No, Ben S. Bernanke will be someday remembered as the world’s most destructive battleship admiral. Not only was he fighting the last war, but his whole multi-trillion money printing campaign after September 15, 2008 was aimed at avoiding an historical Fed mistake that had never even happened!
"It could simply be 1998/99 all over again. After all, a “speculative blow-off” in asset prices is one logical conclusion to a world dominated by central bank liquidity, technological disruption & wealth inequality. What worked back then? What rose from the rubble of 1998? How would one position for one final melt-up on Wall Street..."
"On the current trajectory, we doubt the market can stay stable beyond a few quarters, especially if some SOE and/or LGFV bonds indeed default."
- Bank of America
History supports two narratives of rising inequality leading to social disintegration and political instability: one is inequality between the top classes and everyone else, and the the other is rising inequality within the top classes. When the pie starts shrinking and there aren't enough slices to satisfy the rising expectations of the top class, the elites splinter in profound political disunity.
"... you can bet that whenever an earthquake like this happens, especially when it’s triggered by two invisible tectonic plates like put gamma and call gamma and then cascades through arcane geologies like options expiration dates and ETF pricing software, both the media and self-interested parties will begin a mad rush to find someone or something a tad bit more obvious to blame. So you end up getting every investment process that uses a computer – from high frequency trading to risk parity allocations to derivative hedges – all lumped together in one big shotgun blast"
Central banks are fearful and unwilling to normalize but artificially high valuations across asset classes cannot be sustained indefinitely absent fundamental global growth. Central banks are in a prison of their own design and we are trapped with them. The next great crash will occur when we collectively realize that the institutions that we trusted to remove risk are actually the source of it. The truth is that global central banks cannot remove extraordinary monetary accommodation without risking a complete collapse of the system, but the longer they wait the more they risk their own credibility, and the worse that inevitable collapse will be. In the Prisoner’s Dilemma, global central banks have set up the greatest volatility trade in history.
With VIX collapsing 10 days straight (for the first time since October 2010), one might be forgiven for thinking "everything is awesome." However, as always, the real news is in the nuance that the mainstream often misses. As VIX has plunged (complacency about 'normal' risk), Skew (which measures extreme tail risk) has exploded to its highest ever...
"It's really beginning to 'feel' close. The first major event could happen anytime now." The coming storm promises to be the largest of our lifetime. We shall all be affected by it. A few will profit from it. Some will be mildly negatively impacted; most will be hit hard, due to being unprepared.
Don't look at their corporate bonds...
Goodbye to "fat fingers" being blamed for flash crashes, and welcome to the Heisenberg uncertainty market: you can have your 1 cent bid/ask spreads... but you can't have any real market depth at the same time.
"The dollar fx basis declined further over the past two months. The 5-year dollar fx basis weighted across six DM currencies declined to a new low for the year and the lowest level since the summer of 2012 during the euro debt crisis. In all, continued monetary policy divergence between the US and the rest of the world as well as retrenchment of EM corporates from dollar funding markets are sustaining an imbalance in funding markets making it likely that the current episode of dollar funding shortage will persist."
"We believe the US will be in recession before the end of 2016 and then things will be really interesting. How will the public receive news of more QE, NIRP, forward guidance, cash bans and capital control in a time when faith in central bank omnipotence disappears?"
It takes ignorance on an almost unbelievable level to try to claim that “nothing is happening” in the financial world right now.
- Asia shares rally, but on track for worst quarterly loss in four years (Reuters)
- Global Rally Shows Relief at End of $11 Trillion Stocks Meltdown (BBG)
- Glencore Extends Rebound as Turmoil Shows Signs of Easing (BBG)
- Putin wins parliamentary backing for air strikes in Syria (Reuters)
- China Cuts Minimum Home Down Payment for First-Time Buyers (BBG)
- German Unemployment Unexpectedly Rises in Sign of Economic Risks (BBG)
- Japan Industrial Output Slide Hints at Recession (WSJ)