There has never been a more destructive central banking policy than the Fed’s current maniacal quest to stimulate more inflation and more debt. That’s what is killing real wages and economic vitality in flyover America - even as it showers prodigious windfalls of unearned wealth on Wall Street and the bicoastal elites who draft on the nation’s vastly inflated finances. Indeed, Fed policy has had a double whammy effect on the flyover zone economy. It drove inflation up when down was needed; and its strip-mined capital from American business when increased capital investment was of the essence.
If U.S. shale stays competitive, it could trigger another round of production increases from Saudi Arabia, which is determined to do its utmost to hold on to market share even as it boasts of long-term plans to build an “oil-less” economy by 2030. The Saudi bottom line has been ravaged by years of low prices, generating huge budget deficits and debts to contractors (which the Saudi government will attempt to cover through IOUs). Nevertheless, Saudi Arabia remains uniquely positioned to weather such storms; should the price fall again, it is better-placed to retain market share than the high-cost producers in the U.S. and elsewhere.
While the corrupt and criminal US regulators are unable to do anything to stifle the market domination of algos which have totally destroyed the US equity market, and sucked up enough liquidity where neither buy nor sellsiders can generate a profit, India is already well on its way to crushing the parasitic - and perfectly legal - frontrunners of virtually ever trade. It will do so by increasing penalties on high-speed trading firms that flood exchanges with orders that don’t result into actual transactions, as part of steps aimed at strengthening its oversight of computerized trading.
Overnight the Commerce Department escalated its trade war with China when it implemented the latest clampdown on a glut of steel imports, when it announced that corrosion-resistant steel from China will face final U.S. anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties of up to 450%. China's Commerce Ministry said it was extremely dissatisfied at what it called the "irrational" move by the United States, which it said would harm cooperation between the two countries. "China will take all necessary steps to strive for fair treatment and to protect the companies' rights," it said, without elaborating.
A buck’s a buck, or is it?!
Continuing deceleration of population growth offset by rate cuts incentivizing ever greater debt loads (with continually underperforming GDP) was the central banks only play. And now as population growth and decelerating demand really begin to wane...the playbook is basically exhausted save for one play...simply print money with which to buy and "permanently retire" those assets. Think Treasury's, think MBS, think equity's...think anything that can be digitally created and digitally destroyed all to perpetually shrink the outstanding float (think perpetual short squeeze). How long this can maintain asset values northward march in the face of the populations southward divergence is anybody's guess.
- Asian stocks near 11-week lows, dollar bounces on Fed rate view (Reuters)
- Poll Finds Lack of Enthusiasm for Clinton and Trump (WSJ)
- Oil falls for fifth day as focus returns to growing exports (Reuters)
- The Hedge Fund That Couldn't Stay Open Long Enough for a Big Payday (BBG)
- French police break up refinery blockade in anti-reform showdown (Reuters)
Yesterday's weak dollar headfake has ended and overnight the USD rallied, while Asian stocks dropped to the lowest level in 7 weeks and crude oil fell as speculation returned that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates as early as next month. The pound jumped and European stocks gained thanks to a weaker EUR.
Buy gold as it is an “extremely low-risk asset” is the advice of Professor Kenneth Rogoff to emerging market, creditor nation central banks including the People’s Bank of China (PBOC). “There is no limit to its price ...” he said ...
While Draghi and his co-conspirators hammer the deflation ogre in Sendai, there is some good news for those who partake of 'sin'. Broadly speaking the cost of beer-and-cigarettes (what Deutsche Bank defines as 'sin') has dropped notably over the past two years with prices in Moscow and Stockholm plunging the most (while Madrid and Mumbai have risen the most). However, those looking for the cheapest way to maintain their bad habits should head to Manila in the Philippines (and avoid Melbourne, Australia).
Neither Russia nor China seek conflict. It is a gratuitous and reckless act for Washington to send the message to Russia and China that they must choose vassalage or war.
China was, in essence, the right shoulder to the greatest head and shoulder pattern in the history of mankind. Central banks and federal governments will do everything in their power to maintain the present system. They will attempt anything and likely everything to maintain what ultimately cannot be maintained. Unfortunately, no one knows how much is too much and the economic, financial, and societal ramifications. Invest accordingly?!?
Tthe European Space Agency says one of its satellites has spotted a possible oil slick in the same area of the Mediterranean Sea where EgyptAir Flight 804 disappeared. The agency said its Sentinel-1A radar satellite detected the 2 kilometer- (1.2 mile-) long slick about 40 kilometers (25 miles) southeast of the plane's last known location. It gave the coordinates as 33 32' N / 29 13' E.
It will be fitting, not to mention symmetric, if stocks which yesterday closed at 7 weeks lows and red for the year, end the week the same way they started it: with a rally on no news, just more hopes that oil (which as recently as two years ago none other than Chair Yellen said said would be be "unambiguously good" if lower) will continue rising. While US markets ended yesterday's trading on a sour note, that weakness has failed to spread to the rest of the world, and global shares rebounded from a six-week low as crude and commodity prices recovered, while the yen weakened on reduced demand for haven assets.
Venezuela can’t pay its millions of dollars in debt to Indian pharmaceutical companies, say Indian officials, so officials are considering a proposal that would see the Latin American country swap oil for its drug debts. After an unlucky gamble on India’s part that Venezuela’s emerging economy would be a good place to hawk Indian pharmaceuticals, the debt is now mounting and poor crisis management coupled with the long-running oil price slump has left Venezuela too cash strapped to pay up.