"With the drastic fall in share prices recently, social stability is clearly at stake," Credit Suisse says. With the bubble now finished it is only a matter of time before all the 'nouveau riche' farmers and grandparents see all their paper profits wiped out and hopefully go silently into that good night without starting mass riots or a revolution.
Seven years of bailing out the big banks that control the Federal Reserve and US Treasury at the expense of the US economy has threatened the US dollar to the extent that the dollar must be protected at all cost, including US regulatory tolerance of illegal activity to suppress gold and silver prices.
This all seems like good investment strategy: Convince everyone that "free trade" is good, take their jobs, make them desperate enough to become heroin addicts, and then take the last bit of their money by profiting from their drug-related healthcare expenses. For some reason, the average person always seems to come out on the wrong side of quantitative easing.
When the going gets tough, the taxed get going and that is what Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz thinks should happen. In a Time op-ed, Stiglitz warns (likely correctly) that if Greece continues with austerity, it would be depression without end; and so his solution is simple... "The U.S. was generous with Germany as we defeated it. Now, it is time for the U.S. to be generous with our friends in Greece in their time of need, as they have been crushed for the second time in a century by Germany, this time with the support of the troika." Strawman much?
Who cares about constantly being wrong right here, right now (aside from 11 million Greeks that is) when your projections keep promising that growth is always "just around the corner" as they do in the following chart showing just why the IMF has now lost all credibility not only as an bailouter of last resort (see Greece), but as a forecaster.Presenting: over five years of glorious IMF hockeysticks.
"I want to be clear at the outset that I am not saying that it is appropriate for fiscal policymakers to increase the long-run level of public debt. I am simply pointing to one benefit associated with such an increase: It allows the central bank to be more effective in mitigating the impact of adverse shocks to aggregate demand."
China stocks have fallen by as much as -30% over the past three weeks. What would Janet Yellen do if the S&P 500 Index was falling by -30% in similarly short order?
While a skim of the FOMC Minutes suggest the committee is balanced on when (or if) to raise rates, WSJ's Jon Hilsenrath has just provided some more color confirming that "Fed officials are cautious about overseas developments but appear unalarmed," suggesting their confident economic growth forecasts point to a September rate hike (unless the whole world collapses obviously).
The reality is that financial insecurity is rising for everyone...
As the next Crisis unfolds, it will more and more difficult to get your money out of the financial system.
The rescue of AIG should not serve as a source of comfort to investors.
Nobody apparently learned much from the whole bubble-bust affair as banks and financial firms are at it again, this time in corporate debt. The artificial suppression of default, in no small part to perceptions of those bank reserves under QE (just like perceptions of balance sheet capacity pre-crisis), has turned junk debt into the vehicle of choice for yet another cycle of “reach for yield.” In the past two bubble cycles, we see how monetary policy creates the conditions for them but also in parallel for their disorderly closure. It isn’t money that the FOMC directs but rather unrealistic, to the extreme, expectations and extrapolations. Once those become encoded in financial equations, the illusion becomes real supply.
The Fed understands that economic cycles do not last forever, and we are closer to the next recession than not. While raising rates would likely accelerate a potential recession and a significant market correction, from the Fed's perspective it might be the 'lesser of two evils. Being caught at the "zero bound" at the onset of a recession leaves few options for the Federal Reserve to stabilize an economic decline. The problem is that they may have missed their window to get there.
Global central banks are afraid. Before Greece tried to stand up to the Troika, they were merely worried. Now it’s clear that no matter what they tell themselves and the world about the necessity or even righteousness of their monetary policies, liquidity can still disappear in an instant. Or at least, that’s what they should be thinking. The problem is that central banks have no plan B in the event of a massive liquidity event. In this cauldron of instability and lack of leadership, cash is the one remaining financial possession that Main Street can translate into goods, services and security. That’s why private banks want more control over it.
This weekend's reading list is a smattering of articles to enjoy between your favorite beverage, grilled meat and really fattening desert. Just remember to go back to the gym on Monday...