The best headline to summarize what happened in the early part of the overnight session was the following from Bloomberg: "Asian stocks extend global rally on stimulus bets." And following the abysmal data releases from the past three days confirming that the latest centrally-planned attempt to kickstart the global economy has failed, overnight we got even more bad data, first in the form of Australia's trade deficit, and then Germany's factory orders which bombed, and which as Goldman said "seems to reflect genuine weakness in China and emerging markets in general and this will weigh on the German manufacturing sector."
The popular belief that the U.S. economy has been steadily recovering has endured months of disappointing data without losing much of its appeal. But the downright dismal September jobs report that was released last Friday may prove to be the flashing red beacon that even the most skilled apologists can't explain away. But rather than questioning the Fed's credibility in missing another forecast, most economists are lauding it for supposedly seeing weakness that others missed, which allowed it to wisely do nothing in September. But this is simply a continuation of the Fed's long-standing playbook: Talk the economy up through optimistic statements while continually holding off an actual rate hike that the Fed is concerned could undermine an economy teetering on the brink of recession.
"... standard monetary policy rules might justify a continuation of the current zero-rate policy for much longer, well into 2016 or potentially even beyond. In this context, it is interesting that the reduced market-implied probability of liftoff in 2015 after Friday’s weak employment report mostly translated into a higher probability of liftoff not in 2016 but in 2017!"
In addition to the Fed's credibility, one other privately-controlled organization that has seen its credibility completely crushed in recent months is the Goldman economic forecasting team (if not the team that "forecasts" Fed monetary policy, simply because Goldman controls the Fed and tells it what to do; as such what Goldman "thinks" the Fed will do is usually ironclad) whose Jan Hatzius "for what it's worth" forecast above trend growth for the US economy in 2014. So, "for what it's worth", here is Goldman jobs report post-mortem (in a parallel report Goldman just cut its Q3 GDP forecast from 2.0% to 1.9%), in which the bank admits that the report was a disaster, and that as a result "we now see action at the December meeting as a close call."
When risk sold off last week in the wake of the Fed’s so-called “clean relent,” it signalled at best a policy mistake and at worst the loss of any and all credibility. Tonight, Yellen gets a do-over.
Foucault Does FOMC: Deutsche Bank Explains The Fed's Decision By Mixing Quantum Theory With Post-ModernismSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 09/21/2015 09:05 -0400
"The market is now observing itself from another angle as an observer of the observer of the observers."
"Our FCI Rule Suggests The Fed Should Think about Easing"...
On one hand, every economist, virtual portfolio manager, Yahoo Finance Twitter expert, and TV talking head is certain that a September rate hike is inevitable. On the other hand, the bank that runs the NY Fed (and whose chief economist Jan Hatzius has dinner with NY Fed head Bill Dudley at the Pound and Pence every other month), Goldman Sachs is re-doubling down on its call that the Fed will not hike in September. Here are Goldman's seven reasons why not.
While we have exposed the ugly under-belly of today's jobs data, mainstream media is spinning it as a 'Goldilocks' report with enough hits-and-misses for every hawk or dove. The market's initial reaction signals rising expectations of a September rate hike but, as Goldman's Jan Hatzius explains, they continue to expect the FOMC to keep policy rates unchanged at the September 16-17 meeting.
Confused if the Fed will hike rates in September, or December, or never? Don't worry, the Fed is just as confused, at least until NY Fed's Bill Dudley has his biweekly meeting with Goldman's chief economist Jan Hatzius at the Pound & Pence, where over a lobster club, the current Goldmanite tells the former Goldmanite what to do. Which, if the most recent note just released by Goldman is any indication, means that the Fed will sorely disappoint all the "Septemberists", as Janet Yellen will opt for a December rate hike instead.
While we are now well aware of the unpatriotic-ness of tax inversions, Goldman Sachs raises the red flag on another corporate action that is about to become highly politicized - share buybacks. The last (and only) pillar of buying left in the US equity markets is set to draw political attention and likely to gain prominence, particularly ahead of the 2016 election.
Auto sales have recovered to the 16.5-17 million range, and many observers predict further gains in coming years (despite, as we previously noted, missing expectations for the last few months). But to Goldman Sachs, the current sales pace already looks high relative to the medium-term fundamentals; and their assessment of scrappage rates, population growth, licensed drivers, and vehicle ownership suggests that trend demand for autos - excluding cyclical fluctuations - is only 14-15 million units per year.
The last two months have been nothing if not a lesson in the disater that is the economic-forecasters of the world. With a 3-sigma beat followed by a 5-sigma miss, hope abounds that April will be the 'goldilocks' print - just cold enough to leave the Fed on hold and just hot enough to 'prove' growth remains. Goldman expects nonfarm payroll job growth of 230k in April, in line with consensus expectations. While labor market indicators were mixed in April, the employment components of service sector surveys were strong and better weather conditions should provide a boost. In addition, they see some upside risk to the forecast from a calendar effect, and expect the unemployment rate to decline by one-tenth to 5.4% and average hourly earnings to rise 0.2%.
"It is hard to be “reasonably confident” in the inflation outlook given current economic conditions, unless several inflation drivers rise at the same time. We therefore do not have much confidence in the inflation outlook and believe that the right policy would be to put hikes on hold for now."
- Goldman Sachs