For the second week in a row, initial claims were worse than expected and increased year-to-date, While still below the magic 300k levels, claims printed 295k against expectations of 288k confirming the stagnation of the job market since the end of QE3 and the government's fiscal year. California and New York saw the biggest rise in initial claims with only Illinois seeing a drop; notably Texas saw layoffs across various sectors as it seems it ius not as 'diverse' as Richard Fisher propagandized. After 4 straight weeks of decline, continuing claims rose this week by the most in almost 3 months (but remains close to 15 year lows).
Baker Hughes has increased the number of jobs it plans to cut from 7,000 to 10,500 and will close 140 facilities worldwide citing a need to "reduce the cost base and resize [the company's] footprint" in the face of challenging market conditions. Meanwhile, JPM reminds Richard Fisher that "the only thing dropping in the Texas economy is the number of jobs."
Just as the S&P appeared set to blast off to a forward GAAP PE > 21.0x, here comes Greece and drags it back down to a far more somber 20.0x. The catalyst this time is an FT article according to which officials of now openly insolvent Greece have made an informal approach to the International Monetary Fund to delay repayments of loans to the international lender, but were told that no rescheduling was possible. The result if a drop in not only US equity futures which are down 8 points at last check, but also yields across the board with the German 10Y Bund now just single basis points above 0.00% (the German 9Y is now < 0), on its way to -0.20% at which point it will lead to a very awkward "crossing the streams" moment for the ECB.
As noted several hours ago, the main story overnight is not that Greece once again narrowly averted a Grexit when it was reported it would make its scheduled payment to the IMF today (adding that next month is a "different story") a development that was met with yet another ultimatum by its "partner", the Eurozone, but the dot com bubble deja vu-esque move in Hong Kong stocks, where the Chinese, seemingly tired of pushing up their local market into the stratosphere have turned their attention southward and are desperate to buy up every single Hong Kong stock.
There is virtually nothing in the substance of the deal for the War Party to attack. To defeat the deal, the War Party will have to defend its three-decade long campaign of exaggerations, distortions and bellicose animosity toward the Iranian state. But that is impossible because the axis-of-evil narrative was never remotely true. What the framework deal actually does, therefore, is to open the door to an eventual US withdrawal from its bloody, failed history of intervention in the middle east. So doing, it would pave the way for a drastic shrinkage of an obsolete war machine that has had no purpose since 1991 except to spill American blood and treasure in a region of the world where it has no business meddling. No wonder the War Party is going hysterical.
With the Fed supposedly steeling itself at last to remove a little of its emergency ‘accommodation’, it has suddenly become fashionable to warn of the awful parallels with 1937 as an excuse The Fed must not act today. We strongly refute the analogy. Instead, the real Ghost of ’37 takes the form of mean-spirited and, counter-productive 'pitchfork populism' politics and the spectre should not be conjured up to excuse the central bank from further delaying its overdue embarkation on the long road back to normality and policy minimalism.
OECD Economic Review Chair Warns, Central Bankers "Are Doing More Harm Than Good, Policy Must Be Reversed"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 03/31/2015 21:30 -0400
"I fear that central bankers may have been inadvertently drawn into what they are currently doing... [QE] won't work and may have many undesired side effects that will build up over time. Many of the central bankers at Davos this year said explicitly that they were only buying time for governments to act but, seven years into the crisis, it already seems we have been waiting forever... the effectiveness of monetary policy in terms of stimulating aggregate demand goes down with time, because you're constantly bringing spending forward from the future... Logically, at this point, central bankers should say, "We are doing more harm than good. This policy must be reversed." But I don't see anybody actually doing it."
Dallas Fed's Richard Fisher had his credibility (whatever is left) crushed for the 4th month in a row. After explaining carefully to no lessor status quo glad hand than Steve Liesman that the Texas economy will see a net positive from low oil prices, Dallas Fed data has utterly collapsed - at its fastest pace since Lehman. Printing a stunning -17.5 (over twice as bad as expected -8.5), this is the 4th miss in a row (and increasingly worse misses). The Dallas Fed was last lower than this in Jun 2011. Across the board, the components were an utter disaster... employees contracted, prices paid and recoeved tumbled, production plunged, and new orders collapsed. More worryingly, furture capex tumbled once again.
The Financial Crisis of 2007 was the nearest thing to a “Near Death Experience” that the Federal Reserve could have had. One ordinarily expects someone who has such an experience- exuberance behind the wheel that causes an almost fatal crash, a binge drinking escapade that ends up in the intensive care ward - to learn from it, and change their behavior in some profound way that makes a repeat event impossible. Not so the Federal Reserve.
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."
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.
"Shipping freight rates for transporting containers from ports in Asia to Northern Europe fell 12.4 percent," for the week Reuters notes. This is seventh consecutive week of declines and puts us squarely back at levels last seen in 2013.