This is what happens when the world's central bankers - incapable of seeing the bubbles forming in front of their own eyes - are let loose on global markets... Where ever you look, markets are in turmoil this morning with even the precious equity indices trading like penny stocks... The bottom line is that significant Treasury weakness, gold weakness, and stocks actually in the red suggest an increasing feeling that the QE juice has run its course.
The anti-consumerism Degrowth movement is gaining visibility and adherents in Europe. Degrowth (French: décroissance, Spanish: decrecimiento, Italian: decrescita) recognizes that the mindless expansion of mindless consumption fueled by credit and financialization is qualitatively and quantitatively different from positive growth. In a very real way, Degrowth embraces the devolution of paid work and wealth that cannot be reversed. Growth and consumption based on financialization, expanding credit and phantom collateral is unsustainable and will devolve or implode. Rather than pine for what cannot be, it's far healthier to embrace using less of everything and increasing well-being by leveraging the web, the commons and what cannot be commoditized or financialized.
The Chairman is about to take the lectern to discuss bank structure and competition at the SIFI conference at the Chicago Fed. His prepared remarks are likely to be a little less exciting than the Q&A where the world will be watching for the words "buy, buy, buy", "mission accomplished", or "taper". Charles Evans will be his lead out man. Finally, since Bernanke will be discussing shadow banking, or the source of some $30 trillion in shadow money always ignored by Keynesians, Monetarists and Magic Money Tree (MMT) growers, a topic we have discussed over the past three years, here is the TBAC's own summary on how Modern Money really works.
it is no secret that for years, one of the most useful features of the Bloomberg terminal (if only for other users of Bloomberg), has been the ubiquitous red or green user dot, showing if a given user is online (such as NY Fed Analyst/Trader Kevin Henry before Zero Hedge exposure) or gray i.e., invisible, circle such as Kevin Henry after Zero Hedge exposure. Because to some there is nothing more informative than knowing if the object of their stalking ambitions is currently sitting next to a PC. As it turns out, it is not just clients of Bloomberg that found this functionality useful, but Bloomberg journalists too, who until recently at least, it turns out had much more access than just the "dot" including information on when a subscriber had most recently logged onto the service, when they had first become a subscriber and a tally of the types of functions they were accessing through the terminal. That is, at least until Goldman Sachs complained.
Credit Shock Dead Ahead: China Money Formation Soars To 2-Year High As Delinquent Loans Surge By 29%Submitted by Tyler Durden on 05/10/2013 - 08:33
A month ago we pointed out that even as the Chinese credit bubble - at a record 240% of GDP on a consolidated basis - is now clearly out of control, the far more disturbing aspect of China's credit-fueled economy is the ever declining boost to economic growth as a result of every incremental dollar created. Indeed, as the economic response to "credit shock" becomes lower and lower, even as the inflationary impact lingers, the PBOC is caught between a stagnating rock and an inflationary hard place. Nonetheless, there are few options and with the shark-like need to continue growing, or at least moving, in order to prevent collapse, China did precisely what we expected it to do: boost credit growth even more despite the obvious tapering economic impact of such money creation. Sure enough, overnight China reported that its M2 growth accelerated in April from 15.7% in March, to 16.1% on a Y/Y basis: the fastest pace of credit creation in two years. Yes, the PBOC may not be creating money, but the Chinese pseudo-sovereign commercial banks, sure are, and at a pace that puts the rest of the world to shame.
While the extreme volatility associated with the 8amET hour in Gold and Silver trading is no surprise, the strength of the USD (helped by JPY weakness along with pretty much every other major) is slamming WTI crude, Gold, and Silver lower this morning. The Dollar Index move in the last two days is the largest in 16 months; Gold's 2-day drop is the biggest (ex-the crash) in 10 months. "If you consider what is happening in the currency markets and then factor in the demand for the physical delivery of gold there should be some additional note of caution in your evaluation of the markets. Smart money always moves first while dumb money lingers and is baited by those that take advantage of it. A sniff of Fear has returned to the marketplace and Greed may be in the process of giving way."
While German finance minister Schaeuble 'blessed' the French two-year grace-period for 'missing the deficit targets', adding that "he trusts France.. and is aware of its duties and responsibilities," it is his fellow countryman that is making headlines. Though the pains to which the politicians are going to convince an increasingly gullible public that the Franco-German divide is strong, German central bank head Jens Weidmann has strongly criticized French efforts to reduce its budget deficit warning that French delays could damage the credibility of euro-zone rules. The real money man exclaimed, "you can't call that savings, as far as I am concerned," adding that France (as a 'core' member of Europe) must strive to set a positive example, and not "damage their credibility by taking advantage of the built-in flexibility." We have been vehement (here and here) that France is on the cusp of a very serious depression and this 'verbal' pressure from Weidmann will not go down well with France's Moscovici who begged, "we don't want excessive consolidation for our country, we don't want austerity beyond what is necessary," but the broad fear is that France is setting a bad example, "only a question of time before other highly-indebted countries demand concessions."
- PBOC Says China Shouldn’t Be ’Blindly Optimistic’ on Inflation (BBG)
- Foreigners Buying Half of London New Homes Prop Up Building (BBG) - first they come for the foreign deposits, then for the real assets...
- Investors Rediscovering Margin Debt (WSJ) - well, yes: it is at record highs
- China issues new rules targeting wealth management fund pools (RTRS)
- Navy $37 Billion Ships Seen Unsuitable Have 2-Year Window (BBG)
- New York may have to drop claims against BofA over Merrill (RTRS)
- FBI Rejects Boston Police Stance in Spat Over Terror Data (BBG)
- In eastern Syria oil smugglers benefit from chaos (RTRS)
The main story overnight is without doubt the dramatic plunge in the Yen, which following the breach and trigger of USDJPY 100 stops has been a straight diagonal line to the upper right (or lower for the Yen across all currency crosses) and at last check was approaching 101.50, in turn sending the USD higher in virtually all jurisdictions. However it is not so much the Yen weakness that was surprising - a nation hell bent on doubling its monetary base in two years will do that - but the accelerating response in neighboring countries all of which are seeing Japan as the biggest economic threat suddenly and all are scrambling to respond. Sure enough, midway through the evening session, Sri Lanka cut its reverse repo and repurchase rate to 9% and 7% respectively, promptly followed by Vietnam cutting its own refinancing rate from 8% to 7%, then moving to Thailand where the finance chief Kittiratt called for a rate cut exceeding 25 bps, and more jawboning from South Korea suggesting even more rate cuts from the export-driven country are set to come as it loses trade competitiveness to Japan. Asian financial crisis 2.0 any minute now?
It appears things are getting a little out of control around the world. Between the collapse in JGB implied volatilities in recent days, today's melt-down in JPY (+255 pips from pre-open US levels), the last few days melt-up in the Nikkei (+6.8% in 3 days), and now the quadrillion Yen Japanese government bond market is halted limit down as yields smash higher by 11bps to 70bps in 10Y - the highest yield since mid-February. For context, this is the worst day in JGBs in five years (and 5Y yields are back near 13 month highs). So much for controlling the domestic bond market while ratcheting up inflation expectations - remember what happens as Japan's cost of debt rises! And just to add some more fun, Japan's economy watchers see the current economic climate dropping for the first time in six months (and household expectations also fell for the first time in six months).
Japan's Nikkei 225 equity index is now within one day's new normal range of nominally crossing above the US Dow Jones Industrial Average for the first time since April 2010. The convergence of the two indices coincides with the rapid convergence of the two countries' trade-weighted currencies that dislocated last in March 2009 (suggesting that indeed Abe has achieved his initial goal of devaluing back to the USD). The move off the November lows in the Japanese equity market is stupendous - as the chart below shows, it is a perfect exponential arc (linear on a log scale chart); leaving only the question - which index hits 40,000 first as they continue to devalue themselves to economic nirvana (or valhalla).
Three days ago, in an article that looked at the convergence of 3-D printing and the 2nd Amendment, we presented "the Liberator" - the world's first fully 3-D printed firearm. The name was aptly chosen because courtesy of its creator, 25-year old UofT law student Cody Wilson, and his non-profit group Defense Distributed, its online blueprint and assembly instructions liberated "anyone to be able to download and print a gun with no serial number, in the privacy of their garage" in effect completely circumventing any gun control/distribution laws, background checks and other regulatory hurdles of an increasingly authoritarian government. In fact, we were counting the number of days before some US Federal agency would come knocking on Cody Wilson's door and involved that other key Amendment - the First, by either "disappearing him" or politely enforcing a permanent Cease and Desist of all production, including, of course, the removal of all online "liberating" blueprints. We didn't have long to wait - it took just one week.
"Inflation is a state of affairs in which there is too much money," Jim Grant notes in this Bloomberg TV interview, however, "It's not too much money chasing too few goods," he corrects the misnomer, "the thing this money chases is variable." Whether it is Iowa farmland, housing, stocks, or bonds, central banks are stuffing us with it. Yes, equities are high, but Grant explains, "beneath the surface of things or not so far beneath the surface of things," it is not at all good, adding that, "Central bank 'original sin'," is akin to Revolutionary France, and he shows no concerns over Gold's recent dip, noting "a general fatigue animus towards gold," that seems predicated on more confidence in central bankers; to Grant, "that confidence is utterly misplaced!"
Most of our frequent readers are very familiar with the work Eric Hunsader and his Nanex crew. It is not for them, but for everyone else who is still not been familiar with what the Wired business conference defined as "flash trading detective work" that we present the following 14 minute clip exposing the philosophy of the forensic consolidated tape detectives. But more importantly, Eric explains how his firm took otherwise boring terabytes of trading data and made it into a fascinating and informative explosion of animation, color and sound, all of which proves one thing: the equity markets have been hijacked from the humans, and are now dominated and controlled by the robots who provide a tsunami of liquidity when it is not needed, and dry up like the Gobi desert just as the market is imploding, as we all witnessed most recently during the AP hack-induced Hash Crash.