Reminiscences of a Blog Operator

Friday, May 25, 2007

No need for Sergeant Friday yesterday, as US equities started their swoon fairly quickly after the new home sales data nudged ten year bonds towards the year's high yield at 4.90%. On balance, Macro Man viewed yesterday's data as fairly constructive for the US economy; the orders data was solid, and it can ultimately only be a good thing if homebuilders are finally taking the hit to clear inventory. (As an aside, the market seems to have ignored the 'taking a hit' part and focused mostly on the 'clearing inventory' angle.)

Perhaps the sergeant was in Asia today, where Chinese equities once again defied gravity (and other markets) to post a solid gain, while a blatant misprint of Japanese CPI on Reuters screens caused quite a bit of short term volatility. Either way, most major markets are where they were when Macro Man went to bed last night.

Today, Macro Man would like to switch gears a bit and become a bit self-referential (actually, a bit more self-referential, given his proclivity for referring to himself in the third person.) He has been writing this blog for more than eight months now, and has been pleased and gratified to see how interest (or at least readership) has grown.

He's had the pleasure of corresponding with a number of readers in the comment section, offline, and on other forums; he's even met a few readers in person. However, that hasn't really told him much about the nature of his readership.

He can glean an idea of where you come from (the chart below shows the geographical location of the last 100 visitors as of 9.15 this morning):
...and when you like to visit (this chart shows the visits by hour as on 10.30 London time last night- observe the peak around the US market opening):
..but that still doesn't tell him who you are. And by extension, what you find interesting. Discussions on Chinese reserve management? Technical analysis of the US equity market? The blog portfolio? Bad poetry? Macro Man is curious. He started writing the blog as a way of clarifying his own thoughts about markets, and he's been pleased with the results. But his native curiosity makes him wonder who is actually reading him.

He therefore begs you to indulge him and respond to the attached poll. Note that this is NOT a market research exercise. Macro Man isn't planning to sell ads or launch a market newletter or any similar commercial enterprise. You know (to some extent) who he is; now tell him who you are.

Cheers




Posted by Macro Man at 8:56 AM  

18 comments:

you could update your blog and your pnl by london open...

Anonymous said...
10:10 AM  

Just keep up the good work ...

I am student who is gearing up for a graduate program in applied economics and finance and I find it very interesting to read the day-to-day analysis and commentary.

I like your style too, I a bit like Cassandra and Steen Jakobsen from Saxo Bank.

best

Claus

CV said...
11:57 AM  

I'm certain that a book entitled "Worry Your Way to One Percent a Month" would not make the Saturday NYT, but you've managed to publish something fairly revolutionary, in the educational sense, with this blog. This reader hopes you maintain it through at least a cycle.

CB

C.H. Moreno said...
12:12 PM  

[the orders data was solid]

Bond Dad's perspective on the durable goods orders: "It's largely a commodities driven durable goods market."

http://bonddad.blogspot.com/2007/05/durable-goods-orders-surprise-on-upside.html

Anonymous said...
12:34 PM  

("Worry your way to one percent a month." I like that.)

Your site has become one of the first places I visit each day. Your tone is pleasant and entertaining but also serious. Your ability to mix it up with such heavies as Mr Setser underscores the basis of your blog but that is nicely offset by your occasional, lamentable foray into poetry.

But the key thing that makes your blog unique is your willingness to post your model portfolio on a daily basis, and - even more importantly - the reasoning you employ in constructing and maintaining it. Brilliant.

I hope you'll keep up your commendable daily efforts and wish you well.

TI

Anonymous said...
2:28 PM  

I time my first cup of morning coffee with a click to your read.

I'm a large private investor with a propensity for longer term equity positions so I find little use in your actual investment placement, but do value from the net direction you point your portfolio.

But the processes you combine to give us how you think are worth much gold.

You confront and share your naked self-doubt; you identify and re-examine the effect of your bias's on your decisions; you constantly question major tenents of prevailing macro theory (yes, I see you over on Brad Setsers blog).

You review primary data and run it through Macro-man, not group-think, for analysis.

Then you share these naked results in a witty and literate manner, similiar to maybe James Grant in style.

Thank you.

Dean from Oregon

Anonymous said...
4:39 PM  

Thanks to all for your kind words. It doesn't seem like I've been doing this that long, but today's was the 250th post of the blog. I'm glad to know that the portfolio, the worrying, (and maybe even the poetry) are appreciated.

Macro Man said...
4:43 PM  

love this site , you do a great job

I run a long/short US fund , mostly equities , though w/ some options exposure also

your macro view is invaluable to me , and your wit and self-analysis are commended for their human approach ...... much appreciated in this blogosphere of self-important wannabees and posers

Anonymous said...
5:54 PM  

I probably fall 1/2 in the financial analyst 1/2 into the academic category. I appreciate the work on Voldemort, obviously. And the insights into what is happening in the fx market. Slowly I am bringing myself up to speed on the other portions of the portfolio/ how you think about/ evaluate your positions -- my only suggestion here would be to increase the font size of the mock portfolio. yeah, you can click on it, but i am lazy.

bsetser

Anonymous said...
9:49 PM  

I'd add my thanks for the blog.

Yours is refreshing in a world full of 'experts' for its speculation, investigation, dead-ends and insights - but ultimately because you take a stand and say what you'd trade based on the discussion, and then follow that in a transparent manner.

I enjoy the macro focus, and your style is refreshing.

Thanks- its a good bit of work.


--Q

Quarrel said...
12:53 AM  

I have got into the habit of following across from your comments on Brad Setser's blog, and, having as much interest in the markets as in international economics, I find your observations very interesting. I marvel at your ability to produce this and comment elsewhere (more than rgemonitor, I know), while holding down a full-time job! Not so sure about the poetry though.

RebelEconomist

RebelEconomist said...
9:03 PM  

I only lurk - but it is really outstanding work you do - thanks for your effort.

dryfly said...
3:50 AM  

I appreciate your analysis of and plain writing on wriggly issues; and also your wit, generosity and politesse.

Sally said...
5:00 AM  

Macro Man,

In response to your "Joe Friday" post from last week: Do you think that perhaps the stock index futures are being manipulated upwards in the morning, which causes the entire market to rise, only to fall back down as the day progresses?

http://www.sprott.com/pdf/TheVisibleHand.pdf

Dale said...
6:46 PM  

Ah, back from a lovely long weekend in the cold and rain on the Isle of Wight. I'm too depressed to even write a bad poem. However, let me once again thank everyone for their kind words- please believe me, I wasn't trying to fish for compliments with this post.

While I didn't read the 41 page document you linked, Dale, I would very much be of the opinion that the notion that the US market has rallied over the past couple of years/months/weeks because of futures market manipulation is preposterous.

Is it possible that someone might buy a few futures and/or stick bids in to notionally support the market during illiquid periods? Sure.

But that same pattern of behaviour is also evident in single name stocks, commodities, other financial futures, and foreign exchange.

More to the point, US futures have often risen when (surprise, surprise)other markets (China, Europe, etc.) are up strongly on the day. If buying US futures during European hours when, say, the Eurostoxx is up a percent on the day is manipulation, then so be it. I suspect most of us would call that common sense!

Macro Man said...
7:28 PM  

OK, thanks, Macro Man, I always value your opinion.

Dale said...
8:29 PM  

Thanks for article!

BuyLevitra said...
11:39 PM  

Thanks for interesting article.

Phentermine said...
9:31 AM  

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