It would appear, given the actions and rhetoric of the last week or so, that global central bank printing presses have been switched to 'pause' mode and allowed to cool as implicit inflation 'energy' rears its economic-growth-dragging head around the world (as the bears told us earlier). Whether this leads to a slow grind higher or a tactical correction is the question Morgan Stanley considers in a recent note and their answer is that bullish sentiment, 'under-appreciated' risks, and 'tranquil' markets justify a cautious asset allocation. The focus has switched much more to growth, likely why we have not seen a greater deterioration post-printing yet, but this leaves the market much more sensitive to data surprises (as the backstop of QE has been removed for now). Simply put, we tend to agree with MS' view (given our previous discussions of the volatility surface) that as event and growth risks linger, and with valuations no longer cheap in most cases, expectations of a continued grind higher without a tactical correction are overly confident.
Little that can be added here. The December Case Shiller came, saw, and shut up all those who keep calling for a home price recovery. The Index printed at 136.71 on expectations of 137.11, with the prior revised to 138.24. The top 20 City composite was down -0.5% on expectations of a 0.35% drop. 18 out of 20 MSAs saw monthly declines in December over November, with just the worst of the worst - Miami and Phoenix - posting a dead cat bounce, rising 0.2% and 0.8% respectively. And granted the data is delayed, but the fact that we have now had 8 consecutive months of home price declines even with mortgage rates persistently at record lows, and the double dip in housing more than obvious, can we finally shut up about a housing bottom? Because as Case Shiller's David Blitzer says: "If anything it looks like we might have reentered a period of decline as we begin 2012.” QED
Yesterday, Goldman proclaimed that their new base case outlook is one of a double dip for Germany and France, and hence all of Europe. Now, it is S&P's turn. In a just released report, S&P says that "The prospect that Europe might dip into recession again is looking more likely. The flow of news and market developments in recent weeks, such as sharply deteriorating business sentiment and a projected slowdown in the U.S., has led us to once again revise downward our projections for economic growth in 2012. This follows a number of downside revisions in our last economic outlook at the end of August. We now forecast GDP growth in the eurozone at 1.1% in 2012, compared with 1.5% in our earlier projection. For the U.K., we expect a GDP growth rate at 1.7% in 2012, slightly below our 1.8% projection in August. We still do not expect a genuine double dip to occur in the eurozone as a whole or in the U.K., but we recognize that the probability of another recession in Western Europe has continued to grow. We now estimate the probability of a new recession in Western Europe next year at about 40%. In our baseline forecast, however, we continue to anticipate sluggish and unevenly distributed growth over the coming five quarters." Next up: rating warning for France, and all EFSF bets are off?
Roubini and Soros talked the same double dip recession doom regarding the U.S. and the rest of the world.
Our hats off to JP Morgan for a creative depiction of the current European debt crisis, although we typically take a dim view of any investment vehicle that's associated with the word "leveraged" as recommended by JPM.
Even a broken clock could be right at least twice a day....
Funny how much can change in a month. After everyone was making fun of David Rosenberg as recently as June, not a single pundit who owns a suit and can therefore appear on CNBC dares to mention the original skeptic. Why? Because he has was proven correct (once again) beyond a reasonable doubt (and while we may disagree as to what asset class is best held into the terminal systemic collapse, Rosenberg has been one of the most steadfast and consistent predictors of the 'non-matrixed' reality in the world). Yet oddly enough there are still those who believe that a double dip (or, more accurately, a waterfall in the current great depressionary collapse accompanied by violent bear market rallies) is avoidable. Well, here, in 12 bullet points, is Rosie doing the closest we have seen him come to gloating... and proving the the double dip or whatever you want to call it, is here.
Was A Double Dip Recession Really Hard To See Coming? Is It A Double Dip Or A Large Serving Of A Single Recession?Submitted by Reggie Middleton on 08/10/2011 07:06 -0400
How can it be a double dip if the first recession never ended? The Fed spent $1 for every 80 cents of "supposed recovery", all of which lasts only as long as the Fed keeps spending those $1s. Patently unsustainable, as we are now seeing...
Today's Economic Data Docket - Case Shiller Hits New Double Dip Low, Chicago PMI Tumbles, But Consumers Very ConfidentSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 05/31/2011 08:00 -0400
Case-Shiller house prices, the Chicago PMI, and consumer confidence. Fasten your seatbelts: bizarro day will be fully enforced today with horrible data leading to market surges.
And continuing with the rates discussion from the prior post, next up we have that "other" bond manager, DoubleLine's Jeff Gundlach, chiming in on what would cause a treasury rally following QE2. His assessment: nothing short of a confirmed double dip, or "zero GDP growth." Dow Jones reports: "Over the past two months, government bond market participants have fiercely debated whether the end of the Fed's $600 billion in Treasury bond purchases in June will trigger a market sell-off or rally...the U.S. government bonds' rally in recent weeks shows investors have already bet the Fed's exit from the market will boost safe-harbor Treasurys because the economy will slow. So any gains will be limited. "The 10-year Treasury yield has hit the moment of truth," Gundlach said in an interview with Dow Jones." Needless to say, 0% growth, which is already in the cards according to a simple correlation analysis between Y/Y GDP growth and initial jobless claims, will force the Fed, in the absence of another fiscal stimulus (which everyone knows is not coming from DC this year and possibly next year either), to step up double time and to launch far more easing to offset the economic weakness which we have been predicting for 6 months, and which the recent Japanese earthquake, and Chinese slowdown, merely accentuated. The only wildcard continues to be Japan, which many have expected would take up the monetary slack and issue tens of trillions in yen in QE, yet which has so far been slow to come, leaving the ball in either the US or European court. However, with the ECB in transition as JCT wishes to cement his hawkish legacy, the only real alternative continues to be the Fed. Oddly enough, stocks today appear to have started to already price in the start of QE3. When this sentiments shifts to precious metals and crude, our advice would be to hide you kids, and hide your wife...
Sterling Tumbles As UK Double Dip Comes Back With A Vengeance After PMI Misse, Comes Lowest In 7 MonthsSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 05/03/2011 07:15 -0400
After a few less than negative pieces of economic data out of the UK came out recently leading some to believe that the UK appreciation is a safe bet in advance of what seems an imminent BOE hike, today all the GBP bulls got another cold dose of reality after the PMI came at 7 month lows. From Reuters: "Manufacturing activity grew more weakly than expected in April, at its slowest pace in 7 months, and a sharp slowdown in new orders cast a cloud over a sector that has been a rare bright spot in the UK economy. The Markit/CIPS manufacturing PMI headline index, published on Tuesday, fell to 54.6 in April, its lowest since September, from a downwardly revised 56.7 in the previous month and well below the 56.9 consensus forecast in a Reuters poll on Friday." So to update: Japan slashes growth forecasts, Europe is overheating and due for a major monetary tightening, China already is (although the PBoC it pushed the parity to just above 6.50 last night so as not to seem too desperate), and the UK is in shambles. And somehow reverse decoupling is still expected to work? Judging by the now traditional futures levitation each and every morning the answer is a resounding yes.
As of December, so almost three months ago, the housing double dip was getting increasingly worse. This was confirmed by the latest Case Shiller data, according to which the 10- and 20-City Composites posted annual rates of decline of 1.2% and 2.4%, respectively. The 20 City Composite printed at 142.16, the lowest since June 2009 when it was 141.75. Luckily, NAR's now completely disgraced Larry Yun is nowhere to be found in this release, from which we quote: "Data through December 2010, released today by Standard & Poor’s for its S&P/Case-Shiller1 Home Price Indices, the leading measure of U.S. home prices, show that the U.S. National Home Price Index declined by 3.9% during the fourth quarter of 2010. The National Index is down 4.1% versus the fourth quarter of 2009, which is the lowest annual growth rate since the third quarter of 2009, when prices were falling at an 8.6% annual rate. As of December 2010, 18 of the 20 MSAs covered by S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices and both monthly composites were down compared to December 2009." Bottom line: the chart says it all.