Monetary Base

US Futures Unchanged As Europe Stocks Rise; Strong Dollar Pressures Oil

There has been little notable market moves overnight, with the record rally in the S&P500 set to continue and European stocks climbing as German IFO business confidence proved more resilient than economists predicted in the month after Britain voted to leave the European Union, falling less than expected from 108.7 to 108.3, above the 107.5 consensus, with expectations printing at 102.2 above the 101.2 expected. Bonds fell with gold as the dollar gained before central bank meetings in the U.S. and Japan this week.

A Fully Automated Stock Market Blow-Off?

About one month ago we read that risk parity and volatility targeting funds had record exposure to US equities. It seems unlikely that this has changed – what is likely though is that the exposure of CTAs has in the meantime increased as well, as the recent breakout to new highs should be delivering the required technical signals. All these strategies are more or less automated (essentially they are simply quantitative and/or technical strategies relying on inter-market correlations, volatility measures, and/or momentum). We believe this is an inherently very dangerous situation.

What Is Helicopter Money? Goldman Explains

Here is a useful primer for all those wondering just what is coming, courtesy of Goldman Sachs, which explains the nuances of monetary policy's endgame: Helicopter Money.

The Gold Standard: Friend Of The Middle Class

If policy makers truly want to improve the condition of the middle class, which consists primarily of wage earners, a return to a monetary order of “hard money” is an economic and moral necessity.

August 15th - The Date Which Will Live In Monetary Infamy

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.

Imagine...

Now imagine what might happen next...

The Economy Is Not What It Seems

The last two-quarters of economic growth have been less than exciting, to say the least. However, these rather dismal quarters of growth come at a time when oil prices and gasoline prices have plummeted AND amidst one of the warmest winters in 65-plus years. Why is that important? Because falling oil and gas prices and warm weather are effective “tax credits” to consumers as they spend less on gasoline, heating oil and electricity. Combined, these “savings” account for more than $200 billion in additional spending power for the consumer. So, personal consumption expenditures should be rising, right?

Global Stocks Continue To Plunge As Central Banks Disappoint, Brexit Looms

Futures on the S&P 500 slipped 0.3%, as U.S. equities are on track to extend losses for a sixth day.  Europe's Stoxx 600 fell to a four-month low, sliding 1% for its sixth decline in seven days, and U.S. crude retreated for a sixth day in the longest losing streak since February. Bond yields sank to records in Germany, Australia after Japan as Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said next week’s U.K. vote on European Union membership was a factor in the decision to hold interest rates steady. The Yen surged more than 2% as the Bank of Japan refrained from adding any new stimulus,

Fitch Cuts Japan's Credit Outlook To Negative

Following Abe's decision to delay the April 2017 increase in the consumption tax, warnings about Japan's rating (recall that Japan's consolidated debt/GDP ratio is the highest in the world at 400%) were inevitable, and moments ago Fitch was the first to come out and while "affirming" Japan's AA rating, it was the first major agency to cut its outlook from Stable to Negative. Expect the other two big agencies to do the same, followed inevitably by downgrades.

Global Markets Flat, Coiled Ahead Of Today's Risk Events: OPEC And The ECB

There are just two drivers setting the pace for today's risk mood: the OPEC meeting in Vienna which started a few hours ago, and the ECB's announcement as well as Mario Draghi's press statement due out just one hour from now. Both are expected to not reveal any major surprises, with OPEC almost certainly unable to implement a production freeze while the ECB is expected to remain on hold and provide some more details on its corporate bond buying program, although there is some modest risk of upside surprise in either case.