“It is unacceptable, illegal and corrupt for anyone at the Fed to deliver inside information that could provide a financial advantage to the privileged few and lead to the manipulation of financial markets”: Hensarling
There is a practical benefit to shifting our attention away from the stock market. Any market that can yo-yo 10% within a day for no apparent reason, or undergo multiple booms and busts in a 20 year period should not be given too much credibility. The wealth-effect on the way up always turns into the wealth-destruction effect on the way down.
Just two weeks ago we pointed out the fact that The Fed had seemingly ignored Congressional demands for details with regard the 2012 FOMC Statement leak. Now we know why they missed the deadline:
*YELLEN SAYS SHE MET WITH MEDLEY GLOBAL ANALYST IN JUNE 2012, SAYS SHE DIDN'T GIVE MEDLEY CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION
So she met with the analyst that leaked the statement... but didn't say anything? The Justice Department has opened a formal investigation into the FOMC leak (and we suspect sworn testimony coming).
In a stunning shun to Congressional lawmakers, WSJ reports that The Fed has failed to comply with a request that the bank-owned entity identify the individuals who leaked The FOMC Minutes to Medley Global Advisors a day before the official release in October 2012. Rep. Jeb Hensarling sent a letter to Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen on April 15 asking the Fed to name them by 5 p.m. EDT April 22. The deadline passed without any response by the Fed...
It is almost too coincidental to be a coincidence: on the day Ben Bernanke, who until a year ago was the biggest fixed income portfolio manager in the world courtesy of the Fed's $4.5 trillion in assets, joins Citadel as an advisor, the massively levered "market-neutral" hedge fund which as we showed earlier has $176 billion in regulatory assets, "loses" its global head of fixed income, senior managing director Derek Kaufman. Well not exactly loses. The reason for his "voluntary" departure: according to Bloomberg Kaufman is leaving Citadel not because he is about to be replaced by the former Fed chairman but because last year he lost $1 billion "in a variety of trades."
BULLARD: CUT RATES IF ECONOMY SUFFERS SHOCK AFTER FED LIFTOFF
Peak Central Planning: BofA Says Fed's Dudley "Does Not Want Stocks To Decline; Wants Bond Prices To Go Down"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 04/09/2015 07:51 -0400
"While Dudley clearly does not want stocks to decline a lot, he also wants to avoid meaningful increases... Also very apparent is that Dudley wants bond prices to go down – not a lot but clearly down." - Bank of America
As market participants slowly make their way back to trading desks around the post-Easter world, and especially the US where a truncated session on Friday morning ended in tears for anyone hoping for a 2015 US recovery following an abysmal March nonfarm payrolls print, they find that unlike on previous occasions, the equity futures liftathon is nowhere to be found this morning, with the S&P set to resume trading in the red for 2015. Away from Greece, whose future remains in limbo, the biggest development over the holiday weekend was a Goldman note in which the central-bank friendly firm said that "the right policy would be to put hikes on hold for now."
"Secret" documents and power struggles aside, regulators are just as inept now as ever and bank stress tests are completely meaningless, as the Fed neither then, nor now, has any methodology for how to calculate capital in case of the same kind of counterparty failure chain as happened during Lehman, and when no amount of capital would have been sufficient to preserve the financial sector.
Now that Europe has demonstrated that one can go NIRP and not crash the system, will the Fed - once its silly obsession with hiking rates in the summer only to launch even more easing and/or QE as the ECB did in 2008 and 2011 - follow suit and join a rising tide of "developed" world central banks in punishing savers for hoarding cash? In a note released last night titled "Revisiting Negative Interest Rates in the US", Goldman shares its thought on the matter. It goes without saying that Goldman is important, because whatever Goldman's econ team shares with Goldman's Bill Dudley over at the NY Fed, usually tends to become official policy with a 3-6 month lag.
Despite the authorities' best efforts to keep everything orderly, we know how this global Game of Geopolitical Tetris ends: "Players lose a typical game of Tetris when they can no longer keep up with the increasing speed, and the Tetriminos stack up to the top of the playing field. This is commonly referred to as topping out."
"I’m tired of being outraged!"
Having recently given us a two paragraph synopsis of all that is wrong with our financial market faith in fed officialdom, Jim Grant unleashes his critical wit and insight on CNBC to explain the Fed's new remit, as Bill Dudley recently explained, "the administration of American equity prices." The Fed will find it difficult ro raise rates - both technically (for reasons we have explained in detail previously) and "they will find many blocks in the way having to do with financial markets' reaction." Simply put, the Fed wants to raise rates but mostly it wants peace and quiet, which it does not have: "The Fed is America's central bank but it is the steward of the world's currency," and as Grant concludes, "it is raining currencies around the world... and the Fed must be coginizant of that."
It is amazing the speed at which FOMC officials have embraced not falling oil prices but collapsing crude. The pace of the decline is being driven, contrary to the fracking miracle, by the fact that nobody seems to want to bid on the stuff. That is, as I noted earlier, a demand problem. But officials like Fed Vice Chair Stanley Fischer and FRBNY President Bill Dudley are saying that these lower oil prices, due to lower demand, will end up boosting demand – big time. That is the essence of their argument, that recession is the latest “stimulus.”
"Let me be clear, there is no Fed equity market put." Bells are ringing for stocks...
Dudley’s overall message is that the US economy is doing great, but it’s not actually doing great, and therefore a rate hike would be too early. Or something. "The sharp drop in oil prices will help boost consumer spending?" We don’t understand that: Dudley is talking about money that would otherwise also have been spent, only on gas. There is no additional money, so where’s the boost? This is just complete and bizarre nonsense. And that comes from someone with a very high post in the American financial world. At least a bit scary.