Dow Jones Industrial Average
The next time some financial pundit tells you to buy stocks, show them this chart. It’s an incredibly interesting take on not only how expensive stocks are right now, but also how the monetary system has left the average guy behind.
- Because it just gets funnier: UK speed trader arrested over role in 2010 'flash crash' (Reuters)
- ... and funnier: Mystery Trader Armed With Algorithms Rewrites Flash Crash Story (BBG)
- Presidential hopeful Rubio reaches out to gay Republicans (Reuters)
- Varoufakis Sees Differences Narrowing in Creditor Talks (BBG)
- China Debt Mess Brings Out the Yin and Yang in Policy Makers (BBG)
- Hedge Fund That Made 18% on Dollar Strength Now Bets on Drop (BBG)
- Whistleblower Jim Marchese Scores Millions in Payout—Again (WSJ)
- Release of Benghazi Report on Hillary Clinton Likely Pushed to Election Season (BBG)
Warren Buffett's “financial weapons of mass destruction” - how are you?
Arbitrary Price Weighting
Judging by the euphoric exaggeration and fanboyism on mainstream media this morning, today's Apple Watch (not iWatch, definitely not iWatch) unveiling promises to be "world-changing" for the 'wearables' industry (as well as numerous "first time ever..." comments). Of course, there are 'watches' on the market already, but as Reuters Jason Fields 'jokes', the Apple Watch, of course, does more. The face is high resolution and in color. It even has apps that allow you to do a few of the things you’d be able to do if only you could muster the strength to dig your hand into the front pocket of your jeans, or do a little digging in your handbag.
It was not all smiles and jokes as Mario Draghi's European QE officially launched in Europe, with Greece leaving the proverbial turd in the monetary punch bowl.
When all else fails...
*APPLE WILL JOIN THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE, WSJ SAYS
Prepare for unknown craziness as the world's largest and most-owned stock will dominate another index (along with Goldman as we noted previously).
Janet Yellen is very alarmed that some members of Congress want to conduct a comprehensive audit of the Federal Reserve for the first time since it was created. During testimony this week, she made “central bank independence” sound like it was the holy grail. Even though every other government function is debated politically in this country, Janet Yellen insists that what the Federal Reserve does is “too important” to be influenced by the American people. Does any other government agency ever dare to make that claim? If the Fed is doing everything correctly, why should Yellen be alarmed? What does she have to hide?
The fact that there is a debate about a quarter-point rate hike tells us that extraordinarily low interest rates have mostly failed to deliver a robust recovery. That people opposed to even the tiniest increase in rates are resorting to hyperbole tells us that they too know this. The thinking seems to be that six years into near-zero policy, the only reason it hasn’t worked is because it hasn’t been tried long enough. Meanwhile, the dangerous side effects of year after year of artificially low rates continue to grow.
The urgency to put your savings to work is understandable, but patience is a virtue. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to wait for the right opportunity to come along... The math is pretty simple.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed today at 17,824... exactly 1 point higher than the close at the end of 2014 thanks to a sudden urgent need to sell VIX protection (because with tensions between EU and Greece at its highs, who would want any hedges into the weekend?) and bid the Dow straight up 20 points in the last minute... here's why..
There is intense debate going on in the worlds of economics, politics, and finance as to whether we will, in 2015, experience the mother of all stock market crashes or whether, instead, we will float along ever higher on the happy cloud that has been making at least some people rich over the last few years (or whether, for a third possibility, we will just muddle along somewhere in the middle). Beyond the diatribes from the punditocracy, there is a mood – maybe it is idiosyncratic – but there’s the feeling that something dramatic is about to happen. I mean, a snowstorm hits and the local supermarket runs out of bread?! Are we all rehearsing for something here?
As if they did not already have their tentacles in everything else already, TBTF, and depositor-insured hedge fund Goldman Sachs is about to become the most heavily-weighted component of the Dow Jones "Industrial" Average. Following Visa's moments ago announced 4:1 stock split, Goldman will now represent just shy of 7.00% of the DJIA.
This time the global slowdown has fewer places to hide. Perhaps we can “thank” monetary policy for that, highlighting deficiency wherever “extraordinary” policies have been proclaimed as highly “necessary.” In other words, the very fact that a central bank has “had” to institute something as disruptive as QE is not much of a solution but rather a marker of everything wrong. Nowhere is this reality more evident than in the evolution of at least credit market thinking on the subject, viewing the decrepit state of the actual economy now more appropriately; moving in the “wrong” direction. There is, again, perhaps something to that sharp bearish turn in December.
The old joke is "In America, you correct newspaper, but in Soviet Union, newspaper corrects you.” Switzerland is now experiencing the bond market equivalent.