Everyone seems to be focusing on Greece these days – a country so indebted that it needs even more loans to repay just a fraction of its gigantic credits. Clearly this is unsustainable and something has to give. Even the IMF agrees. But what about the other Southern European countries? Actually, Portugal’s financial situation is looking particularly shaky, and any hiccups could have serious cross-border repercussions from Madrid all the way to Berlin.
Andy Brown, a top Shell official, said the Anglo-Dutch oil giant forecasts no quick rebound in the average global price of oil, but only a gradual recovery lasting five years. He attributed this sluggishness to a slowdown in China’s economy, leading a drop in demand for fuel, and the continuing oversupply of oil. “It will take several years [for oil prices to recover fully], but we do believe fundamentals will return,” Brown said. “Until such time, we, like other companies, will have to make sure we stay robust.”
The ongoing downshift in property construction will continue to undercut China's demand for commodities, raw materials and machinery, weigh on property as well as mining and industrial investment, and be a drag for overall GDP growth in 2016. The most direct and important channel through which this impact spreads is trade linkages, given China's role as the top exporter and second largest importer in the world.
What have the bailouts achieved? Well, the Greek economy is doing worse than ever, and the people are poorer than ever; and both have a lot more bad ‘news’ to come. The bailouts needed to be as big as they were to 1) successfully make the international banks ‘whole’ that had lent as much as they had into the Greek economy, 2) get the IMF involved, 3) and absolve the notorious -and cooperative- domestic oligarchy from any pain. And make all the usual suspects a lot more money in the process. It therefore doesn’t look at all unlikely that Greece was saddled with an artificially raised deficit, and that the intention behind that, all along, was to get the Troika ‘inside’ for the long run. So the country could be stripped of all its assets.
While the markets have improved since the "resolution" of the Greek crisis, in my opinion we would have expected substantially more given the overall "angst" that the situation was generating. Yet, the market remains in a bearish consolidation pattern. Furthermore, relative strength, momentum and volume remain a detraction from the "bullishness" of this week's "crisis resolution rally."
After weeks of overnight turbulence following every twist and turn in the Greek drama, this morning has seen a scarcity of mostly gap up (or NYSE-breakding "down") moves, and S&P500 futures are unchanged as of this moment however the Nasdaq is looking set for another record high at the open after last night's better than expected GOOG results which sent the stop higher by 11% of over $40 billion in market cap. We expect this not to last very long as the traditional no volume, USDJPY-levitation driven buying of ES will surely resume once US algos wake up and launch the self-trading spoof programs. More importantly: a red close on Friday is not exactly permitted by the central planners.
Hyperinflation in the U.S. is coming sometime in the next 20 years or so, and this isn't a cry from a Chicken Little, but a conclusion that the analysis strongly suggests. It is possible hyperinflation could happen during the next few years, but that seems unlikely since it would require a series of major crises and political blunders – events unprecedented in the history of the United States. If this led to a corruption of Constitutional rights in the midst of an exaltation of the Executive Branch that resulted in loss of the rule of law, hyperinflation might result. It is much more probable that hyperinflation will be preceded by a long slow decline that will include a protracted period of high inflation, and that the crash of the dollar and hyperinflation will be the final tumble off a looming, steep cliff.
Piling on more debt is the worst possible way to correct structural trade and productivity imbalances, yet that is the Eurozone's "solution" to Greece's debt/ trade/ productivity/ corruption crisis.
"I would push back against the notion that we are unduly affected by the ups and downs of the stock market"
"The AIIB may come to play an important role in keeping America honest. It is difficult to say at this point whether the AIIB will have a negative or a positive impact on the global economy. At the very least, however, the emergence of an international institution with a viewpoint different from that of western creditors will help enhance the quality of debate over emerging economies’ debt problems."
Yes, authentic capitalism still exists, but it's been relegated to the sideshow. The Big Tent with the Big Bucks is all finance/cartel/state/crony capitalism, and financialization is devouring all the other players. With authentic growth scarce, there's no other way to reap huge profits but cannibalism.
Just when the Chinese plunge protection team (and "arrest shortie" task force) seemed to be finally getting "malicious selling" under control, first we saw a crack yesterday when the composite broke the surge of the past three days as a result of yet another spike in margin debt funded purchases, but it was last night's reminder that "good news is bad news" that really confused the stock trading farmers and grandmas, which goalseeked Chinese economic "data" beat across the board, with Q2 GDP coming solidly above expectations at 7.0%, and retail sales and industrial production both beating, but in the process raising doubts that the PBOC will continue supporting stocks.
"Over the next couple of years, China is likely to be the biggest source of vulnerability for the global economy."
With all hopes and dreams of economic renaissance in America pinned on small businesses (see ADP's recent gains), today's data from the NFIB will strike fear in the heart of the wealth-effect-creating Fed. The NFIB small business optimism index disappointed expectations in June (94.1 vs. consensus 98.5), falling to its lowest level since March 2014 - the biggest drop since 2012. All components were weaker but most notably hiring and plans to raise worker compensation tumbled. Furthermore, Deloitte's Q2 latest survery shows American CFOs are more worried than at any time since 2013.
The whole thing feels a bit like the summer of 2008 all over. Once again, the global economy is weakening, a significant crisis has erupted, and temporary solutions to said crisis are being hailed as a success.