By starving investors of safe return, activist Fed policy has promoted repeated valuation bubbles, and inevitable collapses, in risky assets. On the basis of valuation measures having the strongest correlation with actual subsequent market returns, we fully expect the S&P 500 to decline by 40-55% over the completion of the current market cycle. The only uncertainty has been the triggers.
Translation: the Fed is not data dependent, but it is, as we have said all along, entirely market dependent.
If the investment world has reached the point at which it no longer has faith in Central Banks’ abilities to prop up the markets, then THE major crisis of our lifetimes is here.
Anyone who listens to a mainstream media pundit, talking head, or spokes bimbo deserves the reaming they are going to receive.
“There is no means of avoiding the final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion. The alternative is only whether the crisis should come sooner as the result of voluntary abandonment of further credit expansion, or later as a final and total catastrophe of the currency system involved.” – Ludwig von Mises
As the capital markets from Shanghai to New York were melting down in ways hearkening back to the early days of the prior financial crisis - a period of time many would like to forget (or act) as if it never happened - the Nobel Laureate economist Paul Krugman decided it was time once again to weigh in with what will surely be viewed by the so-called “smart crowd” as a brilliant perspective on what ails the world: Not enough debt. He came out blazing with what seems the only bullet in his arsenal as a cure-all for what ever the ailment might be (e.g., debt.) as he argues this view in his latest: Debt Is Good.
A non-bombastic discussion of market forces and what to expect next
The current bubble is not comparable to the mania that culminated in the year 2000. At the time, one could actually watch out for very close equivalents to the shoeshine boy, given the huge participation of retail traders in the market. Nowadays we have a “bubble of professionals”, so we must look for something slightly different. And we have found it – or rather, it actually fell into our lap yesterday, or rather, suddenly appeared in our inbox.
Imagine that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was a corporation, with its shares owned by the nation's major pharmaceutical companies. How would you feel about the regulation of medications? Whose interests would this corporation be serving? Or suppose that major oil companies appointed a small committee to periodically announce the price of a barrel of crude in the United States. How would that impact you at the gasoline pump? Such hypotheticals would strike the majority of Americans as completely absurd, but it's exactly how our banking system operates.
When paying a premium for equities, or any asset for that matter, one runs the serious risk of capital impairment. Worse, most professional investment managers falling prey to the bullish sentiment currently surrounding this period of extreme valuations will likely not live up to their overriding fiduciary duty – the preservation of wealth. Following the herd may have its benefits at times, but following the herd over a cliff never ends well. As Seth Klarman warned. “Risk is not inherent in an investment; it is always relative to the price paid”
BofA Pushes The Panic Buttton: "Dow Theory Sell Signal, Key Supports Broken, Semis Sinking, No Capitulation"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 08/21/2015 12:33 -0400
Dow Theory flashes sell signal. S&P 500, NYSE & Russell 2000 all closed below key supports.
No tactical capitulation. Not 90% down. ARMS below 2.0. 10-day total put/call ratio not showing panic. But VXV/VIX oversold.
The musings of the many wonderful minds who preach to goldbugs, contrarians, real anarchists, real patriots, conservatives and republicans, moralists, real believers in genuine free markets, solution seekers and a combination of them all, have had a significant impact on my worldview.
In the Western world insouciance rules governments as well as peoples, and most likely also everywhere else in the world. It remains to be seen whether Russia and China have any clearer grasp of the reality that confronts them.
"The larger problem with repurchases is that debt-financed buybacks effectively put investors on margin. As corporations have borrowed in order to aggressively buy back their stock near the highest market valuations in history, existing stockholders have quietly become heavily leveraged, without even realizing it."
In the current Theater of the Absurd, the world's most powerful central bank is relying on a novelty tune to maintain the hyper-speculative status quo. It would be humorous if it wasn't so tragic.