What does an economy do when it no longer produces enough goods to pay its own bills? It “consumes”, meaning it cannibalizes (i.e. consumes) all of the accumulated wealth of that society. And when the “consumer economy” has cannibalized all that wealth? It turns to debt.
While a skim of the FOMC Minutes suggest the committee is balanced on when (or if) to raise rates, WSJ's Jon Hilsenrath has just provided some more color confirming that "Fed officials are cautious about overseas developments but appear unalarmed," suggesting their confident economic growth forecasts point to a September rate hike (unless the whole world collapses obviously).
Statistics have become very misleading: in particular we are being badly misled into believing that the US is teetering on the edge of price deflation, because the US official rate of inflation is barely positive, a level that US bonds and therefore all other financial markets have priced in without accepting it is actually significantly higher.
Courtesy of central planning, virtually every single capital market has become an illiquid penny stock, with wild swings from one extreme to the other, the latest example of this being the Shanghai Composite, which after soaring 10% in the past ten days, crashed 6.5% overnight tumbling 321 points to 4620 after it briefly rose just shy of 5000. This was the biggest drop since January 19 when the Composite dropped 7.7% only to blast higher ever since. Putting the "plunge" in perspective, now the SHCOMP is back to levels not seen in... one week.
Did you know that if you took every single penny away from everyone in the United States that it still would not be enough to pay off the national debt? Today, the debt of the federal government exceeds $145,000 per household, and it is getting worse with each passing year. Many believe that if we paid it off a little bit at a time that we could eventually pay it all off, but as you will see below that isn’t going to work either.
As a diversification, art has some merit but only as a small part of an overall portfolio. For those of us who cannot afford a Picasso - as the great heritage of western art continues to be shuttered away in private Xanadus - gold remains an accessible and ideal store of value.
Did you know that 89 percent of all minimum wage workers in the United States are not teens? At this point, the average age of a minimum wage worker in this country is 36, and 56 percent of them are women. Millions upon millions of Americans are working as hard as they can (often that means two or three jobs), and yet despite all of their hard work they still find themselves mired in poverty. One of the big reasons for this is that we have created two classes of workers in the United States.
The past few years have been a period of relative stability for the U.S. economy. A lot of people have been lulled into a false sense of security during that time. These people have become convinced that our problems have been fixed. But they haven’t been fixed at all. In fact, our problems are far, far worse than they were just prior to the last financial crisis. Don’t let this next recession take you by surprise.
Banks and insolvent governments desperate for cash likely also dislike safety deposit boxes as they are a means for people to protect and grow wealth and protect themselves from bail-ins and deposit confiscation. A percentage of box holders also store cash and bullion.
It is a centrally-planned "market" and everyone is merely a bystander. Last night, following a dramatic China PMI miss, which as previously reported tumbled to the worst print since early 2014 and is flashing a "hard-landing" warning, the Shanghai Composite first dipped then spiked because all a "hard-landing" means is even more liquidity by the PBOC (which as we suggested a month ago will be the last entrant into the QE party before everyone falls apart). Then, this morning, a surprise beat by the German (and Eurozone) PMI was likewise interpreted by the algos as a catalyst to buy, and at this moment both European stock and US equity futures are their session highs. So, to summarize, for anyone confused: both good and bad data is a green light to buy stocks. In fact, all one needs is a flashing red headline to launch the momentum igniting algos into a buying spasm.
How can the government be telling us that we are nearly at “full employment” when so many people can’t find work? Could it be possible that the government numbers are misleading? It is our contention that the official “unemployment rate” has become so politicized and so manipulated that it is essentially meaningless at this point.
As one wit noted, it appears former White House Press Secretary Jay Carney is moving from one non-profit organization to another. As Politico reports, Carney joins Amazon on Monday as senior vice president for Worldwide Corporate Affairs - reporting directly to Jeff Bezos and topping current veteran PR Chief Paul Misener.
The Tulip Lunacy in the Bond market is just off the charts stupidity at its finest! The U.S. 2-Year Bond is currently pricing in no rate hike, and in fact, a negative rate of inflation over the next two years....
Gold has surged 7.2% already in January, outperforming gold in dollars which is up 4.8%, and building on the 12% gains seen in 2014. Market participants are increasing allocations to gold in order to hedge a ‘Grexit’ and risks posed by euro money printing.
The December FOMC statement revealed a lack of agreement among Fed officials over communication, BofAML explains, as evidenced by the complicated extension of the forward guidance language and the dissents from both sides of the hawk-dove spectrum. While Standard Chartered expects the Minutes to show The Fed in no rush to raise rates, UBS warns the Minutes “could upset market perceptions of what is important to the Fed’s decision-making process."