The IMF failures in Greece bring back vivid memories of the Asian Financial Crisis of 1997-98... As the Indonesian episode should teach us, the IMF’s management can be very political and often neither trustworthy nor competent. Greece offers yet another chapter.
The disconnect between economic underpinnings, market internals and "bullish" investor optimism leaves many investors/advisors "mentally conflicted." If they "sell" too soon, they might miss a further advance in the market. But if they wait too long, well, they have lived through that scenario previously. This week's reading list is a smattering of conflicting views about the markets and the economy.
When fiat fragility shows its fecklessness, it appears people turn to the alternatives...
“It is absolutely ludicrous that when only 10% of the entire UK GDP is exports to the EU that the other 90% of our businesses are tied up with European rules – and I think people are starting to understand that.”
Earlier today, the SNB which is perhaps the most transparent hedge fund of all central banks and actually lays out its financial statements in a respectable manner every quarter, released its results for the second quarter (and first half) of 2015. The result: another absolutely epic loss, amounting to €50.1 billion ($51.8 billion) of which €47.2 billion on currency positions - a whopping 7% of Swiss GDP - meaning that in Q2 the SNB lost another €20 billion. This happened despite the SNB having invested 17%, or $94 billion, in foreign - mostly US -stocks.
- U.S. stock futures slip amid lukewarm earnings, fall in commodities (Reuters)
- Stressful times for low-polling Republicans who may miss debate stage (Reuters)
- Trump shows staying power with surge ahead of first debate (Reuters)
- China Market Manipulation Probe Targets Spoofers After Crash (BBG)
- Beijing Chosen to Host 2022 Winter Olympics (WSJ)
- Obama Warns Support on Iran Deal ’Getting Squishy’ Amid Pressure (BBG)
- Pacific trade negotiators chase elusive final deal in tough talks (Reuters)
Italy Youth Unemployment Hits Record High 44.2%, Concerns Rising "Recession Exit May Be Unsustainable"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 07/31/2015 07:32 -0400
While the overall unemployment rate for the Eurozone also unchanged at 11.1%, it was renewed concern about what is going on in Italy, where unemployment rose from 12.5% to 12.7%, while Italy's youth unemployment rate, which surprisingly jumped by nearly 2% to 44.2%, a record level. As Bloomberg put it, "Italy’s jobless rate unexpectedly rose in June as businesses continue to dismiss workers amid concerns that the country’s exit from recession may not be sustainable."
In a repeat of Thursday's action, Chinese stocks which had opened about 1% lower, remained underwater for most of the session before attempting a feeble bounce which took the Shanghai Composite fractionally into the green, before the now traditional last hour action which this time failed to maintain the upward momentum and the last day of the month saw a surge in volume which dragged the market to its lows before closing roughly where it opened, -1.13% lower. This caps the worst month for Chinese stocks since since August 2009, as the government struggles to rekindle investor interest amid a $3.5 trillion rout, one which has sent the Shanghai market lower by 15% - the biggest loss among 93 global benchmark gauges tracked by Bloomberg.
During a short stay in Shanghai a few weeks ago on unrelated business, we had an opportunity to witness the ground zero of the China market frenzy at its peak and its nascent plunge. Chinese retail investors make up 85% of the market, a far cry from the U.S. where retail investors own less than 30% of equities and make up less than 2% of NYSE trading volume for listed firms in 2009. Combined with the highest trading frequencies in the world and one of the lowest educational levels, describing China’s market as immature is an understatement.
Athletes in next year's Summer Olympics here will be swimming and boating in waters so contaminated with human feces that they risk becoming violently ill and unable to compete in the games. An AP analysis of water quality revealed dangerously high levels of viruses and bacteria from human sewage in Olympic and Paralympic venues — results that alarmed international experts and dismayed competitors training in Rio, some of whom have already fallen ill with fevers, vomiting and diarrhea.
Can markets be saved an eighth time, a ninth time, a tenth time this year? How about next year?
Jim Rickards, “I think it’s always very important to own gold. I’ve recommended that investors have about 10% of their portfolio in the yellow metal.” “If I’m right and some catastrophic event is on the horizon, then that 10% would be your portfolio insurance.”
While the Puerto Rican creditors' bargaining power on the island is to put it mildly, negligible, especially after the budget director made the imminent default into a crusade of poor versus rich, saying he won’t redirect cash from its operating budget to make debt payments, an unexpected supporter has emerged thousands of miles from the beleaguered island: New York's socialist mayor Bill DeBlasio. As CBS reports "New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio demanded President Obama and Congress immediately come to the island's fiscal rescue." "It's the federal government's obligation to act, because they can't stand idly by and watch Puerto Rico fail," de Blasio told a crowd of hundreds of Puerto Rico boosters gathered on the steps of City Hall.
Having exposed the reality that the world's capital markets are a manipulated shell game, Janus' Bill Gross has a message for the perpetual bulls in his latest letter to investors - "say a little prayer." Gross continues, "low interest rates are not the cure – they are part of the problem," warning that ZIRP has enabled, "a host of zombie and future zombie corporations now roam the real economy. Schumpeter’s 'creative destruction' – the supposed heart of capitalistic progress – has been neutered. The old remains in place, and new investment is stifled." As he previously warned, when the central bank manipulation is removed the likely trajectory of prices is downward...