Hopes that Kuroda would say something substantial, material and beneficial to the "three arrow" wealth effect (about Japan's sales tax) last night were promptly dashed when the BOJ head came, spoke, and went, with the USDJPY sliding to a new monthly low, which in turn saw the Nikkei tumble another nearly 500 points. China didn't help either, where the Shanghai Composite also closed below 2000 wiping out a few weeks of gains on artificial hopes that the PBOC would step in with a bailout package, as attention turned to the reported announcement that an update of local government debt could double the size of China's non-performing loans, and what's worse, that the PBOC was ok with that. Asian negativity was offset by the European open, where fundamentals are irrelevant (especially on the one year anniversary of Draghi FX Advisors LLC "whatever it takes to buy the EURUSD" speech) and renewed M&A sentiment buoyed algos to generate enough buying momentum to send more momentum algos buying and so on. As for the US, futures are indicating weakness for the third day in a row but hardly anyone is fooled following two consecutive days of green closes on melt ups "from the lows": expect another rerun of the now traditional Friday ramp, where a 150 DJIA loss was wiped out during the day for a pre-programmed just green closing print.
Some thoughts on why US auto sales are at their strongest pace since prior to the crisis, while EU auto sales are at 20 year lows.
"It is not true that those who worried about the rise of consumer credit in the US in the mid 2000s were “wrong” until the stopped clock eventually was right," this strikes me as an incredibly superficial analysis, explained only by the fact that many of us expect economic analysis merely to predict whether the stock market will rise or fall this week. Those who worried about rising consumer credit in the US were not wrong every single year until 2007-8, when they accidentally became right. They were right every single year, and were proven right in 2007. Those who have been arguing that China is experiencing an unsustainable increase in debt have not been wrong every quarter that China has not collapsed. They are almost certainly right and it is hard even for the most foolish of bulls any longer to deny it."
Sometimes it is what is not discussed among the mainstream media that is most critical to understanding the new normal...
Succinctly summarizing the positive and negative news, data, and market events of the week...
Much has ben written lately about the fact that the Federal Reserve is beginning to realize that they are caught in a "liquidity trap." However, what exactly is a "liquidity trap?" And perhaps more importantly how did we end up in it - and how do we get out?
As if predicting the jump in interest rates in June, consumers took advantage of cheap credit condition two months ago to load up on credit, pushing the May Consumer Credit higher by $19.6 billion, well above expectations of a $12.5 billion jump. This was the second highest sequential jump post the consumer credit data set revision, only second to the $19.9 billion from last May. And just like a year ago, revolving credit jumped by $6.6 billion following months of stagnating levels. It did the same in May 2012 when it rose by $6.8 billion when consumers also appeared to be prepaying summer purchases. The balance of credit expansion was once again driven by a surge in student and car loans, which amounted to $13 billion of the total May increase. Whether this credit growth continues into June is skeptical following the jump in interest, and especially following the doubling of the prevailing subsidized Stafford Loan rate which will likely cripple future student loan extraction.
Why has there been no recovery? Why has the “stimuli” failed so miserably? Why won`t trillions of currency units move the economy into escape velocity? Well, if you have spent the last thirty years consuming your hard earned capital and depleted the pool of real savings there is only one thing to do! Produce more than you consume and save the difference!
Not much in terms of economic data but lots of corporate news with the official Q2 earnings season kick off, as well as a plethora of Fed speakers which in a centrally-planned world, is all that matters.
The FOMC lives in a fantasy world. The economy is not improving materially and deflationary pressures are rising as the bulk of the globe is in recession or worse. The problem is that the current proposed policy is an exercise in wishful thinking. While the Fed blamed fiscal policy out of Washington; the reality is that monetary policy does not work in reducing real unemployment. However, what monetary policy does do is promote asset bubbles that are dangerous; particularly when they are concentrated in riskiest of assets from stocks to junk bonds. However, if you want to see the efficiency of the Federal Reserve in action it is important to view their own forecasts for accuracy. The reality is that Fed may have finally found the limits of their effectiveness as earnings growth slows, economic data weakens and real unemployment remains high. Reminiscent of the choices of Goldilocks - it is likely the Fed's estimates for economic growth in 2013 are too hot, employment is too cold and inflation estimates may be just about right. The real unspoken concern should be the continued threat of deflation and the next recession. One thing is for certain; the Fed faces an uphill battle from here.
This was one helluva week. Nevertheless current markets are still hooked on QE.
In the latest month of data, April, the Fed just disclosed that of the $11.1 billion in crease in total consumer credit, only 6% was in revolving credit. The balance, or $10.4 billion, was non-revolving, and thus was used to pay for that new Chevy Impala and/or "Keynesian Shamanomics 101 for Dummies." And of course, all was funded by the US government.
To get a sense of the momentous volatility in Japan, consider that the Nikkei225 is more or less in the same numeric ballpark as the Dow Jones, and that each and every day now it continues to have intraday swings of more than 500 points! Last night was no different following swing from 13100 on the high side to 12548 on the low, or nearly 600 points, with all this ridiculous vol culminating in a close that was just red however for a simple reason that the rumor of the Japanese Pension Fund reallocation taking place hit shortly before the close sending the USDJPY higher by 200 pips... only for the news to emerge as an epic disappointment when it was revealed that the GPIF would raise its target allocation to domestic equities from 11% to... 12%. So much for the "Great Japanese Rotation."
The middle class American worker is in danger of becoming an endangered species. The politicians are not telling you the truth, and the mainstream media is certainly not telling you the truth, but the reality is that there is nothing but bad news on the horizon for workers in the United States. The American people inherited the greatest economic machine in the history of the world, and we have wrecked it. Decades of very foolish decisions have resulted in the period of steady economic decline that we are experiencing now. Today, American workers are living in an economy that is rapidly declining, and their jobs are steadily being stolen by robots, computers and foreign workers that live in countries where it is legal to pay slave labor wages. Politicians from both political parties refuse to do anything to stop the bleeding because they think that the status quo is working just great. So don't expect things to get better any time soon. The following are 10 charts that demonstrate the slow, agonizing death of the American worker...
Households Cut Another $110 Billion In Debt Even With $577 Billion In Q1 Mortgages Originated: Most Since 2007Submitted by Tyler Durden on 05/14/2013 10:44 -0500
It is not immediately clear how much of the net drop in mortgage balances from $8.033 trillion to $7.932 trillion was due to defaults as opposed to actual pay downs and non-credit rating impairing deleveraging. We do know that a whopping $577 billion in new mortgages were opened in Q1, the highest since Q3 of 2007. Which means that some $680 billion in mortgages should have been extinguished in one quarter. If this happened primarily via defaults and discharges, one can only wonder just how the bank balance sheets were not decimated in Q1. As a reminder, half a year ago we observed that the bulk of US mortgage debt reduction has come from defaults not from actual deleveraging.