Government bonds rose and the yen strengthened as investors weighed the timing of the Federal Reserve’s next increase in interest rates and the outlook for inflation. Commodities slid, led by metals, while stocks in Europe declined. Treasury 30-year yields fell for a third day. The yen rose from near this month’s low. Futures on the S&P 500 also declined after initially jumping higher in thinly traded, illiquid tape.
Financial and economic prospects for the Eurozone have many similarities to the 1972-75 period in the UK, which this writer remembers vividly. This time, the prospects facing the Eurozone potentially could be worse. The obvious difference is the far higher levels of debt, which will never allow the ECB to run interest rates up sufficiently to kill price inflation. More likely, positive rates of only one or two per cent would be enough to destabilise the Eurozone’s financial system. Let us hope that these dangers are exaggerated, and the final outcome will not be systemically destabilising, not just for Europe, but globally as well. A wise man, faced with the unknown, believes nothing, expects the worst, and takes precautions.
There is perhaps no other area where the tunnel-vision, hypocrisy, and corruption of the U.S. media is more visible than with respect to its nearly incessant China-bashing. Previous commentaries have exposed such vacuous drivel again and again and again. Admittedly, the numbers involved should give any sober individual cause for concern. They are an obvious symptom of the global phenomenon of worthless, paper currencies being used to pump-up, manipulate, and destabilize our markets – to a degree never before seen in the history of our species. However, singling out China’s markets as being “prone to bubbles” represents hypocritical blindness on the part of the U.S. media which is too absurd to be accidental.
Once again the Chicken Littles of the U.S. mainstream media are “warning us” that the sky could fall, because of “bubbles in China”. Somehow, all of the U.S.’s gigantic/precarious bubbles are completely invisible to these Chicken Littles. Whose bubbles are bigger? Whose bubbles are worse? The answer could not be more obvious.
After yesterday's algo-driven mad dash to close the S&P green both for the day and for the year following Fed minutes that came in shocking hawkish, the selling has continued overnight, led by the commodity complex as rate hike fears have pushed oil back down some 2% from yesterday's 7 month highs, which in turn has dragged global stocks lower to a six-week low, while pushing bond yields higher across developed nations as the market suddenly reprices the probability of a June/July rate hike.
The increasingly obvious trend reversal in inflation, amid softening growth, indicates the long predicted arrival of stagflation. While not unexpected, this is likely to propel the gold price higher.
What happens if - just as it did in Aug 2015 and Jan 2016 - the S&P 500 starts caring about Chinese stocks? The answer, as BofAML's Stephen Suttmeier explains, is "nothing good."
In a world in which growth is slowing, is it not strange that the Fed (privately owned by the largest banks in the world) would institute a system of rising payments rewarding banks for not taking risk or lending money! This all tends to make believe that manipulation is the order of the day and the explanation is far simpler than most would believe...
As Icahn was selling, or just before as we don't know precisely when Icahn, who has since indicated he has turned massively bearish on the overall market, one entity was buying every AAPL share it could find. In fact, according to its latest 13F, everyone's favorite central bank that openly admits it is also a wholesale buyer of stocks (with a portfolio of some $100 billion), the Swiss National Bank reveals that in Q1 it bought another 4.1 million in AAPL shares, bringing its total to a record 14.5 milion shares.
Global stocks have started Friday the 13th on the wrong foot, with not only Hong Kong GDP unexpectedly tumbling by 0.4%, the worst print in years while retail sales fell for a thirteenth straight month in March, the longest stretch since 1999 as the Chinese hard landing spreads to the wealthy enclave, but also following a predicted collapse in Chinese new loan creation, which will reverberate not only in China but around the globe in the coming weeks. The latest overnight drop in the Yuan hinted that should the recent USD strength continue, China will have no choice but to repeat its devaluation from last summer and winter.
"I think we're at the cusp of a bear market in both stocks and bonds that will last up to thirty years. This is on a real basis, not on a nominal basis, inflation adjusted basis."
What is taking place in the macro economy is a true demand death spiral and this can be seen very clearly by using Proctor & Gamble’s microeconomic context as a representative model. If one steps back and simply looks at the accuracy of the world’s prominent PhD economists and market pros’ predictions over the past 7 years one can’t help but shake one’s head. And we believe investors have become wise to their ignorance. We’ve seen a record 15 consecutive weeks of net selling of equities despite these expert pundits continuing on in their attempt to deceive investors into believing we are just one or two quarters away from that (now) proverbial recovery.
Following last week's Sohn Conference, where the overarching theme was one of prevailing bearishness topped by Stanley Druckenmiller's near-apocalyptic forecast that only gold will be left standing after all confidence evaporates in the "magic people" known as central bankers, yesterday some 1,800 hedge fund industry executives gathered in Las Vegas at the SkyBridge Alternatives Conference or SALT, where the prevalent concern about the future of the world continued, driven primarily by worries about China.
"My fear is that central banks are now taking this too far through negative interest rates in particular and that they’re going to literally destroy their own banking systems. If they’re actually successful in generating higher inflation, then they’re going to destroy their own bond markets... our government officials, and I will include the Federal Reserve in that, have failed the American people."
Why central planning efforts will ultimately backfire - Anyone involved with managing projects, people or systems knows that the only thing that can be planned with absolute certainty is that things will never go 100% according to plan. History is full of examples where governments' best-laid plans failed in spectacular fashion, exacerbating the very problems they were intending to solve. Here are a few of our favorites...