Four years and three prime ministers after Greece’s then premier, George Papandreou, requested an international bailout that slammed his nation with painful austerity (but saved the EU banks), Bloomberg notes that political instability still haunts Greece. Despite issuing bonds and GDP coming in slightly better than expected (still in recession/depression), former Prime Minister Costas Simitis of Pasok admits "The euro crisis seems to be over but its causes have not withered away," and if election polls are anything to go by, the fragile fraud that is a Greek recovery is set for problems Samaras' governing coalition as Syriza (the opposition that rejected the bailout terms) support soars and Pasok plunged to sixth place with just 5.5% support. In addition, retroactive taxes on gains are weighing on European bond markets (and Greek stocks).
The Wall Street Journal appears to be saving money by dispensing with journalists and using human drop boxes instead. Thus in the New York markets the “Hilsenramp” signal is already a well-known event which occurs at approximately 3pm on/during/after Fed meeting days, and is posted under the byline of “Jon Hilsenrath”. In simple packaged form it provides fast money speculators with a message from the B-Dud, otherwise known as William Dudley, President of the New York Fed, on why the Fed will back-up another run at still higher record highs. So today comes a drop box message with respect to ECB policy posted under the byline of “Brian Blackstone”.
Remember all of those credit card and loan offers you used to receive in the mail? Bad credit? No credit? No problem. 0% APR for the first six months. Free balance transfers. No money down. And my personal favorite– no credit check. These were all classic signs that the mother of all liquidity bubbles was upon us. Looking at the expansion of credit across the West, though, it’s happening again. Fool me twice, shame on me. But this is a worldwide phenomenon now.
The still-dominant consensus view that America’s economy is poised to single-handedly yank the world out of its lethargy is likely to be disappointed once again with the odds high that our economy will remain burdened by growth-inhibiting monetary policies. In addition, it will continue to be negatively impacted by various other impediments, including a populace that is increasingly under-employed, an unwieldy and inscrutable tax code, a Rube Goldberg-like healthcare system, an increasingly ossified infrastructure, and a regulatory apparatus that congests the lungs of our economy, small businesses... weaning the stock market off of casino capitalism promises to be anything but pain-free. But did any responsible adult really believe there would be no pay-back for all these years of the Fed’s force-fed gains? If you do, you probably also believe foie gras grows on trees.
The Mobile Creative credo: trust the network, not the corporation or the state.
The Mobile Creative class operates outside these two states of dependency. It also operates outside the conventional labor-management divide of Marxism and socialism. Since global capital is mobile, and the state enforces central banking and cartel pricing, the class of "owners" and the state are one entity. You either resist the entire state-cartel system or your resistance is nothing but meaningless gestures aimed at chimera.
The almost ubiquitous overnight levitation (thanks to JPY - bouncing off 102.00 overnight; and more Pharma M&A exuberance) gave way very quickly to more of the same from Friday as the high-growth, high-hope, high-hype, high-beta stocks get slammed. The dump of US equity indices at the open was then met with a "well, it's Tuesday tomorrow... oh and FOMC" mad panic buying scramble... Then the 'great' news that pendong home sales dropped YoY for the 6th month in a row confirmed the momo spike and sent bond yields spiking and gold prices tumbling because one data point MoM is all that we need to spark the algos into action... If you want to know why this idiocy is happening - look no further than USDJPY...
Bad Government and Central Bank Policy Are the MAIN CAUSE of Runaway Inequality
This eruption of late cycle bubble finance hardly needs comment. Below are highlights from a Bloomberg Story detailing the recent surge of leveraged recaps by the big LBO operators. These maneuvers amount to piling more debt on already heavily leveraged companies, but not to fund Capex or new products, technology or process improvements that might give these debt mules an outside chance of survival over time. No, the freshly borrowed cash from a leveraged recap often does not even leave the closing conference room - it just gets recycled out as a dividend to the LBO sponsors who otherwise hold a tiny sliver of equity at the bottom of the capital structure. This is financial strip-mining pure and simple - and is a by-product of the Fed’s insane repression of interest rates.
The 21st century is still young, but it has already presented the United States with a series of internal and external challenges. History tells us that when one hegemon is in decline, international relations become more complex and uncertainties increase the risks. We may be in such a period today.
The verbal combat continues as the US resorts to using Jack Lew in its latest barrage of panic-inducing threats:
*LEW SAYS RUSSIA NEEDS TO 'TAKE A STEP BACK'; U.S., ALLIES WORKING TO ENSURE RUSSIANS 'PAY THE PRICE'
*LEW SAYS U.S. PREPARED TO ACT IF RUSSIA DOESN'T STEP BACK
As a gentle reminder, while the Ruble has weakened since the sanctions (oh and Russia's credit rating has been downgraded), it is US equities that suffered the largest "costs"...
The similarities between 2007 and 2014 continue to pile up. And you know what they say - if we do not learn from history we are doomed to repeat it. Just like seven years ago, the stock market has soared to all-time high after all-time high. Just like seven years ago, the authorities are telling us that there is nothing to worry about. Unfortunately, just like seven years ago, a housing bubble is imploding and another great economic crisis is rapidly approaching.
For all the talk about QE this, HFT that, crony capitalism, cold war 2.0, hyperinflation, hyperdeflation, social inequality, Keynesian dead end, global financial meltdown, perhaps the one most tangible threat to mankind as a whole (and to the future underfunded healthcare costs) is something fatr simpler: the rise of the fatty.
It almost happened in 2008... but as this excerpt from Casey Research's Meltdown America documentary notes, it appears the US military is preparing for the potential collapse of the US dollar. As Scott Taylor warns, "...if the carrot (of credit worthiness) is fading, and the stick (of military threat) is weak, that empire is going to come down in a hurry..." which leaves a serial economic mis-manager only one option to 'secure' the empire.
Public Service Annoucement: The Most Likely Armageddon Threat … Preventable for a Small Amount of Money