Chaos reigns, with contradictory headlines pushing and pulling futures in any one direction, only for the next headline to undo the previous one. And only headline scanning frontrunning algos have any chance of trading any of this...
Some people talk about peak energy (or oil) supply. They expect high prices and more demand than supply. Other people talk about energy demand hitting a peak many years from now, perhaps when most of us have electric cars. Neither of these views is correct. The real situation is that we right now seem to be reaching peak energy demand through low commodity prices.
On Monday, Saudi Arabia celebrated the beheading of its 100th prisoner this year. The story was nowhere to be seen on Arab media despite the story's circulation on wire services. Even international media was relatively mute about this milestone compared to what it might have been if it had concerned a different country. How does a story like this go unnoticed? Today's release of the WikiLeaks "Saudi Cables" from the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs show how it's done.
- WSJ urges Fed to blow uberest of all bubbles: Memo to Fed: Let the Economy Overheat (WSJ)
- Gunman at large after killing nine at black South Carolina church (Reuters)
- Nine Dead in Charleston Shooting Labeled a 'Hate Crime' (BBG)
- Hong Kong Votes Down Beijing-Backed Election Plan (WSJ)
- Greece Has Already Cost Investors $897 Billion This Year (BBG)
- Merkel Maintains Tough Stance on Greece as Deadline Looms (WSJ)
- Small U.S. frackers face extinction amid drilling drought (Reuters)
- Brian Williams to Stay at NBC, but Lester Holt Will Be Anchor (WSJ)
All those saying the Fed will never be able to raise rate are looking particularly smug this morning, because if the market needed a green light that despite all the constant posturing, pomp and rhetoric, the US economy is simply (never) ready for a rate hike, it got it late last night when Goldman is pushing back its forecast for the first Fed rate hike from September to December 2015 saying that "in large part this reflects the fact that seven FOMC participants are now projecting zero or one rate hike this year, a group that we believe includes Fed Chair Janet Yellen. We had viewed a clear signal for a September hike at the June meeting as close to a necessary condition for the FOMC to actually hike in September, but the committee did not lay that groundwork today."
A funny thing happened in the last year since China gave up on its hard-line reforms and folded back to stimulate by all means necessary... the financial economy soared and the real economy sunk. Iron Ore prices are near record lows and Rebar prices are at record lows as stocks spike.. and this should be no surprise since we were told by a rural Chinese chap recently that "making money in stocks is a lot easier than farmwork" or construction or real world activity.
The key events on tap for next week.
"We have a problem with this, and that is central bank hubris. They now think that they are omnipotent, because, essentially the government has said we are going to pass over all control of the economy to the central banks, they say to everybody else including financial market participants that “you don’t know, you don’t understand, we have our models and they are right”. And that kind of hubristic approach is when you sow the seeds of your own destruction."
Keynesian policy of manipulating economic “aggregates” through countercyclical macro-measures appeared to work when balance sheets were not stretched to the brink. The glaringly obvious result of such policies, gross capital consumption through malinvestments epitomized through a serial bubble economy, did not discourage our money masters. The best and brightest even suggest bubbles are the only remedy to what they believe is some sort of secular stagnation. Just as drugs, the abuser must increase the dosage to feel the same high and spend accordingly.
The similarities between today and the 1929 era suggest a massive crash could be appraoching.
"Fiscal stimulus to households was successful during the financial crisis. Cash payments to households of around 1% of GDP (half of the size deployed during the GFC) could help lift economic growth close to trend, particularly if the accompanying political message was “confidence enhancing." - Citi
For a sense of what is driving sentiment this morning look no further than the Athens stock market which exploded higher yesterday on a Bloomberg story based on "two sources" that Germany was willing to compromise, only to close just as the IMF pulled a classis bad cop and announced it was halting work on Greece, and before further news from Bild that Germany was preparing for a Greek default while Europe had given Greece 24 hours to submit a final, workable proposal. As a result, it tumbled promptly at the open even as optimism persists and since the opening plunge, Greek stocks have continued to climb and are now back to yesterday's euphoric opening levels.
Gold bugs weren’t wrong - just super early. If central banks ever got religion and pulled a Volcker and hiked rates to the moon, it would be a remarkably bad time to hold gold. However, throughout history, there have been times where people were very sad that they didn’t own gold. We talk about one of them here. It’s very real, and the history of fiat currencies is also quite sad.
When it came to the highly confidential TPP, it was unclear just which corporations were dominant in pulling the strings. Now thanks to more documents published by Wikileaks, and analyzed by the NYT, it appears that "big pharma" is the mastermind behind the Trans Pacific Partnership, which if passed will "empower big pharmaceutical firms to command higher reimbursement rates in the United States and abroad, at the expense of consumers" according to "public health professionals, generic-drug makers and activists opposed to the trade deal."