We are hostage to a dysfunctional monetary system, run by people who don’t understand how it works in the first place. No wonder the global economy is in the doldrums, and finance markets are having dyspeptic attacks.
A multi-decade Credit Bubble is coming to an end. The past seven years has amounted to an incredible blow-off top and the ongoing worldwide collapse in financial stocks provides powerful support for the bursting global Bubble thesis. Few are yet willing to accept the harsh reality that the world has sunk back into crisis as mal-investment, over-investment and associated wealth destruction remain largely concealed so long as financial asset inflation persists. This is true as well for wealth redistribution. The unfolding adjustment process will deflate asset prices so as to converge more closely with deteriorating underlying economic fundamentals.
It seems monetary policy is exhausted and the next exogenous lever to pull would be political fiscal initiatives. If/when they fail to stimulate demand, there would be only one avenue left – currency devaluation. If/when confidence in the mightiest currency wanes, we would expect the US dollar to be devalued too - not against other fiat currencies, but against a relatively scarce Fed asset.
As bad as the month of January was for the global economy, the truth is that the rest of 2016 promises to be much worse.
"More monetary stimulus, wherever it is in the world, isn’t the answer for a global economy still trying to find a new growth path. Pay attention to bonds and ignore the sirens of the stock market."
Gold is 3.6% higher this week and is now over 9% higher year to date. The dollar saw sharp falls this week on growing doubts that the Federal Reserve will be able to raise interest rates. The gains this week were due to increasing concerns about the U.S. and global economy.
Three out of the five major economies are already experiencing stagnant or negative private credit growth. Three down, two to go. Helicopter money--government issued "free money" to households--is no replacement for private credit expansion.
There has been an economic coup d’état in America and most of the world. We are now ruled by about 200 unelected central bankers, monetary apparatchiks and their minions and megaphones on Wall Street and other financial centers. Unlike Senator Joseph McCarthy, we actually do have a list of their names. They need to be exposed, denounced, ridiculed, rebuked and removed.
Literally days after he predicted oil would double from its $26 "bottom", Pickens told Bloomberg that he has cashed out.
“If some fund manager in Texas is saying that your currency is dramatically overvalued, you shouldn’t care on a $10 trillion economy with $34 trillion in your banks. I have, call it a billion - it’s so small it should be irrelevant and yet somehow it’s really relevant.”
Before this year the lowest level The Baltic Dry Index had reached was 556 in August of 1986 and the highest was in June 2008 at a stunning 11,612. Today saw the freight index hit a new milestone however, crashing through the 300 barrier for the first time ever - at 298, this is almost 50% below the previous record low. But it's not just commodities and the Baltic Dry that stalled, as gCaptain reports, one of the world’s biggest containerships is hard aground in Germany’s Elbe River leading to the port of Hamburg.
"Based on current valuations, the prices of most stocks don’t appear to have factored in a recession scenario, ‘hence the downside should we see a recession could be rather severe',... the shares of most companies could still fall another 50% or more from current levels."
As you might have noticed, the “recovery” story is starting to fall apart...
After yesterday's torrid, chaotic moves in the market, where an initial drop in stocks was quickly pared and led to a surge into the close after a weaker dollar on the heels of even more disappointing US data and Bill Dudley's "serious consequences" speech sent oil soaring and put the "Fed Relent" scenario squarely back on the table, overnight we have seen more global equity strength on the back of a weaker dollar, even if said weakness hurt Kuroda's post-NIRP world and the Nikkei erased virtually all losses since last Friday's surprising negative rate announcement. Oil and metals also rose piggybacking on the continued dollar weakness as the word's most crowded trade was suddenly shaken out.
Because a currency represents a relative relationship, Fed hikes could have helped pull other central banks away from the dangers and consequences of negative rates, while still helping their hidden desire for a weakened currency. Opposing central bank policy actions would cause too powerful of an impact on exchange rates. Unfortunately, it appears the path into negative territory is winning the directional battle. A classic prisoner’s dilemma has arisen for the Fed.