Global Economy

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It Begins: Council On Foreign Relations Proposes That "Central Banks Should Hand Consumers Cash Directly"





"Rather than trying to spur private-sector spending through asset purchases or interest-rate changes, central banks, such as the Fed, should hand consumers cash directly.... Central banks, including the U.S. Federal Reserve, have taken aggressive action, consistently lowering interest rates such that today they hover near zero. They have also pumped trillions of dollars’ worth of new money into the financial system. Yet such policies have only fed a damaging cycle of booms and busts, warping incentives and distorting asset prices, and now economic growth is stagnating while inequality gets worse. It’s well past time, then, for U.S. policymakers -- as well as their counterparts in other developed countries -- to consider a version of Friedman’s helicopter drops. In the short term, such cash transfers could jump-start the economy...  The transfers wouldn’t cause damaging inflation, and few doubt that they would work. The only real question is why no government has tried them"...

 
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An Interview With Ambrose Evans-Pritchard





In this first of a series of London interviews that Lars Schall conducted for Matterhorn Asset Management this summer, Lars met up with the Telegraph's Ambrose Evans-Pritchard to discuss geopolitical tensions in the world, China's challenges, threats to the global economy and the expectations for gold.

 
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Why 'S&P 2000' Is A Fed-Manufactured Mirage: The "Buy The Dips" Chart That Says It All





That 4% market correction was quick and virtually painless. Not missing a beat after the market briefly tested 1900, the dip buyers came roaring back - gunning for the 2000 marker on the S&P 500, confident that longs were not selling and that shorts had long ago been obliterated. Needless to say, bubblevision had its banners ready to crawl triumphantly across the screen. When the algos finally did print the magic 2000 number, it represented a 200% gain from the March 2009 lows. And to complete the symmetry, the S&P 500 thereby clocked in at exactly 20X LTM reported earnings based on consistent historical pension accounting. The bulls said not to worry because the market is still “cheap” - like it always is, until it isn’t. To be sure, the Fed is a serial bubble machine. But even it cannot defy economic gravity indefinitely.

 
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Services PMI Drops Most In 6 Months, "Recovery Has Lost Some Momentum", Markit Says





US Services PMI dropped from multi-year highs to a still expanding 58.5, 3 month lows and the biggest MoM drop in 6 months. This is the 10th month of expansion in a row but employment growth continues to slow, as opposed to the priced-in escape velocity to the moon levels the market expects, even if this particular piece of bad news may just be the good news the "market" needs for that nudge above 2,000.

 
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Putin's Chief 'Integration' Advisor Warns "Transition Has Always Come About Through War"





When we last met Sergei Glazyev, Vladimir Putin's chief 'integration' adviser (who has been regularly featured on these pages in the past (see Putin Adviser Threatens With Dumping US Treasurys, Abandoning Dollar If US Proceeds With Sanctions and Putin Adviser Proposes "Anti-Dollar Alliance" To Halt US Aggression Abroad for two examples) he explained "how the U.S. military and oligarchs are trying to maintain leadership in the global competition with China." Arguably the best informed main in Russia, his perspective seems important to grasp as he considers "The world today is going through a year of overlapping cyclical crises. This is a period when the global economy is changing as the structure that has driven economic growth for 30 years has exhausted itself. The world needs to transition to a new system and transition has always come about through war..."

 
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Mario Draghi Takes The Wind Out Of Citi's "QE In December" Sails





With Yellen's speech a bit of a letdown for the doves - she did not go full-dovish - markets anxiously await Mario Draghi to promise whetever for ever and ever... While financial markets don’t expect bombshells, his speech is an opportunity to underscore that ECB policy will stay looser for longer than that of the Fed and the Bank of England.

DRAGHI SAYS HE'S 'CONFIDENT' JUNE STIMULUS WILL BOOST DEMAND, SEES 'REAL RISK' MONETARY POLICY LOSES EFFECTIVENESS

 
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The Market Reacts To (Then Reads) Janet Yellen's Speech





Out of the gate - based on the fact the word "slack" was present and the word "bubble" was not, stocks ramped higher as J-Yell's J-Hole speech hit. Bond yields surged (led by 5Y) and the USDollar also surged (as gold shrugged). However, once the machines were done, humans reacted to the fact that this was not the "full dovish" speech that was 'priced in' and have started to sell stocks back... but then again - we always have Draghi later to save Friday...

 
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Frontrunning: August 22





  • Ukraine accuses Russia of invasion after aid convoy crosses border (Reuters)
  • Hunt for Foley’s Killer Spans Old Policing and Tech Tools (BBG)
  • U.S. Probe Examines GM Lawyers (WSJ)
  • Argentina accuses U.S. Judge Griesa of "imperialist" attitude (Reuters)
  • Violence-weary Missouri town sees second night of calm (Reuters)
  • Geneva Banks Break 200-Year Silence to Unveil Earnings (BBG)
  • Richest Jailed Putin Foe Says Ukraine Fears Sparked Prosecution (BBG)
  • Disclosure of Failed Attempt to Rescue James Foley Is Criticized (WSJ)
  • Execution of U.S. journalist reveals the changing business of war coverage (Reuters)
 
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Futures Levitate To Fresh Record Highs On Just Right Mix Of Bad News





With the FOMC Minutes in the books, the only remaining major event for the week is the Jackson Hole conference, where Yellen is now expected to talk back any Hawkish aftertaste left from the Minutes, and which starts today but no speeches are due until tomorrow. And while the Minutes were generally seen as hawkish, stocks continue to levitate, blissfully oblivious what tighter monetary conditions would mean to an asset bubble, which according to many, is now the biggest in history. And speaking of equities, US futures climbed to a fresh record high overnight on just the right mix of bad news.

 
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Alternative Measures Suggest Weaker Economy





There is much hope pinned on continuing economic recovery in the United States despite a deterioration of the global economy virtually everywhere else. While it was not surprising to see a bounce back in activity after a contractionary first quarter, there are several economic data points that suggest that sustainability of the bounce is unlikely. Expectations are very likely well ahead of reality at the current time. This increases the risk of disappointment in the months and quarters ahead which could be a negative for the markets.

 
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Don't Think It Won't Happen Just Because It Hasn't Happened Yet: Loss Of Faith In The Fed





Much of the supposedly godlike power of central banks is participants' faith in their powers to control not just finance but the real world that can be leveraged by finance. Implicit in this narrative is the notion that there are no hard limits on credit or central bank money creation. Equally implicit is the assumption that the central banks repressing interest rates and creating trillions of dollars out of thin air can control any blowback or unintended consequences triggered by the free money for financiers tsunami.

 
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Chartporn: 18 Charts Exploring How The Ageing World Will Shape The Global Economy





Curious how the demographics of an aging world increasingly impact the economy, the spending, consumption and saving patterns, the earnings and wealth potential of various age groups, and the amount of pension funds available to satisfy an ever growing pie of future welfare recipients? Then the following 18 charts are for just you.

 
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5 Things To Ponder: Multifarious Cogitation





This weekend’s “Things To Ponder” is comprised of a variety of readings that cover a fairly broad spectrum from educational to informative and even a little bit sarcastic.

 
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Bullard Again Urges Bondholders To Sell, Stop Fighting The Fed





Two months ago, Fed's Bullard went full hawktard and implicitly told bondholders to "sell, sell, sell." As we explained here, there was a hidden motive for his demands - the bond market was breaking bad. So, perhaps it is not a total surprise that on the week when Treasury "fails to deliver" break back above $1bn to 2-month highs (broken market), that Jim Bullard is back:

*BULLARD SAYS MARKET TRADING 'TOO DOVISHLY' COMPARED TO FOMC, TIPS REAL RATE `SHOCKINGLY LOW'
*BULLARD SAYS HE SEES FIRST RATE RISE AT END OF 1Q 2015

As Renaissance Macro's Neil Dutta adds, confirming Bullard's meme, while recent moves in 10Y USTs have been driven mostly by geopolitical concerns and softening global economy, "we suspect that there may be a misreading of Fed policy." Or 'the market' knows full well how this ends?

 
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Guest Post: Top 7 Reasons To Buy Silver Now





When considering the catalysts for silver, let’s first ignore short-term factors such as net short/long positions, fluctuations in weekly ETF holdings, or the latest open interest. Data like these fluctuate regularly and rarely have long-term bearing on the price of silver. We're more interested in the big-picture forces that could impact silver over the next several years. The most significant force, of course, is governments’ abuse of “financial heroin” that will inevitably lead to a currency crisis in many countries around the world, pushing silver and gold to record levels; but here are seven more...

 
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