We are hostage to a dysfunctional monetary system, run by people who don’t understand how it works in the first place. No wonder the global economy is in the doldrums, and finance markets are having dyspeptic attacks.
Venezuela's central bank has begun negotiations with the suddenly troubled Deutsche Bank to carry out gold swaps "to improve the liquidity of its foreign reserves as it faces heavy debt payments this year", payments which it won't be able to fund unless it manages to "liquify" its gold. "One of the sources said the central bank has taken an unspecified amount of gold out of the country so that it can be certified, which is required for gold that is used in such swaps."
Despite a collapse in yields and implicit plunge in the odds of a rate-hike anytime soon, asset-gathering, commission-taking talking-heads continue to spew unrealities about the economy and where it goes next as excuse after excuse (low oil is good, services trump manufacturing etc) are discarded. What is worse is that none other than The Fed's "owners" - the primary dealers - refuse to play along with The Fed's transitory narrative as their Treasury Bond position is the longest since 2013.
A multi-decade Credit Bubble is coming to an end. The past seven years has amounted to an incredible blow-off top and the ongoing worldwide collapse in financial stocks provides powerful support for the bursting global Bubble thesis. Few are yet willing to accept the harsh reality that the world has sunk back into crisis as mal-investment, over-investment and associated wealth destruction remain largely concealed so long as financial asset inflation persists. This is true as well for wealth redistribution. The unfolding adjustment process will deflate asset prices so as to converge more closely with deteriorating underlying economic fundamentals.
While 'our' President was out this week patting himself on the back and taking victory laps over the "supposed" 4.9% unemployment rate, he forgot to mention a few important tidbits about what is really going on.
"The US Treasury curve is still steep by historical standards. Taken at face value, this may suggest recession odds are small. However, we argue this logic is flawed because the curve is structurally steep when the Fed Funds rate is close to zero. When adjusted for the proximity of rates to zero, the curve may already be inverted and therefore may already be priced for a recession./// Implied recession odds are as high as 64% if the adjusted OIS curve is used"
"... the growing perception that central banks are moving away from QE-style programmes to negative interest rates is less supportive for equities, in our opinion. With little evidence so far that negative rates boost aggregate economic activity, the risk is that this policy tool increasingly resembles a more blatant form of 'beggar thy neighbour' currency devaluation. A shift towards a more nationalistic and perhaps less coordinated global policy response could signal a quickening in the pace of fiat currency debasement and augurs badly for risk appetite, in our view."
Back then I was a true believer, trusting that the government was a force for good "making the world safe for democracy..." But that night it all changed.
"We have reached that fork in the road within the monetary twilight zone, where Europe's largest bank is openly defying central bank policy and demanding an end to easy money. Alas, since tighter monetary policy assures just as much if not more pain, one can't help but wonder just how the central banks get themselves out of this particular trap they set up for themselves."
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
"More monetary stimulus, wherever it is in the world, isn’t the answer for a global economy still trying to find a new growth path. Pay attention to bonds and ignore the sirens of the stock market."
In a year in which AAPL not only entered a bear market, but dropped to multi-year lows, the SNB almost doubled its total AAPL holdings, which as of December 31, 2015 amounted to 10.4 million shares, up from 5.6 million a year earlier
With faith in "growth" faltering and the momo leaders rolling over, there are still worries for the bears in the intermediate term...
There has been an economic coup d’état in America and most of the world. We are now ruled by about 200 unelected central bankers, monetary apparatchiks and their minions and megaphones on Wall Street and other financial centers. Unlike Senator Joseph McCarthy, we actually do have a list of their names. They need to be exposed, denounced, ridiculed, rebuked and removed.
"... if China FX reserves data is better than expected, we think a bear market rally is likely to be vicious."