One of America's most notorious bank robbers, Willie Sutton (1901-80), is said to have remarked that he robbed banks "because that's where the money is." In a strange twist, the banks themselves are now beginning literally to rob their own customers.
Relative to the monetary base, the gold price is currently at an all time low. In our opinion, this is a temporary anomaly, which we believe provides an extraordinarily favorable buying opportunity.
The Fed's QE policies of recent years have, for all intents and purposes told the world that “the dollar is our currency and your problem.” And, in recent years, the dollar has been a genuine problem for a number of emerging countries. Following this traumatic event, and the change in the perception of US stability, China went around the world and invited the likes of Brazil, Indonesia, South Africa, Turkey and Korea to shift some of their China trade away from the dollar and into renminbi. China started doing this in 2011 and, as we see it, the renminbi’s attempt to become a trading currency is potentially one of the most important financial developments. Yet no-one seems to care.
"Investors have experienced many mood swings, some institutionalized irrationality, as well as treacherous trading conditions in the first six months of 2015. The wacky has become the norm."
If you jump off of a make believe cliff, don't be surprised when you hit the reality of the ground! Reggie Middleton
Following yesterday's furious market drop in Chinese stocks, just before the overnight open, Morgan Stanley came out with a much distributed report urging investors "Not to buy this dip", and so they didn't. As a result, the Shanghai Composite imploded, at one point trading down 8% while the Chinext and Shenzhen markets crashed even more. This was the single biggest Shanghai Composite one-day drop since 2007, and with a close at 4192.87 the SHCOMP is now on the verge of a bear market, down 19% from its June 12 highs. China's second largest market, Shenzhen, is now officially in a bear market.
For a glimpse of what happens next, look no further than Sweden.
With levels of investors complacency at extremely high levels, it is a currently "fact" that little can go wrong. There is no recession in sight; the earnings decline was all primarily related to energy companies and most importantly, global Central Banks are continuing to support the financial markets. Of course, maybe it is the last point that should be questioned. If the economy is doing so well, then why are Central Banks still needing to intervene to support the growth? This is equivalent of saying the "the patient is cured, as long as we don't take him off of life support."
The treasury auction confusion continues. After yesterday's 5 Year auction priced well weaker than expected, despite a negative repo rate of -0.85% which has actually gotten even more negative this morning dropping to -0.9%, things looked somewhat ominous for today's final for the week issuance of $29 billion in 7 year paper. And yet, moments ago the auction came out far stronger than expected, with the Treasury pricing at 2.153%, a solid 1.2 bps through the 2.165% When Issued, suggesting a far stronger demand into the pricing deadline.
Following meetings with EU officials and then with IMF chief Christine Lagarde and ECB chief Mario Draghi on Wednesday evening, Greek PM Alexis Tsipras is back at it on Thursday, in a frantic attempt to salvage a deal with creditors. He'll need to win over EU finance chiefs (who are collectively losing their will to keep Greece in the currency bloc) and the IMF as the EU summit kicks off in Brussels.
“Any of these events would likely trigger asset price volatility [and] attempts by institutional investors to redeem illiquid corporate bonds in crisis circumstances would amplify volatility.”
The Bundesbank's Jens Weidmann unleashed a litany of cticisim on the Eurosystem (read the ECB) when he said that Greek banks should not continue to buy the short-term debt of their government, which is then repoed back to the ECB in exchange for precious cash. "The Eurosystem must not provide bridge financing to Greece even in anticipation of later disbursements," said Weidmann, who also sits on the European Central Bank's Governing Council, which approves such funding to Greece. "When banks without access to the markets buy debt of a sovereign which is likewise locked out of the market, taking recourse to ELA raises serious monetary financing concerns," he said in a speech to be delivered at a conference in Frankfurt.
Ron Paul, former congressman for Texas, laid plain the absurdity of central policy towards the markets in a recent interview with Amanda Diaz on CNBC. He believes a day of reckoning is in the cards because the central banks “can’t print money forever.”
“There are three things that matter in the bond market these days: liquidity, liquidity and liquidity. When the unwind comes, like we’ve seen in the past few months, it comes abruptly and sharply as the exit door is tiny"...
- We need a free market in currencies, not bail-ins and a war on cash and gold - People blindly trust “experts” so welcome that some of them giving prudent advice regarding diversification - Currencies of creditor nations – Norway, Switzerland, Singapore, Hong Kong will outperform in long term