- "Soaring consumer confidence" - How the Economy Is Stoking Voter Anger at Incumbent Governors (WSJ)
- Euro zone deflation worries shield German Bunds from upbeat Fed (Reuters)
- Greece’s Euro Dilemma Is Back as Minister Sees Volatility (BBG)
- Ukraine gas supplies in doubt as Russia seeks EU payment deal (Reuters)
- Sterling Lads Chats Show FX Traders Matching Fix Orders (BBG)
- NATO Tracks Large-Scale Russia Air Activity in Europe (WSJ)
- U.K. SFO Charges Ex-Tullett Prebon Broker in Libor-Rigging Probe (BBG)
- Jerusalem on edge after shooting of rabbi (FT)
- Israeli police kill Palestinian suspected of shooting far-right activist (Reuters)
- Samsung seeks smartphone revamp to arrest profit slide (Reuters)
To summarize (even though with liquidity as non-existant as it is, this may be completely stale by the time we go to print in a minute or so), European shares erase gains, fall close to intraday lows following the Fed’s decision to end QE. Banks, basic resources sectors underperform, while health care, tech outperform. Companies including Shell, Barclays, Aviva, Volkswagen, Alcatel-Lucent, ASMI, Bayer released earnings. German unemployment unexpectedly declines. The Italian and U.K. markets are the worst-performing larger bourses, the Swiss the best. The euro is weaker against the dollar. Greek 10yr bond yields rise; German yields decline. Commodities decline, with nickel, silver underperforming and wheat outperforming. U.S. jobless claims, GDP, personal consumption, core PCE due later.
"Gold is a good place to put money these days given its value as a currency outside of the policies conducted by governments." ... "I don’t think it’s possible" for the Fed to end its easy-money policies in a trouble-free manner. ... "Effective demand is dead in the water" and the effort to boost it via bond buying "has not worked."
"Reporters on the ground aren’t necessarily ideological, Attkisson says, but the major network news decisions get made by a handful of New York execs who read the same papers and think the same thoughts. Often they dream up stories beforehand and turn the reporters into 'casting agents,' told 'we need to find someone who will say...' that a given policy is good or bad. “We’re asked to create a reality that fits their New York image of what they believe,"
Almost exactly a month ago, long before the Texas Ebola fiasco, when virtually nobody had heard of a small company out of Ronkonkoma, NY called Lakeland Industries and whose only product is "industrial protective clothing for industry, municipalities, healthcare and to first responders" i.e., Hazmat suits, we asked "i) who will get sick next and ii) how bad could it get?" For the answer we focused on the recently announced order of 160,000 Hazmat suits by the US State Department which had come at a time when the CDC was urging everyone that there is nothing to fear and that Ebola is under control. Fast forward to today when shortly after the close, and minutes after it announced the completion of another $11 million follow on offering, Lakeland surprised everyone, and especially those who are short the stock, when it released the following "Update on Business Activity Relating to Ebola Crisis" in which it announced that it has, by now, received a stunning 1 million Hazmat suit orders and rising exponentially.
Ahead of tomorrow's decision by the FOMC, Peter Schiff ventured on to CNBC to discuss the economy, the fed, and gold... among other things. Schiff rightly fears that while the Fed may well stop QE3 tomorrow, QE4 will not be too long behind it as he notes, rather eloquently, that "an economy that lives by QE, will die by QE" as the Fed's total lack of willingness to allow stocks to fall (see Bullard 2 weeks ago) or a 'cleansing' recession leaves the nation's economy in far worse shape than it was before the Fed's intervention. Schiff calmly replies to the anchor's questions (as she proclaims "I am not on the side of the Fed but..."), gently explains his view on gold when challenged about his 'wrongness', but when a guest starts hounding him for being dangerous to CNBC viewers wealth... Schiff (rightly) loses it - must watch!
US shale oil is now the marginal swing barrel in the new world oil order, and as Goldman Sachs warns (despite Larry Kudlow apparently knowing better), a decline in WTI to $75/bbl would start to significantly slow US shale growth (and thus employment, capex, and the entire US economy).
Last week we noted a near-record number of VLCC oil tankers sailing towards Chinese ports as we speculated that the world's largest economy looked to rebuild its strategic petroleum reserve at low-low prices. Now we know... as Bloomberg reports, China National United Oil Co., a unit of the country’s biggest energy company, bought the most ever cargoes of Middle East crude through a pricing platform in Singapore. "The big question is what China will do with all of these cargoes," notes one analyst, "It's very difficult for the market to know Chinaoil's strategy."
Based on the lessons of history, all empires collapse eventually; thus, the probability that the US empire will collapse can be set at 100% with a great deal of confidence. The question is, When? (Everyone keeps asking that annoying question.)
Eric Holder has voiced his strong support for "wholesale change" in the Ferguson Police department adding that it is "pretty clear" and "appropriate," coming on the heels of a possible resignation of Chief Thomas Jackson (who happens to be white) and potential dismantling of the department. One wonders what will happen in Philadelphia after this clip of a not-white police officer abusing a black civilian reaches Holder's 'old' desk...
When we last looked at the amount of $100 bills printed by the Treasury's Bureau of Engraving and Printing, we were a little concerned because it appeared that the Fed's infatuation with growing bank reserves had finally spilled over into the physical money printing arena, after a record 4.4 billion $100 bills were printed just a year after the Treasury had, at the Fed's request, printed another 3 billion of the new banknotes. In retrospect this wasn't a case of the Fed wishing to unleash Weimar upon the US - at least not yet - but merely part of the ongoing process of replacing old $100 bills with the new "plastic" ones. This amounted to over $750 billion in new $100 bills alone being unleashed on the market, well over half of the entire amount of US paper currency in circulation.
Confirming Rick Santelli's perspective on the unending 'easiness' of the Fed, Hoisington Investment Management's Lacy Hunt states unequivocally that "The Fed will not raise rates in 2015," and warns that the US economy and monetary policy "are not on the right path," in this excellent brief interview. Santelli slams the Fed's asymmetric policy, coining a new phrase that Yellen is only "weak-data"-dependent and Hunt confirms that "by its past policy errors, the Fed has put itself out of business," enabling massive build ups of debt, warning that "debt is an increase in current spending in lieu of future spending," and confirms the truth that rather than deleveraging, "the world is significantly more leveraged now than in 2008."
"Remember, the Fed has injected into the market nearly 4 Trillion dollars. That’s $4,000,000,000,000.00. To put this into perspective... the equivalent in dollar amounts to have purchased 510 B-2 Stealth Bombers, 72 Nimitz Class Air Craft Carriers, 120 Ohio Class Submarines. and still have Two TRILLION or so left in my pocket left to spend." As far as what we have to show for all this spending at the end of QE this month? Who knows, but I do know – we didn’t even get a lousy T-shirt.
"Everyone" knows that yields have to rise when the Fed tightens, right? With yields so low, "everyone" knows that bonds are the worst investment if The Fed begins to hike rates, right? Wrong! As the following chart from Goldman Sachs shows - over the last 32 rate-hike cycles, 10Y bond yields have compressed after the rate-hike cycle begins... So be careful what you wish for on Fed tightening!