Some people never learn. Even though we’ve experienced two horrific stock market crashes in the last fifteen years, with losses of 40% to 80%, the professional monkeys posing as investment experts ignore facts, history, and common sense. Will the Ivy League MBA’s heed these warnings? Not a chance. They think they are the smartest guys in the room.
The German hyperinflation episode in the early 1920s is often quoted as an example of the dire consequences of excessive money printing – a leading industrial economy succumbing to the dangers of currency debasement promoted by incompetent central bankers. Alas, the reality is more complex than that, particularly when certain geopolitical and economic constraints of that time are taken into consideration. And as we shall see, we can draw some important lessons from that episode that can help us gauge the effectiveness of our very own currency debasement in the 21st century.
The negative divergence of the markets from economic strength and momentum are simply warning signs and do not currently suggest becoming grossly underweight equity exposure. However, warning signs exist for a reason, and much like Wyle E. Coyote chasing the Roadrunner, not paying attention to the signs has tended to have rather severe consequences. When the market eventually cracks, the "disposition" effect will trump all the good intentions of "buying and holding" for the long-term. The eventual "panic to sell" will lead to a significant destruction in investment capital and a reversion in investor psychology to extreme negativity. While the basic premise of investing is to "buy low" and "sell high," repeated studies show that there are precious few who do.
Is Big Brother Blocking Your Mail?
- ECB Tells Greek Banks Not to Boost Exposure to Athens Government’s Debt (WSJ)
- Search teams probe wreckage of jet in French Alps (Reuters)
- Flight Recorders Offer Best Hope of Explaining Jet’s Fatal Drop (BBG)
- Yemen Houthi militia sweeps toward Aden in threat to president (Reuters)
- In Nigeria, Oil Price’s Slide Deters Theft (WSJ)
- Saudi Arabia building up military near Yemen border (Reuters)
- Quant Who Shook the Financial World Tries More Humble Approach (BBG)
- Executive Pensions Are Swelling at Top Companies (WSJ)
Former Fed governor who warned of overheating credit markets is headed to the hedge fund world as a consultant.
Fortescue's refinancing effort, which many investors believe was hampered by collapsing commodity prices, wasn't actually a failure the company's CEO says. Besides, it was all Janet Yellen's fault.
“I am for doing good to the poor, but…I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. I observed…that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.” - Benjamin Franklin
"Leverage is risky. Purchasing assets with borrowed money can amplify small movements in prices into extraordinary gains or crippling losses, even default."
- San Fran Fed
*FISCHER SAYS RATE LIFTOFF LIKELY WARRANTED BEFORE END-2015
With the world now convinmced that Janet Yellen is as dovish as she has ever been on rate hikes, today comes the first post-FOMC speech. None other than Vice-chair Stanley Fischer is due to address The Economic Club of New York on the topic of "Monetary-policy lessons and the way ahead." As Art Cashin warned this morning, Fischer "seems to feel that the Fed must raise rates this year. He is also the only Fed official to concede that any rate hike will be different than any seen before."
Following January's disastrous dive in Existing Home Sales (which must be weather, right? Nope!) to a SAAR 4.82 million homes, February (with its even worse weather) saw a 4th month of missed expectations with a 4.88mm print against 4.90 mm expectations. As always, weather was blamed - which is odd given that the only drop in sales that occurred happened in The Northeast which accounts for just 12% of total transactions. Perhaps more worrisome is NAR's Larry Yun noting "unsuitable price levels" as a reason for weak sales due to low inventories (despite inventories rising 1.6% in February?!). May be it's time to blame The Fed... for not creating more rich people to buy more houses...
Former Dallas Fed president Dick "Feral Hogs" Fisher may be worried about a major correction in a market that is "hyper overpriced", and he may be confused and unable to grasp that the only reason "traders are lazy" is because the Fed's Chief Risk Officer has made risk, and selling, illegal but when it comes to finding sources of funding there are no conerns or confusion at all. Because promptly after he officially resigned from the Dallas Fed, on Thursday March 19, the very next day the board of Pepsi announced that "On March 20, 2015, the Board of Directors (the "Board") of PepsiCo, Inc. ("PepsiCo") elected Richard W. Fisher as an independent member of the Board, effective March 23, 2015. Mr. Fisher will serve on the Audit Committee of the Board, effective March 23, 2015."
That @ssh&le Who Spews Garbage and Doesn't Listen to Your Reasonable Comments ... May Be a Bot
What happens in the event a Fed rate hike triggers widening corporate credit spreads in a corporate bond market devoid of liquidity? Could it indeed be the case that the Fed’s highly anticipated “lift-off” will serve as the catalyst for credit market carnage? Some traders think so.
In response to questions posed by Santelli, former Dallas Fed president Richard Fisher made two points which were both salient if not downright prophetic. The first: “Well, what worries me is how totally lazy investors have gotten, totally dependent on the Federal Reserve and I find this to be a precarious situation.” The second: “Are we vulnerable in my opinion to a significant equity market correction? I believe we are. Not only has the Fed painted themselves into an even tighter corner – they’ve left no clear path as to now kick the empty can.