About The Blog

From Merriam-Webster:

Main Entry: epiph·a·ny
Pronunciation: \i-ˈpi-fə-nē\
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural epiph·a·nies
Etymology: Middle English epiphanie, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin epiphania, from Late Greek, plural, probably alteration of Greek epiphaneia appearance, manifestation, from epiphainein to manifest, from epi- + phainein to show — more at fancy
Date: 14th century

1 capitalized : January 6 observed as a church festival in commemoration of the coming of the Magi as the first manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles or in the Eastern Church in commemoration of the baptism of Christ Nope!
2 : an appearance or manifestation especially of a divine being Not here!
3 a (1) : a usually sudden manifestation or perception of the essential nature or meaning of something (2) : an intuitive grasp of reality through something (as an event) usually simple and striking (3) : an illuminating discovery, realization, or disclosure b : a revealing scene or moment By golly, that’s it!

So, it turns out that writing commentary is somewhat of an addiction. I first began writing market commentary in 1990, when I worked for a company called Technical Data in Boston (it is now part of Thomson Financial). If you know the BondData or MoneyData product – I was writing on those products back then.

I wrote an internal commentary called “Nerd Notes” when I was at JP Morgan; wrote a more-detailed customer-focused commentary called the “U.S. Government Trading Commentary” for Bankers Trust; “Mountains and Molehills” for Deutsche Bank, “Sales and Trading Commentary from the US Interest Rate Derivatives Desk” at Barclays, and then “Inflation Desk Commentary” at Natixis. Sprinkled in between were various private letters: “Speculator’s Diary” and “Ashton Analytics Daily Commentary.”

Periodically, I have attempted to stop. It can be exhausting to write a market commentary. But it helps me to clarify my own thinking, collect contrary (and sometimes, confirming)  opinions from other people who read my thoughts, and maintain my connections with a broad network of market contacts.

I hope you like it. Please feel free to comment on any post. You need not agree, and indeed I welcome considered counterargument. I insist that we debate politely, however, and we may not (and often will not) reach a consensus between us. If you enjoy comparing thoughts, then I think and hope you’ll enjoy reading and participating on this blog.

One other housekeeping note: all of the opinions expressed on this blog are mine alone and are not meant to be trading advice or recommendations in any way.

Thanks for stopping by!

  1. andre
    December 3, 2009 at 5:09 am

    some have chocolate addiction, others need some writing… congratulations anyway for this additional step in sharing your thoughts. There are so few of those who can explain with words what is going on that it would be a shame not to join your blog and read from you. Thanks again.

  2. December 3, 2009 at 7:36 am

    Thanks Andre. As it happens I have both a chocolate addiction AND a writing addiction. Life ain’t fair. 🙂

  3. December 3, 2009 at 10:59 am

    Ah – knew you’d be back! Thanks for writing – you have no idea how much I enjoy reading your DAILY (hint, hint) commentary.

  4. Mke
    December 10, 2009 at 3:21 am

    Mike, great stuff as usual. I got addicted writing Dollar and a Dream at BT and it was a long slow withdrawal process, ending with the Yen Senryaku when I was at BofA in Japan, so I know how you feel. Eagerly awaiting the book in my Christmas stocking… keep it up!

    • December 10, 2009 at 7:16 am

      Mike, I should have given you some credit. My first regular comment was at Bankers Trust and it was your lead I had to follow! I adopted some of your devices, the main one of course being the daily trivia question. It will be interesting to see if this blog gets any following without that hook.

  5. December 10, 2009 at 10:40 am

    I’m sure it will be fine, my guess is your loyal legions don’t need to be bribed with free lottery tickets anymore…

  6. Andy
    January 4, 2010 at 9:21 am

    Does it strike anyone as remarkable that Bernanke makes a speech this weekend saying basically, “It wasn’t my fault that all these bad things happened in the economy, everything I did was right”, and the press basically accepts it at face value?

    • January 4, 2010 at 9:33 am

      It is incredible to me that Bernanke has attained Greenspan-esque rock-star status merely because the Earth didn’t plunge into the Sun.

  7. Sid
    November 4, 2010 at 1:54 am

    Mr. Ashton

    I love your blog! May I put a link to it (and your articles) on my website?

    • November 4, 2010 at 6:26 am

      Thanks for the note. Be my guest!

  8. Sid
    November 5, 2010 at 2:16 am

    Thank you! You have some very good/interesting information to share.

  9. February 23, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    Hi Mike,

    I’m the contributors editor at Business Insider and would love to talk to you about becoming a contributor – but can’t find contact information anywhere. Please shoot me an email if I can send over some details.



  10. Jeffrey
    April 6, 2011 at 6:50 pm

    Thank you for your excellent and insightful commentary. I always look forward to reading your comments and just wanted to say how much I appreciate having it available.

  11. Frank R
    June 21, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    Off topic, but I thought you might be interested in a ZeroHedge update to last week’s $600B QE2 discussion:


    I honestly don’t understand it.

    • June 21, 2011 at 2:50 pm

      It seems a little empty to me. Frankly, what I wrote remains true – dollars were cheap capital, so of course they were held by just about everyone. So what? I think Zerohedge got over their skis on the conspiracy-theory nature of this whole thing and are trying to gracefully back out.

      Thanks for the followup post!

      • Frank R
        June 21, 2011 at 5:44 pm

        Thanks. It seemed a bit contrived to me.

      • Frank R
        June 21, 2011 at 5:46 pm

        It also seems like the whole international finance thing is contrived also. Something is wrong. Badly wrong. I think we are in big trouble.

  1. April 8, 2011 at 11:16 am

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