Back in February 2013, the creater of the BRIC acronym, Goldman's Jim O'Neill retired, but not before some very (traditionally) optimistic words of parting, namely that there is "clear evidence things are doing better economically." Nearly three years later, things are not only not doing better economically, with the entire world now engaged in outright, or quasi QE (with helicopter money to follow as Adair Turner infamous warned) just to support global asset prices, but the very emerging markets that made up the BRICs, have devolved to a state of economic freefall. And nowhere is this more obvious than in Goldman's decision to pull the plug on the infamous fund that bears the name of Goldman's most bullish acronym in history.
While the stock market had one of its best months in years, it was, like the jobs report, uncorroborated by almost everything else. The junk bond bubble, in particular, stands in sharp and stark refutation of whatever stocks might be incorporating, especially if that might be based upon assumptions of Yellen’s re-found backbone. As noted on several prior occasions, swap spreads have been sinking fast and to unprecedented levels. Though mainstream commentary will provide plausible-sounding excuses, mostly about corporate or even UST issuance, that is only because these places will not even consider that Janet Yellen has it all wrong; thus, they only search for possibilities that allow that narrative to remain undisturbed even though that narrative itself can never account for negative spreads.
The cries for going totally crazy are growing louder... the lunatics are running the asylum. One shouldn’t underestimate what they are capable of. The only consolation is that the day will come when the monetary cranks will be discredited again (for the umpteenth time). Thereafter it will presumably take a few decades before these ideas will rear their head again (like an especially sturdy weed, the idea that inflationism can promote prosperity seems nigh ineradicable in the long term – it always rises from the ashes again). The bad news is that many of us will probably still be around when the bill for these idiocies will be presented.
The funds have flowed in a torrent into stocks, bonds, and real estate, just as 1940's NY Fed President Allan Sproul predicted. That flood of easy-money created the delta of plenty in which we live today. Unfortunately, it’s not likely to continue, because funny things happen when you do funny things to money.
"After many years of ultra-accommodative polices, it is clear that ongoing interventions have failed to boost actual economic growth and only exacerbated the destruction of the middle class. It is clear that employment growth has only been a function of population growth, as witnessed by the ongoing decline in the labor-force participation rates and the surging levels of individuals that have fallen out of the work-force. While we will continue to operate to foster maximum employment and price stability, the reality is that the economy overall remains far to weak to sustain higher interest rates or any tightening of monetary policy."
"This is essentially the result of very low export prices out of China that are impacting prices worldwide. It is obvious that we are operating in a very challenging market."
As of the week ended October 28, Primary Dealer corporate holdings tumbled across both IG and HY, plunging to the lowest level in years in what can only be called a rapid liquidation of duration risk.
"The most liquid capital markets in the world," were halted for 5 seconds this morning as "great news" on surging jobs sent bond markets into turmoil...
"Everything is awesome." The Fed got just what it wanted... surge in jobs and a surge in wages - which has sent December rate hike odds from 56% to 74%. This appears to be a problem for everything else. The dollar has soared (EURUSD almost a 1.06 handle), Bond yields have exploded (though the long-end is notably outperforming), stock prices plunged, and commodities across the board are getting hammered.
As DB so well-puts it, "Welcome to random number generator day also known as US payrolls." Consensus expects 185k jobs to have been added in October but it’s fair to say that the whisper number has edged up this week with slightly firmer US data. It is also fair to say that even if one knew the number beforehand, it would be impossible to know how the market will react.
Until recently, the consensus assumed a strengthening of the global economy in 2016. It won’t happen. If the global economic growth manages to reach 3.1% next year, as forecast by the IMF, it will be a miracle. We are close to the end of the current economic cycle. The outbreak of a new global crisis in the coming years is inevitable. The Fed and other central banks are in a dead-end having fallen in the same trap as the Bank of Japan. If they increase rates too much, they will precipitate another financial crisis. It is impossible to stop the accommodative monetary policy.
On the heels of yesterday's news that an Illinois cop staged his own suicide after being caught stealing money from a kid's fund, today's news is just pouring more fuel on the fire of public faith in America's police force. Late last month, an Arkansas police officer sparked a manhunt and investigation after claiming a motorist shot him during a traffic stop. In reality, the officer shot himself, and once authorities discovered this, he was subsequently fired and arrested for filing a false police report.
“TR’s motto was to speak softly but carry a big stick, but the ‘speak softly’ means talk to other people, see what we can do to reach agreement.”