The Great PE Multiple Expansion Of 2011-2014: Why The Market Must Eventually Crater

The earnings season is all over except for the shouting, but the outcome doesn’t remotely validate Wall Street’s happy times narrative. Reported Q4 earnings for the S&P 500 companies (with about two-thirds reporting) stand at $25.02 per share compared to $26.48 in the year ago quarter. That’s right. So far Q4 profits are down 5% but shrinking corporate profits is something that you most definitely have not heard about on bubble vision. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. We have had a tremendous inflation of PE multiples during the last three years in anticipation, apparently, of the US economy hitting escape velocity and the overall global economy continuing to power onwards and upwards. As is evident from the financial news and “incoming” data, however, that presumption is not remotely correct.

Spot The Gold One Out

The chart below, which presents not only the total amount of sovereign gold holdings, but indicates the percentage of the monetary base backed by gold reserves, shows something rather stunning.

Dollar Tumbles On Sudden Stop Hunt

For the 2nd time this week, the most-crowded trade in the world is getting exorcised. Just as we saw on Tuesday, The US Dollar is getting monkey-hammered lower driven by heavy buying of EUR (and a stop-run at 1.1500). CAD is also well bid (back under 1.24 against the USD). JPY is the only major that is ignoring this USD dump and is lower on the day... supporting the fundamentals of equity confidence.

Russia Deploys Nuclear ICBM Launchers On Combat Patrol

Perhaps it is a coincidence that a day before John Kerry's arrival in Kiev (a visit which "coincided" with a 35% devaluation of the local currency) where among other things, he was supposed to discuss the possibility of official (as opposed to unofficial) deliveries of US "lethal support" to the civil war torn and now hyperinflation country, that Russia decided to put its nuclear ICBMs on combat patrol missions in various Russian regions. Specifically, according to Tass, "About 700 units of military equipment, including launchers are deployed in the positioning areas in the Tver, Ivanovo, Kirov, Irkutsk regions, as well as in Altai Territory and the Mari El republic."

"Elections Change Nothing" Germany Admits Distrust Of The Masses Is The EU Way

“Elections change nothing,” said Wolfgang Schäuble, Germany’s tough-minded finance minister. He was talking about Greece, but he could have been talking about the entire EU racket. What else do the people absurdly known as “experts” have to do to convince us that they don’t have all the answers? The euro was their great endeavour, for Heaven’s sake. Yet, even now, they won’t admit that it was a mistake. Distrust of the masses is in the EU’s genome.

Does Anyone Remember 2007? The Global Debt Bubble In 3 Ominous Charts

Seven years after the bursting of a global credit bubble resulted in the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, debt continues to grow. In fact, as McKinsey explains in their latest report, rather than reducing indebtedness, or deleveraging, all major economies today have higher levels of borrowing relative to GDP than they did in 2007. They pinpoint three areas of emerging risk: the rise of government debt, which in some countries has reached such high levels that new ways will be needed to reduce it; the continued rise in household debt; and the quadrupling of China’s debt, fueled by real estate and shadow banking, in just seven years... that pose new risks to financial stability and may undermine global economic growth.

The Beauty Of Deflation: It Reinstates Lost Liberty

Deflation goes hand in hand with releasing the individual from the debt enslavement that was created with the monetary policies of the past 100 years. Nigh unlimited printing of money has become the orthodox strategy to avoid deflation. Deflation was made the scapegoat for all sorts of economic ills in a century of pro-inflation propaganda. For deflation to happen government interference in money and the economy needs to stop. The endorsement of deflation goes hand in hand with safeguarding liberty. “Paper money has become the technical foundation for the totalitarian menace of our days.”

Whispers Of Greek Capital Controls Begin

That didn't take long: just hours after Greece entered the ECB countdown mode, with now just 23 days until midnight on February 28, when the ECB is set to yank the final pillar of liquidity support, the ELA - as it has warned before - it is time to start contemplating Plan B, or rather plan Z. A plan, which as described by Nordea's analyst Jan von Gerich, would be quite unpleasant for that nearly extinct class of Greeks, bank depositors, because the "plan", or rather blueprint, is a well-known one: capital controls.

"Mission Accomplished" Dow, S&P, And Nasdaq Surge To Green For 2015

The biggest short squeeze in 15 months appears to have solved the 'status quo' concerns that "everything is awesome" just like The Fed says. Following Nasdaq's brief leap into the green yesterday, this morning's melt-up has dragged The Dow, S&P and Nasdaq into positive territory for the year... just a good job macro- and micro-fundamentals are so supportive...

Putin Invites Tsipras To Visit Russia

UPDATE: And Russia reiterates its willingness to aid Greece financially... RUSSIA WOULD CONSIDER AID TO GREECE, NO REQUEST MADE: SILUANOV

While Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis' comments that "we will never ask for financial assistance in Moscow," which notably does not deny acceptance of aid if offered, and Greek Minister of Energy Panagiotis Lafazanis adding that Athens opposes the embargo imposed on Moscow, "we have no disagreement with Russia and the Russian people," it is perhaps not surprising that, as Vedemosti reports, Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke by phone with the new Prime Minister of Greece Alexis Tsipras, congratulated him on taking office, and invited him to Russia.

Market Surges On Biggest Short Squeeze In 15 Months

"Most Shorted" stocks are now comfortably green on the year after the last 4 days have seen the biggest short squeeze in 15 months. Today alone, "most shorted" stocks are up 1.8%. Welcome to the new normal dash for trash on hopes that Greece is "fixed", Q€ "works", and despite dismal US macro data, it will be the economic engine of the world...

JPM Trade Reco: "Go Long Russell, Short S&P Via Futures Or Total Return Swap"

"Go long Russell 2000 vs. short S&P 500 via futures or total return swap – Russell 2000 futures have traded persistently cheap to fair value due to the high borrow rate on small-cap stocks, while S&P 500 futures have traded rich over the last 2 years as equity financing rates were driven higher by regulatory and industry changes. A long/short trade via futures allows the investor to collect this financing spread, and thus would be expected to yield a positive carry in addition to any outperformance (this carry was ~90bps annualized over the last year based on average futures roll costs). A swap-based implementation of this trade would similarly provide a positive carry, while eliminating dividend and futures roll risk."

"Do You Believe In Second-Half Miracles?"

They are at it again... The 'smartest people in the room' have once again taken the big board-eraser to GDP growth expectations... but have no fear, for what Keynesian aggregate demand can't pull forward into Q1 will surely unleash pent-up demandedness in H2 to save the year...

Greece Refuses To Back Down: "Government Will Do As Promised" Tsipras Says

With an increasingly vitriolic tone, the new Greek government has come out swinging today with leader Alexis Tsipras making it clear that he will implement the election pledges the people of Greece voted for:

A NEW GREEK GOVT WILL BARGAIN TOUGH, AND PUT A FINAL END TO THE TROIKA AND ITS POLICIES, WE MANAGED TO DECONSTRUCT THE EUROPEAN STATUS QUO THAT WANTS MORE AUSTERITY AND LESS DEMOCRACY

"We will make the impossible, possible to turn things around in Greece" It took one week, Tsipras chides, to get European leaders to talk about the real problems and Greece will negotiate hard to "put an end to Troika," and "rebuild the country from the beginning."

US Trade Deficit Soars In December As Strong Dollar Hurts Exports, Downward Q4 GDP Revisions Imminent

And so after that epic 5.0% Q3 GDP print, driven largely by Obamacare, the payback begins, and the annualized Q4 GDP print, which came in at nearly half the previous quarter run rate, or 2.6%, is about to tumble by another ~0.5% following the just released trade data for December which saw a 17.1% surge in the US trade deficit from $39 billion (revised to $39.8 billion) to a whopping $46.6 billion in December, the widest deficit since 2012, as US exports declined 0.8% to 4194.9Bn from $196.4 Bn, while imports rose notably from $236.2Bn to $241.4Bn in the month before. All of this brought to you courtesy of the soaring USD. This was also the biggest miss to expectations of $38.0 billion since July of 2008. If this does not force policymakers to reassess the impact of the soaring dollar on US trade, nothing will.