Because nothing says buy the dip like almost the worst retail sales print since Lehman...
With a 0.3% rise MoM (as expected), Business Inventories grew for the 4th month in a row (but growth slowed in May from April). Sales rose slightly more MoM (+0.4%) but this left the crucial inventories-to-sales ratio deep in recession territory.
The latest BofA Fund Managers Survey has left the report authors stumped: on one hand fund managers have the highest cash levels since Lehman at 5.5% (most since December 2008 and prior to that November 2001), which combined with a capitulation in risk appetite due to ongoing stress in Greece and China would suggest a screaming buy signal... but there is one problem: the same fund managers refuse to actually capitulate and sell, and as a result not only are bank longs at record highs, but equities remains solidly overowned but the group, offset by "protection" levels which are the highest since February 2008. In short, the current positioning is a "complete contrast to 2008."
Greece is saved!!! I mean BANKERS are saved!!! The market will celebrate the total capitulation of Greece to the EU bankers. Nothing has been resolved. The debt won’t be repaid. The can has been kicked again. Portugal, Spain, Italy, Ireland and even France are essentially insolvent. It’s all a ponzi scheme. The bankers win and the people lose. Hope is not a strategy. Hussman’s weekly tome shows how a crisis plays out. Bad shit happens and the powers that be react with bad solutions that keep their wealth and power protected. Their bad solutions lead to a worse crisis. More bad solutions. And so on, until complete collapse.
"The Bank has started work to ensure there are no technical obstacles to our ability to accept equities as collateral should the need arise."
As far as transatlantic security is concerned, the danger posed by the Grexit is not confined to the questions it raises over Greece's NATO membership, or the security ripple effects caused by the Greek economy's collapse. Grexit's danger lies in the fact that it serves as a symbol of the reversal of transatlantic institutions' fortunes in their attempts to build and maintain a hegemonic political, economic and military order in Europe.
When Warren Buffet put $5 billion in Berkshire Hathaway funds into Goldman Sachs the week after Lehman failed, amidst total turmoil and panic, it appeared from the outside a high risk bet. Buffet had long tried to portray himself as a folksy engine of traditional stability, investing only in things he could understand, so jumping into a wholesale run of chained liabilities may have seemed more than slightly out of character. We have no particular issue with Buffet making those investments, only the pretense of intentional mysticism that surrounds them. The reason the criticism of crony-capitalism sticks is because this was not Buffet's first intervention to "save" a famed institution on Wall Street. If Buffet's convention is to stick with "things you know" then he has been right there through the whole of the full-scale wholesale/eurodollar revolution.
The one undeniable truth about the debt drama in Greece is that each of the conventional narratives - financial, political and historical - has some claim of legitimacy. These facts matter not only because contagion from Greek debt defaults may ripple in dangerous ways through the financial system, but because they are also true for many other members of the Eurozone. The Euro is a fatally-flawed monetary concept and what we now seeing playing out was eminently predictable from the start.
A Greek exit will be evidence that the US and IMF influence on Berlin is waning, and will establish Berlin as the new geopolitical player to reckon with.
It's true that “the authorities” want the price of financial assets (stocks, bonds) to go up, and the price of hard assets (commodities) to go down… which is exactly what has happened. So do governments and central banks ever lose? In the old days, they lost all the time. In one extreme example, an individual hedge fund took out the entire Bank of England. But central banks are currently on a massive winning streak. So to answer the question, “Will we ever have a crisis,” you need to answer the question, “Will we ever be allowed to have one?”
This much-needed re-set to an economy that serves the many rather than the few is what the Powers That Be are so fearful of. On the surface, everything still looks remarkably stable in the core industrial economies. But surface stability is all the status quo can manage at this point, because the machine is shaking itself to pieces just maintaining the brittle illusion of prosperity and order. In effect, the status quo has greatly increased the system's vulnerability, fragility and brittleness--the necessary conditions for catastrophic collapse--all in the name of maintaining a completely bogus facade of stability for a few more years.
"With this brewing crisis around Greece, the fact the Shanghai stock market is exposing all kinds of uncomfortable truths about China, (for instance, the lack of competitiveness, overleverage, massive over-expectations in valuations, the failure of the stock market as “bread and circuses” for the middle classes, and the fears of the party at a troublesome time), and the big bond reversal in the last quarter… and its perhaps surprising that things aren’t a whole lot worse. It’s no wonder global commodity markets are flimsier than a chocolate tea-pot. The first half of the year was pretty torrid… but it could still prove pleasant compared to what may be coming. I’m wondering if Global Markets are poised on the edge of the precipice about to take a step forward?"
The rescue of AIG should not serve as a source of comfort to investors.
Nobody apparently learned much from the whole bubble-bust affair as banks and financial firms are at it again, this time in corporate debt. The artificial suppression of default, in no small part to perceptions of those bank reserves under QE (just like perceptions of balance sheet capacity pre-crisis), has turned junk debt into the vehicle of choice for yet another cycle of “reach for yield.” In the past two bubble cycles, we see how monetary policy creates the conditions for them but also in parallel for their disorderly closure. It isn’t money that the FOMC directs but rather unrealistic, to the extreme, expectations and extrapolations. Once those become encoded in financial equations, the illusion becomes real supply.