"We learned one thing yesterday: the U.S. Federal Reserve is in the same position as the rest of us when it comes to forecasting the future path of economic growth. Nobody really “Knows” anything right now. Now, there’s enough doubt for everyone: markets, central banks, consumers, governments. Everyone. The best thing we can say about that: if markets accept that the Fed is no better informed than they are, maybe investors will devote more time to stock fundamentals and intrinsic value analysis."
- Unease over Fed rate path dents European stocks (Reuters)
- Global Stocks Pressured After Fed Statement (WSJ)
- Japan's Economy Minister Amari to Resign Over Graft Scandal (BBG)
- Authorities working to clear remaining protesters in Oregon occupation (Reuters)
- China Sharpens Efforts to Halt Money Outflow (WSJ)
- Eurozone January Economic Sentiment Falls Sharply, Hits 5-Mth Low (MNI)
Following the Fed's disappointing "dovish, but not dovish enough" statement which effectively admitted Yellen had committed policy error by hiking just as the US economy "was slowing down" which in turn lowered the odds of a March rate hike to just 18%, it was up to oil to pick up the correlation torch, and so it did, rising in an otherwise mixed session which has seen European stocks slide on continued weakness surrounding Italian banks, many of which have been halted limit down, while Asia was treading water following news of the resignation of Japan’s "Abenomics" minister Akira Amari to over a graft scandal, and yet another day of Chinese stock dropping.
During the calendar year to December 2015, the Bundesbank claims to have transported 210 tonnes of gold back to Frankfurt, moving circa 110 tonnes from Paris to Frankfurt, and just under 100 tonnes from New York to Frankfurt.
"So why do speculators make claims that run counter to reality? Analysts said it is because either the short-sellers haven't done their homework or that they are intentionally trying to create panic to snap profits."
The public idea of collapse comes predominantly from Hollywood, and not from personal experience. For the masses (and some preppers, unfortunately), a collapse is an “event” that happens visibly and usually swiftly. You wake up one morning and behold; the television and phones don’t work anymore and zombies are at your doorstep! Yes, it’s childish and cartoonish, but anything less than a Walking Dead/Mad Max scenario and many people act as if all other threats are benign. This is the driving reason why many Americans are absolutely oblivious to the economic instability that is rampant and blatant within our system the past few months. Well, the problem is that social and economic collapse is not a singular event, it is a PROCESS.
"The Federal Reserve signaled renewed worry about financial market turbulence and slow overseas economic growth, but didn’t rule out raising short-term interest rates in March."
Between 1990 and 2010, eventually 37 banks would become JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Citigroup. The “Big Four” retail banks in the United States collectively hold 45% of all customer bank deposits for a total of $4.6 trillion... as the biggest got biggest-er all thanks to the very visible hand of The Fed's free money.
The financial engineering that has been made possible by zero percent interest rates is no longer available to paper over weak corporate results in the U.S. Our economy is addicted to QE and zero rates, and without those supports, we will spiral back into recession. This is the reality that the mainstream tried mightily to ignore the past several years. But the chickens are coming home to roost, and they have a great many eggs to lay. In the end, stimulus does not create actual growth, but merely the illusion of it.
"The Fed’s monetary policy of extraordinarily low interest rates helped create the asset bubbles in stock and commodity prices that are now bursting. In retrospect, the Fed’s rate hike last month will likely be viewed as monetary malpractice. None of this is likely to forestall turmoil in credit markets. Investors are wise to be worried..."
Ben Bernanke is no longer the Fed's chairman, but this article is even more relevant today then it was when I wrote it
In the US the rule of law, and with it liberty, have been lost. With few exceptions, Americans are too ignorant and unconcerned to do anything about it. The longer the rule of law is set aside, the more difficult it is to reestablish it. Sooner or later the rule of law ceases even as a memory. No candidate in the upcoming election has made the rule of law an issue. Americans, even well informed ones, dramatically over-estimate the knowledge of presidents and the neutrality of the information that is fed to them by the various agencies and advisors. Information is power, and presidents get the information that Washington wants them to receive.
“What The Fed did, and I was part of it, was front-loaded an enormous market rally in order to create a wealth effect… and an uncomfortable digestive period is likely now.” – Former Dallas Federal Reserve Governor Richard Fisher – January 5, 2016.
Deeply concerning to us, and apparently now to Mr. Fisher, is the degree of excessive optimism embedded in current prices.
"There is some truth to the phrase that the stock market has predicted nine of the last five recessions... but that is a much better track record than the consensus of economists. Every time the financial markets get volatile and messy like this it deserves attention because the markets are trying to tell us that there is a severe issue out there."
The world has yet to fully digest what is currently happening in Japan.