Every Federal Reserve Chair since 1979 has faced a notable challenge in the first 12-20 months of their tenure – something akin to capital markets “Bullies” hazing the new kid at school. Paul Volcker had the 1979-1980 Iranian oil shock/recession, Alan Greenspan the 1987 Stock Market Crash, and Ben Bernanke the 2007 Financial Crisis. Their responses shaped market perceptions about Federal Reserve priorities and set the stage for the remainder of their tenures, from Inflation-Fighting Volcker to Save-the-World Bernanke. Now, it is Chair Yellen’s turn...
The week's weakness started with the surprise yuan devaluation, but the moves in everythingfrom crude oil to U.S. government debt signal that investors and traders are telling the Fed to hold off for now. Will U.S. policymakers listen? Make no mistake: the Fed marches to its own data-dependent drum. These indicators will only tell you if the central bank has the right tempo to support markets.
The headlines are dramatic, ugly and depressing to anyone who holds gold right now. Broad market sentiment has shifted from disdain and dismissive to highly negative. Hedge funds are shorting gold aggressively, hedge funds that own gold are being "outed". The market pundits are are sticking the proverbial knife in and twisting it with glee.
Back in the 1960s, Alan Greenspan wrote a well-known essay that to this day is an essential read for anyone who wants to understand the present-day monetary and economic system (which is a kind of “fascism lite” type of statism, masquerading as capitalism) and especially the almost visceral hate etatistes harbor toward gold. Greenspan’s essay is entitled “Gold and Economic Freedom”, and as the title already suggests, the two are intimately connected.
"I have lost everything. I don't know what to do... I trusted the government too much... I won't touch stocks again, I have ruined everyone in my family." "I will sell all my shares tomorrow if there is a chance." ... "I am pretty sure that if the government does not come to rescue us, the situation will get much worse," ... "I managed to sell them all at a loss today, and so I lost 320,000 yuan in two days. I don't have confidence on the market any more. I don't want to get into the market again."
Update: CHINA TO CONTINUE STABILIZING MARKET, SENTIMENT, PREVENT RISKS, CSRC SAYS
As Beijing pledges to remain supportive amid a harrowing decline in Chinese stocks, China may find itself with no exit strategy for its plunge protection program. As BofAML notes, "An 'indefinite' holding period is certainly possible – it’s how the government had dealt with the last round of bad debts in the banking system, i.e., by shifting them to bad banks and never crystalizing the losses. But even under such a scenario, there may be unintended consequences."
Moments ago MarketNews reported that during today's "marathon governmental meeting" in which Greek PM Alexis Tsipras sat down with his party to hammer out and complete the "compromise" Greek proposal to be sent to the Troika before midnight, the prime minister told his ministers that he was "ready for compromises," suggesting he was willing to clash with the ultra-left part his party, Syriza. So far so good, and perhaps indeed suggestive of a big step down. The problem emerges upon a closer read of the proposal, which is clearly not nearly "capitulatory" enough.
China Soars Most Since 2009 After Government Threatens Short Sellers With Arrest, Global Stocks SurgeSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 07/09/2015 08:57 -0400
The Shanghai Composite Index had dropped as much as 3.8% to a 4 month low before the news that the cops were going to arrest anyone who was caught "maliciously shorting stocks", when everything suddenly took off, and the SHCOMP closed a "Dramamine required" 5.8% higher, the biggest daily increase since March 2009! Stocks around the globe followed, with US equity futures wiping out much of yesterday's losses and up 1% at last check.
Even after this somewhat catastrophic drop, BofAML warns the Chinese market looks expensive. Deleveraging is likely far from over, they add, concluding that the market is a "falling knife" and only direct buying by the government will mark the bottom. As Deutsche adds, "so large are the losses for the 20 million accounts opened from mid-April to mid-June that in aggregate no money has been made for 2 years."
As one local reporter put it, despite being told not to say anything negative, "the government appeared to have lost its ability to manage the market." Chinese stocks are down 4-5% at the open, pressing new cycle lows with Shenzhen and CHINEXT now down 25% from last week. As The South China Morning Post reports, many investors said the government was at least partly to blame for the collapse because it encouraged them to go into the market - for months, state-owned media have issued daily commentaries to encourage people to load up on shares.
Mainstream media-ites continue to believe that a long period of low volatility is a sign of market health. In fact it is quite the opposite. A sleep-walking market is a reflection of complete disregard as to risk. Markets enter such periods of complacency when there has been a long uptrend, with periods of very low volatility reflecting where the market has come from, not where it is going. Such periods are far more likely to be a sign of an impending trend reversal than of a continued uptrend.
"The growing size of the asset management industry may have increased the risk of liquidity illusion: market liquidity seems to be ample in normal times, but vanishes quickly during market stress. This liquidity may be artificial and less robust in the event of market turbulence." So what's the solution? Unfortunately there isn't one. Instead, fund managers are simply resorting to emergency liquidity lines with banks which is just another manifestation of using cheap cash to delay the Schumpeterian endgame scenario which, if ever allowed to play out, will finally purge capital markets, reset the system, and free the world from the nefarious clutches of central bankers gone mad with delusions of Keynesian grandeur.
While China is rather proud of the fact that it hasn't yet implemented outright QE, Beijing has now put in place a bewildering hodge-podge of hastily construed easing measures that can't seem to get out of their own way.
"Don't fight the Fed," unless The Fed says "sell." That appears to be the message loud and clear from an absolutely exuberant Biotech bubble that is now up over 75% from Janet Yellen's "stretched valuations" warning last year...