After a brief hope-strewn bounce in September and October, world trade volumes have reverted to their recent stagnating growth trend, drooping 0.1% MoM in November as world industrial production swoons 0.4% MoM. On a smoothed year-over-year basis, world trade volume growth is decelerating at the fastest pace since Q4 2012 (right before QE3 was announced to save the world) and world industrial production growth is near its weakest since Q4 2008. It's not just China either as import volumes declined at the same rate in advanced economies and emerging economies.
What began with Greenspan’s early-nineties covert bank recapitalization evolved into Bernanke’s foolish policy to openly inflate risk markets with new central bank Credit. Amazingly, U.S. inflationism took the world by storm. The issue today goes much beyond a stock market correction, a bear market or even global financial crisis. Contemporary central banking has failed. Theories have failed. Doctrine has failed. The inability to spur self-sustaining economic recovery has been a major issue.
Citi's Global Earnings Revision Index Drops To 7 Year Low: "The Spread Beyond EM And Materials Is Alarming"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 01/24/2016 12:19 -0500
As downward earnings revisions spread beyond just emerging markets and materials, Citi's "global earnings revisions" index has dropped to a seven year low, just in time for consensus Q1 2016 EPS to slide from an increase of 1% to a decline of -1.7%, which would make it the first four consecutive quarters of declining EPS since the financial crisis.
So what is holding back risk appetite? A major overhang remains the question of how China will manage its currency. CNY is near the lower end of a range that has existed since August, a range our economists expect to hold through mid-year. But keeping the currency stable is being challenged by USD strength, and makes it more difficult for China to ease policy to support growth. We think this issue, above all others, is the main macro dilemma facing markets in 2016.
"The world’s central banks can’t save us anymore." That was the message from some of the world’s most prominent investors at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Friday. Each was resistant to putting on fresh positions and expected asset prices to head downward. In short, they say, the only winning move is not to play the game. “The trade now is to hold as much cash as possible,” said Nikhil Srinivasan, chief investment officer for Generali, a European insurer with $480 billion in assets. “Equity markets could go down 15% to 20%.”
Courtesy of Bank of America, here is a list of the 100 top hedge funds in the US and their 100 favorite stock holdings - assuming the status quo continues, expect very substantial asset declines among these 100 when we rerun this analysis in 52 weeks time.
The global economy has had its artificial boom and CapEx frenzy already and years of deflationary liquidation and correction lie ahead. Money printing has failed. Any effort by the central banks to double down on another $20 trillion of bond purchases would blow the world’s financial casinos sky high. Contemporary central bankers function like a team of monetary wranglers, herding the retail cattle toward the asset gathers. At the end of the day, the asset gathers will profoundly regret what they are clamoring for.
Over the short run, markets respond to myths. Investors are ready to believe almost anything... for a while. But over the long run, there is reality. No matter how badly investors want asset prices to go up, they don’t always comply. Greenspan, Bernanke, and Yellen are, after all, only human. They respond to myths as much as anyone... maybe more.
What will bring down the Chinese and Saudi pegs, along with a long list of other pegs, is, how appropriately, the very same markets they’ve been relying on to NOT function. The bets against Hong Kong’s ability to maintain its USD peg have already started, and China is next, along with the House of Saud (the latter two just take more fire-power). Which of course is exactly why they speak their soothing ‘confident’ words. Words that are today interpreted as the very sign of weakness they’re meant to circumvent.
This is just the beginning. The bond bubble will take months to completely implode. And eventually it will consume even sovereign nations.
If you believe the global economy is doing great and stocks are cheap, stop reading now; this post is not for you. We promise to write one for you at some point when stocks are cheap and the global economy is breathing well on its own - we just don’t know when that will be. But if you believe that stocks are expensive - even after the recent sell-off - and that a global economic time bomb is ticking because of unprecedented intervention by governments and central banks, then keep reading.
Markets need to retreat from dependency on central bank stimulus which they falsely believe provides the magical elixir that fixes all economic and financial market woes.
"China 2016 Is US 2008" Felix Zulauf Warns "The Outcome Of A Major Yuan Devaluation Would Be Disastrous"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 01/22/2016 15:55 -0500
"China is to the current cycle what the US housing market was for the Global Financial Crisis in 2008. It will take years to correct the excesses that were built up in China... the consequences of a weaker yuan would be disastrous...If China devalues, all the other countries in the region will follow suit which will lead to a global deflationary shock. There is a real chance of a bigger correction than many investors realize..."
Eight months ago, Bank of America chief economist Ethan Harris triumphantly declared victory over the "perma-bears." Today, the "perma-bears" get the last laugh.
With hope spewing that the world's central banks will unleash moar "stimulus", it should be no surprise that precious metals are finally on the move...