"There’s a lack of faith in monetary policy -- you’ve thrown the kitchen sink at it, you’ve cut rates to zero, you’re printing money -- and still inflation is lower. I think this is a dangerous situation if people perceive that it has the responsibility and it doesn’t have the tools."
With oil prices declining, are oil & gas investors and the financial system about to have another "whoops!" moment?
The US Federal Reserve orchestrated an artificial boom from 2001 to 2007 through artificially low interest rates and has resumed doing so once again. Entrepreneurs operating under faulty market signals created by the Federal Reserve malinvested hundreds of billions of dollars into capital intensive projects primarily in the housing sector. We paid for our boom with millions of destroyed jobs, wasted labor, and wasted resources. The Chinese Central Bank learned nothing from the Fed’s catastrophic experiment. They will reap the same rewards.
How many of us are bored to tears with the Fed’s Hamlet act on raising rates, and yet have been staring at this debate for so long that we have convinced ourselves that we have a meaningful view on what will transpire, even though it’s a decision where we have zero investing edge and unknowable risk/reward odds. The hardest thing in the world for talented people is to avoid turning a low edge and odds opportunity into an unreasonably high conviction bet simply because we want it so badly and have analyzed the situation so smartly. In both poker and investing, we brutally overestimate the edge and odds associated with merely ordinary opportunities once we’ve been forced by circumstances to sit on our hands for a while. Investment discipline suffers under the weight of dullness and low conviction in at least four distinct ways here in the Golden Age of the Central Banker...
But the question remains whether financial condition concern should manifest itself through unemployment and inflation dual mandate forecasts or be a separate consideration all together? To me, the danger in the latter is it turns central bankers into traders and market timers and that is something they are unlikely to have trained for
Courtesy of JPM we find something curious: it is no longer the Fed, nor its capital markets proxy, Citadel, nor even the banks or hedge funds that are the primary sellers of volatility. It is retail investors themselves!
Today's most popular hedge fund strategy among institutional investors globally is "Alternative Global Macro Funds". Also known as a “go anywhere” investment style, active managers employ opportunistic trading tactics across asset classes, financial instruments, and geographic regions. Like many liquid alts, global macro funds grew rapidly following the financial crisis as investors looked for strategies that could diversify their portfolios in the midst of volatility in the global marketplace and historically high sector correlations against the S&P 500, thereby improving their risk-return profiles. Ultimately, success in this classification resides in selecting the right active manager given the strategy’s wide dispersion of returns.
Over the past few years no institution has had more consequences beholden to their words than the Federal Reserve. So much so one could reasonably argue in response to prevailing circumstances their communiques overshadowed most others; including presidents and other leaders. The problem today is; in their effort to bring more clarity via press-ers, and more as to what might be transpiring behind the doors at the Eccles building, they’ve now communicated more confusion in the last two weeks nullifying all previous efforts. In our eyes it seems to be working exactly the same as its other policy outcomes: adding confusion, uncertainty, and having the exact opposite of intended results.
"What we have had is a jobless recovery in the US and so the Fed could not afford to cause another depression by raising interest rates. QE4 will be their next move, which is now much more likely than a rate hike."
Are some Chinese banks ramping up their exposure to shadow conduits on the way to obscuring massive amounts of credit risk? Moody's says yes...
Some people will never learn... ever. What is happening today is nothing more than rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. The iceberg has been struck, we’re taking on water, and this sucker is going to sink. Game Over.
The current surge in dis-inflationary pressures is not just due to the recent fall in oil prices, but rather a global epidemic of slowing economic growth. While Janet Yellen addressed this "disinflationary" wave during her post-meeting press conference, the Fed still maintains the illusion of confidence that economic growth will return shortly. Unfortunately, this has been the Fed's "Unicorn" since 2011 as annual hopes of economic recovery have failed to materialize. However, it is these ongoing views of optimism that have collided with economic realities.
With just 3 months left on the calendar, many investors are down on the year for one simple reason: nothing is really working. That leaves them only a short period to show a positive return, or at least a less-negative result than whatever index they track. To do that, many will have to make very specific and concentrated bets. It might be about equities generally – will they recover from the current growth scare? Or it might be asset allocation – will bonds finally go up on the year? For stock pickers, the key question is certainly “Play the winners, or look for laggards?” All we know is that with 69 days left to play catchup, time favors the fleet. And the bold.
Somehow everything in the following statement from David Petraeus is wrong: "There is no shortage of customers for the purchase of U.S. Treasuries," said Petraeus.... "Given the relative strength of the U.S. economy and the prospect of the Fed raising interest rates at some point in the months ahead, I suspect there will continue to be very keen interest in U.S. Treasuries."