With world markets begging for moar, Janet Yellen's prepared Humphrey-Hawkins Testimony was a disappointment:
- *YELLEN: FED EXPECTS ECONOMY TO WARRANT ONLY GRADUAL RATE RISES (everything is fine)
- *YELLEN: JOB, WAGE GAINS SHOULD SUPPORT INCOMES AND SPENDING (everything is awesome)
- *FED REPORT: LEVERAGE RISKS IN FINANCIAL SECTOR `REMAIN LOW' (so don't worry about banks)
- *YELLEN: FINANCIAL STRAINS COULD WEIGH ON OUTLOOK IF PERSISTENT (so, there's chance)
The bottom line this is simply a rerhash of the Jan FOMC Statement and does not offer enouigh dovishness for the market.
Economics Professor: Negative Interest Rates Aimed at Driving Small Banks Out of Business and Eliminating CashSubmitted by George Washington on 02/09/2016 17:33 -0500
The REAL Agenda ...
With China offline for the rest of the week, global markets have found a new Asian bogeyman in the face of Japan which as reported last night saw its markets crash, and the Yen soar, showing that less than 2 weeks after the BOJ unveiled NIRP, yet another central bank has lost control.
Now that talking about NIRP in the US is no longer anathema but a matter of survival for market participants for whom frontrunning the Fed's policy failure has emerged as a prerequisite trade, the question is: what are the mechanics of NIRP, what are the implications of negative rates for US markets. Here is the handy answer
It appears The ADP Employment report was not good enough to support fed rate-hikes as across the majors, traders are selling USDs... Gold is also surging. It appears someone is betting large that this week's payroll data will be weak...
It certainly does feel like groundhog day today because while last week's near record oil surge is long forgotten, and one can debate the impact the result of last night's Iowa primary which saw Trump disappoint to an ascendant Ted Cruz while Hillary and Bernie were practically tied, one thing is certain: today's continued decline in crude, which has seen Brent and WTI both tumble by over 3% has once again pushed global stocks and US equity futures lower, offsetting the euphoria from last night's earnings beat by Google which made Alphabet the largest company in the world by market cap.
Having urged "don't panic" just 4 short months ago, it appears Nigeria just did just that as the global dollar short squeeze forces the eight-month-old government of President Muhammadu Buhari to beg The World Bank and African Development Bank for $3.5bn in emergency loans to help fund a $15bn deficit in a budget heavy on public spending amid collapsing oil revenues. Just as we warned in December, the dollar shortage has arrived, perhaps now is time to panic after all.
Ben Bernanke is no longer the Fed's chairman, but this article is even more relevant today then it was when I wrote it
Critics of today’s fiat currency/fractional reserve banking world have (for what seems like forever) made the common sense point that when debt rises faster than cash flow, bad things are bound to happen. In every cycle since 1980 this has been dismissed by the vast majority who benefit from inflating bubbles - until the bubble bursts. And here we go again.
After the white-knuckle sell-off of global equities that was finally punctuated by a rally late last week, everyone wants to know: Was this the bottom for stocks? And now Moody’s weighs in with an unwelcome warning... "it’s hard to imagine why the equity market will steady if the US high-yield bond spread remains wider than 800 basis point."
If you believe the global economy is doing great and stocks are cheap, stop reading now; this post is not for you. We promise to write one for you at some point when stocks are cheap and the global economy is breathing well on its own - we just don’t know when that will be. But if you believe that stocks are expensive - even after the recent sell-off - and that a global economic time bomb is ticking because of unprecedented intervention by governments and central banks, then keep reading.
"When the market speaks, as it has done in recent days, it is right that bank executives and shareholders comprehend the need for serious and swift intervention."
Is the economy “nowhere near recession?” Maybe. Maybe not. But the charts above look extremely similar to where we were at this point in late 2007 and early 2008. Could this time be “different?” Sure. But historically speaking, it never has been.
In the most blatant and open admission of direct manipulation, China's Vice President Li told a room full of Davosian elites that China is willing to keep intervening in the stock market to make sure that a few speculators don’t benefit at the expense of regular investors. Following last night's largest liquidty injection in over 3 years (and subsequent plunge in Chinese stocks), it appears the Chinese economic/market "bucket" has more holes than the intervention 'hose pipe' can handle.