Monday, August 20, 2007

Two Keys To the Week

There are two areas to watch this week.

1.) The Yen: The carry-trade is a primary financial force of this expansion. Because Japanese interest rates were so low for so long, investors borrowed money in Japan and invested it where interest rates were higher. This was basically a financial no-brainer for for the 5 years or so. However, the Yen has been spiking for the last few trading days. As US investors sell US assets to take profits, they are simultaneously buying yen to repatriate profits and pay back loans.

2.) The short end of the curve: The 3-month Treasury Bill lost about 100 basis points in yield last week as investors sought safety. This is probably one of the reasons the Fed lowered the discount rate. All of the cash they pumped into the market was moving into Treasuries rather than liquid assets.

A continued increase in the Yen or decrease in short-term yields will probably concern the markets going forward.

As of this writing (6 AM CST) Photobucket is down. I'll have the charts as soon as Photobucket is back up.