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Tag: Dollar

A shift away from RORO? – Sober Look

Something strange happened in the market today. The dollar (DXY) and the US equity indices traded lower – together.

Source: MarketWatch

Historically one would indeed expect a positive correlation between these markets. After all, a healthier US economy – at least in principle – should benefit both the US dollar and the stock market. And the reverse also holds true. But these are not normal times. Since the financial crisis, the correlation has been consistently negative, making today’s move unusual.

Correlation between the dollar (DXY) and the S&P500 (daily returns, rolling 90 day correlation)

That’s because markets switched into the “RORO” (risk on/risk off) mode after the Lehman collapse. And the dollar has clearly been viewed as a “safety asset” – an asset that rallies in a risk-off scenario (see discussion from 2009).

So does today’s bout of positive correlation point to signs of normalization? Only time will tell. But this relationship is important to watch, as it will signal any major regime changes in the market and a potential shift away from RORO.

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Peter Schiff: “At some point, the dollar has to give”- Money Morning

While the U.S Federal Reserve claims it needs to keep interest rates near zero to help the economy, renowned economist Peter Schiff says there’s another reason.

According to Schiff, the Fed has little choice: If rates began to climb, the interest payments on the ballooning federal debt would explode making annual budget deficits far worse.

“We’re now so addicted to debt that the highest rate we can afford is zero,” Schiff, the CEO and chief global strategist of Euro Pacific Capital, told Casey Research chairman Doug Casey in a video interview published today.

“We pay about $300 billion a year right now in interest on a $16.5 trillion debt,” Schiff explained. “What if, in two or three years — and the debt is $20 trillion — what happens if interest rates are 5%? Well, that’s $1 trillion a year in interest payments.”

This scenario is not at all far-fetched; the historic norm for interest rates is just below 5%, and rates in the early 1980s were triple that.

Another reason the Fed fears higher rates, Schiff said, is that it would probably bankrupt most of the “too-big-to-fail” banks that the government bailed out back in 2008.

“The only justification for keeping rates so low is that the Fed knows any increase in rates will collapse this phony economy and we’ll be right back in recession,” Schiff said.

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