- Debt Fuels a Dividend Boom - Firms Collect Payouts, and Investors Get Yield; 'Reminiscent of the Bubble Era' (WSJ)
- Black Monday Echoes With Computers Failing to Restore Confidence (BBG)
- Poll: Obama Leads in Wisconsin, Iowa (WSJ)
- Gold Imports by India Seen Climbing First Time in Six Quarters (BBG)
- Europe pushes ahead towards ECB bank supervision (Reuters)
- ... And fails: Summit fails to agree timetable for aid to failing lenders (FT)
- Toyota Prius Dominates California as State’s No. 1 Model (BBG)
- Italy raises €18bn in huge bond sale (FT)
- Diplomacy inbox fills up as U.N. awaits U.S. presidential vote (Reuters)
- Goldman braced for more revelations (FT)
- China power brokers agree preferred leadership team (Reuters)
- EU, Japan Warn Against New US Swaps Rules (WSJ)
- Why VaR is the most meaningless contraption ever: Morgan Stanley shows the ‘flaky’ side of model (FT)
- Made in France Trumps Consumer Choice in Hollande Jobs Quest (BBG)
- North Korea threatens South over propaganda balloons (Reuters)
We can summarize the breeding ground of new-type depression: very demanding work that is beyond the capacity of people with poor social and communication skills and those who fear being left behind or failing. Fearing failure, they wilt under criticism that seems unfair and irresponsible given that they're doing their best. Facing an apparently no-win situation at work, they quit or take an extended leave of absence. This doesn't solve the depression or its causes, unfortunately. What seems to help is counseling that raises the emotional maturity of the person with NTD so they can better handle criticism, and counseling the senior supervisors to become better communicators with younger workers. Placing workers with low communication skills in jobs where they can work independently and productively also helps. The demands on enterprises and employees alike are rising as the "New Economy" of pervasive insecurity and constant adaptation become the norm. The take-away from Japan's new-style depression is that we need to understand not all workers are cut out for the high-social-skill "New Economy," though in the right positions they are admirably productive. That will take a new level of management skills in Corporate Japan, America and Europe as definancialization and deleveraging unravel the global economy.
The ability of reflationary policy to mute the worst risks of debt deflation has been a source of enormous frustration for stock market bears ever since the 2008 collapse. Yes, the initial moderate rally out of the S&P500’s black hole was perhaps not so surprising in 2009. Bombed-out stock markets can always manage some sort of rally. But the ability of the rally to continue through 2010, and then 2011, and now 2012 has been quite vexing and painful for bearish investors. Indeed, the entire post-2008 market phase has now produced an era of consistently poor performance for hedge funds. Recent data, for example, shows that an incredible 90% of hedge funds are underperforming the S&P500 through mid-September. Will the pain continue? If OECD policy makers do in fact lose stock markets as the main transmission mechanism for reflationary policy, then trouble of a very serious nature will make itself known in the biggest way imaginable since the 2008 crisis began.
Japan's economy has stagnated for two decades despite the global economy experiencing one of its greatest economic booms ever. Japan continues to avoid fiscal or financial crisis, and perhaps it can do so for decades to come. But we should note that Japan has had the incredible, once-in-a-lifetime tailwind of a global boom for the past 23 years. That has enabled Japan, and all the other developed economies, the means to avoid facing their structural and demographic problems. If Japan's economy has stagnated during a global boom, what will it do during a global bust? Japan's stable stagnation will continue in a linear fashion--until it doesn't.
- Hilsenrath Humor du jour: Bernanke Advocates Stronger Currencies (WSJ)
- Auditors want two more years for Greece on deficit (Spiegel)
- More bluster: Schaeuble Rules Out Greek Default as Samaras, Troika Bargain (Bloomberg)
- And even more bluster: De Jager Says Greece Needs to Make Fiscal Reforms Immediately (Bloomberg)
- Global Economy Distress 3.0 Looms as Emerging Markets Falter (Bloomberg)
- Central bank governor stresses inflation control (China Daily)
- Greek Yields Reach Post Debt-Swap Low as Bunds Slip on Schaeuble (Bloomberg)
- Roth and Shapely win Nobel prize for economics (Reuters)
- Fed chief rounds on stimulus critics (FT)
- IMF Board Sees Biggest Power Shift Reshuffle in Two Decades (Bloomberg)
- EU Girds for Summit as Nobel’s Glow Fades on Crisis Response (Bloomberg)
- Japan security environment tougher than ever (Reuters)
The usual definition of a recession is GDP goes negative. But this isn't necessarily true. Notice that GDP never went below the zero line in the 2001 recession. Dipping close to zero was good enough. The more interesting line is our composite of economic activity. We can pose the "recession" question in this way: if real investment, net earnings after debt service and M2 money are all puking, how can the economy be "growing slowly but steadily"?
When push comes to shove, China still has the bigger gun over Japan on many other levels, and the U.S. most likely has to at least sit in the bed it’s made so far.
While stating the somewhat obvious - that the Fed's actions will cause 'pain' when they (try to) stop QE - when it comes from a high-ranking officer of the establishment elite (as opposed to a tin-foil-hat-wearing, BLS-exposing, HFT-undermining, fringe blog) such as Goldman Sachs' President Gary Cohn, perhaps more mainstream will begin to question the one-way path we are on. Cohn's interview on Bloomberg TV ranged from his reading habits (Greg Smith's tell-all) to the world's central bank printfest and how "we will have to go through the pains of stopping QE" and from his views of the election status quo to the global economic malaise, he does so well on the reality front - until he shovels undying praise on Mario Draghi's back for his "spectacular job" - though admits he has not solved Europe's real problems.
Still long-term bullish as nobody notified us that the Fed has withdrawn QE3.
There should be three objectives for a well-functioning monetary system: i) internal balance, ii) allocative efficiency and iii) financial stability. The international financial and monetary system (IFMS) has functioned under a number of different regimes over the past 150 years and each has placed different weights on these three objectives. Overall, this recent Bank of England paper finds that today’s 'fiat' system has performed poorly against each of its three objectives, at least compared with the Bretton Woods System, with the key failure being the system’s inability to maintain financial stability and minimize the incidence of disruptive sudden changes in global capital flows. There is little consensus in the academic literature, or among policymakers, on what are the underlying problems in the global economy which allow excessive imbalances to build in today’s IMFS and/or which impede the IMFS from adjusting smoothly to counteract these imbalances. Critically though, while the fiat money system we are currently does indeed exhibit lower GDP growth volatility (by design), it has dramatically more incidents of banking and currency crises than under a Gold Standard.
CMI is down over 7% after-hours as it seems the 16% cut in Aluminum demand that Alcoa just announced can no longer be ignored. Reality is that Cummins is slashing guidance and cutting jobs in "response to the weakening global economy."
- *CUMMINS TO CUT UP TO 1500 JOBS, LOWERS YEAR REV, EBIT FORECASTS
- *CUMMINS SEES YEAR EBIT ABOUT 13.5%, SAW 14.25%-14.75% :CMI US
- *CUMMINS PRELIM 3Q REV. ABOUT $4.1B, EST. $4.425B :CMI US
- *CUMMINS SEES 2012 REV. $17B, SAW $18B, EST. $18.11B :CMI US
"We continued to see weak economic data in a number of regions during the third quarter increasing the level of uncertainty regarding the direction of the global economy.... Demand in China has weakened in most end markets"
Two words - Priced In?
Nothing materially new here from David Rosenberg's latest letter, but it is useful to keep being reminded over and over how central planning has totally destroyed the primary function of capital markets: discounting, and replaced it with a dumb terminal which only responds to red flashing headlines reporting of neverending liquidity. "If the Fed really had its way, the economy would be booming. But it is sputtering. For all the talk of one month's employment report — look at the entire quarter for crying out loud. Looking at total labour input, aggregate hours worked, it eked out a tepid 0.8% annualized gain in Q3....That the stock market is up 16% this year (on track for the best year since 2009) with earnings contracting underscores the major success of Fed policy in 2012 — managing to deflect investor attention away from negative profit trends and towards its pregnant balance sheet. So welcome to the new normal: the Fed has managed to negotiate a divorce between the economy and equity market behaviour.
Many times what "should" happen does not happen. For example, global stock markets "should" decline as the global economy free-falls into recession, as global recession is not exactly an ideal scenario for rising corporate sales and profits or demand for commodities. Yet global markets are by and large rising significantly. Sometimes what "should" happen is simply being delayed. In other cases, some other dynamic is at work. Stock market bulls, for example, say the "other dynamic" is global money-printing by central banks, and this "easing" will power stocks higher even as sales and profits sag. Analysts who believe fundamentals eventually over-ride monetary manipulation believe the stock market decline has only been delayed, not banished. A similar tug-of-war is playing out between those who feel the U.S. dollar "should" decline in the years ahead and those who see the dollar strengthening significantly.
- Rajoy’s Deepening Budget Black Hole Outpaces Spain’s Cuts (Bloomberg)
- ECB May Need to Cut Rates Given Deflation Risk, IMF Says (Bloomberg)
- Global Recession Risk Rises (WSJ)
- Romney Leads Obama in Pew Likely Voter Poll After Debate (Bloomberg)
- IMF Sees Global Risk in China-Japan Spat (WSJ)
- Republicans shift tone on taxing the rich (FT)
- Romney casts Obama's foreign policy as weak, dangerous (Reuters)
- Europe Salutes Greek Budget-Cutting Will, Raising Aid Prospects (Bloomberg)
- U.S. Downgrade Seen as Upgrade as U.S. Debt Dissolved (Bloomberg)
- IMF Says Most Advanced Nations Making Progress Reducing Deficits (Bloomberg)
- Eurozone launches €500bn rescue fund (FT)
For those who still wonder why China has given up on Europe, and is solely focusing on Africa (where none other than Goldman Sachs is opening more offices than any other bank), the IMF explains why the Berlin Beijing Conference 2.0 is now in its peak, if entirely behind the scenes. And yes, the "developed" world wishes it was one big banana republic. Amazing what not having 100%+ debt/GDP will do for one's economic prospects...