Something isn’t working. Not for Janet Yellen nor for any of her delusional central banker buddies around the world. Their tricks no longer work. They just make the tidal wave higher.
With The Atlanta Fed's slashing its Q1 GDP growth expectations to just 0.1%, consensus estimates for 2016 growth have collapsed. However, none of this should surprise anyone as this is the sixth year in a row that over-optimistic growth hopes devolve into hype for more stimulus and a hockey-stick just around the corner. While expectations have not improved since 2010, at least one these dreadful soothsayers is defending this year's drop in the same old manner - by promising that H2 will be better, for these 4 reasons...
Should US monetary policy not be on the path to normalization, a fundamental change in the benefit of gold ownership is taking place, and this increased investment demand should lead to higher gold prices. Gold investment appears to be moving towards stronger fundamentals than we have seen over the past few years.
In the past 60 years, there has never been a recession starting before the peak in profit margins. However, once margins have peaked, the likelihood of a downturn increases materially... We believe that the rollover in profit margins will be a constraint for equities, as profits have tended to drive most economic variables, capex and employment in particular. It will also likely have negative implications for corporate activity, especially as M&A, buybacks and dividends are at cycle highs, and US financing conditions are deteriorating.
"Money-financed fiscal programs (MFFPs), known colloquially as helicopter drops, are very unlikely to be needed in the United States in the foreseeable future. They also present a number of practical challenges of implementation, including integrating them into operational monetary frameworks and assuring appropriate governance and coordination between the legislature and the central bank. However, under certain extreme circumstances—sharply deficient aggregate demand, exhausted monetary policy, and unwillingness of the legislature to use debt-financed fiscal policies—such programs may be the best available alternative."
... consider mom and pop and other people who read Barron’s. They are saving for retirement and to put their kids through college. They might have depended on a historic 8%-like return from stocks and bonds. Well, sorry. When interest rates get to zero—and that isn’t the endpoint; they could go negative—savers are destroyed. And savers are the bedrock of capitalism. Savers allow investment, and investment produces growth.
"We continue to live in a low default world for now though. Even though defaults picked up in 2015, B/BB default rates were still comfortably below their long-term average which they have been for well over a decade now with 2009 being the only exception. Indeed last year’s default rate for global Bs (up from 0.9% to 2.7%) was still lower than all of the first two decades of the modern era of leveraged finance up to 2003. So in spite of all the challenges we face this era has been characterized by astonishingly low default rates. There are clear signs the cycle is turning though, especially in the US."
Diversification of deposits remains vital and one important way to protect against bail-ins is owning bullion. Taking delivery of gold and silver coins and bars or owning bullion in allocated and segregated storage in the safest vaults in the world is a prudent way to protect against bail-ins.
it has been a rather quiet session, which saw Japan modestly lower dragged again by a lower USDJPY which hit fresh 17 month lows around 170.6 before staging another modest rebound and halting a six-day run of gains; China bounced after a slightly disappointing CPI print gave hope there is more space for the PBOC to ease; European equities rose, led by Italian banks which surged ahead of a meeting to discuss the rescue of various insolvent Italian banks, while mining stocks jumped buoyed by rising metal prices with signs of a pick-up in Chinese industrial demand.
Things are going from bad to worse for the efficacy of the grand - and failed from the beginning - experiment known as Abenomics. As Bloomberg reports, Larry Fink's Blackrock has changed its stance on investing in Japan, and joins Citigroup, Credit Suisse, and LGT Capital Partners, the $50 billion asset manager based in Switzerland in their decision to head for the exits. Ironically, Blackrock's decision comes only a few months after blogging about "The Case for Investing in Japan", in which they explicitly cited increased demand for Japanese stocks.
"We continue to think Greece has the potential to return to the headlines, and we do not rule out the prospect of “Grexit” returning... We note the more fragile European political environment (Dutch referendum, UK’s EU referendum, likely snap elections in Spain, key elections in France and Germany in 2017) compared to previous episodes, and the possibility that the increased noise around Greece could potentially influence the UK referendum on EU membership. Furthermore, the ongoing migration crisis in which Greece plays a central role is exacerbating tensions at both domestic and European levels."
The mainstream loves to hate gold, but then again, these are the same people who were bearish on gold all the way up from $250 to $1,900 (some turned bullish shortly before it topped, but that’s another story). What actually explains all this contempt for gold is the fact that it remains the main antagonist of the current statist centrally planned fiat money system. It’s as simple as that.
Globally we calculate that earnings are currently falling in 29 of the largest 30 MSCI ACWI markets, with the sole exception being Switzerland. For DM this is the seventh earnings recession since the early 1970s. If it ends now it will tie for the least severe in percentage decline terms and win for being the shortest in months of duration of the last 45 years. The longest earnings recession was that which ran from August 1989 to June 1993 while the deepest was the 60% decline in earnings during the GFC.
It is commonly assumed that the gold price and interest rates move in opposite directions. Like all assumptions about prices, sometimes it is true and sometimes not. The market today is all about synthetic gold, gold which is referred to but rarely delivered. The current relationship is therefore one of relative interest rates, because positions in synthetic gold are financed from wholesale money markets. This is why a rumour that interest rates might rise sooner than expected, if it is reflected in forward interbank rates, leads to a fall in the gold price. To the extent that this happens, the gold price has been captured by the modern banking system, but it was not always so.