But what’s different this time?
"The impotence of monetary policy in boosting growth and staving off deflationary pressures has become painfully apparent, especially when it is acting in isolation and when a large number of countries are resorting to the same limited playbook."
Never have markets carried so much risk. And never have markets been as vulnerable to an abrupt change in perceptions with regard to central banker competence, effectiveness and capabilities. At the minimum, global markets will function poorly, but risk is now high for a disorderly – Party Crashing - "run" on financial markets, as faith in central banking begins to wane.
$13 trillion in market losses in just one quarter would be very hard to make up for even in very favorable circumstances. We have no such circumstances. We’ve built our very lives on squeezing China et al for 27 years, and issuing more debt as if there’s no tomorrow - sort of a self-fulfilling prophecy -, and now we’ve belatedly realized that there’s a time limit on that model. But hey, by all means, it’s your money, and it’s your life, so do keep on betting on that recovery, and the return to ‘normal’, whatever that once was. Put it all on red. Go crazy! You do risk becoming a lonely crowd though. Meanwhile, those of us down here with our feet planted in the real earth have just this one question: “How bad can this get, and how fast?”.
- Dollar doesn’t matter, indicates strong economy relative to the world
- Dollar matters for oil, but lower oil prices mean stronger consumer
- Manufacturing slump doesn’t matter, only temporary
- Manufacturing declines are consumer spending, but only a small part
- Manufacturing declines are becoming serious, but only from overseas
- US consumer demand is strong, except everywhere you look to actually find it.
With China markets closed for holiday until the middle of next week, and little in terms of global macro data overnight (the only notable central banker comment overnight came from Mario Draghi who confidently proclaimed that "economic growth is returning" which on its own is bad for risk assets), it was all about the USDJPY which has seen the usual no-volume levitation overnight, dragging both the Nikkei higher with it, and US equity futures, which as of this moment were at session highs, up 7 points. The calm may be broken, though, as soon as two hours from now when the September "most important ever until the next" payrolls report is released.
The signs of deflation are now flashing all over the globe and the possibility of an associated financial crisis is now dangerously high over the next few months. Our preferred model for how things are going to unfold follows the Ka-Poom! Theory, which states that this epic debt bubble will ultimately burst first by deflation (the "Ka!") before then exploding (the "Poom!") in hyperinflation due to additional massive money printing efforts by frightened global central bankers acting in unison. First an inwards collapse, then an outwards explosion.
"The system failed in 2008/09 and rather than allow a proper creative destruction cleansing, policy makers have been aggressively propping it up ever since. We think the end game is that when the next global recession hits, then QE/zero rate world will be re-appraised."
Gold in Q3: USD -4.5%, EUR -2.4%, GBP +1.5%, CHF +2.4%, CAD +4.6%. Global stocks fall 5% to 13% - Stocks face worst quarter since 2011 over fears for global economy
The collapse is not over by any stretch...
For investors, the markets have been sending a fairly clear warning signal. Market topping processes take time to develop fully and, unfortunately, are only fully recognized in hindsight. The problem in waiting for "recognition" is that the destruction of capital is already far larger than previously expected. This leads to a series of "psychological" responses that exacerbate the problem such as "hoping to get back to even." The last point is critically important. In the world of investing, "hope" has never been an investment strategy that one could profit by. It likely won't be successful this time either.
convincing equity that company is viable is one thing (and the company and its sellside cheerleaders sure are trying). Convincing the far more skeptical bond market, which is desperately trying to figure out the counterparty risk, will be far more difficult...
With Janet Yellen choking back the vomit as she shifted The Fed's stance to a "hawkish hold," markets remain just as confused (and disconnected) as they were after The FOMC's "dovish hold." The problem, as Deutsche explains, is The Fed's reliance on 'conventional' inflation dynamics (and its mean-reversion - higher in this case) as opposed to actual market expectations (which are collapsing), leaving them open to a major Type II policy error - the risk of rejecting something that is, in actuality, true. The Fed's credibility is teetering on the brink as inflation 'reflexivity' - that is, Fed expectations strengthen the dollar, depress risk in general and commodities in particular, with lower commodities driving headline inflation lower - raises the prospect that the Fed fails to raise rates at all in 2016.
Yellen’s detailed speech initially triggered an out-sized market reaction. Unfortunately, it was mainly due to shallow market depth and weak-hand positions. Yellen’s speech should quickly begin to hurt over-priced financial assets. Yellen’s speech was the first time I can ever remember a Federal Reserve Chairperson commenting that inappropriate risk-taking might be undermining financial stability. This is explicit confirmation that the Fed’s aim of lifting asset prices in the hopes they bolster broader economic activity has reached the end of its useful life. Barring a financial or economic disaster, the ‘Fed put’ has been put out to pasture.