Another story from The dark side of Corporate America....
Some people talk about peak energy (or oil) supply. They expect high prices and more demand than supply. Other people talk about energy demand hitting a peak many years from now, perhaps when most of us have electric cars. Neither of these views is correct. The real situation is that we right now seem to be reaching peak energy demand through low commodity prices.
"...my personal strategy for change has morphed from speaking to power in favor of becoming a monk rather than a martyr. If I could stand in front of a tank and have it force positive change I would do so but clearly that opportunity won’t happen or present itself in this leaderless, narrowing, putrefied, lying lawless system of festering corruption. Beyond 2015, I fear it will continue to be everyman for himself and thus divided we'll fall having rejected the spirit of one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
Time for the musicians to learn the lessons that the video guys in Hollywood learned from them...
Over the past 6 weeks, the Industrial Metals Index has gotten pummeled, losing its entire post-”false breakdown” gains... and that downside could mean more than just losses in this space – it could be a warning sign for global economic demand.
Arguably, labor markets are stronger today than they have been in the past 20 years, but expectations of financial security for many of us are virtually non-existent. As ZH readers are no doubt aware, despite job numbers being “up” 280,000 last May, and average annual wages increasing 2.3 percent, Americans are still having a difficult time finding full-time work that pays a livable wage.
Just when you thought it was safe to buy the 12% collapse (the biggest since Lehman) in Chinese stocks, they re-plunge another 3-4% with no dip-buyers evident. The drivers are twofold: first, China PMI beat expectations modestly (uh oh no more QDII, QE, PSL, etc.); and second - and much more critically - The PBOC Operations Office has called for stricter regulation of brokerage liquidity (implicitly clamping down on the seemingly infinite expansion of margin lending required to fuel the boom). CHINEXT has entered a bear market (down 21.5%) and the rest of the Chinese complex is down 3-5% today (down 15-20% from the highs).
There are effectively no tools left for governments and central banks to deal with another major crisis. Like Paris in 1940, they have no Plan B. They’re completely defenseless to support the financial system or the currency in the event of a major shock. We should all take a moment to appreciate this level of incompetence. This doesn’t happen overnight. It takes decades of “blunder and neglect” to engineer financial vulnerability on this scale. But they’ve somehow managed to pull it off.
Unnamed "officials" have proclaimed a new set of Greek proposals received by Brussels tonight as "a good base," according to AFP, and thusly the Euro is very modestly bid. However, both Socgen (without a 3rd bailout of €60-80 billion over the next 3 years, Greek uncertainty remains high and leaves Grexit risk merely semi-stable) and Goldman (a deal will come only after the introduction of capital controls, a technical default on the IMF and issuance of IOUs/and a further build-up of arreas... and the damage resulting from a breaking of the integrity of the Euro would not be fixed by monetary policy alone) leave us wondering just who is buying Euros and US stocks and selling Swiss Francs as D(efault) Day looms and the 'C' word (contagion) spreads.
How can it be implied that the markets are too fragile to deal with an unexpected raise of interest rates to (gasp) 1/4 of 1%, if all the “data” we were told (or sold) has been showing signs of all this “improvement?” The question still remains: How does any Ivory Tower prognosticator, or Wall Street talking head, square all these circles? Simple – they don’t. They just act as if it they didn’t or won’t happen. Or, just continue to act as if we’re too dumb to answer. This is complacency, idiocy, and more – all turned up to 11!
The 1960s visibly changed society in a few short years, and less visibly, the economy. Two books published in 1970, at the end of the tumultuous 1960s, attempted to weave a coherent narrative of what everyone was experiencing: Future Shock and The Greening of America. If Future Shock and Present Shock have any predictive value, then we must conclude the speeding up of change is eroding our ability to make sense of present-day trends, as the velocity of change is outrunning our ability to construct coherent narratives.
Today’s America* is an ugly fraud. Today’s America* has nothing in common with the nostalgic images and grand successes of the nation as it were in her glory days. In fact, we would argue not only does America* lack any authentic representation of times past but is the antithesis of America. We have come full circle, back to the very thing our ancestors fought, died and ultimately persevered to escape.
Any economic intervention, no matter how slight, causes unintended consequences. There are things that you cannot see, that the planner cannot anticipate. There are also easy ones...
Since the beginning of this year the markets have primarily treaded water. The primary support for the bulls has been continued acknowledgement by the Fed on an inability to remove accommodative policy by raising interest rates. (Which should make you question what happens the first time they do.) The bears have been feasting on weak economic data and deteriorating fundamentals.