Gazing from the windows of the International Space Station with your economic eyeglasses on, earth is now a pool of festering asset bubbles ready to burst with The FOMC not about to ruin that party anytime soon. Not to be left out, astronaut Terry Virts created his very own effervescence as bubbles have now reached space...
Global oil prices have returned to a state of flux. This is hardly news to any who follow the oil markets closely and yet prices continue to drive international headlines. While oil prices are notoriously difficult to predict, it has failed to deter the speculators. There are those warning that the latest dip is a precursor for $40 a barrel, a catastrophe for oil markets in some minds. On the other end of the spectrum are the optimists betting on a return to $100 by 2020. The World Bank has taken a typically middle-of-the-road approach, with forecasts of $57 a barrel in 2015. That said, given Iran’s potential revitalization, Russia’s murky outlook, and U.S. shale supply limits uncertain, prices will be responsive to supply and demand trends; at least in the short to medium term.
If yesterday's 3 Year auction was far stronger than expected, then today's 5 Year auction was an absolute whopper, printing moments ago at a high yield of 1.625%, 0.5bps through the When Issued, but it was the internals that were most impressive, not so much the Bid to Cover which jumped from 2.39 to 2.58, the highest since November, but the real stunner just like in yesterday 3Y auction, was the central bank, aka Indirect, interest because while the foreign central bank bid in yesterday's 3 Year auction were the highest since 2009, today's 67.5% Indirect takedown was the strongest on record!
Biotech has a special place in the heart of the gambler investor. In the modern market where the average investor doesn't stand a chance, some of them indulge their hope and turn to lottery tickets. If only they can get the next Gilead or the next Amgen, they will become the next wildly successful "maverick" investor. More lottery tickets seem to be flying around than usual lately, floating alongside the recent biotech bubble. Some have doubted if this is a bubble. Maybe it's different this time. The SF Gate pondered this exact same question 15 years ago, and the market promptly replied.
Unlike largely pacifist Japan, in China increasing militarism merely leads to a boost in "rally around the flag" morale, and greater patriotic support for the government. Which is probably also why China was eager to release at least one clip showcasing its latest naval "live fire" military capabilities, as shown on the recording below.
Did you know that the Federal Reserve pays an annual 6% dividend to its shareholders, i.e., the member banks of the cartel? Must be nice, considering savers who had nothing to do with cratering the world economy, and failed to receive a taxpayer funded bailout, can barely earn 0.5% on their money. It’s also quite bizarre. How many other “public institutions” have private shareholders to whom they pay 6% risk free dividends? None, which once again highlights the point that the Federal Reserve is NOT a public institution working on behalf of the citizenry, but is rather a banking cartel designed to enriched and protect its member banks (as we saw on clear display in 2008). It appears that some members of Congress are now targeting the estimated $17 billion per year paid out by the Fed to its member banks via the highway-funding bill.
Here is the paradox as succinctly summarized by Deutsche Bank, which notes that the current -29% year-over-year drop in the CRB index implies YoY headline CPI inflation falling from 0.1% to -0.9% over the next couple of months, or just in time for the September or December FOMC meetings both proposed as the "lift off" date. This would be the largest year-over-year drop since September 2009 (-1.3%) and one of the lowest prints in modern history.
Total US crude production slumped over 1.5% last week - the biggest decline since October 2013. Add to that a considerable inventory draw of over 4.2mm barrels (against expectations of a build)... and crude prices are surging.
"How would US Treasury bulls in the private sector react if they knew in advance that the second largest owner of Treasuries, the PBOC, was a forced seller of Treasuries. Such compelled selling would be obvious before US markets opened each morning as downward pressure on the RMB exchange rate in Asia forced the PBOC to liquidate foreign currency assets to defend the fixed exchange rate. Would even Treasury bulls stand in the way of such a large and predictable liquidation? If they didn’t then the second phase of The Great Reset would come to pass and the decline of EM external deficits would force tighter monetary policy in both EM and DM."
Following new home sales disappointment, pending home sales dropped 1.8% in June (missing expectations of a 0.9% rise) for the biggest drop sicne Dec 2013. After 5 months of gains, and with median prices at record highs, it appears affordability is crushing hopes of any sustained 'recovery' once again. Modest gains in the Northeast and West were offset by larger declines in the Midwest and South, but Larry Yun has an explanation, hold-out buyers are waiting for a better entry point (in other words - pent up demand is there). Did Chinese buyers just evaporate?
10 year Greek bond yields are spiking this morning (and prices therefore plunging) as trading actvity picks up in the dormant peripheral capital markets. The 2025s are downover 5pts from their last traded price back in late June with yields spiking back up toward 12.5%. This derisking comes after, as we detailed earlier, not only is the Greek economy collapsing but while Brussels is "satisfied with the smooth and constructive cooperation with the Greek authorities and that should allow us to progress as swiftly as possible," Greek PM Tsipras is threatening snap election as rebellion within 'his' party grows.
As Turkey requests NATO support after launching strikes against both ISIS and PKK, question have arisen about Ankara's links to Islamic State and about the real aim of the country's "terror" crackdown.
"Erdogan is trying to achieve the result he failed to in the June 7 election in a political coup. That's the real aim of the steps taken now." "ISIS commanders told us to fear nothing at all because there was full cooperation with the Turks."
There will always be some "crisis" or excuse to do nothing. But the fact remains that the U.S. economy is not at zero interest rate health. Monetary policy is broken with the status quo. Unlimited and constant central bank participation in the markets is ultimately destructive, encourages dangerous risk taking (just buy every dip, nothing can go wrong,) and has become too much of an aphrodisiac for policy makers. Savers are being told you are the patsies for share buybacks.