For Caterpillar, This Is What The "Second Great Depression" Looks Like

The second great depression, which for industrial bellwether CAT started in December 2012 and has since resulted in 32 consecutive months of declining global retail sales and over a year longer than the decline observed during the great financial crisis, refuses to go away.

What "Smart" Money? Hedge Funds Underperform Market For Seventh Straight Year

"After roughly matching the S&P 500 through most of 1H 2015, funds lowered net exposures as the market declined in late June and failed to benefit as the index rebounded in July. The typical fund has returned +0.5% YTD, with equity long/short funds rising 1.3% and event-driven funds falling by 2.0%."

Frontrunning: August 20

  • Crude prices fall towards $40 on global glut (Reuters)
  • China Central Bank Injects Most Funds Since February as Money Rates Increase (BBG)
  • Divided Fed Puts Yellen on Hot Seat (Hilsenrath)
  • So Long September: Bond Traders Defer Their Date With the Fed (BBG)
  • More Foods Boast Non-GMO Labels—Even Those Without GMO Varieties (WSJ)
  • UN to let Iran inspect alleged nuke work site (AP)
  • IAEA says access to Iran's Parchin military site meets demands (Reuters)
  • Time to End Quarterly Reports, Law Firm Says (WSJ)

Dazed And Confused: Futures Tumble Below 200 DMA, Oil Near $40, Soaring Treasurys Signal Deflationary Deluge

It is unclear what precipitated it (some blamed China concerns, fears of rate hikes, commodity weakness, technical picture deterioration although  it's all just goalseeking guesswork) but overnight S&P futures followed yesterday's unexpected slide following what were explicitly dovish Fed minutes, and took another sharp leg lower down by almost 20 points, set to open below the 200 DMA again, as the dazed and confused investing world reacts to what both the Treasury and Oil market signal is a deflationary deluge. Indeed, oil is about to trade under $40 while the 10Y Treasury was last seen trading at 2.07%. Incidentally, the last time oil was here in March of 2009, the Fed was about to unleash QE 1. This time, so called experts are debating if the Fed will hike rates in one month or three.

Economic Crisis Goes Mainstream - What Happens Next?

Last year, when alternative economic analysts were warning that the commodities crush and oil crash just after the taper of QE3 were blaring signals for a downshift in all other financial indicators, the general response in the mainstream was that we were overreacting and paranoid and that the commodities jolt was temporary. Perhaps the fact needs repeating that it’s not paranoia if they are really out to get you. Only a short time later, it is truly amazing how the rhetoric from the mainstream economic yes-men is changing. So now that the mainstream is willing to report on clear economic dangers, what happens next?

10 Things Every Economist Should Know About The Gold Standard

At the risk of sounding like a broken record we'd like to say a bit more about economists' tendency to get their monetary history wrong; in particular, the common myths about the gold standard. If there's one monetary history topic that tends to get handled especially sloppily by monetary economists, not to mention other sorts, this is it. Sure, the gold standard was hardly perfect, and gold bugs themselves sometimes make silly claims about their favorite former monetary standard. But these things don't excuse the errors many economists commit in their eagerness to find fault with that "barbarous relic." The point, in other words, isn't to make a pitch for gold.  It's to make a pitch for something - anything - that's better than our present, lousy money.

It Begins - Hillary "Trump'd" By The Donald In Key Swing State

It appears the deceitful imbroglio of Hillary's campaign have begun to wear on her most admiring ("well everyone lies a little bit right?") apologists and voters. As The Hill reports, Donald Trump tops Hillary Clinton (45% to 42%) in the latest poll from swing-state North Carolina. Clinton tops Jeb Bush and Rand Paul, so there's that, but eight Republicans (including Trump) are beating the former secretary of state. Perhaps most notably however, is that a new survey from FOX shows Trump (45%) closing in on Hillary (51%) in the presidential election matchup.

China Strengthens Yuan By Most In 2 Months Following Another Massive Liquidity Injection

The PBOC set the Yuan fix 0.08% stronger - the biggest 'strengthening' in 2 months, which is interesting because The IMF's confirmation of a delay to Yuan inclusion in the SDR basket to Oct 2016 (pending a year-end decision) asked for more flexibility. For the 3rd day in a row, The PBOC injected massive liquidity (120bn today, 110bn yesterday, 120bn Monday). Shanghai margin debt declined for a 2nd day in a row and Chinese stocks look set to open weaker.

The Unlikely Rise Of Donald Trump And Bernie Sanders

The rise of populism is not just a U.S. issue. Globalization and deregulation, especially with regard to the open adoption of new technology and work structures, is increasingly being called into question. As we have discussed previously, there is increasing potential that major political and economic changes will emerge from this vote. The emergence of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders is a reflection that the populists want a change in the direction of American policy. We will be watching closely to see whether any serious changes result.

Facing Public Fury, China Reveals Owners Of Tianjin Warehouse

Facing a growing public backlash and seeking to deflect charges that the government is complicit in a massive coverup of a completely avoidable disaster that ultimately caused the deaths of more than 100 people, Beijing has compelled the Party-affiliated majority shareholders of Tianjin International Ruihai Logistics to admit their role in circumventing restrictions on the storage and handling of hazardous chemicals.

"There Is No Other End Than A Bad One... It's A Mathematical Certainty"

When we see guys like Bernie Sanders get visibly angry at guys like Alan Greenspan it behooves all of us to go beyond the entertainment of it or some prima facie agreement and to truly understand why the anger is justified. If we were to all take the responsibility to understand the lifeblood of our American existence i.e. the economy, we will most certainly be moved to remove not only the policymakers but the system that together serve only those at the top of the economic food chain and at a cost to the rest of us. When we do we will be asking why in the hell is no one yelling at Janet Yellen??