While the pile of debt keeps growing and monetary intrusion becomes more drastic by the day, there’s almost no talk of inflation. A growing number of investors ask themselves this question.
In yesterday's stage-setting drama, "coming in mid-November" replaced of the often heard "plead the fifth" as response of choice for Marilyn Tavenner (CMS Administrator). Today brings the main event, amid another server crash, as Kathleen Sebelius (HHS Secretary) takes the stand to explain healthcare.gov's shortcomings and how great it will all be at some point in the future if we just have some patience, spend a few more billions of taxpayer money on lines of code, and ignore the fact that the website is just the start of the problems with Obamacare... Her initial remarks (released early - below) are almost exactly the same as her testimony to Congress (and a carbon copy of Tavenner's remarks): “I want to assure you that HealthCare.gov can be fixed, and we are working around the clock to give you the experience that you deserve.”
Since Obamacare made its debut, discussions have focused on Ted Cruz' efforts to defund the law and the shockingly bad functionality of the Website itself. Fortunately for Obama, polling indicates that Senator Cruz has lost, at least for now, the battle for hearts and minds. The President has not been nearly so lucky on the technological front. If current trends continue, the rollout may go down as the worst major product launch in history. But given the government's enormous resources, it's safe to say that the site itself will ultimately be fixed. But when it is finally up and running, the plan's many deeper, and more intractable, flaws will come into focus. That's when the fun will really begin.
Why China DOESN'T WANT the Yuan to Become the Reserve Currency
Many have asked us to expand on how the rapid expansion of money supply leads to an effect the opposite of that intended: a fall in economic activity. This effect starts early in the recovery phase of the credit cycle, and is particularly marked today because of the aggressive rate of monetary inflation. The following are the events that lead to this inevitable outcome. And while many central bankers could profit by reading and understanding this article, the truth is they are not appointed to face up to the reality that monetary inflation is economically destructive, and that escalating currency expansion taken to its logical conclusion means the currency itself will eventually become worthless.
Following the lowest UMich confidence print in 2013, Gallup's economic confidence collapse, and Bloomberg's index of consumer comfort signaling major concerns among rich and poor in this country (in spite of record highs in stocks), today's Conference Board Consumer Confidence data continues to confirm a problem for all those 'hoping' for moar multiple expansion. From 80.2 in September, confidence collapsed to 71.2 (the largest MoM drop in 2 years) to its lowest in six months, and notably below expectations. As we have noted in the past a 10 point drop in confidence has historically led to a 2x multiple compression in stocks (which suggests the Fed will need to un-Taper some more to keep the dream alive). Hope for the future dropped to 7-month lows but what is perhaps most intriguiging, just as with the Bloomberg surveys, we are seeing the wealthiest cohorts confidence plunging (even as stocks soar to new highs). It would appear the Fed has lost its wealth effect inpiration.
If Churchill were alive today, he would probably characterize the rollout of Obamacare as a humiliation, wrapped in an embarrassment, inside a mockery-punching bag injury. And overnight, in addition to all the other well-known gremlins that have plagued America's socialized healthcare from Day 1, insult was added injury, following a Reuters report that a "data center critical for allowing uninsured Americans to buy health coverage under President Barack Obama's healthcare law went down on Sunday, halting online enrollment for all 50 states." In other words, on top of and in addition to all the other bad coding and website processing issues that have been exposed and promptly scapegoated on other (you see Obama knew all about the successes, but nothing about the failures of Obamacare), now the internet itself is starting to glitch up. Which is hardly surprising considering Al Gore's involvement in the latter.
Now that the prevailing mainstream media consensus has finally caught up with our "tinfoil" view, which for years was mocked by the same media, usually on an ad hominem basis, and even the Fed has realized (confirmed by the latest Jackson Hole symposium) it is in a trap as it understands it has to end the market's dependency on monetary heroin but has no idea how to do it without in the process undoing five years of central planning, we have seen some spectacular opinion flip flops take place. Which aside from the occasional headscratcher such as David Rosenberg going bull-retard (we once again wonder: just what does Ray Dalio serve in his cafeteria?) have been almost exclusively from optimistic to pessimistic, or as we call it, realistic. And as the case may be, such as with John Mauldin and his latest missive to potential clients, A Code Red World, a very deep and red shade of pessimistic.
Is Obama through? That is, have his lies and incompetence finally caught up with him and emasculated what remains of his effectiveness. Has he taken the concept of “lame duck” to new levels? Dan Henninger describes Obama’s credibility problem: "Bluntly, Mr. Obama’s partners are concluding that they cannot do business with him. They don’t trust him." Henninger’s observation does not bode well for US – International relations. Nor is it likely to provide support for new domestic initiatives. The International ramifications are especially dangerous.
As part of Mike Maloney's recent documentary, Ron Paul was interviewed to discuss the monetary system that he proposes. He begins... "Just get the government out-of-the-way, you know, and let the markets decide and apply the rules of ’no counterfeiting’ to the people and to the government..." as he goes on to discuss everything from The Founding Fathers to how a gold standard could work...
It has been a very interesting week as the Government shutdown/debt ceiling debate debacle moves into the background. The focus has now turned back towards the fundamentals of the market, economic environment and the ongoing Federal Reserve interventions. What is becoming increasingly evident is that market participants are once again potentially throwing "caution to the wind" betting on a belief that the Fed's ongoing Q.E. programs will continue to trump valuations and economics. After all, that has seemingly been the case up to this point. The problem is that no one really knows how this will turn out. However, as we discussed earlier this week, it is likely that we are close to finding out answer. In the meantime, here is our weekly list of "things to ponder this weekend."
The Obamacare tech team should add another pressing cyber issue to its to-do list. As Mother Jones reports, web secuirty experts warn that that Healthcare.gov (and various state exchanges), the Obamacare websites, has a security flaw that could make sensitive user information, including Social Security numbers, vulnerable to hackers. The website, reportedly, has a coding problem that could allow hackers to deploy a technique called "clickjacking," where invisible links are planted on a legitimate web page. Using this scheme, hackers could trick users into giving up personal data as they enter it into the web site, potentially placing Americans at risk of identity theft or allowing fraudsters to file bogus health care claims.
Following record UMich misses, Gallup's economic confidence collapse, the slump in the conference board's measure of confidence, and Bloomberg's index of consumer comfort signaling major concerns among rich and poor in this country (in spite of record highs in stocks), today's Consumer Confidence data from UMich continues to confirm a problem for all those 'hoping' for moar multiple expansion. Falling for the 3rd month in a row, and missing expectations for the 2nd month in a row, this is the lowest confidence print in 2013. Perhaps even more worrisome for the 'hope and change' crowd is that the 12-month economic outlook has collapsed to its lowest since Nov 2011. It would seem that all that free money flooding our 'markets' has reached peak efficacy in terms of confidence inspiration, and as Citi notes, when this cycle has played out in the past, equity market corrections are often quick to follow...
There are people in the world that go to work every day to end up stating the damn obvious.
Busy, Lackluster Overnight Session Means More Delayed Taper Talk, More "Getting To Work" For Mr YellenSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 10/25/2013 06:00 -0500
It has been a busy overnight session starting off with stronger than expected food and energy inflation in Japan even though the trend is now one of decline while non-food, non-energy and certainly wage inflation is nowhere to be found (leading to a nearly 3% drop in the Nikkei225), another SHIBOR spike in China (leading to a 1.5% drop in the SHCOMP) coupled with the announcement of a new prime lending rate (a form a Chinese LIBOR equivalent which one knows will have a happy ending), even more weaker than expected corporate earnings out of Europe (leading to red markets across Europe), together with a German IFO Business Confidence miss and drop for the first time in 6 months, as well as the latest M3 and loan creation data out of the ECB which showed that Europe remains stuck in a lending vacuum in which banks refuse to give out loans, a UK GDP print which came in line with expectations of 0.8%, where however news that Goldman tentacle Mark Carney is finally starting to flex and is preparing to unleash a loan roll out collateralized by "assets" worse than Gree Feta and oilve oil. Of course, none of the above matters: only thing that drives markets is if AMZN burned enough cash in the quarter to send its stock up by another 10%, and, naturally, if today's Durable Goods data will be horrible enough to guarantee not only a delay of the taper through mid-2014, but potentially lend credence to the SocGen idea that the Yellen-Fed may even announce an increase in QE as recently as next week.