In the QE era, monetary policy has lost any semblance of discipline and coherence. As Draghi attempts to deliver on his nearly two-and-a-half-year-old commitment, the limits of his promise – like comparable assurances by the Fed and the BOJ – could become glaringly apparent. Like lemmings at the cliff’s edge, central banks seem steeped in denial of the risks they face.
At this point only an act of god, or a sudden Saudi change of heart to cut crude production by 50% (unclear which is more probable) can prevent a recession in Texas. However, one state that few thought would be impaired as a result of the crude plunge, is California. Yet as the LA Times reports, it is precisely California, and specifically Kern County located in the middle of the state and containing the farmer town of Bakersfield and countless oil rigs, that yesterday declared a state of fiscal emergency during the weekly supervisors' meeting on Tuesday. The reason: predictions of a massive shortfall in property tax revenues because of tanking oil prices.
U.S tight oil production from shale plays will fall more quickly than most assume. Why? High decline rates from shale reservoirs is given. The more interesting reasons are the compounding effects of pad drilling on rig count and poorer average well performance with time.
Another Ex-Central Planner Speaks Up: Currency War Policy "Risks Major Downward Shock To Asset Prices"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 01/28/2015 - 19:20
Merv "The Swerv" King - former governor of The Bank of England - has joined the ranks of those ex-central-planners-who-feel-the-need-to-protect-their-legacy-by-rewriting-history-and-admitting-the-entire-thing-is-crazy. Speaking in Tokyo overnight, King said he’s concerned that financial markets believe real interest rates will remain very low for a very long time which has created "a significant disequilibrium in the world economy," adding that he does "not believe and expect a market economy to thrive on real interest rates that are close to zero." Warning that many nations realize "they have pushed monetary policy as far as it can go," King added that with the additional risk of currency wars, "markets will discover that they have been pushing asset prices to an excessively high level and there will be a major downward shock to asset prices."
As central banks rush to depreciate their currencies and push yields into negative territory, what's becoming scarce globally is real yield in an appreciating currency.
The latest corporate scam is to blame workers for the high unemployment rate. They say there is a skills gap. Even President Obama is in on the joke. The real skills gap is the other way around: too many skills for the low-wage menial jobs that pervade the labor market. The person who makes your coffee or your Big Mac might be able to design the next major bridge or write for The New York Times. Instead of high school kids cooking up your lunch, true professionals are behind the counter, and the future of the country is behind it too. The longer they stay there, the odds increase that America will take a permanent backseat in global power. In one short century, we have gone from superpower to super size me, a plutocracy, a nation that wasted its most valuable resource: the energy and innovation of its own people.
McDonalds CEO Retires Following Horrible Year: New Boss Seen Here Wearing At Least 37 Pieces Of FlairSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 01/28/2015 - 17:52
The Board of Directors of McDonald's Corporation today announced that Don Thompson will retire as President and Chief Executive Officer and as a member of the Board of Directors after nearly 25 years of service to the company, effective March 1. The Board has elected Steve Easterbrook to replace Thompson as President and CEO. Easterbrook was also elected to the Board of Directors, filling the vacancy created by Thompson.
A "Robbing" hood...
Facebook reported $1,133 billion in GAAP earnings: exactly the same as a year ago. What happened to non-GAAP income from operations during the same period? It rose from $1.5 billion to $2.2 billion. Again: this is in a period in which GAAP income remained unchanged!
It didn't take long for Syriza to start making changes in Greece. While these may be minor at the margin compared to the debt "issues", as KeepTalkingGreece reports, Alexis Tsipras and his junior coalition partner Panos Kammenos pushed the Fast Forward button to restore a series of so-called “reforms”, that is austerity measures imposed by the country’s lenders, the Troika - among the left-wing reforms are: scrapping planned privatizations, scrapping fees in public hospitals and prescriptions, restore “the 13th pension” for low-pensioners and other actions that SYRIZA had promised before the elections. And the iron barricades in front of Parliament have been removed.
Meet The Extreme Super Rich: A List Of The 80 People Who Own As Much As The World’s Poorest 3.6 BillionSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 01/28/2015 - 15:31
"Eighty people hold the same amount of wealth as the world’s 3.6 billion poorest people, according to an analysis just released from Oxfam. The report from the global anti-poverty organization finds that since 2009, the wealth of those 80 richest has doubled in nominal terms — while the wealth of the poorest 50 percent of the world’s population has fallen." There you have it. The reason the wealth of the richest has doubled since 2009, is because “it’s not a recession, it’s a robbery.” Central bank and government policy has done this, it is no accident.
While the Fed is clearly hinting that lower crude inflation doesn't bother it because "recent declines in energy prices have boosted household purchasing power" and is generally more hawkish on the economy and the labor force, the clearest message from the Fed is simple: or so it would like to convey. At 569 this was the shortest FOMC statement since November 2012! Which can only mean one thing: an attempt at renormalization, if only for now.
One way or another this is going to get wild... As Nanex exposes, liquidity in the S&P 500 e-mini futures contract (the most liquid equity trading vehicle) is the lowest it has ever been on an FOMC Day...
The 4 key phrases from today's FOMC Statement are:
"Strong Jobs Gains" instead of "Solid Job Gains", and "Considerable time" sentence dropped entirely
"Solid Pace" instead of "Moderate Pace" For Economy, and added "Inflation is anticipated to decline further in the near term" as new language
And voila, a hawkish policy statement... sending stocks, crude, and bond yields plunging on the news.