OK I’m A Dollar Bull Now…

Just seeing one chart has changed my bias on the dollar totally by allowing a confirmation of a few fundamental concepts.

I have to really thank CNBC’s Todd Gordon for this one.

I read his article and noticed that he is using a different USD gauge.

I generally look at the dollar index as a function of equal weights.

However, just by looking at a more-applicable-to-reality trade weighted dollar, it has generated new thoughts and perspective on my macroeconomic view, as well as currency risk view.

Take a look at the TW dollar…

We have indeed breached a 30 year trendline and have found some support here at just below 85.00.

I’m not saying that we are going to rally off from here into 110, since I think we are still due a dip down to 75, but my very long term view is now bullish.

This is supported by various different other background events.

Let’s look at the 10 year yield.

This is following the same path as the trade weighted dollar (naturally).

With the Fed unwinding, I think that a situation such as in 1994 will occur again.

Bonds sold off in 1994 and yields rallied by 46%.

If yields move to where I think they will, that would be a 75% move from current price.

Why are yields moving up? The Fed is shedding assets from their balance sheet after having undergone the fantastically functional QE programme of the last 9 years (sarcasm).

See below. I have added 3M USD LIBOR onto here as well.

fredgraph (1)

You can see that when the Fed underwent their QE programme, USD 3M LIBOR fell a huge amount. This meant that USD was very liquid and interbank borrowing costs were low. Basically, everything was nice and liquid.

Since the Fed has started hiking in late 2016, 3M USD LIBOR started pushing up. Markets knew that this was in preparation for the Fed to start their great unwind. You can see this in the gradual decay in assets owned by the Fed (blue line) since 2016, with a slight acceleration in late 2017 when they announced fully that they will be shedding their ‘assets’.

But what does this mean for the dollar?

Well, a rising LIBOR should indicate dollar demand/supply constriction.

Take a look at this chart.

3M USD LIBOR is lagging spot USD by a large amount.

If we go back to our yield and dollar index charts, we can see that a broad upside move is not that crazy an idea if it holds that we are going to face a dollar funding problem. This dollar funding issue also leads to another problem and that is to do with liquidity.

We’ve already seen some flutters in the TEDRate, an indicator of liquidity risk.

When the Fed announced their unwinding, we saw a gradual rise in the Ted Rate which led to the highest level since 2009. Essentially, this priced in that liquidity risk was higher than the European debt crisis in 2012.

This indicator shows the credit worthiness of our biggest banks – LIBOR is the price that they lend to each other on the interbank market. A spike in the TEDRate means there is more ‘risk’ on the interbank loans market. That is not good.

The Bank Index has probably reflected this occurrence.

The drop off in price from the run up to the 2008 high could have some meaning in this case, especially since before the 2008 crisis we faced USD funding cost issues as well.

USD 3M LIBOR moved up pretty rapidly pre crisis then… it’s exhibiting the same characteristics now.

fredgraph (2)

Essentially, I feel the dollar is currently heavily under priced if we follow the underlying money market fundamentals. I think that there is some downside left and the current move is a short squeeze, but there will be a more broad based dollar upside move in the next year to 18 months, and much of it will be driven by dollar funding issues.