Goldman Raises US Recession Odds To 40%; Sees More Fed Easing, Expects Recession In Germany And FranceSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 10/03/2011 18:37 -0500
We won't comment on the supreme imbecility of being able to predict something as amorphous as a recession in decile increments, but for what it's worth, here it is. Just out from the crack Goldman tag team of Hatzius and Dominic Wilson, who usually don't work together unless they have to make some big statement: "We now see the risk of a renewed US recession as around 40%." (this was 30% before - expect every other Wall Street idiot to follow suit with an identical prediction). Also, those wondering if Goldman is content with getting shut out on its IOER cut demand, we have the answer: no. To wit: "We expect additional easing of monetary policy beyond the ‘operation twist’ announced recently, although this may not come until sometime in the first half of 2012. In addition, the market’s focus on changes in the Fed’s guidance on future policies - including a greater emphasis on the employment part of the ‘dual mandate’ and/or a temporarily higher inflation target - is likely to intensify." Lastly, as relates to the saving grace in Europe, little surprise there - Goldman, whose plant Mario Draghi is about to take over the ECB, expects the very same ECB to open the spigots: "The increase in financial risk is likely to lead the European Central Bank to ease its liquidity policies further this month, and the economic weakness will probably result in a cut in the repo rate by 50bp to 1% by December." As for European economic prospects, well, sacrifices will be made: "we now expect a mild recession in Germany and France, and a deeper downturn in the Euro periphery." And with a former Goldmanite about to take over the European money issuance authority, we have a bad feeling about what will transpire in Europe after October 31, when Trichet finally exits stage left.
Equities ended on a very weak note, bringing the worst quarter since Q4 2008 for the S&P500 to an end. Stocks remain, perhaps remarkably to some, expensive relative to credit markets - especially HY which is feeling significant pain as issuance volumes drop 75% in the quarter to their lowest since Q2 2009. While stocks dropped around 2 standard deviations from a long-run mean, Treasuries did even better and rallied around 3.5 standard deviations - the second largest percentage shift in yields ever (once again Q4 2008 was the only better). Truly a remarkable day, week, month, and quarter and to be frank, one that shows no signs of slowing and as far as the rotation/re-allocation trade from bonds to stocks, we suspect risk-aversion will keep that on hold with a 4 standard deviation jump in VIX.
The big news yesterday was not of the twist type, but of another dance number (or slumber) between Bernanke and Obama.
On 17 September The Wall Street Journal published a fascinating article on “peak oil,” “There Will Be Oil,” written by Daniel Yergin, chairman of IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates, an energy research and consulting firm and deserved recipient of Pulitzer Prize for his 1991 book, The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money and Power. According to The Wall Street Journal, “There Will Be Oil” “is adapted from his new book, The Quest: Energy, Security and the Remaking of the Modern World.” The essay will doubtless have widespread influence amongst prosperous The Wall Street Journal readers, but in his glib dismissal of “peak oil” theory advocates, Yergin glosses or ignores a number of issues fundamental to the larger picture, for whatever reason, and these oversights should be considered in any evaluation of the piece and the peak oil “specter.”
Today's Import and Export Price Index, while not market moving, showed that the US still has some residual inflation to import (Prices of goods imported from China rose by 0.1% in August, and 3.6% from a year earlier). The August headline number came at -0.4%, on expectations of a -0.8% drop (0.3% previously), driven entirely by Fuel Imports which dropped by -1.8%, following a 0.4% increase in July, and a drop of -2.3% previously. In other words, the Fuel component of importer prices follows the Russell 2000 with a correlation of 1.000. AS for non-fuel imports, these was positive as has been the case for 12 months in a row with the exception of June 2011, when it was unchanged. Should QE3 be announced and priced in in one week, look for Brent, and its far less relevant cousin WTI, to soar, sending import prices to the moon once again, and so forth: we all know how the play ends.
No, it's not some zombie Enron coming back from the graveyard behind Chapter 7 court. Nor is it the terrorizers. It is just some downed powerlines. However for anyone dumb enough to wish to take advantage of the chaos and immigrate: sorry, the border is running on backup generators.
- Yuan Convertible By 2015: China to EU Chamber (Bloomberg)
- European Bailout Tensions Threaten German Coalition (WSJ)
- Greek backsliding sparks euro exit talk (Reuters)
- Perry, Romney Clash at Debate (WSJ)
- Fitch warns of downgrades for China (Reuters)
- Mists Clear on China's Policy Outlook (WSJ)
- Dutch PM calls for Europe budget tsar (FT)
- Libor inquiry looks at criminal angle (FT)
- Business Leaders Call for More Central Bank Stimulus to Aid Economy (WSJ)
- The German Constitutional Court rejected lawsuits aimed at blocking Germany's participation in the Eurozone bailouts; however said that the ruling is not a blank cheque for further bailouts
- A Eurozone source said that the IMF has agreed to substantially lower the initial estimate for the European banking sector's capital needs
- According to an article in the Irish Times, private sector participation in the Greek debt swap has so far reached the 75% mark
- Higher than expected German industrial production data rendered support to EUR, however GBP came under pressure following worse than expected industrial production data from the UK
A mystery to me. My conclusion is that more government intervention in the oil market about to happen.
Confirming that this is a market for idiots, by idiots, was the 4 am response in the price of gold, which following the SNB's Swiss Franc peg announcement did not surge, as it should have considering that the SNB just singularly changed the role of the CHF from a "flight to safety" to a carry currency, making gold the only island of stability in a world of fiat insanity, but instead plunged by over $50. Subsequent attempts to regain the $1900+ level were met with constant program selling for no other reason, than just because someone 'else' was selling. Of course, the logic is completely and totally the opposite. But don't take our word for it: here is Reuters: "Switzerland's decision to peg the erstwhile safe-haven franc to the euro may finally give gold bugs the chance to see prices hit the once-unimaginable $2,000 an ounce mark, as the metal holds on track for its strongest annual rally in three decades. By buying euros in unlimited amounts to weaken the franc, the SNB is in effect putting more of its own currency into circulation, which threatens to trigger inflation. It has also impacted the Swiss currency's status as a haven in its own right. While gold prices initially dipped as the move sparked a rush to liquidity in the form of other currencies such as the dollar, the SNB move is likely to lend firm support to gold in the medium term, analysts said." Precisely. And it is not only Reuters: Bank of America's MacNeill Curry said that Gold will probably rise to $2,050 this year. The rationale - identical to the above: SNB decision to peg franc to euro should also support gold. "They have taken out one of the big safe-haven assets, which is the Swissie." As for the amount of time the idiots will need to realize that QE3 coupled with the SNB action means that gold is now valued somewhere well over $2000: at least a few days...Which everyone who looks for even the smallest golden pullback will be happy to take advantage of.
Americans pay 43 cents in taxes out of the $3.70 they pay at the pump for a gallon of gasoline. A driver in the UK is paying $4 per gallon in taxes out of the $9 per gallon cost. Gasoline costs between $8 and $9 per gallon across Europe today. The extreme level of gas taxes certainly reduces car sizes, consumption and traffic. Too bad the mad socialists across Europe spent the taxes on expanding their welfare states and promising even more to their populations. Maybe a $6 per gallon tax will do the trick. Forcing Americans to drive less by doubling the gas tax is a quaint idea, but it is too late in the game. Europe is still made up of small towns and cities with the populations still fairly consolidated. Biking, walking and small rail travel is easy and feasible. The sprawling suburban enclaves that proliferate across the American countryside, dotted by thousands of malls and McMansion communities, accessible only by automobiles, make it impossible to implement a rational energy efficient model for moving forward. We cannot reverse 60 years of irrationality. Even without higher gas taxes, the price of gasoline will move relentlessly higher due to the stealth tax of currency debasement.
We want you to prop up the stock markets. Everybody knows it's a Ponzi scheme that will collapse without your support. You don't want us to end up like Bernie Madoff's clients. No, Ben, we love Ponzi schemes. We get in early and get out before they collapse. That's why we're rich. The bad thing is that they sometimes collapse before we can get out. But you've bailed us out twice in the last couple of years.