Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Dollar Weakness

From Larry Levin

Tuesday's Sell Off


yard sale

The Holiday-shortened week started off with Tuesday’s drop.  The sell-off followed on the heels of Monday’s Globex-only session. The Dow Jones closed down 1.44%, S&P 500 closed down 2.05%, and the Nasdaq was slammed 2.74%.  
On the flip side oil was up nearly 10% since its last regular session.  Gold and silver were also up substantially.
What was rather surprising, however, was the old “flight to quality” standby: the US dollar.  It never caught a bid!  With so much global uncertainty and a strong sell-off in equities, there is usually a strong “flight to quality” bid in the US dollar.  I checked the currencies several times Tuesday and was surprised each time that it was so slow.  
The CIO of Pimco was also surprised and said on Bloomberg today, “It is a warning shot to America that we cannot simply assume flight to quality, flight to safety. That people are starting to worry about the fiscal situation in the U.S., worrying about the level of debt and what they're hearing about states and municipalities. I would take this as a warning shot that we cannot assume that we will maintain the standing of the reserve currency as we have in the past.”
The violence in Libya continues to escalate with the dictator, Qaddafi, saying it could become a civil war, while threatening to hunt down all protestors and kill them in their homes if they do not stop.  Moreover, he declared Force Majeure on the 1.5-million barrels of light sweet crude oil Libya exports daily and threatened to blow up its oil infrastructure…a-la Saddam Hussein. 
Although the protests have spread to Bahrain and have really escalated, which is bad, the oil situation would only become truly frightening if the problems led to a Saudi regime change.  Until then, it’s possible that this oil spike and the equity swoon are nearly over.

Oil $200/barrel

What these videos and see if you agree. If this happens as outlined in the videos, will it mean the end of the dollar by the end of 2012?
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5