom, as Marc Faber likes to say. We’re seeing a boom in US economic activity (or as much of a boom as you can expect with a massive debt overhang); a gloomy slowdown and slide toward deflation across Europe and China, along with the still-likely failure of Abenomics in Japan and renewed signs of FX contagion in emerging markets; and doom in commodities markets, particularly oil.

I’ve shared this next chart before, but it’s worth an update. Those of us who watch the US dollar were not surprised by the collapse in oil prices, because the dollar’s surge was already telling us something about global demand.

What did surprise a lot of economists (myself included) was the breakdown within OPEC, particularly Saudi Arabia’s willingness to accept whatever price the market offered in order to protect its market share. Conspiracy theories aside as to whether OPEC’s move constitutes an anti-American trade war against US shale producers or a pro-American squeeze on Russia, Iran, and Venezuela, it’s already putting a serious squeeze on Texas oil men, Russian “oiligarchs,” and oil-exporting emerging markets.

We’ll revisit the oil shock in a bit, but for now let’s get back to the US dollar

To continue reading this article from Thoughts from the Frontline – a free weekly publication by John Mauldin, renowned financial expert, best-selling author, and Chairman of Mauldin Economics – please click here.

Important Disclosures

The article Thoughts from the Frontline: Why the World Needs the US Economy to Struggle was originally published at mauldineconomics.com.
John Mauldin Archive

© 2005-2019 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

6 Critical Money Making Rules