In addition to our recent discussion of the macro-economic data in the US rolling over, and the epic proportions of net risk-taking longs, Credit Suisse outlines ten further indications that equities might be due for a 'consolidation'. Translating from sell-side research gobbledygook into reality, equity bulls are merely demonstrating the traditional phases of momentum-inspired euphoria in the face of ongoing fundamental contraction (not to mention a decline in consumption and marginal US purchasing power) - and earnings expectations, US fiscal tightening, and a modest rise in deficit-increasing real bond yields will not help.
Politics and economics, or the better term, political economics, for the most part rules our lives: the political activity of the nation as a collective of economic groups and super- wealthy individuals, whatever the defining orthodoxy turns out to be. As the United States enters the final days in the much-hoped resolution of its “fiscal cliff,” there are a number of prominent individuals from both present and past – politicians, economists and business leaders – who regale us with their two-cent worth of admonition and advice. For the most part, that’s what the value is really worth. Meantime, here is the American citizenry reverting to their pre-recession days, with the highest confidence level in four and a half years, starting to spend beyond their capacity to produce thanks to that misplaced confidence, the resurgence of home equity loans, and the promise of governing politicians that things are on the mend... when they really are not, and the job market continues to decay for jobs with a living wage.
If you live long enough—knock on wood—pretty soon it’ll add up to real money.
But those Shanghai office towers across the river in Pudong were already standing empty a decade ago – not that you would know from any contemporary reporting. Former Prime Minister Rhu Rongji publicly pleaded with provincial bureaucrats to stop fabricating figures because it made it impossible for him to know what was going on.
If the pundits are counting on the US to be the engine that drives Global growth - it's going to be a very slow year indeed!
German taxpayers all along were wary of becoming the only teat on the EC’s udder for what Winston Churchill once called Europe’s soft underbelly. There is nostalgia, too, for the once high-flying DMark which few wanted exchanged in 2002 for Euros. Now those feelings are exploding with Germany’s vaunted economy going south – but not just for bailouts for Greece, Portugal, Ireland, and possibly Spain, and even Italy.
Following hot on the heels of the proposed Boehner rehashed plan, we get the first details of where the bulk of the $2.7 trillion in proposed savings will come from. Are you ready for this? REID PLAN SAID TO HAVE $1 TRLN SAVINGS FROM WINDING DOWN WARS. That's right. In some parallel galaxy far, far away, lack of expenditures, on America's 6 front wars to be sure, is now considered a "saving"? Front lobe hemorrhage to commence in 5 seconds. And the other migraine-inducing details of the Reiid plan are...
Tired of highly technical and sophisticated gobbledygook from doomers and other realists, talking about the Greek implosion in terms of CDS, liquidity freeze, Main Refinancing Operations (that is coming in the next post just after this one), FX swaps, contagion, etc? Then here is Jon Stewart to explain the Greek situation to everyone in a few short mintues. The fun starts 2 minutes into the clip.
Today was a quiet day in the market (even quieter than Bernie Madoff's trading floor on a triple witching Friday or...
On the right hand side of the Treasury Department website homepage, under the subheading Wall Street Reform, is the following lofty statement: "It is time to restore responsibility and accountability to our financial system." That's the spin. Now, it's been spinning there awhile, so it's not exactly news. But today, in complete contrast to the meaning of that statement, Geithner suggested backing a 'risk-retention' proposal that excludes banks that meet high underwriting standards (probably those that got high marks on the latest Fed stress tests for which the Fed isn't releasing any details) from having to retain portions of the deals they securitize, you know, of having to maintain a stake in the outcome of those deals and the performance and integrity of their underlying loans. To recap, as a result of the 2008 debacle, banks that passed their stress tests, effectively borrow money at next to zero percent. The aftermath of the financial crisis is the loosest monetary policy in our nation's history. Even with all that help, banks don't want to be bothered holding anything that could screw around with their capital ratios. Of course.
David Kostin, traditionally the most optimistic person in the world after A.Joseph Cohen warns clients that the best market performance September in 70 years may be a one-time event, and that in advance of another turn in economic indicators, it may be prudent to lock in profits. "Looking ahead we see the potential for US-MAP readings to again turn negative. Our US Economists expect the two MAP inputs with the highest relevance scores (US ISM and non-farm payrolls) to weaken into year-end. If realized that outlook would be negative for US equities and consistent with our more defensive sector weights." Nonetheless, it is pretty obvious that the apocalypse is now firmly priced in. And as we all know now, the only entity that everyone is frontrunning is the Fed, becase as Tepper so well put it, stock can only go up. That said, Zero Hedge Structured Finance, in collaboration with some very secret and anonymous hedge funds, has some Arizona-desert bridge backed CDOs to sell to Mr Tepper and everyone else buying that gobbledygook.
On September 15 former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan made a speech to the Council on Foreign Relations. Some very interesting comments he made with respect to gold in response to a question were reported in an editorial in yesterday's New York Sun, "Greenspan's Warning on Gold": On this occasion Greenspan, who has been famous for gobbledygook that leaves the audience guessing what he meant, did not mince his words. He said, "Fiat money has no place to go but gold."
The recent ISM print of 56.3, which was so ridiculous, not one economist had predicted a number as high, and was therefore sufficient to validate that the US government is now actively managing the Department of Truth, managed to send stocks surging, and disconnect completely form all other correlations, as yet more stat arb desks imploded. Yet what goes up, must come down, especially in an economy gripped by the greatest Depression in history. Which is why, here is Goldman's Andrew Tilton, member of what has now become the world's most bearish economic team, explaining why the very next ISM, and certainly as soon as within a few months, will be sub-50, which will be the catalyst to plunge stocks even as all hedge funds have gone all in chasing last minute September beta with the Fed's blessing.
The fact that Google will not kowtow to Bejing and will walk away from the market of greatest potential is to me a commendable act. This is a companion piece to my series, "China's Fragile Economy, Its Housing Bubble, and What It Means To Us." China is not a liberal country, by far.
While many pundits will obsess over the markets' gyration in this past week, and make it into a major headline in the quest for eyeballs, the truth is that the S&P turning negative for the year was merely a sideshow (the next real market crash will be much more memorable). No - the real story was the advent of Paul Volcker to his rightful place on the, well, right of President Obama, coupled with the now imminent departure of Geithner and Summers, and the massive question mark that now hangs over Goldman Sachs. Who could have believed that the implications of one Senatorial election could be so profound, yet that is precisely the stuff black swans are made of. The new regime is here, and like it or not, it brings with it a new framework of variables. Yet shifting from the past and looking at the future, the question now becomes what should investors focus on? Just who is this Paul Volcker who will now be the President's seemingly primary economic advisor, and more importantly, what will his policies be like? Luckily, an extensive blueprint already exists, and Zero Hedge readers should be quite familiar with it by now.