Having government control over the levers of the economy can have advantages. For example, by taking prompt action, the Chinese government was able to pull the economy out of the recession remarkably fast, basically by fire-housing the stimulus package that was equivalent to 12% GDP. That’s the advantage. The only problem is that these kinds of short-term advantages come with long-term, painful consequences.
The signs of deflation are now flashing all over the globe and the possibility of an associated financial crisis is now dangerously high over the next few months. Our preferred model for how things are going to unfold follows the Ka-Poom! Theory, which states that this epic debt bubble will ultimately burst first by deflation (the "Ka!") before then exploding (the "Poom!") in hyperinflation due to additional massive money printing efforts by frightened global central bankers acting in unison. First an inwards collapse, then an outwards explosion.
We know that the corporate credit bubble has been highly disturbed, but the action in mREIT’s these past few days more than suggests that risk perceptions systemically are being affected. That all ties back to funding considerations, as the collapse in REM may be investors selling ahead of liquidity problems that are still building and expanding. In other words, there may be a growing sense (not unlike inflation breakevens) that the corporate pricing problems are going to break out in short order beyond just junk (and beyond what already has).
At the height of the financial crisis, the unprecedented decline in swap rates below Treasury yields was seen as an anomaly. The phenomenon is now widespread, as Bloomberg notes, what Fabozzi's bible of swap-pricing calls a "perversion" is now the rule all the way from 30Y to 2Y maturities. As one analyst notes, historical interpretations of this have been destroyed and if the flip to negative spreads persists, it would signal that its roots are in a combination of regulators’ efforts to head off another financial crisis, China selling pressure (and its impact on repo markets) and "broken" wholesale money-markets.
"This is a risky business. Can they get it wrong? Absolutely they can get it wrong."
"By relaxing constraints on other economic actors, central-bank support may create opportunities for them to shirk their responsibilities. In turn, this may render it more difficult for the central bank to withdraw its exceptional measures. The road to central bankers’ hell may be paved with good intentions."
The market, which clearly ignored the glaring contradictions in Yellen's speech which said that overseas events should not affect the Fed's policy path just a week after the Fed statement admitted it is "monitoring developments abroad", and also ignored Yellen explicit hint that NIRP is coming (only the size is unclear), and focused on the one thing it wanted to hear: a call to buy the all-critical USDJPY carry pair - because more dollar strength apparently is what the revenue and earnings recessioning S&P500 needs - which after trading around 120 in the past few days, had a 100 pip breakout overnight, hitting 121 just around 5am, in the process pushing US equity futures some 25 points higher at last check.
As powerful as the Fed is, it isn’t stronger than the markets. And the longer the Fed tries to sustain abnormalities like QE and 0% interest rates, the more likely it is that the whole business will end with the markets crushing the Fed. At the next sign of a market swoon or of a weakening economy, or with the next episode of deflationary jitters, the Fed will do whatever it takes, no matter what the eventual damage to the dollar’s value. Whatever the details, one thing should be clear. This politburo of unaccountable central planners is the greatest risk to your financial wellbeing today.
As SEC Rolls Out Liquidity Risk Plan, Here Are The Bond Funds That May Be Most Vulnerable In A MeltdownSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 09/22/2015 17:15 -0400
With the SEC moving to head off the risk of a bond market meltdown triggered by a dangerous combination of illiquidity and bond fund proliferation, WSJ decided to see which fund providers are the most at risk in a crisis. The list may surprise you...
After sliding early in Sunday pre-market trade, overnight US equity futures managed to rebound on the now traditional low-volume levitation from a low of 1938 to just over 1950 at last check, ignoring the biggest single-name blowup story this morning which is the 23% collapse in Volkswagen shares, and instead have piggybacked on what we said was the last Hail Mary for the market: the hope of more QE from either the ECB or the BOJ. Tonight, it was the latter and while Japan's market are closed until Thursday for public holidays, its currency which is the world's preferred carry trade and the primary driver alongside VIX manipulation of the S&P500, has jumped from a low of just over 119 on Friday morning to a high of 120.4, pushing the entire US stock market with it.
The game is over. The trend has changed. And the Fed knows it. The question is: What will it do about it? Roll-over or fight? But will it matter much if it fights? Janet Yellen clearly lost the crowd this week as “accommodative” was met with a resounding SELL as confidence has been shaken. Her job is now to win back confidence. Whether she can or not is now largely determined how the binary set-up we face here plays out. Bottom line: Bulls need a 1998 like repeat to save this year. How did the Fed manage the big correction in the Fall of 1998: It cut rates of course...Well, good luck with that this year.
"What scares me, or what worries me, is what the next downturn in the economy looks like, with asset prices where they are and a lesser ability of central banks to ease monetary policy."
With a complex and disaster-prone system of interdependence causing social strife and chaos, why not just simplify everything with a global currency and perhaps even global governance? The elites will squeeze the collapse for all it’s worth if they can, and a Fed rate hike may be exactly what they need to begin the final descent.
Will she raise or will she not? As financial markets focus on whether we will see a Fed rate hike this week, investors may be in for a rude awakening.
Who would have thought that decades of ZIRP, an aborted attempt to hike rates over a decade ago, and the annual monetization of well over 10% of sovereign debt would lead to a toxic debt spiral, regardless of how many "Abenomics" arrows one throws at it? Apparently Standard and Poors just had its a-ha subprime flashbulb moment and moments ago, a little over 4 years after it downgraded the US from its legendary AAA-rating which led to angry phone calls from Tim Geithner and a painful US government lawsuit, downgraded Japan from AA- to A+. The reason: rising doubt Abenomics is working.