Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Thanks for Noticing

Today's No Shit, Sherlock Award goes to the Financial Times for noting that the "green shoots" recovery ain't all its cracked up to be. Did somebody go outside and talk to someone in a pub?

To be fair, what they're noticing is that other people are noticing the recovery isn't really happening. Arbitrage strategies are shifting, and meanwhile nobody's doing much of anything for the economy where the rest of us live and work - except cut stuff insanely. Yes, Steroid Boy, I'm talking about you.

The people who really Hate America are currency traders, who take every possible opportunity to sell the dollar. I have an archive of 350 Bloomberg currency reports, and someday I will count all the reasons traders have to sell the dollar. Today it's "speculation the Federal Reserve will temper expectations for an interest-rate increase this year in an attempt to lower borrowing costs" - dollar goes down against the euro about 3%. Whatever - the explanation doesn't really matter, and they just make them up. The only time they buy dollars is when some bit of news makes everything else in the world look worse. The default is, in the immortal words of Steven Butler, director of foreign exchange trading at Scotia Capital Inc. in Toronto, on September 11, 2007: "Everybody hates the dollar."

Last week's news this week: Naomi Prins does at least as well as Joe Nocera at explaining why Obama's new regs won't make any difference.

And thanks to Gerry for sending me a like to a Business Week piece on one of the major stakes of all this playboying with billions in real and fake money - declining innovation in the US and the dead end road we're looking down.

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