Russia's Fin Min Talks Up the Dollar

Well, the Russian Finance Minister, Kudrin, threw a cat among the pigeons yesterday, when he stated that Russia has confidence in the U.S. currency. The markets have reacted violently to this statement, sending the dollar much higher, and the currencies – led by the euro (EUR) – much lower. An overreaction? I think so! But… These are the types of things you watch happen, and be glad you’re not a currency “trader”! For, you would have either experienced a huge loss or gain, or… Been stopped out, and not allowed to participate in the large move. I’m not the “trading” type… I’m all about diversification… So that, when things like this happen, you realize that it’s just “noise” in the markets, and the only thing it creates for you is an opportunity to buy at cheaper levels!

It sure sounds like, looks like, and smells like, a coordinated effort by those that have the most to lose should the dollar continue on it’s downward path of the last three months, to get put a lid on their losses… Makes sense… But you have to wonder about what they are really thinking and doing… I’m talking about China, Russia, and Japan, who have ALL stated in the past weeks that “the dollar is fine, and there’s no substitute reserve currency.” These statements all give dollar bulls a boost, and tell them that these countries are not going to back away from dollars and dollar denominated assets.

Now… There’s a BRIC meeting coming up soon… Brazil, Russia, India and China… And while the Finance Ministers of these countries are at the meeting, I doubt seriously that they will hold the same amount of “love” for the dollar… But that sentiment will be kept to themselves, as they don’t want to send the dollar spiraling downward. These BRIC nations had it all going for them until July of last year. They were sent spiraling downward like most assets until March of this year. I would have to think that the Finance Ministers of these countries would be interested in knowing how they can avoid another downward spiral caused by dollar buying… And… This would be the key, folks…  I don’t know what it would be, but if they did something like a currency swap/foreign exchange line between each other for trade, that would be colossal! Which is bigger than HUGE!

Well… The G-8 meeting this past weekend was centered on an “exit strategy” for the countries that have implemented the various forms of stimulus. I did see one comment on currency that came out of the meeting… German Finance Minister Steinbrück said he had “no problem with the level of the euro.” Now that comment alone should have underpinned the euro coming into Monday’s trading… But again, the cat thrown among the pigeons, but Kudrin, has really taken control of the markets’ mindset today.

We will see central bank meetings from Japan, Norway, and Switzerland this week. Don’t expect much from any of them, as interest rates are near to the bone for all… Norway’s Norges Bank has an internal rate of 1.50%, which does give them some leeway for a cut, but again, I just don’t expect anything from any of these central banks this week…

In that old comparison thing, when you say this car is uglier than that car… The Eurozone has lost 1.22 million jobs in the first quarter of 2009. Unemployment here is near a 10-year high, and not looking as though it will stop the bleeding any time soon… However, we are all aware of the rot in the U.S. employment picture… In the same period (first quarter 2009) the U.S. lost 1.912 million jobs… And… We all know the “games people play now, every night and every day now” at the BLS! So… Which car is uglier?

So… As we lead off the this third week of June, we have not only the currencies but, commodities and stocks all in the red from the Kudrin words…

Speaking of commodities… Gold has hit a three-week low. The shiny metal has had to endure three weeks of battering by China, Japan, and now Russia regarding the reduced need for an alternative to the dollar… I wouldn’t think too much of this move… Again, it’s “noise,” and soon the Kudrin words will be a thing of the past, and we’ll get back to the underlying fundamentals of a weak dollar trend eventually… But! It does give those who wanted to buy gold, but thought it was too expensive, the opportunity to grab some now!

As I turned the computers on this morning, the currencies have lost even more ground, so they haven’t found a stop level yet.

Today, we’ll see the color of the TIC’s data… You know, the Net Security Purchases… This data will be from the month of April.

We’ll also see National Home Builders House price index for this month. I know that quite a few economists believe that the housing markets meltdown has bottomed… But I think this data will prove otherwise.

Wednesday, Big Ben Bernanke and FDIC Chair Sheila Blair speak… You never know what will come out of the mouths of these two! So… We had better keep an eye out, and our ears to the ground, for you never know when you might get another quote from Big Ben like the helicopter speech of a few years ago! Don’t recall that one? Ahhh…

When asked how he would deal with deflation as the Head of the Fed (obviously before he was the Fed Head!) Big Ben reminded everyone that the government had this technology called a printing press… And that he would throw dollars from a helicopter to keep deflation from happening.

Well… Minus the helicopter, he’s kept his word, eh? The printing press is working overtime and he sure is passing out the dollars to keep deflation from hitting us hard… (Personally, I think he failed miserably, but that’s just me!)

So… I see that the President is going ahead with his plans to give the Fed sweeping regulatory powers… Not that I don’t want to see some changes… But again, I ask… The Fed? They’ve done such a masterful job of protecting the value of the dollar since they were created, eh? NOT! 94% loss in value since the Fed took over! Nice job! UGH!

The Daily Reckoning