Four months after the UK opened the membership floodgates and dealt Washington a humiliating political blow, China has officially launched the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.
Tomorrow at 8pm, we’re adding an extra second to the day. Over the past 200 years, the length of a day has increased by two milliseconds, which is all well and good, but the insane accuracy of the atomic clocks we’ve been using since 1967 doesn’t account for that, so we’ve had to add leap seconds 25 times since 1972. Tomorrow, however, is the first time a leap second will be added during trading hours since markets went electronic.
Eurocrats have spent untold billions of other people’s money to save face, just so they wouldn’t have to admit that Project “Make Everyone Germany” has failed. But what they never acknowledged was that no matter how much they extend and pretend, the disease will always reach its crisis. And this financial disease is going to slay the patient. History is very clear on this point: debt kills.
At the open, Europe looked in the abyss, and with no help coming from China, it did not like what it saw: And then the answer came from the Swiss National Bank, which stepped in to prevent the collapse just as Europe was opening. Because seemingly out of nowhere, a tremendous bid came in to life the EURCHF, buying Euros (against the CHF and the USD) and selling Europe's last left safety currency. We now know that it was the SNB, the same central bank which is the proud owner of well over $1 billion in Apple stock.
The Fed's QE policies of recent years have, for all intents and purposes told the world that “the dollar is our currency and your problem.” And, in recent years, the dollar has been a genuine problem for a number of emerging countries. Following this traumatic event, and the change in the perception of US stability, China went around the world and invited the likes of Brazil, Indonesia, South Africa, Turkey and Korea to shift some of their China trade away from the dollar and into renminbi. China started doing this in 2011 and, as we see it, the renminbi’s attempt to become a trading currency is potentially one of the most important financial developments. Yet no-one seems to care.
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.