Innovation in technology reduces the need for labor. More individuals are sitting outside the labor force increase the demand for available jobs. Increased competition for available jobs suppresses wage growth. It is a virtual spiral that continues to apply downward pressure on an economy based nearly 70% on consumption. Importantly, what small increases there have been in unit labor costs have primarily come at the expense of higher benefit and healthcare costs rather than an increase in wages. As discussed previoulsy, for roughly 80% of the working labor force, wages have declined over the last five years. Janet Yellen is right that wages will have a hard time increasing without a pick up in productivity. The issue is that innovation IS the problem, not the solution. That is unless we begin to include the productivity of robots.
Schäuble seems to have foresaw the crisis back in 1994, distinguishing between core members and non-core members. Therefore, his thinking is quite different from that of France. Behind the curtain, the federalization of Europe is the ultimate goal, although politicians always denied that in front of the curtain. The curtain is starting to be drawn, but the equal federalization of Europe was never part of the German mindset.
It appears the "Greece is fixed" exuberant reach for risk is over. 30Y Treasury yields had soared 30bps in 3 days after a disastrous "Greek deal" was announced, has rallied all the way back and now trades back below the crucial 3.00% level... This is the best streak of gains for the long-bond in 4 months.
There has been a lot of chatter in recent days about the plunge in commodity prices - capped off by this week’s slide of the Bloomberg commodity index to levels not seen since 2002. That epochal development is captured in the chart below, but most of the media gumming about the rapidly accelerating “commodity crunch” misses the essential point. To wit, the central banks of the world have shot their wad. The Bloomberg Commodity index is a slow motion screen shot depicting the massive intrusion of worldwide central bankers into the global economic and financial system. Their unprecedented spree of money printing took the aggregate global central bank balance sheet from $3 trillion to $22 trillion over the last 15 years. The consequence was a deep and systematic falsification of financial prices on a planet-wide scale.
US equity prices are back below yesterday's lows leaving The Dow down over 350 points off its "everything is awesome" highs on Monday (nearing its 200-DMA at 17,743). It's not just the Dow, as the rest of the major indices have given up all the post-Greferendum gains from a month ago...
It appears The IMF is willing to shake the boat of status quo, everything-is-awesome, once again. After proclaiming Greece is screwed and needs a haircut no matter what, the bank to save the world has unleashed a new report on Japan...
*IMF SAYS JAPAN NEEDS DEEPER CUTS TO CURB ‘UNSUSTAINABLE’ DEBT, RISKS SURGE TO TRIPLE GDP WITHOUT CHANGE, IMF SAYS
*IMF: YEN MODERATELY WEAKER THAN IS CONSISTENT WITH FUNDAMENTALS
We assume Abe and Kuroda will disagree strongly, argue that they just need a little more devaluation and everything will be perfect. The slide in JPY suggests some more capital leaving their shores. It appears The IMF has read some of Kyle Bass' work.
- In Asia/Pacific, the sales decline was primarily due to lower sales in China and Japan.
- Decreases in Latin America were primarily due to continued weak construction activity
- Sales declined in EAME primarily due to the unfavorable impact of currency, as sales in euros translated into fewer U.S. dollars.
- Sales declined in North America as weakness in oil and gas-related construction was largely offset by stronger activity in residential and nonresidential building construction.
On Wednesday evening, Greece took another step toward transforming itself into a vassal state of Brussels when lawmakers passed a second set of prior actions ahead of formal discussions around a third program. As Deutsche Bank noted earlier this week, there’s something quite absurd about the adoption of the new bailout terms being left to a government whose leader openly opposes the deal. And Deutsche Bank isn’t alone in their skepticism. JP Morgan has more on why no one "should put the odds of Greece staying in the euro above 50%".
- Greek PM keeps lid on party rebellion to pass bailout vote (Reuters)
- Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras Remains Popular Despite Tough Bailout Deal (WSJ)
- Beijing's stock rescue has $800 billion bark, small market bite (Reuters)
- Capital exodus from China reaches $800bn as crisis deepens (Telegraph)
- Why Investors Shy Away From China’s $6.4 Trillion Bond Market (WSJ)
- Oil Rigs Left Idling Turn Caribbean Into Expensive Parking Lot (BBG)
- Bank of America replaces CFO in management shake-up (Reuters)
- The Financial Buzz? Pearson to sell Financial Times (Reuters)
A slow week devoid of virtually any macro news - last night the biggest weekly geopolitical event concluded as expected, when Greece voted to pass the bailout bill which "the government does not believe in" just so the ECB's ELA support for Greek depositors can continue - is slowly coming to a close, as is the busiest week of the second quarter earnings season which so far has been largely disappointing despite aggressive consensus estimate cuts, especially for some of the marquee names, and unlike Q1 when a quarterly drop in EPS was avoided in the last minute, this time we won't be so lucky, and the only question is on what side of -3.5% Y/Y change in EPS will the quarter end.
The Centralized Powers have declared a War on Cash... and it is spreading throughout the globe.
While we know now that Greece is irrelevant, and China is irrelevant (fdrom what we are told by talking heads), it appears the commodity carnage of the last few months is relevant for at least one nation. Having already warned about Australia, it appears New Zealand has got nervous:
*NEW ZEALAND CUTS KEY INTEREST RATE TO 3.00% FROM 3.25%, FURTHER EASING LIKELY AT SOME POINT
The Central bank blames softening economic outlook driven by commodity price pressures. Kiwi interestingly popped on the news to 0.66 before fading back a little, despite RBNZ noting a further NZD drop is necessary.
When we discuss an "economic collapse," most people think of a collapse of the financial markets; and without a doubt, one is coming very shortly. But let us not neglect the long-term economic collapse that is already happening all around us. If you stand back and take a broader view of things, what has been happening to the U.S. economy truly is quite shocking. The following are 12 ways that the U.S. economy is already in worse shape than it was during the depths of the last recession...
How hard do you work compared to the rest of the world?
All eyes may be on Greece right now, but in reality, the economic malaise is widespread across the continent. It’s clear that Greece is not the problem. It’s a symptom of the problem. The real problem is that every one of these nations has violated the universal law of prosperity: produce more than you consume. This is the way it works in nature, and for individuals.