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Weekly Memorandum 3/15/2021

Beware the Ides of March! Today is the day that Roman senators, led by Brutus and Cassius, assassinated Julius Caesar, which sparked the civil war in Rome that led to the end of the Roman Republic and the birth of the Roman Empire. The date was originally known as a deadline to settle debts, however, and a day sacred to Jupiter.

Equities futures are basically flat this morning. The S&P and the Dow closed at new all-time highs last week, but the Nasdaq is lagging behind. We need to see the Nasdaq make new all-time highs in the next week or two, or else it could turn into a sell signal.

Interest rates continued their rise last week as well. Inflation expectations are now at 13-year highs, which is very noteworthy, and quite frankly, not garnering enough attention. Perhaps the deflationary forces that dominated the 2010s have finally subsided. It increasingly appears to be the case.

Commodity markets paused their rallies last week, but precious metals saw a relief rally. The dollar index was basically unchanged, but cryptocurrencies spiked again.

As we begin the last week of winter, we pause to reflect on the planning we've undertaken in the past few months in preparation for farming season, which begins next week here in Michigan, under the row covers, of course. Agriculture and finance are closer aligned than many initially believe. Most markets originally developed out of a need to satisfy agricultural demand. One of the most beneficial aspects of farming with respect to trading and markets is an understanding that the law of nature is cycles, and that the economy is beholden to this law as well.

A new Mercator Letter was issued yesterday. We would encourage those who have been on-the-fence in terms of subscribing to act quickly, as a major site overhaul is coming in the next couple months. Limited time remains to lock-in subscriptions at bargain-level prices.

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