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Could the Initiation of Trade Skirmishes Lead to Trade Wars?

The biggest current threat to global growth is a trade war.  There are other risks, too.  The U.S. Federal reserve is unwinding quantitative easing and raising rates, but is making the policy shifts very gradually, with careful market guidance.  Governments are focused on whether they need to cut taxes, not …

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Fed Unwinding of QE and What it Means for U.S. Bonds

What next for the U.S. bond market, where yields are outstripping those in Europe and Japan? Keep an eye on quantitative easing by the ECB and BoJ.

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Oil: Could Iran Risk Reverse Options’ Bearish Signal?

The removal of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and replacing him with CIA Chief and former Congressman, Mike Pompeo, has implications for nearly all aspects of U.S. foreign policy, including Middle East relations.  More specifically, Tillerson supported the Iran nuclear deal (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA), whereas Pompeo …

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Global Trade Disputes Take Center Stage in 2018

Off The Charts! examines the pertinent economic issues of the day, providing a deeper dive into complex topics and framing the issues in a way that can lead to a better understanding of the financial and commodities markets.

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The Treasury Options Volatility Force Awakens

Until the equity market’s abrupt correction in late January, Treasury options were in a state of deep slumber, with volatility near record lows for 2Y, 5Y, 10Y and 30Y Treasuries.  Over the past month, Treasury options volatility has staged a mini-spike that seems significant by recent standards (Figure 1) but …