It is widely assumed that the gold price must decline when the Federal Reserve is hiking interest rates. It seems logical enough: gold has no yield, so if competing investment assets such as bonds or savings deposits do offer a yield, gold will presumably be exchanged for those. There is only a slight problem with this idea. The simple assumption “Fed rate hikes equal a falling gold price” is not supported by even a shred of empirical evidence.
Heading into the Fed's first "dovish" rate hike in nearly a decade, the consensus was two-fold: as a result of relentless telegraphing of the Fed's intentions, the hike is priced in, and it will be a "dovish" hike, with the Fed lowering its forecast for the number of hikes over the next year. Consensus was once again wrong on both accounts: first the rate hike was far more hawkish than most had expected (see previous post), and - judging by the surge in Asian, European stocks and US equity futures - the "market" simply is enamored with such hawkish hikes which will soon soak up trillions in liquidity from the financial system.
"When the Fed moves next will depend importantly on how inflation evolves. The Fed’s preferred measure of inflation has run below its 2% objective for more than three years. The central bank focused extra attention on the inflation outlook in its statement, saying it would “carefully monitor” actual and expected progress toward the goal. This point implied the Fed will be reluctant to raise rates again unless it sees inflation actually moving up. For now, officials said they were “reasonably confident” inflation would rise."
The argument that the Fed should do nothing - for it will be harder to correct a rate rise than to do nothing - because there is no bubble anywhere, demonstrates that we have the most serious BUBBLE in history. The FED is between a rock and a hard place. It will be blamed no matter it does. Nobody seems to understand the dynamics of the trend in motion.
After The BOJ And ECB, Will Yellen Disappoint Next? SocGen Warns There Is "Risk The Market Will Be Wrong-Footed"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 12/16/2015 11:42 -0500
According to ScGen, the Fed is widely expected to start tightening policy on Wednesday and adds that "after the BoJ and ECB, we see a risk that the market will be wrong-footed for a third time, and that extreme positions built ahead of tightening will be reversed.... In particular, we are short US small cap equities vs large via being short Russell 2000 vs S&P 500.... As the Fed tightens and the market enters into a lower-liquidity environment (and higher-volatility regime), we think the premium on small caps is no longer justified."
The Fixed Income Bloodbath Continues: Wall Street Harbinger Jefferies Reports Another Terrible Bond Trading QuarterSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 12/15/2015 11:39 -0500
Earlier today Jefferies reported another quarter in which its Fixed Income revenue could best be described as dismal: Fixed Income posted a nominal $8.4 million in revenue: a whopping 83% collapse from the already subdued $48.6 million a year ago. The biggest irony is that while other banks are clamoring to be allowed to "prop trade" again, Jefferies which has had the green light to do just that as it never got an FDIC bailout and remains the only sizable pure-play investment bank, just got crushed precisely due to its junk bond prop trading.
Despite the low interest rate regime, there are a number of similarities between now and the period running up to the 2008 crisis……
Because when your year-end bonus depends on you not seeing it coming, you don't.
Jim Cramer - of all people - warned about this in 2007: watch the video inside!
We are living in a time that can only be considered monetary chaos. The media and the policy pundits may focus on the day-to-day zigs and zags of central bank monetary and interest rate policy, but what really needs to be asked is whether or not we should continue to leave monetary and banking policy in the discretionary hands of central banks and the monetary central planners who manage them.
Junk Contagion Spreads: Investment Grade Bonds Plunge To 2-Year Lows, Treasury Liquidity Collapses, CLOs NextSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 12/14/2015 14:49 -0500
First it was just junk, then investment grade bonds started getting whacked, then liquidity in the 10Y Treasury imploded, and now CLOs are getting hit: “The price declines are alarming and worrying," according to Rishad Ahluwalia, JPMorgan’s head of global CLO research.
“They need to show they’re selling quickly to calm markets and stop the free fall of their shares. For that to happen they need to accept the price buyers want to pay.”
Over the last two decades the Fed’s interventionism has created artificial booms and real busts. Their dreadful mistakes are “fixed” by currency debasement, lower interest rates, and money printing – creating even worse mistakes. They have successfully gutted the American economy and left a hollowed out shell. The coming collapse will be three pronged as stocks, bonds, and real estate are all simultaneously overvalued. Junk bonds are the canary in a coalmine. High end real estate in NYC has topped out. New and existing homes sales growth has stalled out. Retailers desperately slash prices to maintain sales, while destroying their profits. Corporate profits are falling. The stock market is teetering on the edge.
In light of surging concerns about mutual and hedge fund fixed income (and soon other asset classes) "gating", "runs" or outright liquidation, Deutsche Bank has prepared the following infographic which summarizes the main choke points which predispose both open and closed-end funds to runs or outright shutdown.