After issuing a record $1 trillion in combined bank and shadow loans in the first quarter which just like during the financial crisis provided a short-term catalyst for global growth (and sent China's debt/GDP to new all time highs) China's dramatic debt issuance binge is about to hit a brick wall. The reason: combined new loans in April by the Big Four state-owned banks were more than halved from March's level.
If we understand property taxes as a lease from the local government for the right to gamble on another housing bubble arising, we see "ownership" in a different light. As the saying goes, buyer beware, especially if there's no limit on how high desperate local governments can jack up their lease fees, i.e. property taxes.
We have referred to the June 2003 FOMC meeting many times before and we suspect that we will continue to do so long into the future. It was one of those events that should be marked in history, truly relevant to the future developments that became panic and now sustained economic decay. It’s as if the committee members at that time anticipated their current powerlessness – yet did nothing about it. Their preferred course from that moment until August 2007 was relieved ignorance, as Greenspan admitted at the time, " I don’t think we know enough about how the private financial system works under these conditions [sub-1% rates], I don’t believe, that we can construct an effective preemption strategy. Well, we can construct a strategy, but I’m fearful that it would not be very useful."
The latest indication that behind the fake smiles at official, top level summits big tensions linger between British officials and their Chinese counterparts emerged overnight when Britain's Queen Elizabeth II was overheard on camera describing Chinese officials as "very rude" during a conversation with a senior police officer at an event celebrating her 90th birthday. The monarch was recorded making the candid remark, which followed Xi Jinping's first state visit to the UK last October, as she was introduced to guests at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday.
When 70% to 80% of that net worth is tied up in your house, you are nothing but a dead retiree walking. You should acquire a taste for cat food and learn how to panhandle for money.
The dollar's recent rapid slide has been accompanied by a constant backdrop of dovish cooing from the Fed. Until this week, SocGen's Albert Edwards notes that both equity and commodity markets had embraced the weak dollar as the elixir to solve all their ills. That relief, however, has now proved fleeting as fear of weak economic activity has reasserted its influence on investors. The weak dollar, Edwards warns, should be seen as merely a shuffling of deckchairs on the Titanic before the global economy sinks below the icy waves.
“What this means for the Fed’s reaction function isn’t clear,” Pozsar concludes. “But our instinct tells us that we will deal with a Fed inherently more sensitive to global financial conditions, inherently more sensitive to global growth and inherently more dovish than in the past…” Far be it from yours truly to worry. Still, it’s hard to take comfort in the knowledge that the Drano we’ve all come to know, though maybe not love, is now off the market.
"The lack of progress and volatility in global equity markets the past year, which often precedes a major trend change, suggests that their risk/reward is negative without substantially lower prices and/or structural reform. Don’t hold your breath for the latter. While policymakers have no end game, markets do."
- Stanley Druckenmiller
Today we step back from the micro to look at the bigger Vancouver real estate picture. What we find is that"the insanity, it seems, is not over." Indeed, as the chart below shows, BMO really needs a bigger chart, as the growth in Vancouver home prices is now quite literally "off the chart."
The problem is that limiting financialization will implode the system. The status quo now depends on financialization for its profits and taxes, and so ripping the heart out of financial skims and scams will also rip the heart out of the entire status quo. And so 95% of us will continue to get poorer, no matter who's in office.
First there were seventeen. At length, there was one. Donald Trump’s wildly improbable capture of the GOP nomination, therefore, is the most significant upheaval in American politics since Ronald Reagan. And the proximate cause is essentially the same. Like back then, an era of drastic bipartisan mis-governance has finally generated an electoral impulse to sweep out the stables.
Just a month after the UK's luxury housing bubble burst, it appears the nice friendly bankers at Barclays are looking for some scapegoats to flip their condos to. That the housing recovery has been driven primarily by a steady flow of foreign investment, and not necessarily the underlying economic fundamentals improving is becoming clear to everyone and so in what appears a desperate act of deja vu, Barclays has brought back the 100 per cent mortgage - the first major bank to do so since the last financial crisis - to keep the ponzi dream alive just a little longer.
Comparing the growth in the number of full time jobs versus the growth in new home sales starkly illustrates both the horrible quality of the new jobs, and how badly ZIRP has served the US economy.