Is September 2015 going to be one of the most important months in modern American history?
Gold rose 3.5% in August as stocks globally saw sharp falls on growing concerns about the Chinese and the global economy.
There’s no question that the world economy has been shaky at best since the crash of 2008. Yet, politicians, central banks, et al., have, since then, regularly announced that “things are picking up.” One year, we hear an announcement of “green shoots.” The next year, we hear an announcement of “shovel-ready jobs.” And yet, year after year, we witness the continued economic slump. Few dare call it a depression, but, if a depression can be defined as “a period of time in which most people’s standard of living drops significantly,” a depression it is.
It's a busy week for the market, and not to mention the Dow Jones-dependent Fed, which will have to parse through reports on Chicago PMI, Construction Spending, ISM (Mfg and Services), ADP, Productivity and Labor Costs, Factory Orders, Trade Balance, and the weekly highlight: Friday's Jobs reports.
It’s been noticed more than a few times that there aren’t many substantive differences between the Republicans and Democrats. What they have in common - at least the mainstream varieties - is a desire to use the state to shape society in whatever way they see fit. As Andrew Napolitano put it, "We have migrated from a two-party system into a one-party system, the big-government party. There’s a democratic wing that likes taxes and wealth transfers and assaults on commercial liberties and there’s a republican wing that likes war and deficits and assaults uncivil liberties." And both parties love prohibition, just of different things.
People have their hopes and dreams tied on a quarter of a percent. That’s how ridiculous things have become. People are so horrified that if money isn’t absolutely free that all hell will break loose—that people are going to go broke, the market’s going to crash, and that there won’t be any jobs. That’s a pretty sad state of affairs, and it is by no stretch of the imagination the foundation for a free and prosperous nation. It is the height of central planning and it is a form of economic tyranny.
Overnight's start attraction was as usual China's stock market, where trading was generally less dramatic than Thursday's furious last hour engineered ramp, as stocks rose modestly off the open only to see a bout of buying throughout the entire afternoon session, closing 4.8% higher, and bringing the gain over the last two days to over 10%. This happens as China dumped a boatload of US paper to push the CNY higher the most since March, strengthening from 6.4053 to 6.3986, even as Chinese industrial profits tumbled 2.9% from last year: this in a country that still represents its GDP is rising by 7%. Expect much more Yuan devaluation in the coming weeks.
"Despite a slight tightening in the maize carryover, global grain stocks are forecast at 447m t, a 29-year peak."
Just as the Roman Empire ended in the destruction of the Roman people, the American Empire will end in the destruction of the American people. Judging from histories, Roman citizens were superior to American citizens; yet, Rome failed. Americans shouldn’t expect any other outcome. The price to be paid for insouciance, self-satisfaction, and complicity is high.
Iran’s oil minister says his country supports calls for an emergency OPEC meeting to explore ways to shore up the price of oil, but even without such an effort, Tehran is willing to regain its market share “at any cost.”
A half-century ago, America - and then the world - was rocked by a mighty stock-market crash that soon turned into the steepest and longest-lasting depression of all time. Those who ignore the lessons of history are doomed to repeat it - except that now, with gold abandoned and each nation able to print currency ad lib, we are likely to wind up, not with a repeat of 1929, but with something far worse...
News That Matters
The reason given by our rulers for suppressing cash is to keep society safe from terrorists, tax evaders, money launderers, drug cartels, and other villains real or imagined. The actual aim of the ?ood of laws restricting or even prohibiting the use of cash is to force the public to make payments through the financial system. This enables governments to expand their ability to spy on and keep track of their citizens’ most private financial dealings, in order to milk their citizens of every last dollar of tax payments that they claim are due.
We warned on Friday, after last week's China rout, that the market is getting ahead of itself with its expectation of a RRR-cut by China as large as 100 bps. "The risk is that there isn't one." We were spot on, because not only was there no RRR cut, but Chinese stocks plunged, with the composite tumbling as much a 9% at one point, the most since 1996 when it dropped 9.4% in a single session. The session, as profile overnight was brutal, with about 2000 stocks trading by the -10% limit down, and other markets not doing any better: CSI 300 -8.8%, ChiNext -8.1%, Shenzhen Composite -7.7%. This was the biggest Chinese rout since 2007.
Perhaps the biggest surprise about the overnight Chinese stock rout is which followed the lowest manufacturing PMI since March 2009, is that it happened despite repeat sellside pleas for a PBOC RRR cut as soon as this weekend: usually that alone would have been sufficient to push the market back into the green, and it almost worked when in the afternoon session stocks rebounded after dropping as much as 4.7% below the "hard" floor of 3500, but then a second bout of selling just before the close took Chinese stocks right back to the lows with the Shanghai Composite closing at 3,507, down 4.3% on the day, having wiped out the entire 18% rebound from July 8 when the PBOC first threatened both sellers and shorters with arrest.