News That Matters
After sliding early in Sunday pre-market trade, overnight US equity futures managed to rebound on the now traditional low-volume levitation from a low of 1938 to just over 1950 at last check, ignoring the biggest single-name blowup story this morning which is the 23% collapse in Volkswagen shares, and instead have piggybacked on what we said was the last Hail Mary for the market: the hope of more QE from either the ECB or the BOJ. Tonight, it was the latter and while Japan's market are closed until Thursday for public holidays, its currency which is the world's preferred carry trade and the primary driver alongside VIX manipulation of the S&P500, has jumped from a low of just over 119 on Friday morning to a high of 120.4, pushing the entire US stock market with it.
As WSJ reports, "the FBI has opened an investigation into allegations of money-laundering related to a Malaysian state investment fund, a person familiar with the matter said. The scope of the investigation wasn’t known. It is the latest in a series of international investigations related to the fund that have been revealed in the past several weeks."
Non-bombasitc overview of the investment climate. No, the sky is not falling. This is not the end of days.
Rousseff - hand-picked by Lula da Silva to succeed him - appears to be caught up in da Silva's backdraft. Opposition parties also claim she violated Brazil's fiscal responsibility law when she doctored government accounts to allow more public spending prior to the October election last year. Rousseff in turn described the attempt to use Brazil's economic crisis as an opportunity to seize power a modern day coup.
Most just scoff at the notion that there has been a historic global Bubble, let alone that this Bubble has over recent months begun to burst. Talk of an EM and global crisis is viewed as wackoism. Except that the Federal Reserve clearly sees something pernicious in the world that requires shelving, after seven years, even the cutest little baby step move in the direction of policy normalization. The Fed and global central banks responded to the 2008 crisis with unprecedented measures. When the reflationary effects of these policies began to wane, the unfolding 2012 global crisis spurred desperate concerted do “whatever it takes” monetary stimulus. This phase has now largely run its course, and there is at this point little clarity as to what global central bankers might try next.
The Fed is truly cornered. If it fails to hike rates it will have no ammo for when the next crisis hits the US. But it if hikes rates now while the economy is so weak (more on this in a moment), it’s likely to kick off or deepen a recession.
"Instead of acting via bond markets and banking sector, why shouldn’t public sector bypass markets altogether and inject stimulus directly into the ‘blood stream’?... CBs directly monetizing Government spending and funding projects would do the same. Whilst ultimately it would lead to stagflation (UK, 70s) or deflation (China, today), it could provide strong initial boost to generate impression of recovery and sustainable business cycle... What is probability of the above policy shift? Low over next six months; very high over the longer term."
Moody's Downgrades France, Blames "Political Constraints", Sees No Material Reduction In Debt BurdenSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 09/18/2015 16:45 -0400
Citing "continuing weakness in the medium-term growth outlook," Moody's has downgraded France:
*FRANCE CUT TO Aa2 FROM Aa1 BY MOODY'S, OUTLOOK TO STABLE
Apearing to blame The EU's "institutional and political constraints," Moody's expects French growth to be at most 1.5% and does not expect the debt burden to be materially reduced this decade.
The current surge in deflationary 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.
"The one thing I do worry a little bit about, by the way, is Treasuries. So I wouldn’t be shocked to see 10-year Treasuries, when rates are going up, people change their mind, they change direction, that they will be violently volatile and go up much faster than people think."
After so many years of the “new normal,” we have to be reminded just how extraordinary — and unprecedented — the Fed’s actions since 2008 have been. But does it not occur to bankers, much less the media breathlessly covering stock and bond markets, that these actions have set America on a hopelessly dangerous and unsustainable path? Or that placing so much economic power in the hands of a select few might not end well?
Just three short years ago, Bank of England chief economist Andy Haldane appeared a lone voice of sanity in a world fanatically-religious Keynesian-esque worshippers. Admissions in 2013 (on blowing bubbles) and 2014 (on Too Big To Fail "problems from hell") also gave us pause that maybe someone in charge of central planning might actually do something to return the world to some semblance of rational 'free' markets. We were wrong! Haldane appears to have fully transitioned to the dark side, as The Telegraph reports, he made the case for the "radical" option of supporting the economy with negative interest rates, and even suggested that cash could have to be abolished.