The Economic Data calendar for the week of the 1st of August through the 5th of August is full of critical releases and events. Here is a snapshot of some of the headline numbers that we will be focused on.
Let’s cut to the chase. Today's Q2 US GDP report was a certified train wreck. Here's a closer look.
Takeaway: Clinton's Convention Contrast; Depending On Independents; Russian Roulette
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"If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader."
-John Quincy Adams
Hillary Clinton took center stage last night and made a case to her fellow Democrats and the country why they should coalesce around and support her this November. In a three-day build up to last night, speakers cast Clinton as experienced, stable and committed in stark contrast to Donald Trump - but all lot of this boils down to whether voters can connect to her on a personal level. Chelsea Clinton’s introduction provided the perfect touch portraying her mother as a role model and grandmother to all and amplifying her father’s message earlier in the week.
Clinton’s speech did what Donald Trump’s did not do – she addressed how she’ll provide strong and stable leadership and bring about economic change while at the same time conveying passion and dedication to the causes of millions of Americans. Clinton’s main objective was to neutralize her lingering negatives and appeal to Americans as an experienced hand and unifier by showcasing her career and persistent drive through decades of public service.
We see a requisite bump in the polls after a solid four days in Philly, but will she continue to excite her constituencies and sustain the momentum?
Uncommitted voters disenchanted with the two-party system continue to hold out on and with both conventions now complete, we wonder if either party has created enough enthusiasm for the ever-growing number of Independents to swing their way. Democrat-turned-Republican-turned-Independent Michael Bloomberg made the case against Trump for pro-business Independents who are wary of Clinton, but only time will tell if his endorsement is strong enough to shift voters her way.
Bernie Sanders’s supporters hold the golden ticket, but with the curtain now closed on the convention, it comes down to the strength and passion of the party’s message and grassroots efforts.
Trump rattled off some of the more myopic statements on Russia since former AK Governor Sarah Palin reminded us that Russia can be seen from her house...Criticism from all corners is building for his outrageous remarks encouraging Russia to continue their hacking efforts to find Clinton’s missing emails. Whether it was sarcasm or not, it crystallized where Trump’s head is. Rather than focusing on party themes and policy differences, like the ones he will see in debates, he sticks to the personal attacks that helped him thrive in the primaries.
We heard promises that the Republican convention would be a turning point for Trump, after which he would buckle down and get serious, but instead he continues to fall back on ridicule, innuendo and attention-getting headlines. While most of the country finally realizes that this is a change election - his rhetoric will only get him so far until he digs deeper on substance and focuses on solutions mattering most to the American people.
Takeaway: Its been a rocky few weeks for Japan as helicopter money speculation stoked volatility. Central planners can't arrest economic reality.
"There is considerable uncertainty over the outlook for prices," Kuroda told a press conference on Friday, following the Bank of Japan's July meeting. "In order to prevent these uncertainties from leading to a deterioration in confidence in households and businesses, we have decided to implement new measures."
The BOJ decided to double its annual purchases of ETFs to ¥6 trillion and will conduct an assessment of the effects of negative interest rates and its asset-buying program, which Reuters says suggests "that a major overhaul of its stimulus program may be forthcoming."
It's been a wild week leading up to the BOJ decision. "Helicopter money" speculation created a massive amount of volatility. Take a look at the last four days of trading in the USDJPY, with short-term intraday moves bouncing between -1.79% to +2.32%. Meanwhile, the peak-to-trough decline over the past four days is -3.55%:
In the past, BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda has thrown cold water on helicopter money speculation. Here are a collection of recent statements from Kuroda addressing helicopter money:
Mr. Kuroda: No.
WSJ: Why not?Mr. Kuroda: No, we have no intention to employ helicopter money, anything like that, because, as you know, in any—almost all developed countries, fiscal policy is formulated by the government and approved by the parliament. Fiscal policy is the responsibility of the government and the parliament and prerogative of the government and the parliament." 4/18/16 (Wall Street Journal)
You'll note that the Reuters headline above is exactly one week before the BOJ announced it would pursue negative interest rates. You may be wondering... Will Kuroda shock markets again?
However, the more relevant question investors should be asking themselves is: Will the BOJ's "major [policy] overhaul," helicopter money or not, ultimately matter?
Since announcing the BOJ's negative interest rate policy in January:
Clearly, markets continue to price in Japanese #GrowthSlowing regardless of what BOJ bureaucrats say. We continue to believe that central planners cannot rain money down from the heavens and expect their flagging economies to grow.
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