In the Middle Ages, no matter what ailed you, the doctor had one cure: attaching leeches to your body. Today, modern medicine has discredited leeches as a cure-all. We look back on it and laugh. “How could we have been so stupid?" Some things haven’t changed much. The average person is still willing to blindly accept conventional thinking—maybe even more so than he was in the past. Today, he hears the financial equivalent of “more leeches!” and agrees. Conventional wisdom and economic “experts” continually prescribe treatments that we will no doubt look back on and say, “How could we have been so stupid?”
The Financial Times recently looked at how the new bail-in resolutions in the EU, U.S. and most of the western world and asked whether they may be leading to "bank turmoil" and increased concerns about banks and the banking sector in the EU. As is typically the case with coverage of the bail-in regime, the important article was little noticed.
With markets happy to put February in the history books because it marked the fourth consecutive monthly decline in global stocks, we move on to March 1st, which doubles down as 'Super Tuesday' in the US when Trump's presidential candidacy will almost certainly be sealed and a day in which stocks decided to join the super fun by super surging overnight on nothing but bad global macro and economic which however was promptly ignored and instead the focus was on ongoing central bank intervention and even more jawboning.
The week was supposed to start off quiet on the macro news front, but the PBOC spoiled that with an unprecedented Monday, Feb 29 RRR cut, its fifth since the start of 2015. In any case, it slowly builds up to the week's biggest event on Friday, when the BLS reports February payrolls and will be hard pressed to find all the seasonal adjustments it needs to cover for not only the lost jobs in the devastated energy sector but, as we reported over the weekend, the sudden dramatic air pocket in Silicon Valley jobs.
After the G-20 ended in a wave of global disappointment, leading to the biggest Yuan devaluation in 8 weeks, and sending Chinese stocks into a tailspin on concerns the PBOC has forsaken its stock market as well as speculation the housing bubble is now sucking up excess liquidity which in turn pushed global market deep in the red to start the week, it was the PBOC's turn to scramble in a panicked reaction to sliding risk exactly one month after Japan unveiled its own desperation NIRP, and as reported before unexpectedly cut its Reserve Requirement Ratio by 0.5% to 17.0%, the first such cut in 2016 and the 5th since the start of 2015.
"Whatever can be said about the world recovery since the crisis, it has been neither strong, nor sustainable, nor balanced. There seems little political willingness to be bold, and so perhaps we should fear that the size of the ultimate adjustment will just go on getting bigger."
The size and scope of the political, economic and financial problems that now challenge the relative stability and tranquility of developed societies are unprecedented. Negative interest rates combined with the eradication of cash appear as a desperate attempt to control global private wealth. Should the war on cash prove unsuccessful in its early stages, banks could be closed for long periods.
A decade ago John Perkins exposed the world to the ugly reality of Washington's "Economic Hit Men." Now he is back, exposing the fact that the evil empire has the world in the grip of a "death economy," concluding that "we need a revolution" in order "to bury the death economy and birth the life economy." But, as Paul Craig Roberts adds, don’t look to politicians, neoliberal economists, and presstitutes for any help.
Italy is big enough to matter (it is the eight largest economy on the planet), but so uneventful that most does not pay any attention to what is going on there. We contend that Italy will, during the next year or two, be on everyone’s radar screen as it has the potential to derail the European project for real.
The biggest question on all traders' minds will be whether the bear market short squeeze that sent the S&P higher by 130 points in 6 days, is finally over - with most global market rolling over and with US equity futures unable to find their solid early morning footing, it may finally be time to cash out of the bear market rally which so many predicted, and which GSBank yesterday may have top-ticked with perfection.
Some folks have been spying again... but we are sure President Obama "was not aware" of any of it...
"Some 92% of those unaccompanied migrants were male last year... there is definitely something strange going on. More than half of the world’s refugees are women. In World War II, when Sweden took refugees from Finland, they were children and 90% were below the age of 10. But now almost all of them are late teenagers – supposedly; we know many are older for a fact... If you have an open door policy and you are incentivizing Afghans to take advantage of the system, can you really blame them?"
Many commentators have mentioned that Hillary Clinton left behind no major achievement as the U.S. Secretary of State; but, actually, she did. Unfortunately, all of her major achievements were bad, and some were catastrophic. Six countries were especially involved: Honduras, Haiti, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, and Ukraine. The harm she did to each country was not in the interest of the American people, and it was disastrous for the residents there. Hillary Clinton at every campaign debate says “I have a better track-record,” and that she’s “a progressive who gets things done.” Here’s what she has actually done when she was Secretary of State...
There’s economic weakness everywhere you look!
The end result may be "peace," but of the Machiavellian sort. "Peace," Machiavelli wrote, is the set of conditions imposed by the winner on the loser of the last war. The Turks and the Russians understand him. The Americans? Perhaps not so much.