20 Questions

1) Will earnings season bring trading volume back to equity markets?

2) Do analysts really expect US non-financial earnings in the US to be higher in 2008 than in 2007?

3) If so, why did a company like Alcoa, which sells one of the most sought-after products in the world, miss on earnings?

4) Will the BOE shift its tone and signal deeper rate cuts this week, or wait til the release of the quarterly inflation report next month?

5) Or will concern over inflation delay a capitulation indefinitely?

6) Now that we can all admit we've been wrong on the ECB, let's ask the question again: when will the ECB next cut interest rates?

7) Will 2% be the bottom in the Fed funds rate, a la Goldman Sachs?

8) Oil's at $109: buy, sell, or hold?

9) Is it just Macro Man, or did the rather sinister Chinese flame attendants that accompanied the Olympic torch through London resemble the minions of a Bond villain (Dr. No springs to mind.)

10) Is the flush out of short USD/JPY positions finished?

11) Would presumptive BOJ Governor Shirakawa have the cojones to tighten rates if inflation continues to rise, having consistently voted for aggressive hikes even before the ending of quantitative easing and ZIRP?

12) Arsenal or Liverpool?

13) With only three weeks to go: Red Ken or Boris? (Who win, not who would you vote for.)

14) Will Mugabe exit without significant bloodshed, if at all?

15) How stupid/cynical are Labour MPs who are claiming that they didn't understand that the 10p income tax band was being scrapped? Macro Man isn't sure what is worse: legitimately not understanding what they were voting for, or being so duplicitous as to claim that they didn't (when it was bloody obvious.)

16) How high would EUR/USD have to go, in the absence of an ongoing European recession, for the ECB to countenance intervention?

17) Would you ever have thought that with the US perched on the brink of recession, the
Mexican Bolsa would be up 7.4% (11.1% in dollar terms) year-to-date? Decoupling lives!

18) Is copper forming a double top or breaking out to the upside?

19) Will higher food prices begin to pass more meaningfully into Asian export prices?

20) Has Macro Man missed out on the "sale of the century" levels in US 2 year notes?
Next Post »


Click here for comments
April 8, 2008 at 12:12 PM ×


Rafa is cool. (MM, you predicted Rafa will go out ...but u were wrong !!)

April 8, 2008 at 1:28 PM ×

My bets are:

6) September 2008, but no lower than 3.50%;

7) Bottom level at 1.75% (75%) or 1.50% (25%);

12) Liverpool, but Man Utd will win the cup (anyway, I hope you're still willing to punt a pound on Fiorentina winning Uefa Cup next May...).

Read you later, AT

April 8, 2008 at 4:24 PM ×

About your post, i have only a serious comment: who has all the answers probably doesn't understand the question(s)!
But you as a lot of us are very thoughtful about all these points, but i want to underscore two big point: analysts according to me aren't overoptimistic, but a little foolish about non-financial earnings!!!someone of them has ever worked in a real company?? however..
about ecb: they distinguish between liquidity problems and economic problems, but until which point they can really do it with certainty??my call is no cut until end of the year, and then all depends on the lenght of US recession. in this sense EU short/medium are somewhat expensive.
Last point: us rates are negative yet right now, is really helpful to go underwater??probably 1,75 is the bottom

April 8, 2008 at 4:35 PM ×

morals man it seems u figured out why the bomb is a necessity(9). and i know they despise you for your ambivalence(15). i guess theres pretty big money in nose jobs lip jobs and lips jobs on gringas(17)

April 8, 2008 at 5:29 PM ×

arse-nal natch :P
*crosses fingers and hopes!*

April 8, 2008 at 9:58 PM ×

I think that there's a missing variable that explains a lot of the oddness in markets: the fear that the US will widen the war to Iran. It would be almost sure to backfire, leaving the US strapped and the rest of the world a very dangerous place. This fear could explain seemingly irrationally high commodity prices.

That said, I think the key observable is the dollar. Last fall, the IMF reckoned the dollar had 20% or more to fall. Since that was a weighted average, one might have expected the yen to do more and the Euro a little less. And, since that's an equilibrium calculation, one would expect significant overshoot-- perhaps another 20%. Some depends on the Central Bank. The ECB takes its inflation-fighting seriously, while Japan is desperate for growth and export.

So, the Euro is somewhere near fair value, but the yen and currencies pegged/crawling pegged to the dollar have further to rise.

Charles at MercuryRising