Day after day we are told that the plunge in oil prices (just like the collapse in The Baltic Dry freight index) is a "supply" issue... it's transitory and global demand is doing fine thank you very much. Sadly, as everyone really knows deep down inside their Keynesian hearts, this is utter crap and as Barclays shows the shocking 18% YoY crash in distillates "demand" - something that has never happened outside of a recession - blows the one-sided argument of the energy complex out of the water.
John Fraser, the nation’s top economic bureaucrat, told a parliamentary panel in Canberra Wednesday that he held discussions on the employment figures with the chief statistician this week. There were some “technical issues” in October and November that may have made the employment figures “look a little bit better than otherwise would be the case,” he said. The technical issues relate to “rolling off” of participants in the labor survey.
The rise in rents and home prices is adding additional pressure to the bottom line of most California families. In most of the US buying a home may make some sense. In California, the massive drop in the homeownership rate shows a different story. And that story is the middle class is disappearing...
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.
Instead of allocating capital to expensive tail risk bets on direct asset class collapse (in equities, credit, and commodities), it appears, just as we detailed previously, the 'smartest money in the room' is "betting" indirectly on a stock market crash through eurodollar options.
"Across the whole country, a pogrom mood prevails that is gathering an explosive intensity."
"It's an invasion. A government sponsored invasion"...
Facebook has been cited as the prime reason for the recent American recession. Facebook has spread faster than the ebola virus infecting even users without computers. Children grow up in a world defined by Facebook. This aggressive strain F1B1 is reprogramming human beings down to the last strand in their DNA. As the previous generation had television programming, now we have Facebook programming.
Russia has just taken significant steps that will break the present Wall Street oil price monopoly, at least for a huge part of the world oil market. The move is part of a longer-term strategy of decoupling Russia’s economy and especially its very significant export of oil, from the US dollar, today the Achilles Heel of the Russian economy.
A few market participants have noticed that the US High Yield Energy sector's credit risk collapsed 170bps this morning according to Bloomberg's data. This is the biggest plunge (rally) in the index of "incredibly risky stuff" on record and in the face of new cycle lows in crude, borrowing bases contracting, and rig counts crashing, this seemed odd... well here is why the index collapsed (spoiler alert - do not get excited).
Sort of like all those do it yourself Gold Mining shows hitting the reality television scene pretty much nailing the near term top in the gold market.
Remember a week ago when every TV anchor, pundit, asset-gatherer, and commission-taker stormed onto mainstream media and proclaimed the credit market collapse "fixed" because prices had 'stabilized' over the holiday period "proving that 3rd Avenue was a one off" and this dip was a buying opportunity? Yeah, well that was all complete crap... as Investment-Grade cost of funding hits a 3-year high, HY bond spreads blew out to cycle wides, 'triple-hooks' soared to their worst levels in almost 7 years, and credit protection costs rose by the most in years.
Sure Oil can go a dollar below this low, but for all intents and purposes this is the bottom in the oil selloff that was predicted for the start of the year.
There’s really one supreme element of this story that you must keep in view at all times: a society (i.e. an economy + a polity = a political economy) based on debt that will never be paid back is certain to crack up. Its institutions will stop functioning. Its business activities will seize up. Its leaders will be demoralized. Its denizens will act up and act out. Its wealth will evaporate. Given where we are in human history - the moment of techno-industrial over-reach - this crackup will not be easy to recover from. Things have gone too far in too many ways. The coming crackup will re-set the terms of civilized life to levels largely pre-techno-industrial. How far backward remains to be seen.