The collision of global markets and social mood

Monday, May 12, 2014

ECB QE, Hemlines, And Spiritual Doorways

ECB Governor Ewald Nowotny suggested during a speech in Vienna this morning that the ECB was considering various measures to adopt, as reducing the interest rate alone could be insufficient. This shot S&P futures straight up in the air as the market evidently heard "QE, baby." Crude oil, gold, and silver were higher as well, as expected.

Still, the cash S&P looks to open inside the current range of 1859.79-1891.33 which was not broken Friday. There remains a 1:1 Fib extension target at 1900.51, as well as the potential fractal targeting 1760-1780.

Ironically, the FT is running a new series: "How the Euro was saved," right on the heels of last week's BBC story Is the eurozone saved? The reality is the ECB can pump all it wants and it still won't make a difference; Europe is headed for deflation. However that won't stop a good party in the meantime while asset prices bid higher and higher on ever-increasing amounts of central bank stimulus.

Meanwhile, Japan just recorded the largest balance of payments (current account) deficit since 1985. This indicates record new borrowing and a record foreign assets deficit, and increases the pressure on Abenomics, lowering its chances to succeed. I continue to feel that the most important FX currency to monitor is the yen. Abe's stimulus efforts are primed to fail, and when the markets figure it out it could be rough sledding for a while.

Right on time, though, regarding social mood, rising hemlines are not just for women's fashion anymore. The WSJ reported that it's happening in men's fashion as well.

A New Length for Men's Shorts

"Long for so long, men's shorts are showing up in a range of inseams—from short to shorter to shortest." This is suggestive of a coming peak in social mood.

Regarding my own social mood, I'm in West Hartford, Connecticut, for a week doing some house-sitting for my cousins who relocated from Arizona. It's a beautiful place, and it's fun to be in a new place for a bit.

Had to drop them off very early at the airport Saturday and headed back to town to try to find all the cool places they showed me the day before. One part of town that I loved (the Park Street area) was a little off the beaten track and had an awesome deli (Hall's Market) where I got a wonderful Italian Meatball sub. It took me a while, but I found it and continued exploring. Soon I was finding Vietnamese pho joints and even ended up in a Brazilian section. Awesome! The only place that was open at that hour was a little Portuguese bakery called La Estrella.

Inside I pointed at something that looked good and a very quiet and sweet latina told me they were de natas. I had no idea what it meant, but it looked good, and I asked for one. She placed it on a piece of waxed paper and carefully presented it to me with a napkin as if it was the most precious thing in the world, all for $1.25. That simple moment would make my entire day.

Being here also gets me closer to some spots I've been meaning to hit, like New Haven for some pizza.

I haven't had pizza in over a year. Rather than head over to the bustle of Wooster Street to engage in the Pepe's vs. Sal's debate, I hit Modern Apizza on State Street. Here I found more sauce and far fewer tourists, which is what I prefer anyway.

Once it arrived at my table, it took about 4 1/2 minutes to make it disappear -- notice the beer hardly moved.

Before . . .

After. . .

Almost forgot to shoot some signage outside, so snapped a couple as I was leaving.

Pretty bad shot, I know; I was holding up traffic.

Headed over to IKEA because I'm toying with the idea of building a small home instead of a McMansion. In the aftermath, I felt I needed something authentic immediately. The universe delivered. Who knew there was a small city of food trucks along I-95 overlooking the ocean? I sure didn't.

Carne asada taco with as many toppings as I could imagine, all for only $1.50, served with pride and love, just like earlier.

There is something about the humanity of homemade food that gives me a huge buzz when people serve part of their culture, their family, and themselves. It's immensely humbling and joyful at the same time. It's much more than the food itself. For me it's a spiritual doorway.

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