Imagine the world economy as an armada of ships passing through a narrow and dangerous strait leading to the sea of prosperity. Navigating the channel is treacherous for to err too far to one side and your ship plunges off the waterfall of deflation but too close to the other and it burns in the hellfire of inflation. The global fleet is tethered by chains of trade and investment so if one ship veers perilously off course it pulls the others with it. Our only salvation is to hoist our economic sails and harness the winds of innovation and productivity. It is said that de-leveraging is a perilous journey and beneath these dark waters are many a sunken economy of lore. Print too little money and we cascade off the waterfall like the Great Depression of the 1930s... print too much and we burn like the Weimar Republic Germany in the 1920s... fail to harness the trade winds and we sink like Japan in the 1990s. On cold nights when the moon is full you can watch these ghost ships making their journey back to hell... they appear to warn us that our resolution to avoid one fate may damn us to the other.
I know, I know: the stock market will never go down because Ben Bernanke and the other central bankers won't let it. It's funny how the "Bernanke/European Central Bank Put" is ranked alongside gravity as a rule of Nature until markets roll over; then talk shifts from purring adulation of central bankers' godlike powers to panicky calls for another flood of liquidity/free money to "save" the market from the harsh reality of global recession. The crash test dummies know better: they've been called up for a humongous crash. The basic mechanism that is being overlooked is Liquidity Resistance. This is akin to insulin resistance, where insulin becomes less effective at lowering blood sugars. The amount of insulin required to maintain normal blood sugar levels increases as resistance rises until even massive doses of insulin no longer have the desired effect and the system crashes.
Bob Janjuah, who has been quiet lately (recall his last piece in which he quite honestly told everyone that "Markets Are So Rigged By Policy Makers That I Have No Meaningful Insights To Offer"), is out with his latest, in which he gives us not only his long-term preview, "ultimately I still fear and expect the S&P500 – as the global risk-on/risk-off proxy – to trade at 800, and the Dow/Gold ratio to hit parity (currently at 8, down from an all-time high of 45 in late 1999) before we can begin the next multi-decade bull cycle", but also his checklist of 8 things to look forward to in the short-term centrally-planned future.
So far futures are broadly unchanged, following the release of a Chinese trade report which while showing a resumption in the trade surplus, on expectations of further trade deficit in March, showed it was primarily due to a slide in imports, not so much a rise up in exports, a fact which impacted the Aussie dollar subsequently. We already noted that in conjunction with the BOJ, this means that Asia's central banks will likely hold off on further easing, and defer to the Chairman, especially with food inflation in China still prevalent. Aside from that the traditional European weakness is back, where April Sentic Investors Confidence slid to -14.7 on expectations of -9.1: to be expected from a meaningless market-coincident indicator. Keep a close eye on PIIGS bonds where whack a mole is now firmly back as the LTRO benefit is long forgotten, 3 month half life and all that.
Disappointing the liquidity-starved masses, the BoJ wholeheartedly believes that this time it's different and their economy remains more or less flat and shows signs of picking up leaving hope for another massive LSAP (and a disappointed SocGen) having to wait for the Fed to pick up the pieces of a global slowdown. The BoJ maintained the size of its asset-purchase fund, credit-loan program, and ZIRP noting that, via Bloomberg:
- *BOJ SAYS NO ONE PROPOSED EXPANSION OF STIMULUS AT MEETING
It seems the Japanese are following China's lead (since China's economy posted a trade surplus on expectations of a deficit and following the biggest import surge since 1989, this means that the hard landing is delayed as the PBOC is far more concerned about the pockets of food inflation noted yesterday and as such will be far less willing to proceed with the easing everyone demands) and deferring to the Fed for the next global liquidity pump (remember its flow not stock so this is bad news for risk-on - as can be seen in AUDJPY, Oil, and Copper). Gold is so far enjoying this as one by one global central banks check to the Fed's check-raise expectations.
I continue to see articles in the media claiming that Europe’s problems are solved. Either the folks writing these articles can’t do simple math, or they don’t bother actually reading any of the political news coming out of Europe.
- JPMorgan Trader Iksil Fuels Prop-Trading Debate With Bets (Bloomberg), but, but, he is just proividing liquidity, and serving JPM's clients
- Short on tools, central banks left with words (Reuters)
- And the mainstream media finally catches up: Investors braced for fall in US profits (FT)
- Iran rules out pre-conditions to talks: Salehi (Reuters)
- North Korea ‘planning third nuclear test’ (FT)
- Japan to Hold Talks With China on IMF Contributions (Reuters)
- American Universities Infected by Foreign Spies Detected by FBI (Bloomberg)
- Is the Fed Promoting Recovery or Desperation? (Hussman)
- In Europe, Unease Over Bank Debt (NYT)
- Banks test ‘CDOs’ for trade finance (FT)
As leviathan government, Central Bankers and the welfare states battle Mother Nature and Darwin, the stakes for the global banksters and elites could not be higher. Governments in the US and Europe are striving to place debt and legal shackles on those they pretend to serve and working for the interests of banksters, power-hungry public servants and entrenched government bureaucrats against that of their own constituents.
Welfare states on both sides of the Atlantic are creating legions of government dependents to justify their TAKINGS of the private sector. Having already spent the money they have collected and borrowed since Bretton Woods II, credit markets are REJECTING their requests for further lending. New sources of REVENUES must be found since they have effectively DESTROYED wealth and income creation in their economies. So it’s off to the printing press and PROGRESSIVE, rubber-stamp legislatures they go.
The UNFOLDING destruction of the developed world’s economies and financial/currency systems continues apace. Public servants are trying to defy Mother Nature with the stroke of a pen; she will not yield to this. Radical Marxist POLITICAL solutions to practical problems are at the end of their collective ropes (double entendre intended). You CANNOT store wealth in paper, PERIOD. Those who do will get what they deserve: NOTHING. It has been and will be printed endlessly from this point forward as Socialist government policies have destroyed wealth creation and substituted Ponzi asset-backed economies in their place. Now those economic models have reached their COLLECTIVE endpoints.
Let us take another step down the Holmesian path. As the economies in Italy and Spain deteriorate who will be seriously affected: Germany. Two of their largest buyers of their goods and services will radically cut back on their purchases and the German economy, for the first time in this cycle, will suffer as buyers are no longer able to afford various services. The circle always completes and the consequences will not be pleasant; this circle, in fact, will resemble a noose that is pulled tighter and tighter with each passing quarter and the pay master for the European Union will shrink as their economy, currently at the $3.2 trillion mark, sinks back towards $2.5 trillion during the next year. There will be screams of anguish aplenty and you might begin now to make the necessary adjustments to this coming reality. Then as Italy and Spain soon line up at the till you will see the Real Hurt being on which is why Europe is begging the IMF, the G-20, China and Japan for funds because they now have the burning smell in their nostrils of damaged flesh that has been singed and is about to be cooked and served up fresh in the begging bowls of those urchins turned out into the street.
Before even taking into account the aftermath of the “unexpected” NFP result, it has been amazing to see over these past few months the number of experts, especially those that reside solely within the “science” of economics, proclaiming a successful engineering of the long sought-after recovery. That this has been the third such claim in as many years is lost in the noise of confusing “headwinds” that are somehow beyond the control of those that now control most everything within the financial arena. Stock speculators are beneficial components to the healthy financial transmission mechanism into the real economy (even when all they are supposed to do is provide liquidity 20,000 times per second), but anybody that dares speculate in the far more vital energy sector (or any real commodity) is the pure incarnation of evil. That these two apparently disconnected speculative classes are really one and the same shows just how obtuse (not always intentionally) economists and the pandering classes really are.
Recovery? What Recovery? 4 years after central banks have progressively injected over $7 trillion in liquidity into the global markets (and thus, by Fed logic, the economy), and who knows how many trillion in fiscal aid has been misallocated, to halt the Second Great Depression which officially started in December 2007, the US "recovery" is the weakest in modern US history! How many more trillions will have to be printed (and monetized) before the central planners realize that fighting mean reversion by using debt to defeat recore debt, just doesnt't work? Our guess - lots.
What's your wild guess?
What we need to understand is that we are in one of the most dangerous phases of this crisis at the moment. The priests of fiat are being attacked from all sides. People have awoken to the Fed and how criminal and deceitful this organization is and the existential threat it poses to economic freedom and hence human liberty. The arguments against the Fed are blistering and the only rebuttal the Fed has is to spout the same old nonsense like “we saved the world” or some trite derivative of this fallacy. The only thing they saved are untalented speculators from their bad bets. What the Fed has systematically done is literally transfer all of the bad debts and bets from the banks to the taxpayer. We are living this reality to this day. This fact is becoming increasingly understood throughout society, hence the emergence of the tea party and then last year’s Occupy Wall Street movement. So the thing I want my readers to really internalize is that the Fed and indeed TPTB generally are getting slaughtered in the intellectual arena and they know it. As a result, they feel cornered and will thus act increasingly aggressive to prove they are right and everyone else is wrong.