HIGHER UNEMPLOYMENT

Housing Bubble 1.0 Vs. Housing Bubble 2.0 - The Culprit Is "Shadow Demand"... Again!

"If 2006 was a known bubble with housing prices at “X”, affordability never better, easy availability of credit, unemployment in the 4%’s, total workforce at record highs, and growing wages, then what do you call today with house prices at X+ 5% to 20%, worse affordability and credit, higher unemployment, weakening total workforce, and shrinking wages? Whatever you call it, it’s a greater thing than “X”."

In Stunning Reversal, IMF Blames Globalization For Spreading Inequality, Causing Market Crashes

In a stunning reversal for an organization that rests at the bedrock of the modern "neoliberal" (a term the IMF itself uses generously), aka capitalist system, overnight IMF authors Jonathan D. Ostry, Prakash Loungani, and Davide Furceri issued a research paper titled "Neoliberalism: Oversold?" whose theme is a stunning one: it accuses neoliberalism, and its immediate offshoot, globalization and "financial openness", for causing not only inequality, but also making capital markets unstable.

A Nationwide Minimum Wage Is Even Worse Than State-Imposed Wages

The lesson to be learned here is that, while minimum wage laws are bad, uniform minimum wage laws imposed across dozens of diverse economies are much, much worse. Naturally, imposing minimum wages at the statewide level leads to the same problem, but on a slightly smaller scale. If politicians wanted to increase real wages, they'd instead focus on lowering the cost of living and increasing worker productivity.

Trump Reveals How Mexico Will Pay For "The Wall"

In what he assures will be "an easy decision," Donald Trump has released details of his plan to "compel Mexico to pay for the wall." In a 600 word statement, Trump proposes, in a potentially devastating move for Mexico’s economy, to block billions of dollars in payments immigrants send back home until the nation made "a one-time payment of $5-10 billion" to the U.S.

Brazil's President Digs In: "I Will Never Resign Under Any Circumstances!"

It's all falling apart for Brazil's embattled President Dilma Rousseff whose political career could be over in a matter of months. With the impeachment committee in place and VP Michel Temer's PMDB set to break from the government, the fate of Lula's Worker's Party hangs in the balance. Meanwhile, the economy continues to collapse as last month was the worst February on record for jobs. As for the central bank, Alexandre Tombini is attempting to use reverse FX swaps to keep the BRL just weak enough to help the economy adjust and just strong enough to permit a Selic cut (or two). What could go wrong?

Rally Hobbled As Ugly China Reality Replaces Japan NIRP Euphoria; Oil Rebound Fizzles

It didn't take much to fizzle Friday's Japan NIRP-driven euphoria, when first ugly Chinese manufacturing (and service) PMI data reminded the world just what the bull in the China shop is leading to a 1.8% Shanghai drop on the first day of February. Then it was about oil once more when Goldman itself said not to expect any crude production cuts in the near future. Finally throw in some very cautious words by the sellside what Japan's act of NIRP desperation means, and it becomes clear why stocks on both sides of the pond are down, why crude is not far behind, and why gold continues to rise.

The Simple Explanation Why There Is No Such Thing As A "Dovish Rate Hike"

"For those who think Fed hikes are “good” for economic confidence, it would also be odd for the Fed to suggest, implicitly via a lowering of the dots that things were not quite so rosy. On balance the Fed therefore looks set for effectively “insisting” on their median dots – closer to a hawkish rather than dovish hike."

It Begins: Desperate Finland Set To Unleash Helicopter Money Drop To All Citizens

Over the last few months, in a prime example of currency failure and euro-defenders' narratives, Finland has been sliding deeper into depression. Almost 7 years into the the current global expansion, Finland's GDP is 6pc below its previous peak. As The Telegraph reports, this is a deeper and more protracted slump than the post-Soviet crash of the early 1990s, or the Great Depression of the 1930s. And so, having tried it all, Finnish authorities are preparing to unleash "helicopter money" to save their nation by giving every citizen a tax-free payout of around $900 each month!

Paris Is Prologue

The recent attacks in Paris evoke strong emotions for many people, but investors need to look through those feelings to the short, medium, and long-term implications. We believe Paris may mark an important turning point for Europe and the global business cycle... but for different reasons than you may think. There is a chance that the slow disintegration of Europe will drive more capital onto US shores, boosting valuations and fueling a blow-off top in the US equity market; but beware global shocks and take any rally as a chance to get defensive.