Wednesday, July 04, 2007

USD Painting Itself Into a Corner

The dollar is finding itself in a 'falling wedge' pattern. This is normally a bullish configuration, meaning it indicates that the dollar will likely break out to the upside. If it was a stock it might be a buy. Yet it can also break downwards. Read any article about the dollar, the fundamentals look horrendous. Like this one: Global Exodus From The US Dollar In Motion.
Since the Bernanke Fed discontinued the decades-old reporting of the broad M3 money supply in March of 2006, the growth rate of M3 has accelerated from an 8% rate to a sizzling 13.7% clip, its fastest in more than three decades. The Bernanke Fed is preventing borrowing rates from rising at a time of explosive loan demand for US corporate mergers and takeovers, by rapidly increasing the US money supply.

Just why should we care so much about the dollar? Because it is holding the world's economy together, and by the thinnest of threads at this point. Here is a piece in the British Telegraph: Credit Crunch Will 'Shred Investment Portfolios To Ribbons'
Markets have been wobbly since the surge in yields on 10-year US Treasuries, the world's benchmark price of money. Yields have jumped 55 basis points since early May on inflation scares, the steepest rise since 1994. It infects everything; hence that ugly "double top" on Wall Street and Morgan Stanley's "triple sell signal" on equities.

Wobbles are turning to fear. Just $3bn of the $20bn junk bonds planned for issue last week were actually sold. Lenders are refusing "covenant-lite" deals for leveraged buy-outs, especially those with "toggles" that allow debtors to pay bills with fresh bonds. Carlyle, Arcelor, MISC, and US Food Services are all shelving plans to raise money. This is how a credit crunch starts.

"This is the big one: all investment portfolios will be shredded to ribbons," said Albert Edwards, from Dresdner Kleinwort.

The BIS had warned days earlier that markets were febrile: "more risk-taking, more leverage, more funding, higher prices, more collateral, and in turn, more risk-taking. The danger with such endogenous market processes is that they can, indeed must, eventually go into reverse if the fundamentals have been over-priced. Such cycles have been seen many times in the past," it said.

The last few months look like the final blow-off peak of an enormous credit balloon. Global M&A deals reached $2,278bn in the first half, up 50pc on a year. Corporate debt jumped $1,450bn, up 32pc. Private equity buy-outs reached $568.7bn, up 23pc. Collateralised debt obligations (CDOs) rose $251bn in the first quarter, double last year's record rate.

1 comment:

Peterbart said...

I am hardly a sophisticate when it comes to the technical analysis of the USD, but it certainly seems as if the greenback has been ripe for a comeuppance for sometime now.

Stepping back from the technical analysis, we folks who live just north of the US border just have to look at how the Canadian dollar is doing to understand what is going on: In January 2003 it was worth US 65 cents. The loonie is worth 95 cents today.