ECONOMIC SIGNALS: Things are getting steadily better than even worse, even though the good signs are worse than when things were bad.

Why do our economic headlines suggest headless chickens?

For two months now, I have felt that the best thing is to stay short in long, but also sell short while holding folding, just in case the long game stops spreading portfolios from broadening bond yield concentrations in the eurozone – or of course, narrowing interest-rate swaps take the heat off derivative swaps in Asia. It’s also pretty clear (to me at least) that falling gold prices and rising unemployment are a sure sign of something, and could be a wake-up call for all those silver fans anxiously looking to buy Portuguese Escudo futures in the absence of any present danger they can link to the past.  It could therefore be a good time to play the currency markets, or even float the idea of a Yuan market-play hedged against the Dollar-price of dark liquidity clouds within virtually platformed American Eagle instruments.

I got to this clarified strategy by each day reading the online, TV and press headlines that are there to guide investors like me: that is, those who have only a functioning left brain and a firm grip on reality to guide them. Today’s efforts have so far been in the same vein:

‘Eurozone confidence falls for second straight month, strengthening case for a rate cut on Thursday’ Daily Telegraph

This was bad news for those in euros, but if so then it was news to those trading in it:

‘The euro strengthened 0.4 percent against the dollar at 11:20 a.m. London time. Yields on Italian 10-year bonds fell 10 basis points to 3.96 percent. The Markit iTraxx Europe index of investment-grade company credit risk fell two basis points for the longest streak since September 2009’ Bloomberg

But never mind fellas, because things must be turning round in Italy with yield-falls on that scale, or maybe they aren’t:

‘Kick-starting the eurozone’s third-biggest economy after nearly two years of recession will be the priority for Enrico Letta, Italy’s new centre-left prime minister’ Financial Times

Right, so the kick-start is the objective – there hasn’t actually been a start of the engine yet or perhaps there has:

‘Markets applauded political progress in Italy, extending a rally in stocks and allowing Rome to secure the lowest funding cost at a debt auction in over two years’ Wall Street Journal

That’s all good then, so there’ll be a honeymoon of confidence for new guy Enrico Letta, or on the other hand there won’t:

‘Letta will speak in parliament ahead of the 3pm confidence vote’ The Independent

No, you see Letta is having to face a confidence vote on his first day in office because some bloke tried to shoot him. This seems harsh, or perhaps it’s fair because past performance does suggest that most politicians need shooting. But either way, I’m putting more money behind the Pound because:

‘Sterling extended gains after GDP data confirmed the Chancellor’s optimism about eluding a UK recession’

Excellent, that’s crystal clear and consistent although hang on a minute that might be wrong:

‘MPs on the Public Accounts Committee, today published a report that claims the Treasury’s grand plan is not a real plan with a strategic vision and clear priorities but “simply a long list of projects requiring a huge amount of money”‘ Daily Telegraph City Briefing email

Yes, I know what they mean…I thought that a bit too, and there’s not much room for maneouvre because after all a lot of the money like social and education stuff is untouchable, I mean that’s what ring-fencing means and then again on the other hand no it doesn’t:

‘Hundreds of millions of pounds will be taken from ring-fenced health and education budgets and used to protect Armed Forces, under new plans’ Daily Telegraph

You see, the ring fencers didn’t reckon with all those soldiers tunnelling under the fence, but not to worry because Iain Duncan-Smith has made an impassioned appeal to rich pensioners to give back all those benefit payments they can’t afford to do without, which is perhaps why it now seems he didn’t say anything like that at all:

‘Work and pensions secretary clarifies comments, saying he is neither encouraging nor discouraging return of benefits’ The Guardian

Quite right there, IDS….you sit on the ring-fence mate, and let the citizens make their own minds up. After all, that’s what business and investment is all about: clear direction and reliable consistency so everyone like me can make sound investment decisions, and then do better than those who are sound asleep even though, since February 12th I haven’t changed anything in my investment portfolio, so the dreamy folks and I are neck and neck at the moment. Yes, it’s anyone’s game: the trick is not to worry about gains getting lost as earnings go up or confidence goes down. Oh no, not a bit of it. That’s all changed now, to the point where today it’s about coming out even….for example, even more confused than you were a year ago, but somehow expecting an even break, even if nobody seems to know WTF they’re doing except screwing us all even more blatantly than good old Hank Paulson all those years ago.

Did you ever imagine you’d feel nostalgic about Hank Paulson? Me neither…..but I do now.

Earlier at The Slog: Buying that second-hand Fiat Currency from Draghi Motors