From our perspective, the fundamental reason for economic stagnation and growing income disparity is straightforward: Our current set of economic policies supports and encourages a low level equilibrium by encouraging debt-financed consumption and discouraging saving and productive investment. We permit an insular group of professors and bankers to fling trillions of dollars about like Frisbees in the simplistic, misguided, and repeatedly destructive attempt to buy prosperity by maximally distorting the financial markets.
The reality might just be that the collective "we," and quite possibly sooner than we think, really will need a bigger boat. That is, as it pertains to the global debt markets, which have swollen past the $200 trillion mark this year rendering the great white featured in Jaws which can be equated with past debt markets as defenseless and small as a small, striped Nemo by comparison. The question for the ages will be whether size really does matter when it comes to the debt markets...
"I am speechless. Not since yesterday or last week. I have been speechless since July 13th when the Greek left-wing coalition government agreed to burden the country and the people with a new loan, the third bailout for Greece since 2010 together with the strictest austerity program ever. I really don’t care if Varoufakis wears tasteless shirts and why he wanted to ‘hack’ taxpayers’ numbers while sitting with his team of skilled hackers and childhood friends... I just don’t care. It doesn’t affect my life, not even a tiny little bit. I give neither a a whole dam nor half of it for this so-called Greek political agenda after July 13th. What do I care about is watching my country and the people falling into pieces."
After a lukewarm start by the Chinese "market", which had dropped for the past 6 out of 7 days despite ever escalating measures by Beijing to manipulate stocks higher, finally the Shanghai Composite reacted favorably to Chinese micromanagement of stock prices and closed 3.7% higher as Chinese regulators stepped up their latest measures by adjusting rules on short-selling in order to reduce trading frequency and price volatility, resulting in several large brokerages suspending short sell operations. At this pace only buy orders will soon be legal which just may send the farce of what was once a "market" limit up.
When we insist that markets are broken and the equities have been consigned to the gambling casinos, look no farther than today’s filing by Alpha Natural Resources. Markets, which were this wrong on a prominent name like ANRZ at the center of the global credit boom, did not make a one-time mistake; they are the mistake. As it now happens, the global credit boom is over; DM consumers are stranded at peak debt; and the China/EM investment frenzy is winding down rapidly. Now comes the tidal wave of global deflation...
We have lived through a credit hyper-expansion for the record books, with an unprecedented generation of excess claims to underlying real wealth. In doing so we have created the largest financial departure from reality in human history. Bubbles are not new – humanity has experienced them periodically going all the way back to antiquity – but the novel aspect of this one, apart from its scale, is its occurrence at a point when we have reached or are reaching so many limits on a global scale. The retrenchment we are about to experience as this bubble bursts is also set to be unprecedented, given that the scale of a bust is predictably proportionate to the scale of the excesses during the boom that precedes it. Deflation and depression are mutually reinforcing, meaning the downward spiral will continue for many years. China is the biggest domino about to fall, and from a great height as well, threatening to flatten everything in its path on the way down. This is the beginning of a New World Disorder…
Chinese Stocks Slide Again, Copper Tumbles To 6 Year Low; Greek Market Crashes After One Month Trading HaltSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 08/03/2015 06:57 -0400
If China had hoped it would root out intervention by eliminating Citadel's rigging algos, and unleash a buying spree it was wrong: the Shanghai Composite opened negative, and never managed to cross into the green, despite the usual last hour push higher, ending down -1.1% and down for 6 of the past 7 days. The real action, however, was not in Asia but in Europe, and specifically Greece, where the stock market finally reopened after a 1+ month "capital control" hiatus. Despite the attempt to micro manage the reopening, the result was not pretty, with stocks crashing 23% at the open and staging barely a rebound trading -17% as of this moment, even as banks promptly traded down to the -30% limit as the realization that an equity-eviscerating recapitalization (or bail-in) is now inevitable.
The IMF failures in Greece bring back vivid memories of the Asian Financial Crisis of 1997-98... As the Indonesian episode should teach us, the IMF’s management can be very political and often neither trustworthy nor competent. Greece offers yet another chapter.
This erosion of opportunities to complete life's stages and core dramas is rarely recognized, much less addressed. The End of Secure Work and the diminishing returns of financialization are disrupting these core human challenges and frustrating those who are unable to proceed to the next stage of life...
It appears Chicago businesses are immune to the vaguaries of the worst quarterly wage growth in US history. Following significant weakness earlier in the year, Chicago PMI surged to 54.7, the second highest in 2015, smashing expectations of a 50.8 print. Having flashed its recessionary warning lights, while 7 underlying factors improved led by increased production and new orders (and prices paid), employment continued to fall (though at a slower pace). After missing in July's preliminary print (93.3 vs 94.0), UMich consumer sentiment final print for July dropped even further to 93.1, heading back towards the lows of the year as hope plunged from 87.8 to 84.1 - the lowest since Nov 2014.
Moments ago energy titan Exxon Mobile, which not too long ago was bigger than AAPL by market cap, and is now roughly half the size of the phone maker, reported earnings which were, in a word, a bloodbath.
"The Virtuous Emerging Market Cycle Is Turning Vicious" Albert Edwards Remembers The 1997 Asian CrisisSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 07/30/2015 13:52 -0400
Given that some two-thirds of Wall Street traders have never experienced a Fed tightening cycle, SocGen's Albert Edwards is not surprised he gets blank looks when he tries to explain how recent events in commodity and EM markets are in many key (worying) ways similar to the 1997 Asian crisis.
With stocks just 1-2% from record highs, because China is fixed, oil is recovering, Europe is awesome, and gas prices are low? it appears the talking heads forgot to tell the 'people' how great things are. Bloomberg's Consumer Comfort index plunged (by the most since Sept 2014) to hover at 18 month lows as 70% of Americans see the state of the economy as negative. Rather amusingly an intriguing 1% of Americans see the state of the economy as 'excellent' - wonder which 1% that is...
A look at the internals reveals a major surprise - while many said that the Q1 economy does not expose the true strength of the US consumer (instead of shopping in stores, they shopped online which wasn't captured or comparable), what actually happened was that Personal Consumption Expenditures as a % of GDP actually declined from 1.4% to 1.2% when netting out the harsh winter impact. As in the real economic driver was even weaker and this time you can't blame it on the weather!
The worst "economic expansion" in history was even worse than previously expected.