Gross Domestic Product
In China, 9 out of 10 billionaires are self-made, the highest percentage of any country (and by self-made we are unsure whether BusinessWeek's Christina Larson means via entrepreurial spirits or government connected handout) but there is another fact that makes the Chinese billionaire different from the rest of the average run-of-the-mill billionaires we discussed here. The average age of the country’s 157 billionaires is 53 years old - nine years younger than the world average. But perhaps the most shocking statistic among the luxury buyer is that the average Ferrari buyer in the U.S. is 47 years old; in China, he is 32.
- Washington turns bond market upside (FT)
- China Air-Zone Move Expands Field of Islands Spat With Japan (BBG); Japan rejects China claim on airspace over disputed islands (FT)
- 'Great Satan' meets 'Axis of Evil' and strikes a deal (Reuters)
- Iran Pact Faces Stiff Opposition (WSJ)
- Allies Fear a US Pullback in Mideast (WSJ)
- India to resume paying Iran in Euros (Economic Times)
- At 'Business Insider,' it's time to sell (USA Today)
- More ECB currency war jawboning: ECB’s Hansson Says Rate Cut Options Not Fully Exhausted (BBG)
- Spy World Links Plus Obama Ties Stoke Concern About NSA Review (BBG)
- A disunited Europe will struggle even to disintegrate (FT)
The "aggregate demand is God" Keynesian Cargo Cult fetish of focusing on holiday sales is worse than meaningless--it is profoundly misleading. Counting on strong holiday retail sales to "boost the economy" is like eating triple-paddy cheeseburgers and fries to lose weight. The last thing a debt-dependent economy needs is more borrowing to buy excess consumption, and the last thing an economy that imports most of the junk being purchased needs is empty-headed economists declaring that the purchase of more low-quality, mostly needless junk is anything other than a waste of money and resources.
The operative model of "growth" in America: rapid expansion/overbuilding in pursuit of poaching customers from existing competitors, a strategy that leads to massive overcapacity/redundancy and declining profits that then leads to mergers and shuttering hundreds of redundant outlets. Why has this doomed model of overbuilding and poaching sales become so dominant? Look no farther than the cheap-money policies of the Federal Reserve.
...An unidentified local bank reported a 33 percent nonperforming-loan ratio for the solar-panel industry, compared with 2 percent at the beginning of the year, with the increase due to Wuxi Suntech, China Business News reported in September.... China’s lending spree has created a debt burden similar in magnitude to the one that pushed Asian nations into crisis in the late 1990s, according to Fitch Ratings.... As companies take on more debt, the efficiency of credit use has deteriorated. Since 2009, for every yuan of credit issued, China’s GDP grew by an average 0.4 yuan, while the pre-2009 average was 0.8 yuan, according to Mike Werner, a Hong Kong-based analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co.... “The real situation is much worse than the data showed” after talking to chief financial officers at industrial manufacturers, said Wendy Tang, a Shanghai-based analyst at Northeast Securities Co., who estimates the actual nonperforming-loan ratio to be as high as 3 percent. “It will take at least one year or longer for these NPLs to appear on banks’ books, and I haven’t seen the bottom of deterioration in Jiangsu and Zhejiang yet.”
The Failure Of Abenomics In One Chart... When Even The Japanese Press Admits "Easing Is Not Working"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 11/18/2013 14:56 -0400
Today, with the traditional one year delay (we assume they had to give it the benefit of the doubt), the mainstream media once again catches up to what Zero Hedge readers knew over a year ago, and blasts the outright failure that is Abenomics, but not only in the US (with the domestic honor falling to the WSJ), but also domestically, in a truly damning op-ed in the Japan Times. We will let readers peruse the WSJ's "Japan's Banks Find It Hard to Lend Easy Money: Dearth of Borrowers Illustrates Difficulty in Japan's Program to Increase Money Supply" on their own. It summarizes one aspect of what we have been warning about - namely the blocked monetary pipeline, something the US has been fighting with for the past five years, and will continue fighting as long as QE continues simply because the "solution" to the problem, i.e., even more QE, just makes the problem worse. We will however, show the one chart summary which captures all the major failures of the BOJ quite succinctly.
Somehow, Fed head Bill Dudley has managed to encompass the entire "we must keep the foot to the floor" premise of the Fed in one mind-bending sentence:
- *DUDLEY SEES 'POSSIBILITY OF SOME UNFORESEEN SHOCK'
So - based on an "unforeseen" shock - which he "sees", and while there are "nascent signs the economy may be doing better", the Fed should remain as exceptionally easy just in case... (asteroid? alien invasion? West Coast quake?)
"We already live in a financial economy in which the debt and capital markets exceed the value of the real economy by far," Marc Faber explains to Germany's Finanzen100, "and that's before the current formation of bubbles." His most ominous warning, and one that fits perfectly with the seeming insanity of Federal Reserve (and all developed market central banks) is that "the next time a bubble bursts, then the capitalist economic system as we know will falter."
Would printing the cash to fund pensions for low-income retirees trigger inflation? It's more of an open question than we might imagine at first glance.
As we discussed two weeks ago, it would appear Germany's lack of willingness to throw itself on the pyre of self-sacrifice and not adopt a global Fairness Doctrine - as engendered by the US Treasury's (and IMF's) bashing of the core European nation's for maintaining its export strength and daring to keep Europe in tact and thus a periphery-damaging strong Euro - is gathering steam. None other than Europe itself is now 'probing' Germany's trade surplus, using enhanced powers over how euro nations manage their economies with the IMF urging German Chancellor Angela Merkel to curtail the trade surplus to an “appropriate rate” to help euro partners cut deficits.
With Ben Bernanke's tenure closing, many financial TV pundits delight in touting the stellar performance of Ben Bernanke as Federal Reserve Chairman with just a couple months left in his term. Before the re-writers of history begin spinning performance, we thought why not compare Mr. Bernanke against all the other Federal Reserve Chairman to determine which Chairman deserves recognition. Bernanke's overall score across all factors was the lowest (let the spin begin counterfactualists). The data suggests that Mr. Bernanke ranks last in performance between the two mandates since 1948. Quite an accomplishment considering what events transpired during the last 60+ years; Korea & Vietnam, Oil Shock, high interest rates, etc...
"We need help!" is the sad handwritten sign hanging outside a shuttered church in the Philippine town of Tacloban surrounded, as Reuters reports, by uncollected corpses and canyons of debris. Demand for relief is huge and despite 66 tons of supplies having landed since Saturday, they are not reaching those who need them the most as "people are roaming around the city, looking for food and water," because aid trucks from the airport struggle to enter the city because of the stream of people and vehicles leaving it. "People are angry. They are going out of their minds," warned one aid-worker as relief was delayed due to security concerns "there might be a stampede," after dark. The terrible state of affairs is summed up by on aid worker, "there is nothing left to loot... even if you have money there is no food to buy. There is nothing here." Police are trying to enforce a curfew...
- Fed Anxiety Rises as QE Raises Risk of Loss With Political Cost (BBG)
- Iran Nuclear Deal Expected as Early as Friday (WSJ)
- Israel rejects mooted interim Iran nuclear deal, Kerry heads to talks (Reuters)
- JPMorgan Banker Backed $200 Million Madoff Loan in 2008 (BBG)
- Unleashing the food nazis - FDA Says Trans Fats Aren't Safe in Food (WSJ)
- Draghi Aggression Shows Pledges Backed by Rate Surprise (BBG)
- S&P Cuts France's Credit Rating by One Notch to Double-A (WSJ)
- S&P criticises France’s high tax rates for stifling growth (FT)
- Payroll Gains in U.S. Probably Cooled Amid Government Shutdown (BBG)
- Twitter's IPO to Make Market Debut (WSJ); Twitter Raises $1.82 Billion, Pricier Value Than Facebook (BBG)
- Worried Senators Press Obama on Health Law (WSJ)
- Greenspan Says Yellen Was His Guide to Economics Research at Fed (BBG)
- European Central Bank seen holding rates despite inflation tumble (Reuters)
- Wall St. Bonuses Over All Are Predicted to Rise 5 to 10% (NYT)
- Cautious consumers seen curbing U.S. economic growth (Reuters)
- China Grants U.S. Investors Indirect Access to Its Stock Markets (WSJ)
- Higher Tax Rates Give Top U.S. Earners Year-End Headaches (BBG)
- Iran Loses Nuclear Leverage as World Ignores Export Drop (BBG)
- NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly in the running for JPMorgan job (Post)
This morning US futures are an unfamiliar shade of green, as the market is poised for its first red open in recent memory (then again the traditional EURJPY pre-open ramp is still to come). One of the reasons blamed for the lack of generic monetary euphoria is that China looked likely to buck the trend for more monetary policy support. New Premier Li Keqiang said in a speech published in full late on Monday that adding extra stimulus would be more difficult since printing new money would cause inflation. "His comments are different from what people were expecting. This is a shift from what he said earlier this year about bottom-line growth," said Hong Hao, chief strategist at Bank of Communications International. Asian shares struggled as a result slipping about 0.2 percent, though Japan's Nikkei stock average bounced off its lows and managed a 0.2 percent gain. However, in a world in which the monetary tsunami torch has to be passed every few months, this will hardly be seen as supportive of the "bad news is good news" paradigm we have seen for the past 5 years.