The Fed's Artificial Steepening Of The Yield Curve

To be blunt about it, the Federal Reserve under interest rate targeting clearly and artificially shifted the treasury curve toward steepness; they did so as a means to influence investor behavior and, as silly as it sounds, mood. In other words, the yield curve is not made solely out of actual market and fundamental conditions, but of influence from decidedly non-market political action (actually only threats of action that have been forced only since 2007). Given that station, there is no real reason to believe that absolute levels bear any similar resemblance to signals of past function... in other words - waiting for curve inversion as a signal of recession is no longer valid.

Japanese Stocks Could See Repeat Of 2013 Plunge

“The market isn’t going to continue going up in a straight line,” said Ayako Sera, a Tokyo-based market strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank speaking to Bloomberg. Amid a central bank fueled furious rally, some investors see a replay of the May 2013 correction in store for Japanese equities.

"Danger, Will Robinson!"

Some people never learn. Even though we’ve experienced two horrific stock market crashes in the last fifteen years, with losses of 40% to 80%, the professional monkeys posing as investment experts ignore facts, history, and common sense. Will the Ivy League MBA’s heed these warnings? Not a chance. They think they are the smartest guys in the room.

Bank Of Japan's 10 Trillion Equity Portfolio "Not Large" Says Bank Of Japan

"The central bank's portfolio has a book value of around 5.7 trillion yen. But soaring share prices have lifted its market value past the 10 trillion yen mark -- nearly 2% of the tally for all Tokyo Stock Exchange shares," Nikkei notes. While this may seem like a lot, Haruhiko Kuroda begs to differ.

Putin Security Council Slams Obama Attempts At "New World Order"

"The Strategy emphasizes the US desire to proceed with the formation of a new global economic order. Significant efforts by the US and its allies will be directed to the formation of anti-Russian policy states, with which Russia has established partnership relations, as well as to reduce Russian influence in the former Soviet Union. [The US will] continue the policy of preserving the global dominance of the United States [and] increasing the combat capabilities of NATO," a statement on the Russian Security Council's webpage says.

Lessons From The German Hyperinflation Of The 1920s

The German hyperinflation episode in the early 1920s is often quoted as an example of the dire consequences of excessive money printing – a leading industrial economy succumbing to the dangers of currency debasement promoted by incompetent central bankers. Alas, the reality is more complex than that, particularly when certain geopolitical and economic constraints of that time are taken into consideration. And as we shall see, we can draw some important lessons from that episode that can help us gauge the effectiveness of our very own currency debasement in the 21st century.

BofA's Modest Proposal For Greece: "A Negative Shock May Be Necessary"

Either Greece will stop trying to save the failed past and look into the future, treating the crisis and the adjustment program as opportunities to finally implement urgently needed reforms, or the country will be eventually forced to exit the euro, in our view.  Economics 101 teaches us that an economy can survive within a monetary union only if it has fiscal policy room and structural flexibility to respond to asymmetric shocks. In our view, Greece had none and has none. We see no solution for Greece within the Eurozone without reforms.

Soldier Exchanged By Obama For 5 Taliban Captives Charged With Desertion

Back in May 2014, Obama shocked much of America when, in stark rejection of long-standing US policy not to negotiate with "terrorists", he agreed to exchange Sgt. Bowe Berghdahl for five Taliban prisoners held at Guantanamo. The prisoner exchange further raised eyebrows when it was suggested that Bergdahl hardly deserved such an executive action because he was captured only because he had deserted his post: a treason-worthy offense. Unfortunately, today was yet another day of humiliation for an administration whose most recent foreign "success" was arming the Yemen rebels with hundreds of millions in weapons when earlier this afternoon. the Army announced it would officially charge Bowe Bergdahl with desertion for leaving his post in 2009, his attorney said Wednesday.

US Hegemony, Dollar Dominance Are Officially Dead As China Scores Overwhelming Victory In Bank Battle

The China-led development bank essentially marks an epochal shift away from traditionally US-dominated multinational institutions like the IMF and the ADB. Meanwhile, it also represents an implicit attempt by the Chinese to usher in a kind of sino-Monroe Doctrine. The more isolated the US becomes as it relates to the new venture, the more transparent its motives seem. This was never about “standards” (the original excuse for Washington’s opposition to the bank), but rather about stifling Chinese ambition. "America seems to be confirming China’s darkest fears: it has adopted a policy of containment that is wrong in principle and has failed in practice," notes The Economist.

Pay Attention To The Warning Signs

The negative divergence of the markets from economic strength and momentum are simply warning signs and do not currently suggest becoming grossly underweight equity exposure. However, warning signs exist for a reason, and much like Wyle E. Coyote chasing the Roadrunner, not paying attention to the signs has tended to have rather severe consequences. When the market eventually cracks, the "disposition" effect will trump all the good intentions of "buying and holding" for the long-term. The eventual "panic to sell" will lead to a significant destruction in investment capital and a reversion in investor psychology to extreme negativity. While the basic premise of investing is to "buy low" and "sell high," repeated studies show that there are precious few who do.

Brazil Confidence Plummets To Record Low As Central Bank Admits Currency War Defeat

Four and a half years after Brazil's FinMin Guido Mantega first re-introduced the world to the term "currency wars," it appears the Brazilians have admitted defeat. Amid what Goldman calls a sharp decline in consumer confidence - to the lowest level in series history - which could also extend the ongoing macroeconomic adjustment processes and therefore delay the recovery of the economy; Brazil's central bank has announced that it will no longer intervene to support the Real via its Dollar-Swap program. In a SNB2.0-esque move, though somewhat anticipated by the market, Brazil enables the devaluation that has occurred to perhaps extend (improving competitiveness) and removing what was becoming a notable fiscal drag. Implicitly, Brazil just followed the Swiss and admitted defeat in the global currency war...

The American Dream Part 1 - America Is No Longer A Republic Or A Democracy

“Government can have no more than two legitimate purposes,” wrote the 18th-century English political philosopher William Godwin, “the suppression of injustice against individuals within the community and the common defense against external invasion.” But the US system of government – nourished by the almost unlimited credit that its money gives it – has swelled to a shape that would have been grotesque and unrecognizable to Godwin. To those who still maintain some romantic attachment to the ideals of the American Revolution, it is merely repulsive.

On Greek "Independence Day", Creditors Prepare To Seal Athens' Fate

With The ECB banning Greek banks from continuing the GGB-buying ponzi scheme, the banking system in deposit outflow panic, cash running extremely dry, food shortages building, and bond/loan payments looming, Greek celebrations of Independence Day today are likely tempered by European officials coin-tossing over the nation's future (in or out of the EU). 196 years after winning their sovereignty from The Ottoman Empire, one wonders if The Greeks have the ability to fight their sovereignty back from "The Institutions." Perhaps, in the future, The Greeks will mourn "In Dependence" Day as opposed to celebrating "Independence" Day...