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Venus and Jupiter

July 14, 2015

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In June, on the solstice, we sat on the deck outside the dining hall at Leen’s Lodge. After the sun set, Venus burst forth as the brightest light in the sky. Jupiter was just to the left of Venus and slightly higher in its trajectory.

Now, a few weeks later, the heavens have changed. We view them on this clear night in the mountains, after the GIC conference in Teton Springs, Idaho, has enlightened its 200 guests.

The new alignment has Venus still beaming as the bright and welcoming evening star. But evolving orbits find that Jupiter has moved to the right of Venus and is lower on the horizon.

The planet Venus is named for the Roman version of the Greek goddess Aphrodite. Jupiter is named for the Roman version of the Greek God Zeus. Like the heavens, markets and issues have realigned from left to right or, perhaps, from right to left.

We could not attend the GIC conference but have full reports. Our tasks had us buried in documents and working on details. And we have a perception that the heavenly realignment is accompanied by the possibility of earthly change.

Perhaps the big three in euro-zoned Europe have aligned in a way to make a deal. Italy, the modern representation of Rome, has to agree; and Mario Draghi must insure liquidity with a continuance of QE1 and what may become a second round of QE2. Mario is moving like Jupiter but in an opposite direction. His trajectory will be left. More QE. More easing. More and persistent negative interest rates on excess reserves.

Like Jupiter, he wields unlimited power with central bank policy. Like Jupiter, he inherits the mythological status of Zeus.

As for Greece, the game has reversed. As befits Aphrodite, seduction triumphed, and a deal is made. Aphrodite is the daughter of Zeus. She represents the origins of Greece. And she is named in Homer’s Iliad, although there exist many versions of her history.

The eurozone survives. Venus remains the bright star. Julius Caesar claimed Venus as his ancestor. And now Mario Draghi holds the keys to the Colosseum.

More credit is to be extended, and banking systemic liquidity is to be enhanced and restored. All will again be well on the shores of the Adriatic and the Mediterranean, and mythological figures will guide their modern incarnations to extend and pretend.

Markets love this. Markets like liquidity, and ample is provided. Cultures are no barrier, as we see Asian versions in China and Japan reflecting the policy emanating from the Western origins.

Meanwhile the kids in North America send a message to their mythological ancestors. We in the US will make the first lift-off of rates this year. Thus Chair Yellen has set her course. She is supported by her vice chair, Stanley Fischer, and by the majority of the FOMC.

Bottom line: US starts to tighten while rest of world eases more. Dollar spreads widen. Dollar strengthens. Currency-hedged ETF structures that are well-managed and well-selected and researched have the power of Jupiter (Zeus) and the seductive prowess of Venus (Aphrodite). The heavens realign constantly, and history teaches only those who are willing to study it.

The ideas and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author, and they should not be perceived as investment advice or as any other kind of advice.

The preceding is a commentary by Cumberland Advisors and has been reposted with permission. Cumberland Advisors commentaries are available at http://www.cumber.com/commentary_archive.aspx.

Follow Cumberland Advisors on Twitter at @CumberlandADV.

 

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