Having detailed the "perverted nonsense" that is the collapsing and negative US swap spreads (here, here, here, and here) and noted money manager's concerns that the big question remains whether there is "something bigger brewing under the surface that so far hasn’t been pinpointed yet," it appears Goldman Sachs feels the need to 'explain' the anomaly in what appears an effort to calm fears about the broken money markets. Of course, we don’t have to figure out what the “market” is saying about a negative spread because it isn’t saying anything other than “something” is wrong and even Goldman admits this signals funding and balance sheet strains are worsening since August.
Once you examine the finer details, it quickly becomes clear that there are five key reasons that the Fed is unlikely to raise rates anytime soon.
Greenspan’s phony disinflation success led to the Fed’s embrace of fully mobilized and massively intrusive monetary policy in the guise of the Great Moderation and the wealth effects theory of financial asset levitation. In due course, Greenspan’s self-aggrandizing but purely experimental forays of massive central bank intrusion in the financial markets were supplanted by the hard-core Keynesian model of Bernanke and Yellen. Alas, they operated under the grand illusion that a domestic wage and price spiral would tell them when the domestic GDP bathtub was filled to the full employment brim, and therefore when to lift their foot from the monetary accelerator. It never happened, and they never did. The era of Lite Touch monetary policy was by now ancient history.
U.S. stock investors may be complacent regarding the ability of the stock market to withstand higher interest rates. Their confidence may come from the fact that, historically, markets have not peaked until 12-24 months after the Fed begins to tighten. This assumes the tightening cycle begins with the first official rate hike. But if it really began with the increase in the Shadow Rate, then a December rate hike will already be 19 months into the tightening cycle! Plus, given how overvalued stocks may currently be, and the amount of corporate debt accumulated to finance share buybacks, this bull market may be far more vulnerable than most to higher interest rates.
The world of Bubble Finance economies created by the Fed and other central banks is fundamentally different than that prevailing under the “Lite Touch” monetary policies which preceded the Greenspan era. The problem today is that the PhDs running the Fed have an economic model which is a relic of the Lite Touch era. It is not only utterly irrelevant in today’s casino driven system, but is actually tantamount to a blindfold. It causes them to look at a dashboard full of lagging indicators like jobs and GDP components, while ignoring the explosive leading indicators starring them in the face on CNBC. The clueless inhabitants of the Eccles Building do not recognize that they have created a world in which Wall Street supersedes main street.
Good Thing Debt Doesn't Matter! </sarc>
There is “a barbarous relic” in our global monetary system. It is the U.S. dollar: the worthless, monetary relic of an empire in decline.
This is not legitimate. This is not a market. It is more, systemic crime.
Most investors don’t take kindly to change. “The market” chooses to stay in the here and now; each human component vibrant and alert while the whole is passive and inert…like a herd of wildebeests, protected by its mass and collective wisdom that each one of them is statistically safe from lions as long as they stay together.
Investors are aware that the market is manipulated... and it doesn’t seem to worry them. They don’t fight the Fed; they sit down at the table with it. They play the game. And so far, they have done well. But now... She will signal that, soon, the central bank will begin the long return to “normalcy.” Don’t believe it. The entire system depends on abnormality.
Gold’s biggest enemy is a brilliant Nobel Prize winning economist, university professor and columnist for the New York Times. Sadly, he is also a con man.
Impunity has been the norm. The reason there have been no efforts made to criminally investigate is obvious. Former banking regulator and current securities Professor Bill Black told Bill Moyers that "Timothy Geithner, then Secretary of the Treasury, and others in the administration, with the banks, are engaged in a cover up to keep us from knowing what went wrong."
Bernanke and now Yellen have created an environment just like the Roaring Twenties. What came next wasn't pretty
In a recent appearance before Congress, Deputy Attorney General Sally Quillian Yates declared that the US Department of Justice is going to ratchet up its prosecution of individuals employed in corporations as part of a larger push against “white collar crime.” Within the next year, we should expect to see mid-level business and finance executives doing “perp walks” in front of the news media, as federal prosecutors will charge them with various “economic crimes” in hopes that they will implicate their superiors. All of us by now know the drill and in a time of anemic economic growth complete with business failures, it won’t be hard to find scapegoats.