Breaking Down the Balance Sheet
In the latest month, the Fed made up for their recent shortfall with a big balance sheet reduction of $139B, exceeding their target by 50%! Despite the larger-than-expected reduction, the Fed still missed its target on Mortgage Backed Securities (MBS).
According to the BLS, the economy added 263k jobs in November with a modest revision up in October from 261k to 284k but a revision down in September from 365k to 269k. October was a beat against median expectations of 200k. The employment rate (black line) stayed flat at 3.7% while the labor force participation ticked down from 62.2% to 62.1% This is the weakest labor force participation since December of last year.
While the data this month looks weak, I think there is more to the story. My hypothesis is speculative in nature, so I will save it for the end after going through the data.
Slowly but surely, physical supplies of gold and silver are being drained from the Comex. This has put pressure on the system. We are now seeing that pressure manifest itself in the data.
The price analysis last month suggested that more time was needed for a sustainable rally. It concluded:
It looks like this market will turn sooner or later. Still, though, support has become resistance so the market has some work ahead of itself. Medium to long-term investors should feel very confident buying at current prices, even if the price action remains choppy in the short-term.
Gold and silver continue to flow out of the COMEX vaults.
This analysis focuses on gold and silver within the Comex/CME futures exchange. See the article What is the Comex? for more detail. The charts and tables below specifically analyze the physical stock/inventory data at the Comex to show the physical movement of metal into and out of Comex vaults.
Three key takeaways:
- For weeks, the Bitcoin market has looked propped up by the whales, especially after the recent FTX disaster.
- Bitcoin hodlers should strongly consider moving into gold, silver, or at least Ether.
- Full disclosure, I have a complicated relationship with Crypto.
The Federal Government ran a deficit of $88B in October which is down significantly from the deficit last month that was a record for September due to the student loan forgiveness program. The deficit is also down compared to last October which was -$165B.
The perception is that CPI cooled significantly in October, but the data doesn’t quite bear this out.
The latest seasonally adjusted inflation rate for September came in at 0.44%. The YoY rate was 7.7%, or 7.8% when adjusting for Household Ops. which has not been consistently reported over the last year. The increase was actually above the previous month of 0.38%, but the YoY number fell because last October was 0.87% and fell off the report this month.