Goosing stocks ever higher will eventually push wealth inequality to the point that it unleashes social instability.
A central bank was (and still is officially) supposed to be independent of politics, to be a buffer between a society’s long term interests and a politician’s short-term ones. In particular, no-one should issue huge amounts of money to make it look like they were just awesome leaders that make everyone rich, while sinking the future of a society in the process. Today’s central banks do nothing BUT engage in short term policies that keep incumbents as happy as they can be in bad economic circumstances. Central banks have become political instruments that pamper to the tastes of whoever may be in charge on any given day, which is the exact 180º opposite of why they exist in the first place. What drives central bankers in November 2014 is fear, pure and simple, if not absolute screaming panic.
"We are living in an aberrational world. It’s all driven by an orgy of money printing...it sure feels to me that we’re nearing the day that it spins out of control. By the end of this year or by the start of next year, without QE, the market is going down."
"To maintain your sanity, you need to turn off the hype machines of some of the financial media like CNBC."
A year ago, when we reported that "Hedge Funds Underperform The S&P For The 5th Year In A Row", we thought there is no way this underperformance can continue: after all who in their right mind could possibly anticipate that a "risk-free" centrally-planned world could last for 6 years (well, maybe the USSR). Back then we explained this now chronic, "new abnormal", regime as follows: "hedge funds are "hedge" funds and appear to have done a great job managing performance over time... but in the new normal world in which we live, where downside risk is irrelevant (until it runs you over), all that matters is return (not risk-reward)." And yes, as the chart below shows we were wrong: because as of this moment the average hedge fund is not only underperforming the market for a record, 6th year in a row but as Goldman pointed out last night, the return of the entire hedge fund universe as of NOvember 19 is... negative 1%.
Imagine… if you could press a magic button… and your wealth expanded by hundreds of thousands…if not millions of Dollars.
Janet Yellen will be pleased... or not. Producer Price Inflation printed hotter than expected across all its various incarnations (good news, no deflation; bad news, no deflation excuse for The Fed). Ex Food-and-Energy prices rose 1.8% YoY (4-month highs), considerably more than the 1.5% expectations but surged 0.4% MoM - the most in 16 months. PPI Final Demand rose 1.5% YoY (1.3% exp). The rise in PPI appears driven by Food prices which are up 1.0% (the most since April) and Trade PPI (+1.5%) thanks to a 26.1% jump in margins for fuels and lubricants retailing (under new calculation methods) accounted for nearly 40% of the rise in final demand.
As the generational war heats up, we should all remember the source of all the bubbles and all the policies that could only result in generational poverty: the Federal Reserve.
The Fed remains fixated on financial-market feedback – and thus ensnared in a potentially deadly trap. Fearful of market disruptions, the Fed has embraced a slow-motion exit from QE. By splitting hairs over the meaning of the words “considerable time” in describing the expected timeline for policy normalization, Fed Chair Janet Yellen is falling into the same trap. Such a fruitless debate borrows a page from the Bernanke-Greenspan incremental normalization script of 2004-2006. Sadly, we know all too well how that story ended.
Our political-financial system has gone from the dysfunctional to the failed to the surreal. Speculation, once left to individuals and investors, is now federally sponsored, subsidized and institutionalized. When this sham finally buckles and the next shoe falls and rates do eventually rise, the stock market will tank, liquidity will die, and the broader economy will plunge into a worse Depression than before. We are not there yet because of these coordinated moves and the political force behind them. But we are on a precarious path to that inevitability.
Game over, man: the Fed won.
Speaking from The Bank of France is crap-covered Paris, Janet Yellen stated that "bond purchases have ben effective", and encouraged Mario Draghi to print moar, noting "central banks need to be prepared to employ all available tools, including unconventional policies, to support economic growth and reach their inflation targets," but warned from the other side of the her two faces, that, "policy normalization will lead to heightened volatility."
In October the US economy added the most waiters and bartenders in over a year. In fact at 42K, one in every five jobs "created" in the US economy went to a bartender, or a waiter.
The Keynesian notions of “potential GDP” and “aggregate demand” have no basis in the real world. They are revealed doctrine. They are the religion of the state’s economic policy apparatus. Its bad enough that this destructive economic religion leads to the farcical forecasting games evident in the EC’s chronic updates and slow-walks of the GDP numbers down. The evil, however, is that the Keynesian apparatchiks will not desist in their destructive money printing and borrowing until they have suffocated free market capitalism entirely, and have monetized so much public debt that the financial system simply implodes.
If the GOP takes the senate, the days of the Fed doing whatever it wants will have ended. This may well in fact be what pops the US stock market bubble. The GOP hasn't controlled the Senate at any point since the Crisis hit in 2008. If the GOP controls both the House and the Senate, the Fed will be in for SERIOUS problems.
"For real world people, it is a simple common sense that wealth does not fall from the sky. It has to be produced. It is beyond me that such an obvious truth is so difficult for elite economists to comprehend. This is largely because they just sit in the ivy tower, imagining the magic golden touch such as monetary and fiscal policies, mocking practitioners. They are so ignorant and arrogant."