I gave a 45-minute presentation on Yield Purchasing Power at American Institute for Economic Research in Great Barrington, MA on October 14, 2016. I am grateful to the Institute for recording video of my presentation plus extended Q&A.
Global stocks were modestly higher, before the European Central Bank gives its policy update, while investors weigh mixed earnings results. Asian stocks rise, U.S. equity-index futures are little changed. The euro touched its weakest level since July and stocks in the region fell after their first back-to-back gains in two weeks.
The key economic releases this week include industrial production on Monday, CPI on Tuesday, and housing starts on Wednesday. There are several scheduled speeches from Fed officials this week. The Beige Book for the November FOMC period will be released on Wednesday.
"...debt is simply everywhere, at least to the extent we can see and measure it. Corporate and sovereign debt, of both the developed world and emerging market varieties, are at record levels. China’s debts certainly add to that record but who really knows to what extent? It’s the ultimate black box of leverage on Planet Earth... You cannot NOT worry about the Fed in this world...The simple truth is ending reinvestment would bring the bond market to its knees.”
With bond-stock correlations reaching record highs (and broad risk parity fund performance deteriorating rapidly), Ray Dalio’s $150 billion Bridgewater Associates managed modest gains across its main strategies last month - even as macro funds have suffered amid policy and political uncertainty. However, the manager of the world's largest hedge fund warns “Investment returns will be very low going forward,” in his latest investor remarks, suggesting that betting on gold could prove preferable.
In the US focus will be on the market's reaction to the second presidential debate, FOMC Minutes but also retail sales, import and producer prices and Michigan sentiment. We also hear from various Fed speakers throughout the week, and Chair Yellen gives a keynote speech on Friday.
Today, four of the world’s largest banks announced a brand new joint venture to create a new financial settlement protocol built on blockchain technology. Deutsche Bank from Germany, UBS from Switzerland, Santander from Spain, and Bank of New York Mellon have joined together to launch what they’re naming the very un-sexy “utility settlement coin”. If foreign banks are able to transact directly with one another without having to go through the US banking system, then why would they need to park trillions of dollars in the United States?
Abuse. Deceit. Extortion. Not exactly great ways to win friends and influence people. It’s as if Barack Obama pulled together the smartest guys he could find to make a list of all the ways the US government would have to screw up in order to lose its enormous financial privilege… and then he went out and did ALL of them.
"The May 18 minutes surprised virtually everyone by guiding strongly toward a rate hike in June or July, and Chair Yellen reinforced this message in her remarks at Harvard University on May 27. But the weak May employment report released on June 3 and increased concern about the UK referendum again triggered a sharp pivot, putting on hold the notion of further hikes. These dramatic shifts have frustrated many market participants. In our view, the Fed has been unlucky."
In America today, more than 60 million people live in multi-generational households. That number is so large that it may seem difficult to believe, but the truth is that vast numbers of young adults have had to move back in with their parents and grandparents in recent years due to the deteriorating economy. Millions of our young people cannot find decent jobs once they leave school, and millions of them are absolutely overwhelmed by debt.
With Wall Street hitting peak vacation season, it is a quiet week for news. The key economic release this week is CPI inflation on Tuesday. There are several scheduled speaking engagements from Fed officials this week. Many will be looking for signs of hawkishness Minutes from the July FOMC meeting will be released on Wednesday.