This note was originally published at 8am on December 14, 2010. INVESTOR and RISK MANAGER SUBSCRIBERS have access to the EARLY LOOK (published by 8am every trading day) and PORTFOLIO IDEAS in real-time.
“Pick a fight.”
-Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson
Seth Godin said “ignore this book at your own peril.” Tom Peters said “the clarity, even genius, of this book actually brought me to near tears on several occasions. Just bloody brilliant, that’s what.”
I gave this book to everyone on our team for a recent strategy session. It’s called “REWORK” and I think you can not only apply it to how you think about your company and portfolios, but how you think about your life. Learn, Unlearn, and Rework. It’s healthy.
Some people don’t like to fight. I do. Especially when I find someone on the other side of something that I am passionate about. If you’re going to pick a fight though, and take this from a 5 foot 9 inch hockey player, you better pick the ones you can win.
Conventional wisdom says don’t “fight the Fed.”
We live in unconventional times.
Not only do I think it’s a great time to pick a fight with the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, I think we can win.
“We” isn’t a group of passionate people in New Haven, Connecticut. “We” isn’t all of the Americans who are, pardon the pun, fed up with Big Government Intervention in our markets. “We” are the world’s risk managers.
The Chinese are fighting the Fed. So are the Australians, Brazilians, and Germans. So let’s line up what’s in our corner this morning and go through who and/or what can help us engage in Fed Fighting:
- Global Inflation
- Global Bond Yields
- The US Dollar
Let’s go in reverse order and start with the US Dollar first. Last week the US Dollar was up another +0.86% for the week. It closed higher for the 5th week out of the last 6 and +5.3% higher than its YTD low established on November the 4th (post QG2 and the midterm elections).
We’ve been long the US Dollar (UUP) since November the 4th in anticipation of both global inflation accelerating and globally interconnected risk compounding. We’ve also had a keen eye on the macro calendar catalyst pending in the new year of both Ron Paul being able to subpoena the Fed and Republicans having a mandate for American Austerity measures.
Global bond yields are chasing higher and breaking out on both our TRADE and TREND durations. Despite US Treasury yields selling off in the last 24 hours ahead of The Ber-nank’s FOMC decision today, they remain in a very bullish pattern – and, as a result, the entire bond market is in a very bearish immediate-term position.
The TRADE and TREND lines for 2s, 10s, and 30s across the US Treasury Yields curve are as follows:
- 2-year yields have TRADE and TREND lines of support of 0.49% and 0.46%, respectively.
- 10-year yields have TRADE and TREND lines of support of 2.87% and 2.68%, respectively.
- 30-year yields have TRADE and TREND lines of support of 4.26% and 3.94%, respectively.
All of these moves in US yields are being perpetuated by:
A) Asian yields rising on government interest rate hikes, and
B) European yields rising on both inflation and sovereign debt risk.
This morning’s Spanish 12-month bond auction yielded 3.44% versus 2.36% in the prior auction and inflation in the UK remained above the Bank of England’s token target, pushing to +3.3% in November versus +3.2% in October.
Global inflation has been driving bonds lower for the last 6 weeks. No matter what Ben Bernanke says about inflation in his statement today, the market is already running way ahead of him on this. Remember, markets don’t lie; politicians do.
Sure, you can make a case that in the face of tax cut extensions US growth expectations are rising as well. But don’t mistake short-term levered-growth (cutting taxes and ramping the deficit/GDP ratio) for sustainable organic GDP growth.
Whether it’s the price of the CRB Commodities Index (up +20.5% since the day in August that The Ber-nank decided to inflate), or the price of copper hitting an all-time-high of $4.22/lb this morning (+31% since August), I don’t think I’m alone in picking a fight with the Fed on this fine December day of 2010.
Global markets have my back. If you are politicking to debauch the dollar again today Mr. Bernanke, keep your head up.
My immediate term TRADE support and resistance lines for the SP500 are now 1226 and 1246, respectively. We remain short both the SP500 (SPY) and the short end of the US Treasury markets (SHY) in the Hedgeye Portfolio.
Best of luck out there today,
Keith R. McCullough
Chief Executive Officer