This chart says it all: real income is declining and the bottom 95% are poorer. No wonder people are socking away what they can and tightening their spending: they have no other choice, even as the Federal Reserve strip-mines their savings.
First there were seventeen. At length, there was one. Donald Trump’s wildly improbable capture of the GOP nomination, therefore, is the most significant upheaval in American politics since Ronald Reagan. And the proximate cause is essentially the same. Like back then, an era of drastic bipartisan mis-governance has finally generated an electoral impulse to sweep out the stables.
It is the risk that the current 60% rebound in oil prices from 2016 lows is just another temporary bounce, that has forced Maersk to start preparing for the next oil crash. The company's CEO is confident that since the world keeps producing more petroleum than it can consume, it is "adapting its cost base to prepare for the risk of lower crude prices" according to Bloomberg.
"Own volatility.." is the subtle message from BofA's Michael Hartnett, who warns "don't add risk before SPX 1950-2000 range and/or VIX>20." Simply put, as he explains below, bullish "positioning shocks" & "policy shocks" are largely behind us; and there is no bullish "profits shock" coming in a world that cannot cope with a higher US dollar & higher rates.
The race for The White House appears to have taken a backseat for a news cycle as the Republican "veepstakes" gets underway. Donald Trump said this morning that he would prefer a running mate with government experience to "help with pushing legislation through," adding that he puts a 40% chance that a former rival in the Republican race would get the nod. As The Hill reports, picking a VP could be a difficult undertaking, as some potential candidates might be hesitant to hitch their political future to a polarizing figure like Trump, but there will be plenty willing to roll the dice and join his historic outsider campaign.
It appears the credit market's dead-cat-bounce party is over. Following the almost unprecedented bounce off the February lows, the last few days have seen HYG (the largest high yield bond ETF) tumble back below its 200-day moving average as credit spreads (in IG and HY) start to widen significantly. The driver of this sudden weakness is now clear - a $2.3bn 4-day outflow which is the most sudden and largest redemption ever.
Here, in under 150 words, is the best summary of the utter political chaos and corruption that is playing out behind the scenes in Brazil at this moment.
The first U.S. shipment of liquefied natural gas (LNG) arrived in Portugal last week and Gazprom did not immediately cut its own gas prices for Europe. While European media has hailed the entry of U.S. gas into the market as a game-changer and a monopoly-breaker, in the short term, nothing has changed at all.
Who could have seen this coming? Remember a week ago when TV entertainers crowed about the surge in The Baltic Dry Freight Index was a "clear signal" that 'China is back' baby and that escape velocity growth was just around the corner as global growth was destined to pick up... Well, just as we warned very explicitly, the ramp in the index merely reflected the frenzied speculation in industrial metals by the Chinese and as authorities have cracked down on that idiocy, so the Baltic Dry has plunged by the most since November... as real demand punches back.
In an surprising development for war-torn Syria, Russia's famous Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra, is giving a concert on Thursday on the stage of Palmyra's world-famous amphitheater, which until recently was under ISIS control and parts of which had been destroyed.
Despite an unprecedented amount of monetary easing taking place at the Bank of Japan, the yen has - since the middle of 2015 - been on a consistently strengthening trend versus the USD. As paradoxical as it may seem in a period when the Fed talked about, and then did raise interest rates coincident to the BOJ firing off ever more arrows, the strengthening yen has been the reality. That reality may be about to take a breather, though, as too many investors have moved to the same side of the boat in betting on yen appreciation while the “smart money” is net short the yen.
Moments ago we the latest confirmation that the hedge fund business model is indeed suffering through an existential battle when MetLife Inc., the largest U.S. life insurer, said was seeking to exit most of its hedge-fund portfolio after a slump in the investments. According to Bloomberg, the insurer is seeking to redeem $1.2 billion of the $1.8 billion in holdings, a process that may take a couple of years to complete.