It's requiring more borrowed yen/yuan/dollars/euros just to keep the global economy from collapsing in a heap of impaired debt. The costs of waste, fraud and mal-investment are finally coming home to roost, and while near-zero interest rates serve to mask the future costs, near-zero rates cannot stem the rising tide of mal-investment. Rather, near-zero rates have fueled mal-investment, waste and unproductive spending. The diminishing returns on that strategy of "growth" are inescapable.
The invention of the blockchain and crypto-currencies such as Bitcoin have opened the door to non-state, non-central-bank currencies - money that is global and independent of any state or central bank, or indeed, any bank. This doesn't just open the possibility of escaping the debt-serfdom of central and private banks - it opens the door to an entire global economy that's free of the inequality and concentration of wealth and power that is the only possible output of central bank created and distributed money.
"We had a hard landing in the stock market already. We had a hard landing in commodities. [So yes], we could have a hard landing in the economy. China has a colossal credit bubble and no one knows how it's going to unwind."
- Obama, wiping tears, makes new push to tighten gun rules (Reuters)
- Global stocks hit by China worries, North Korea nuclear test (Reuters)
- Oil hits 11-year low, Saudi-Iran row cuts chances of output restraint (Reuters)
- North Korea says successfully conducts first H-bomb test (Reuters)
- Valeant Planning to Appoint New Leader as CEO Remains Hospitalized (WSJ)
- Treasuries Extend 2016 Winning Start With Growth Outlook Clouded (BBG)
Many people start a new year with renewed optimism. However, "New Year, Same Problems" is the meme of 2016... and recent trading has dashed some of that optimistic 'This time it's different' hope.
The S&P 500 first crossed yesterday's levels in August 2014 - that is 501 days ago, confirming our belief that the stock market casino has just begun its descent has only been further reinforced. In terms of the fundamental economic and financial rot now coming to the visible surface, the analysis we presented last week is even more timely now.
The one thing executives should have learned in 2015 is that Wall Street can for long periods of time remain disconnected from fundamentals and can swing to extremes. Another lesson from 2015 is that OPEC can no longer be relied upon to set prices. Thus, the debt fueled financing boom in the shale space will most likely never return. This is especially true now that there are clear signs that the U.S. economy is weakening while the Fed chose to raise the federal interest rates in December. As we move through 2016, expect a rash of bankruptcies tied to this transition to lower leverage, and towards the latter half of 2016 there will likely be a steep fall off of production.
After yesterday's historic -6.9% rout in the Shanghai Composite, which saw the first new marketwide circuit breaker trading halt applied to Chinese stocks (on its first day of operation), many were wondering if the Chinese government would intervene in both the once again imploding stock market, as well as China's plunging and rapidly devaluing currency. And, after the SHCOMP opened down -3%, the government did not disappoint and promptly intervened in both the Yuan as well as the stock market, however with very mixed results which global stocks took a sign that the "national team" is no longer focused solely on stocks, and have resumed selling for a second consecutive day.
There’s really one supreme element of this story that you must keep in view at all times: a society (i.e. an economy + a polity = a political economy) based on debt that will never be paid back is certain to crack up. Its institutions will stop functioning. Its business activities will seize up. Its leaders will be demoralized. Its denizens will act up and act out. Its wealth will evaporate. Given where we are in human history - the moment of techno-industrial over-reach - this crackup will not be easy to recover from. Things have gone too far in too many ways. The coming crackup will re-set the terms of civilized life to levels largely pre-techno-industrial. How far backward remains to be seen.
- China stocks tank, triggers circuit breaker (Reuters)
- Stocks Slump Across Europe and Asia Following Shanghai's 7% Crash (BBG)
- China Halts Stock Trading After 7% Rout Triggers Circuit Breaker (BBG)
- Iran says Riyadh thrives on tension after relations cut (Reuters)
- Saudis and Bahrain Face Off With Iran in Worst Clash Since 1980s (BBG)
- Syrian rebel group backs Saudi move to cut ties with Iran (Reuters)
As we start the new year, there is a debate raging within the market. No the debate isn’t whether there is weakness in the manufacturing economy, that is taken as a given, especially after Friday’s awful Chicago Purchasing Manager number of 42.9. Instead, the debate boils down to this: 'bears' believe the manufacturing economy and the service economy act in conjunction with each other – that one cannot turn, without the other; 'bulls' view each segment of the economy as relatively independent and they highlight the size of the service economy relative to the manufacturing. The answer lies in the missing cog - the 'wealth' economy.
Important pillars of the bull case evaporated throughout 2015. Global price pressures weakened, the global Credit backdrop deteriorated and the global economy decelerated. The huge bets on central bank policies left markets at high risk for abrupt reversals and trade unwinds – 2015 The Year of the Erratic Crowded Trade. Indeed, a global bear market commenced yet most remain bullish. Serious and objective analysts would view this ominously.
Some 'aches and pains' are constraining the global economy, with JPMorgan warning of more severe strains occurring in the emerging world. These aggravating but generally not life-threatening conditions are meant to convey a slow growth world, but, JPM is careful to note, not one on the immediate precipice of collapse or recession. The key issue for 2016 then is whether economic illnesses in emerging markets will result in contagion in the developed world as "dollar altitude sickness" and "earnings anemia" do little to support the domestic 'immune' system.
Kyle Bass Suffers "Worst Year In The Last Ten", Reveals His Best Investment For The Next "3-5 Years"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 01/02/2016 12:52 -0500
Iin an interview to be aired tomorrow on Wall Street Week, Hayman Capital's Kyle Bass says that "this has been one of the worst years in the last ten"as a result of his dogmatic views on energy prices. And yet, instead of backing out the Texan is doubling down: "If you are going to allocate capital for the next three to five years, you should do it now" into the energy space over the next 6 months. Will he be right this time? Find out in 12 months.
As 2016 begins, there are clear signs of serious debt/default squalls on the horizon. We can already see the first white-capped waves.