As the host of Bloomberg Surveillance on Bloomberg TV and Radio, Tom Keene gets to talk to a lot of smart people on a daily basis.
Naturally, a lot of interesting insights are borne out of these discussions, and a lot of times, there is no better way to visualise those insights than with a good chart.
So, we asked Keene which charts he is watching closely right now. Here’s what he sent us.
1: In Search of NAIRU
“The U.S. unemployment rate migrates to a better place. An extrapolation suggests late 2014 will bring us a 6.5% America. But is that good enough? Economists are trying to game the new NAIRU (an unemployment rate that jives with stable price change and better than good Red Sox middle relief.)
“My interviews suggest a real mystery over where NAIRU should land. Crisis Over: Onward, in search of NAIRU.”
2: Welcome to Part-Time America
“Here is full-time jobs compared to the employed. There are fewer. Part-time jobs? There are more. 82 to 83% of employed seems a comfortable band of where we were comfortable. We are distant from that: by a near 3 million employed. Welcome to part-time America.”
3: The Lew Dollar
“What is the equivalent to the Plaza Hotel in Beijing? After the Plaza Accord, this Accord and that Accord, we had The Rubin Dollar. Here is the Real T-W Dollar…descending. The Group Think suggests a strong dollar is inevitable. Sara Eisen, book the flight to Beijing now. Call it the Lew dollar.”
“Here is JPY-CNY showing a perennial weakening of the renminbi, then a nice range. Abenomics is all about Japan, or is it? China and others, see Seoul, have to adjust to Tokyo’s adjustment. Yen-Yuan is Yuan stronger and at a critical point. Call it Beijingnomics.”
5: Tom, We Hate You
“Here is one representation of inflation-adjusted gold. Note the gentle slide of a depreciated $35 an ounce over to the left, the early-1980s gold-coins-in-the-bedroom-dresser spike and the latest reversal. I have placed a line at $900 an ounce because a) many gnomes suggest that is a critical price level and b) I don’t have enough incoming e-mail and need now, I say now, love notes from gold buggish types who say in one form or another, ‘Tom, we hate you.'”
6: This Time is Different
“Kenneth Rogoff told me years ago that the single question of America’s future was investment. It is rumoured that investment leads to jobs and jobs lead to political stability. Here is U.S. investment, semi-log, showing the per cent change. Slope Matters. The slope has gone flat and indicates a $1 trillion plus shortfall in investment presuming it was and should be morning in America. At least for investment, this time is different.”
7: Now What?
“Here is the inflation-adjusted DJIA priced to 2013 over on the right side of the chart. As an approximation, my 201(k) has recovered near 301(k) levels. I was 2% in equities in March 2009 and have deworsified myself into a 20% equity position only because Barry Ritholtz, Mario Gabelli, Liz Ann Sonders, Howard Ward, Abby Joseph Cohen, Tony Dwyer, Brian Belski, Tobias Levkovich and on and on gave me courage. OK, all. If you’re so smart, now what? Hey Michael! Do I sell JPM the day Jamie retires?”
8: Tom, You’re so Bougie
“Scarlet Fu is in charge of my trading account. Without telling her, I went way long AAPL on the sidewalk of their 5th avenue store at 4 am the day of the iPhone 5 launch. Larry Haverty thought I was a fool. Scarlet Fu thought I was a greater fool. I need the latest and greatest. I need to be current. We’ll get back to $1000…someday. In the meantime, Scarlet is just killing me. ‘Tom, you’re so bougie.'”
9: Anxious America
“This is not funny. Inflation-adjusted hourly earnings were seriously inflation-adjusted decades ago. Then a period of spirit. We have returned to the depressed wage growth of another time except this time…with little inflation. The Surveillance Gulfstream awaits me. I am suitably bow-tied. For too many Americans a decade has passed them by. It is an anxious America.”
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