Markets Are Getting Nervous About Italy’s Elections

We are in the quiet period before the Italian elections.  No public opinion polls are published in the last two weeks of an election cycle per Italian law. Consequently, there is a bit of a news lockout on the subject. These are the most important elections in Europe this year – laying aside the possibility … Continue reading Markets Are Getting Nervous About Italy’s Elections

Merkel is Forming a Coalition with the Wrong Party

The last time I looked at the miasma of German coalition talks the big takeaway was the mood turning against the Social Democrats (SPD). Today the latest polling confirms that the more Merkel tries to form a coalition with Martin Schultz and the SPD the more support the coalition loses. There have been two polls … Continue reading Merkel is Forming a Coalition with the Wrong Party

Iran and India: Belt and Road by Another Name

Don’t tell the Iran hawks in D.C., isolating Iran won’t work.  Iranian President Hassan Rouhani met with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi this week and the two signed a multitude of agreements. The most important of which is India’s leasing of part of the Iranian port of Chabahar on the Gulf of Oman.  This deal … Continue reading Iran and India: Belt and Road by Another Name

Russia’s Slow Walk to Financial Independence

I've been critical of the Bank of Russia's slow-rolling their interest rate cuts for more than a year now.  This ultra-conservative approach has worked to also slow the growth of the domestic Russian credit cycle, keeping borrowing costs well above the demand for Russian debt. Last Friday the bank lowered its benchmark lending rate 25 … Continue reading Russia’s Slow Walk to Financial Independence

The Power of Siberia and China’s Next Natural Gas Moves

Gazprom’s Power of Siberia pipeline is more than two-thirds complete.  It will be delivering gas to China by the end of this year.  A second pipeline is still under discussion. A report yesterday from Alex Mercouris at The Duran noted some frustration from China over the irregular liquefied natural gas (LNG) supplies coming from its … Continue reading The Power of Siberia and China’s Next Natural Gas Moves

The Death of the “Death of Contagion” Central Bank Meme

Last year now-former FOMC Chair Janet Yellen downplayed the possibility of another financial crisis.  In her hubris she believes the central banks have walled off the financial system from 'contagion risks' brought on by over-investment in synthetic derivative market products. Like generals, however, central planners are always fighting the last war. We're experiencing a major … Continue reading The Death of the “Death of Contagion” Central Bank Meme