Residential property sales in Greater Vancouver rose 31.7% in January. That’s 46% above the 10-year sales average for the first month of the year and the second highest January ever, the Greater Vancouver Real Estate Board reports. The benchmark price for a detached home in Vancouver: $1,293,700. The "benchmark" price represents what the Real Estate Board says a "typical" home would go for on the market. If we simply take the arithmetic mean (i.e. the average), the numbers are even more astounding.
"Today’s elites have lost the sense of fear that inspired a healthy respect for the masses among their predecessors. Now they can despise them as losers, as the aristocracy of ancien régime France despised the peasants who would soon be burning their châteaux. Surely today’s elites are going to learn how to fear before we see any reversal of the recent concentration of wealth and power."
The psychology dominating the minds of most institutional investors over the past few years has been that things were slowly getting back to normal. This has weighed on institutional demand for gold in a big way, and been a meaningful factor in the bear market (manipulation aside). The problem now is that this assumption is quickly being called into question, and if this psychological shift gathers pace, the shift back into gold could be very meaningful.
Another day, another Goldman prediction fiasco, and no, we are not talking about the stop out of the firm's Top Trade for 2016, namely the long USDJPY, short EURUSD (although that should happen any minute) - we are talking about that perpetual permabull, Jan Hatzius, just admitting the economy is in far worse shape than expected (if only by him), and as a result he just "revised" his Fed rate hike call, no longer expecting a March hike, instead now forecasting that the first rate hike will be in June and "and see a total of three rate increases this year."
Or, it could be something.
Because a currency represents a relative relationship, Fed hikes could have helped pull other central banks away from the dangers and consequences of negative rates, while still helping their hidden desire for a weakened currency. Opposing central bank policy actions would cause too powerful of an impact on exchange rates. Unfortunately, it appears the path into negative territory is winning the directional battle. A classic prisoner’s dilemma has arisen for the Fed.
“The retail investor waded in again. The sheep lined up and, unfortunately, are heading for the slaughter one more time. I think it is very hard to see how this Baby Boom generation, with 10,000 of them retiring a day, can afford one more devastating crash in their stock holdings. That is, unfortunately, what we are heading for. That’s why I say it’s dangerous. When the bubble breaks, it will spill and flow throughout the Main Street economy.”
“You're not allowed to walk in your own city anymore! Go home, boy! Who the hell elected you?"...
Early last month, we asked a simple question: "Will Martin Shkreli, like the E*Trade-ing Joe Campbell whose short position in KBIO blew up when Shkreli acquired more than half of the float back in November, start a GoFundMe page in the event his collapsing holdings leave him a few million short on the bail bond?” We may soon know the answer.
Yet another attempt at rising interest rates has spectacularly fizzled out.
The US Dollar Index is crashing the most since QE1 was unleashed in Q1 2009. Following The Fed's Dudley-isms this morning desperately jawboning some dovishness back into markets, the USD has plunged but the ubiquitous risk-on rally in stocks is very evidently missing as USDJPY soars back above BoJ NIRP levels. Today's plunge is bigger than Dec 2015's ECB fail drop...
At a press briefing, China revealed its growth target for the year and for the first time since 1995, it’s a range rather than a set number. The economy will grow between 6.5% and 7% in 2016, Xu said in a tacit admission that things are indeed slowing down for the engine of global growth and trade. More notable than the growth target were comments from National Development and Reform Commission Chairman Xu Shaoshi on the country’s acute overcapacity problem, defaults, and social unrest.