The story is the same every time: some nation, due to a confluence of lucky circumstances, becomes powerful—much more powerful than the rest—and, for a time, is dominant. But the lucky circumstances, which often amount to no more than a few advantageous quirks of geology, be it Welsh coal or West Texas oil, in due course come to an end. In the meantime, the erstwhile superpower becomes corrupted by its own power. As the endgame approaches, those still nominally in charge of the collapsing empire resort to all sorts of desperate measures—all except one: they will refuse to ever consider the fact that their imperial superpower is at an end, and that they should change their ways accordingly.
Bad news isn't even good news anymore in Japan. A sushi-boat-load of data this evening show once again that Abenomics is failing dismally. In no particular order... Large Manufacturing Index MISS (lowest in 9 months), Large Manufacturing Outlook BIG MISS, Large Services Outlook MISS, Small Manufacturing Index MISS, Small Manufacturing Outlook BIG MISS, and drum roll please... Tankan Large Industry Capex Outlook crashes to -1.2% (from +8.7%) - the lowest in 2 years (since Abewrongics was unleashed). The response... USDJPY and Nikkei are dumping...
And the answer is...
I’m sure when Talking Heads wrote "Burning Down The House" that they didn’t exactly have financial collapse and environmental degradation in mind. Although with a verse like “Hold tight wait till the party's over. Hold tight we're in for nasty weather. There has got to be a way. Burning down the house” it’s hard not to see that song as strangely prophetic.
As the death toll mounts from the various regional conflicts in the Middle East, one wonders if trading autocratic rule for some semblance of stability isn’t all that bad of a compromise. That said, US foreign policy seems to be everywhere and always inept especially as it relates to the Arab world and as CNN notes, propping up dictatorships at the expense of basic rights and freedoms sows the seeds for violent revolution.
The key feature of age is that it happens no matter what you think. What does this mean? It means the “old countries” – their assets and their institutions, at least the ones that depend on population, income and credit growth – are “fastened to a dying animal” and are not likely to survive in their present form. Today, these countries, including the US, are victims of demography. Older people get more money from the government. And they pay less in taxes. Old people also slow the rate of GDP, for obvious reasons: They are not adding to output; they are living on it.
Weidmann had warned us about this...a new index, created by Handelsblatt, measuring the inflation of asset prices in Germany confirms the suspicion many have held - while German CPI stagnates (printing modestly hotter than expected today, driven by continued rises in higher gasoline prices and food prices), asset prices are rising sharply amid an over-relaxed monetary policy.
As the following update of CNBC's perhaps most popular (if least watched, lagging even Mad Money) day breaking segment, SquawkBox, the show that features Joe Kernen, Becky Quick and Andrew Ross Sorkin just suffered its worst quarterly Nielsen rating in the show's history.
While we doubt that the ECB will, of its own volition, elect to scale back PSPP out of a highly uncharacteristic respect for sanity and prudence, there are a variety of factors which could lead to a forced taper. Some market participants are already betting that the ECB scales back purchases by the end of the calendar year.
Shortly after the US equity mnarkets closed, headlines crossed from Switzerland seemingly confirming "no deal" with Iran...P5+1 MINISTERS PLAN TO LEAVE LAUSANNE IN MORNING but that was quickly watered down with a warning that Iran has until dawn to agree to the deal. This sent WTI up modestly and then API Crude inventories, which were expected to rise 4.2mm barrels, printed 5.2mm barrels - the 12th weekly rise in a row. Crude was slow to react but after a brief fade, shot higher... then dumped...
Gold In Fed Vault Drops Under 6,000 Tons For The First Time, After 10th Consecutive Month Of RedemptionsSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 03/31/2015 - 15:30
According to the most recent earmarked gold data reported by the Fed, in the month of February another 10 tons of gold departed the NY Fed, following 20 tons in the month before, which if one assumes is merely the delayed relocation of gold previously demanded for delivery, has crossed the Atlantic and is now to be found in Frankfurt. This means that for the first time in the 21st century, the total gold tonnage held at the NY Fed is now under 6000 tons, or 5,989.5 to be precise.