"We have reached that fork in the road within the monetary twilight zone, where Europe's largest bank is openly defying central bank policy and demanding an end to easy money. Alas, since tighter monetary policy assures just as much if not more pain, one can't help but wonder just how the central banks get themselves out of this particular trap they set up for themselves."
While equity prices and this bond spread moved in fairly close lockstep from 2008-2013, this relationship has been diverging since the middle of 2014. The widening of this spread also doesn’t bode well for a turnaround in industrial production anytime soon.
Do you remember when Greenspan was befuddled when natural market rates wouldn't obey his commands in the previous decade? Well, I sure hope Yellen does. Even if she doesn't the high yield financed US energy probably won't be around long enough to find out.
"Why after several decades of 0% rates has the Japanese economy failed to respond? Why has the U.S. only averaged 2% real growth since the end of the Great Recession? “How’s it workin’ for ya?” – would be a curt, logical summary of the impotency of low interest rates to generate acceptable economic growth worldwide. "
While there may not be another 'energy' sector this cycle, our proverbial list of candidates includes lower quality high yield (ex-commodities) and commercial real estate (CRE). More broadly, the OCC's own examiners would also likely add asset-backed and auto loans to the list.
To an economist, the economy can bear no recession. In times of heavy central bank activity, an economy can never be in recession. Those appear to be the only dynamic factors that drive economic interpretation in the mainstream. And they become circular in the trap of just these kinds of circumstances – the economy looks like it might fall into recession, therefore a central bank acts, meaning the economy will avoid recession; thus there will never be recession. The risks are all still there, and economists are still determined to downplay if not miss them entirely.
While everyone else is considering the implications of a -25 bps rate it is time for the astute to look down the road.
Following the Fed's disappointing "dovish, but not dovish enough" statement which effectively admitted Yellen had committed policy error by hiking just as the US economy "was slowing down" which in turn lowered the odds of a March rate hike to just 18%, it was up to oil to pick up the correlation torch, and so it did, rising in an otherwise mixed session which has seen European stocks slide on continued weakness surrounding Italian banks, many of which have been halted limit down, while Asia was treading water following news of the resignation of Japan’s "Abenomics" minister Akira Amari to over a graft scandal, and yet another day of Chinese stock dropping.
We may not yet have final confirmation that a recession is imminent, but so far nothing suggests that the danger has receded.
Has the market bottomed? Are stocks poised to rally to new highs? Let's find out!
When the high yield print on the 2Y auction flashed at 0.86% (alloted 97.03% at the high) there were loud gasps of surprise at what can only be described as a blistering demand, especially from foreign central banks, and one which stood at odds with the rest of the market tone today, especially when considering that no issues were trading special in repo earlier today, and certainly not the 2Y.
"The risk-reward for equities is deteriorating. There is increasing risk that elevated volatility starts incurring enough technical damage to market psychology and spills over, negatively impacting investor, consumer and business sentiment, resulting in a lack of risk taking, and eventually creating a negative feedback loop into the real economy. Going forward we see equity risk remaining asymmetric to the downside given the following seven reasons:"
"There is some truth to the phrase that the stock market has predicted nine of the last five recessions... but that is a much better track record than the consensus of economists. Every time the financial markets get volatile and messy like this it deserves attention because the markets are trying to tell us that there is a severe issue out there."