Gold prices closed on Obama's inauguration day at $857.25 per ounce. Exactly 12 months later on January 20th, 2010, gold had risen to $1,111.05/oz for a gain of nearly 30% in the first year after Obama’s inauguration.
"Markets don’t have a purpose any more - they just reflect whatever central planners want them to. Why wouldn’t it lead to the biggest collapse? My strategy doesn’t require that I’m right about the likelihood of that scenario. Logic dictates to me that it’s inevitable..."
The key economic releases this week are consumer confidence on Tuesday, ISM manufacturing on Thursday, and the employment report on Friday. There are a few scheduled speaking engagements from Fed officials this week. The Beige Book for the December FOMC period will be released on Wednesday.
As markets continue to digest the implications of the US election outcome, there is a host of data and Central Bank communication adding to the running narrative with Fed speakers appearing on every single day of the week. In addition to barrage of daily Fed speakers, including Chair Yellen, we get US inflation data, retail sales, housing data, empire manufacturing, industrial production and the Philly Fed.
Asian stocks and S&P futures fall modestly and European shares are little changed as traders digested the surprising reticence from yesterday's ECB meeting. The dollar jumped to 7 month highs, pressuring EM currencies and pushing the euro to its weakest level since March and below the Brexit lows, after Mario Draghi shut down talk of tapering, while the Yuan dropped to the lowest since 2010.
The key economic releases this week include industrial production on Monday, CPI on Tuesday, and housing starts on Wednesday. There are several scheduled speeches from Fed officials this week. The Beige Book for the November FOMC period will be released on Wednesday.
This morning, Janet Yellen testifies before the House Financial Services Committee on financial regulation topics. While there us unlikely to be much talk of monetary policy, it may come up, although most of the lawmakers’ questions are likely to relate to the Fed’s oversight of banks; other questions may touch on the Fed's recent bank commodity oversight push, the November election, and especially the recent Wells scandal.
Two weeks after European and Japanese banks threatened mutiny against new banking capital requirements set forth by the Basel Committee, Bloomberg reports that Wall Street would have to come up with billions of dollars in additional capital in a proposed revamp of the Fed’s stress tests. US bank stocks are sliding on the news, falling back to the reality of lower and flatter yield curves as well as systemic threats from Deutsche Bank.
The week ahead is striking in the sheer number of central bank speakers, but with the Fed on hold until December and the BoJ’s new framework now revealed, focus turns squarely from central banks to US politics. The first US presidential debate at the start of the week will be a key focus.
While hardly coming as a surprise to anyone, moments ago the Fed announced that all 33 banks have enough capital to withstand a severe economic shock, though Morgan Stanley trailed the rest of Wall Street in a key measure of leverage, Bloomberg reports. The biggest bank cleared the most severe scenario handily, with the exception of Morgan Stanley whose projected 4.9% leverage ratio tied for last place alongside a Canadian bank’s U.S. unit, falling within a percentage point of the 4 percent minimum. As a result of today's "test result" many banks will likely win regulators' approval next week to boost dividends.
After yesterday's two key events, the ECB and OPEC meetings, ended up being major duds, the market is looking at the week's final and perhaps most important event of the week: the May payrolls report to generate some upward volatility and help stocks finally break out of the range they have been caught in for over a year.
US financials are tumbling after The Fed proposed a rule that would limit banks with $500 bln or more of assets from having net credit exposure to a “major counterparty” in excess of 15% of the lender’s tier 1 capital. Bloomberg reports that The Fed's governors plan to vote today on the proposal. The implications of this are significant in that it will force some banks to unwind exposures and delever against one another (most notably with potential affect the repo market which governs much of the liquidity transmission mechanisms). Guggenheim's Jaret Seiberg warns the proposal is likely to be "stringent," though less onerous than the Dec 2011 proposal... which Goldman Sachs more specifically warned that it could destroy 300,000 jobs.
It seems monetary policy is exhausted and the next exogenous lever to pull would be political fiscal initiatives. If/when they fail to stimulate demand, there would be only one avenue left – currency devaluation. If/when confidence in the mightiest currency wanes, we would expect the US dollar to be devalued too - not against other fiat currencies, but against a relatively scarce Fed asset.