"It was our Black Monday. The big question is when will they come back, because managers have been really quite reliant on Sama for business in recent years."
It was all about China once again, where following a report of a historic layoff in which China's second biggest coal producer Longmay Group fired an unprecedented 100,000 or 40% of its workforce, overnight we got the latest industrial profits figure which plunging -8.8% Y/Y was the biggest drop since at least 2011, and which the National Bureau of Statistics attributed to "exchange rate losses, weak stock markets, falling industrial goods prices as well as a bigger rise in costs than increases in revenue." In not so many words: a "hard-landing."
With liquidity in the markets drying up, it's important not only to understand the opportunity but also to understand how to execute on an opportunity!
Over the past few years no institution has had more consequences beholden to their words than the Federal Reserve. So much so one could reasonably argue in response to prevailing circumstances their communiques overshadowed most others; including presidents and other leaders. The problem today is; in their effort to bring more clarity via press-ers, and more as to what might be transpiring behind the doors at the Eccles building, they’ve now communicated more confusion in the last two weeks nullifying all previous efforts. In our eyes it seems to be working exactly the same as its other policy outcomes: adding confusion, uncertainty, and having the exact opposite of intended results.
"This is a monetary moment... we are looking at the beginning of the world’s reappraisal of the words and deeds of central bankers like Janet Yellen and Mario Draghi. You see monetary disorder manifested in super low interest rates, in the mispricing of credit broadly and you see it in the escalation of radical monetary nastrums that are floating out of the various central banks and established temples of thought: Negative real rates, negative nominal rates and the idea of helicopter money. So you need some hedge against things not going according to the script and that makes gold and gold mining equities terrifically interesting now."
"...there’s an enormous and growing disconnect between the cash and physical markets for gold. This is exactly what we would expect to precede a major market-shaking event based on a physical gold shortage."
And for once it isn't Apple...
"This is a risky business. Can they get it wrong? Absolutely they can get it wrong."
Yellen's reaffirmation of a likely rate before year-end helped lift the dollar. Look for some consolidation ahead of the US jobs data.
Holding gold is simply recognition that the Fed’s actions over the last 30 years have potentially severe consequences that pose threats to the value of most financial assets, the almighty dollar and ultimately your clients’ purchasing power. Owning gold is in effect not only a short on the dollar and on the credibility of the Federal Reserve, but most importantly a one of a kind asset that protects wealth.
The current surge in dis-inflationary pressures is not just due to the recent fall in oil prices, but rather a global epidemic of slowing economic growth. While Janet Yellen addressed this "disinflationary" wave during her post-meeting press conference, the Fed still maintains the illusion of confidence that economic growth will return shortly. Unfortunately, this has been the Fed's "Unicorn" since 2011 as annual hopes of economic recovery have failed to materialize. However, it is these ongoing views of optimism that have collided with economic realities.
- Peak in liquidity
- Deflationary recovery
- Manufacturing recession
- Capitulation of the "strong $" & "TINA" trades
With just 3 months left on the calendar, many investors are down on the year for one simple reason: nothing is really working. That leaves them only a short period to show a positive return, or at least a less-negative result than whatever index they track. To do that, many will have to make very specific and concentrated bets. It might be about equities generally – will they recover from the current growth scare? Or it might be asset allocation – will bonds finally go up on the year? For stock pickers, the key question is certainly “Play the winners, or look for laggards?” All we know is that with 69 days left to play catchup, time favors the fleet. And the bold.
When will the “nothing is happening” crowd finally wake up?