August 15, 2016 will mark the 45th anniversary of President Nixon’s decision to close the gold window. U.S. citizens and the government are now beholden to the consequences of years of accumulated debt and weak productivity growth that have occurred since that day. Now, seven years after the end of the financial crisis and recession, these consequences are in plain sight. The Fed finds themselves crippled under an imprudent zero interest rate policy and unable to raise interest rates due to fear of stoking another crisis.
"If all an analyst does is track equities and sometimes commodities, they are never going to grasp what is happening in the economy. Our financial system is not based entirely on numbers and graphs; it is a sociopolitical apparatus. Political and social developments can indeed signal what might happen in stocks and on mainstreet. The relations are there, but they are often indirect. In 2016, EVERYTHING is snowballing with tension. It was only a matter of time before something snapped."
"This is the worst period, I recall since I've been in public service. There's nothing like it, including the crisis — remember October 19th, 1987, when the Dow went down by a record amount 23 percent? That I thought was the bottom of all potential problems. This has a corrosive effect that will not go away. I'd love to find something positive to say."
"Premature tightening of macro policies means risks of a relapse. In 1936, the Fed doubled the reserve requirements for banks and the Treasury began to sterilise gold inflows, slowing the growth of high-powered money. Fiscal policy was tightened, with the fiscal deficit narrowing significantly from 5.1% of GDP in 1936 to 0.1% in 1938. The premature and sharp pace of tightening of policies led to a double-dip in the economy, resulting in a relapse into recession and deflation in 1938."
Waa! It’s not fair! We baby boomers were told that if we worked hard and saved, we could spend the last quarter of our lives living comfortably and free from financial worries. Our parents told us. Our employers told us. Even the government told us. But now that we are reaching retirement age, the promise is beginning to feel like a fraud.
There is one chart that shows that underneath the placid surface of the S&P not all is well. The chart is the following, and demonstrates the substantial recent selloff in US bank stocks, which have been a near-flawless 'canary in the coalmine' ahead of major market inflection points, and which have successfully predicted most major crashes inthe past several decades.
Rates shock: market now pricing only one Fed hike over next 3 years. As bond yields in Europe and Japan hit new historical lows this week, the US 10y yield fell to a 4-year low, just 20bps above its 2012 historical lows. This followed a weak payrolls report, Brexit uncertainty, the beginning of the ECB’s corporate bond buying program and a very dovish June FOMC meeting which significantly cut rate forecasts in the out years.