Gross Domestic Product

Market Figures Out Fed No Longer Has Its Back

The Fed is now - for the first time in adult memory for half the world’s traders and money managers - tightening rather than loosening monetary conditions. A quick look at financial history is all it takes to lead anyone with leveraged money at risk to lighten up. Equally important - and vastly more strange when you think about it - this tightening comes at a time when major parts of the global economy are either grinding to a halt or imploding.

"Services Will Save Us" Meme Collapses As Non-Manufacturing PMI Plunges To 2015 Lows

While correlation is not causation, one would have to be an ignorant unicorn-worshipper to believe that a collapse in America's manufacturing would not have some follow-through. Following the crash in Manufacturing, Markit reported America's Services economy massively missed expectations and plunged to 53.7, lowest since Dec 2014. New orders plunged to the lowest since January 2015 and employment tumbled. As Markit reports, this is "disappointing  news  for  an  economy which  has  seen the first  US  interest  rate  hike  for almost  a  decade."

South African Bonds Crash, Rand Hits Record Low After FinMin Fired

Without giving any reasons, South African President Jacob Zuma has fired his finance minister (after just 19 months in office). This has shocked investors, already anxious about the nation's surging debt and sluggish economy and South African bonds and FX have collapsed andhas given rating agencies “perfect justification” for further downgrades and the loss of investment grade status. 10Y yields spiked 140bps to 10.18% - the highest since July 2008 - and CDS have soared. The Rand has crashed to new record lows above 15 to the USD.

The Screaming Fundamentals For Owning Gold

Gold is one of the few investments that every investor should have in their portfolio. We are now at the dangerous end-game period of a very bold but very reckless & disappointing experiment with the world's fiat (unbacked) currencies. If this experiment fails -- and we observe it's in the process of failing -- gold will provide one of the best forms of wealth insurance. But like all insurance products, it only works if you buy it before you need to rely on it.

The Truth About GDP

If rising prices are good for the economy, how come everyone was so unhappy in Germany's Weimar Republic in 1923, or in Zimbabwe fifteen years ago? Surely, as inflation accelerates the happiness level should rise...

2015: The Last Christmas In America

The game of enabling more debt by lowering interest rates and loosening lending standards is coming to an end. Debt is not a sustainable substitute for income, and households are increasingly waking up to this realization. Say good-bye to Christmas, America, and debt-based spending in general--except, of course, for the federal government, which can always borrow another couple trillion dollars on the backs of our grandchildren.

The Great Fall Of China Started At Least 4 Years Ago

China’s producers couldn’t get the prices they wanted anymore, as early as 4 years ago, and that’s where deflationary forces came in. No matter how much extra credit/debt was injected into the money supply, the spending side started to stutter. It never recovered.

Breadth, Buybacks, & The Piercing Of The "Grandaddy Of All Bubbles"

Global policymakers have gone to incredible measures to stabilize market, financial and economic backdrops. Yet reflationary measures will continue to only further destabilize. When policy-induced “risk on” is overpowering global securities markets, fragilities remain well concealed. Fragilities, however, swiftly manifest with the reappearance of “risk off.” Rather quickly securities markets demonstrate their proclivity for illiquidity and so-called “flash crashes.” So after an unsettled week in global markets, the critical issue is whether “risk on” is giving way to “risk off” dynamics.

Macy's Massacre - 3 Years Of Wasted Buybacks Ends Financial Engineering Dreams

Macy's is down over 13% today, pushing towards a sub-$40 handle - the lowest since February 2013 - after lowering guidance and disappointing a market full of hope (and hype) that retail is back (remember, all the retail hiring last Friday). However, that is not the most prescient issue as 3 years of buying back billions of dollars of Macy's stocks - to financially-engineer earnings to ensure executive compensation is satisfactory - have been completely wasted. And worst still, the additional debt added to fund the total failure in timing of buybacks has now sent Macy's credit spiking to multi-year highs (as the stock tumbles).

CEO Of World's Largest Shipping Company: "Global Growth Is Worse Than Official Reports"

According to the CEO of Maersk, the world's biggest container shipping company, "the world’s economy is growing at a slower pace than the International Monetary Fund and other large forecasters are predicting." Andersen adds that "we believe that global growth is slowing down. Trade is currently significantly weaker than it normally would be under the growth forecasts we see....we’re a little bit more pessimistic than most forecasters."

The Next Level of John Law Type Central Planning Madness

The cries for going totally crazy are growing louder... the lunatics are running the asylum. One shouldn’t underestimate what they are capable of. The only consolation is that the day will come when the monetary cranks will be discredited again (for the umpteenth time). Thereafter it will presumably take a few decades before these ideas will rear their head again (like an especially sturdy weed, the idea that inflationism can promote prosperity seems nigh ineradicable in the long term – it always rises from the ashes again). The bad news is that many of us will probably still be around when the bill for these idiocies will be presented.