What both Wall Street in general as well as the Federal Reserve has wrought is a market so adulterated, so anemic, and so mistrusted the euphemistic “money on the sidelines” has more in common with nursery rhymes than it does with anything reality based. There is no money on the sidelines. Nobody wants “in” to this market. Anyone with half a brain and a modicum of common sense wants out – and the outflow numbers show it still to be true.
So having acquired substantial quantities of gold for itself and having also ensured it is widely held by its public, the Chinese government is arguably in a more compelling position to encourage a gold revaluation as a means of stabilising her economy in a credit crisis than America was eighty years ago. It will be China's only option, and if the government doesn't go for it, China's middle classes certainly will. This simple fact could override all the geostrategic considerations upon which China-watchers have tended to focus. A gold revaluation would be presented to the world as bound up with China's domestic economic problems, instead of an act aimed at undermining the dollar's reserve status: a solution that is less confrontational than outright disagreement with Western central banks over gold's role in the international monetary order.
The divergence theme is not longer being eclipsed by the Greek drama and the Chinese stock market slide. See how this week's developments fit into the bigger picture.
"Moody’s, which in 2013 began using a lower rate than governments do to calculate future liabilities, has estimated that the 25 largest U.S. public pensions alone have $2 trillion less than they need", Bloomberg reports.
If market economists have the Fed right, in about 60 days from now Janet Yellen, chairwoman of the Federal Reserve, will announce the first Federal Reserve rate hike in about 9 years. With the first rate hike pending, an obvious question is - Does the Fed have the timing right? If you're looking at year-over-year growth in Retail Sales, Industrial Production, and Capacity Utilization, the answer is a clear no.
The dollar made new multi-year highs against the dollar-bloc and is bid against most major and em currncies. Why?
While the markets have improved since the "resolution" of the Greek crisis, in my opinion we would have expected substantially more given the overall "angst" that the situation was generating. Yet, the market remains in a bearish consolidation pattern. Furthermore, relative strength, momentum and volume remain a detraction from the "bullishness" of this week's "crisis resolution rally."
The trick is to borrow as much as you can and leverage it to the hilt, and buy, buy, buy.
- Back Greek talks or face chaos, Merkel tells German lawmakers (Reuters)
- Fear of the Unknown Binds a Greek Deal With Few Believers (WSJ)
- Grexit Still on the Table Even With EU’s Latest Band-Aid (BBG)
- Donald Tusk warns of extremist political contagion (FT)
- Germany, Not Greece, Should Exit the Euro (BBG)
- Sabine Files Bankruptcy in New York as Oil Prices Fall (BBG)
- Markets Bow to Central Bankers as Bonds Rise, Pound Strengthens (BBG)
With Puerto Rico missing a payment on a bond overnight "due to non-appropriation of funds" but denying that this constitutes anything close to a default, the territory may be about to retake the limelight as Greece is now "fixed." As Peter Schiff explains, this is far from over... As in Greece, the Puerto Rican economy has been destroyed by its participation in an unrealistic monetary system that it does not control and the failure of domestic politicians to confront their own insolvency. But the damage done to the Puerto Rican economy by the United States has been far more debilitating than whatever damage the European Union has inflicted on Greece. In fact, the lessons we should be learning in Puerto Rico, most notably how socialistic labor and tax policies can devastate an economy, should serve as a wake up call to those advocating prescribing the same for the mainland.
Hyperinflation in the U.S. is coming sometime in the next 20 years or so, and this isn't a cry from a Chicken Little, but a conclusion that the analysis strongly suggests. It is possible hyperinflation could happen during the next few years, but that seems unlikely since it would require a series of major crises and political blunders – events unprecedented in the history of the United States. If this led to a corruption of Constitutional rights in the midst of an exaltation of the Executive Branch that resulted in loss of the rule of law, hyperinflation might result. It is much more probable that hyperinflation will be preceded by a long slow decline that will include a protracted period of high inflation, and that the crash of the dollar and hyperinflation will be the final tumble off a looming, steep cliff.
Yesterday she faced the wrath of Hensarling and Duffy in her Congressional hearing, today Fed Chair Janet Yellen pops over to The Senate. We suspect the rhetoric will be a little less aggressive as traders are interested to see if she walks back her comments yesterday that appeared to signal more hawkish "sooner" rate hikes. Of course, the main event will be when Elizabeth Warren is unleashed...
For the FOMC to reach its mandate of full employment they boost stock prices which then creates employment in bubble jobs. When people feel rich, they spend more money on the low quality bubble jobs, and hence employment reacts accordingly. This is obviously entirely unsustainable as spending paid for by feelings manipulated by the FOMC accounts to nothing more than pure capital consumption, and the money flow will disappear as soon as the FOMC tighten the screw and the good feeling disappears along with the stock market gains.
- Greece licks wounds after bailout vote, ECB move expected (Reuters)
- Lose-Lose: Pushing Greece Out of Euro Is Costlier Than Write-Off (BBG)
- EMU brutality in Greece has destroyed the trust of Europe's Left (Telegraph)
- Schaeuble Shrugs Off Greek Vote Saying Euro Exit Is Best (BBG)
- Merkel’s tough tactics prompt criticism in Germany and abroad (FT)
- Investors Get Caught in Oil’s Slippery Wake (WSJ)
- Obama Girds for Battle With Congress on Iran Deal (WSJ)
In an interview at Institutional Investor's Delivering Alpha conference, Elliott Management’s Paul Singer discusses the perils of investing in a world dominated by Keynesian central planners, paper money, the "craziness" of China’s margin-fueled equity bubble, and "connecting the dots."