Global Economy

The Shrinking Global Economy (In 3 Awkward Charts)

The following three charts make last week’s market turmoil easier to understand. Falling trade means lower corporate profits, which, if history is still a valid guide, means less valuable equities. So it could be that the markets are simply figuring this out and revaluing assets accordingly.

Fed's Williams: "We Got It Wrong"

"The Fed got it wrong when it predicted a drop in oil prices would be a big boon for the economy. It turned out the world had changed; the US has a lot of jobs connected to the oil industry."

- SF Fed President John Williams

Gold In 2016: "Economic Power Is Shifting"

An unseen bubble at the heart of the financial system is deflating with unknown consequences. When bubbles deflate, and here we are talking about one in the hundreds of trillions, bad debts are usually exposed. Even though much of the reduction in outstanding OTC derivatives is due to consolidation of positions following the Frank Dodd Act, much of it is not. When free markets reassert themselves, and they always do, the disruption promises to be substantial. We appear to be in the early stages of this event. If so, demand for physical gold can be expected to escalate rapidly as a financial crisis unfolds.

 

Priced For Perfection - Why This Burrito Market Is Heading For A Fall

In March 2014 Wall Street’s ex-items S&P 500 earnings forecast for 2015 was about $133 per share; it ended up 20% lower at $106. Yet here they go again - the consensus for 2016 started out at $137 per share last spring, and is just now beginning to make its way back toward the high $120s. It is a barometer of the abject complacency and intellectual sloth that has descended on the casino owing to two decades of Fed coddling and seven year of free money for the carry trades. In the case of Chipotle, it was always just a burrito. In the case of the US and world economy and financial markets, it’s not even that.

Bob Janjuah Warns The Bubble Implosion Can't Be "Fixed" This Time

Having correctly foreseen in September that "China's devaluations are not over yet" it appears Nomura's infamous 'bear' Bob Janjuah has also nailed The Fed's subsequent actions (hiking rates into a fundamentally weakening economy in a desperate bid to "convince markets that strong growth and inflation are on their way back"). In light of this, his latest note today should be worrisome to many as he warns the S&P 500 will trade down around 20% to 25% from current levels in H1, down to the 1500s and for dip-buyers, it's over: "I now feel even more certain that debt-driven asset bubble implosions cannot merely be 'fixed' with even more debt and another round of central bank-driven asset bubbles."

2016 Theme #4: The End-Game Of Debt-Fueled "Growth"

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.

2016 Theme #3: The Rise Of Independent (Non-State) Crypto-Currencies

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.

Frontrunning: January 6

  • 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)

Visualizing How The Global Economy Played Out In 2015

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.