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Peak Japaganda: Advisers Call For More QE (But Admit Failure Of QE); China's Yuan Hits 3-Week High

Asian markets are bouncing modestly off a weak US session, buoyed by more unbelievable propaganda from Japan. Abe's proclamations that "deflationary mindset" has been shrugged off was met with calls for more stimulus, more debt monetization, and an admission by Etsuro Honda (Abe's closest adviser) that Japan "is not growing positively" and more QE is required despite trillions of Yen in money-printing having failed miserably, warning that raising taxes to pay for extra budget "would be suicidal." Japanese data was a disaster with factory output unexpectedly dropping 0.5% and retail trade missing. Markets are relatively stable at the open as China margin debt drop sto a 9-month low. PBOC strengthened the Yuan fix for the 3rd day in a row to its strongest in 3 weeks.

Low Oil Prices - Why Worry?

Most people believe that low oil prices are good for the United States, since the discretionary income of consumers will rise. There is the added benefit that Peak Oil must be far off in the distance, since “Peak Oilers” talked about high oil prices. Thus, low oil prices are viewed as an all around benefit. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth...

Why The Fed Can't Stop The Next Market Crash

The Fed was late to prevent the popping of the last two bubbles, and it’s already too late to stop the popping of this one.  The Fed is consistently behind on the timing of when to reintroduce stimulus because its only choice to deal with the bubble it’s created is let it crash, or blow it up even bigger which would result in an even harder landing.  While the Fed ponders when the rate hike comes, our question is: When does QE4 start?

Wholesale Money Markets Are Broken: Ignore "Perverted" Swap Spreads At Your Own Peril

At the height of the financial crisis, the unprecedented decline in swap rates below Treasury yields was seen as an anomaly. The phenomenon is now widespread, as Bloomberg notes, what Fabozzi's bible of swap-pricing calls a "perversion" is now the rule all the way from 30Y to 2Y maturities. As one analyst notes, historical interpretations of this have been destroyed and if the flip to negative spreads persists, it would signal that its roots are in a combination of regulators’ efforts to head off another financial crisis, China selling pressure (and its impact on repo markets) and "broken" wholesale money-markets.

Three Strategies To Make Your Life Easier As Times Get Harder

No risk, no gain. But risk can deliver staggering, crushing losses if it isn't limited or hedged. Times are going to get harder going forward, for all the reasons that are already visible in today's headlines. So what can we do to make our own lives easier as times get tougher? Here are three suggested strategies...

Shorting The Federal Reserve

Holding gold is simply recognition that the Fed’s actions over the last 30 years have potentially severe consequences that pose threats to the value of most financial assets, the almighty dollar and ultimately your clients’ purchasing power. Owning gold is in effect not only a short on the dollar and on the credibility of the Federal Reserve, but most importantly a one of a kind asset that protects wealth.

Nasdaq & Small Caps Give Up "Hawkish-er Yellen" Gains As Dec Rate-Hike Odds Tumble (Again)

With NKE almost single-handedly holding The Dow up, the rest of the US equity market is rapidly giving back any gains from a hawkish Yellen and 'fixed' European automaker market. Notably, Dec rate-hike odds were 41% pre-Yellen, jumped to 49% earlier this morning, but have now fallen back to 42%... so the 'market' is not "embracing" a rate hike environment as one supposed expert said this morning...and the Biotech bloodbath is weighing everything down...

"Nothing Is Working" - The Markets Just Aren't That Into You

With just 3 months left on the calendar, many investors are down on the year for one simple reason: nothing is really working.  That leaves them only a short period to show a positive return, or at least a less-negative result than whatever index they track. To do that, many will have to make very specific and concentrated bets. It might be about equities generally – will they recover from the current growth scare?  Or it might be asset allocation – will bonds finally go up on the year?  For stock pickers, the key question is certainly “Play the winners, or look for laggards?” All we know is that with 69 days left to play catchup, time favors the fleet.  And the bold.