Monetary Policy

3 Charts The Fed Should Consider

With economic growth currently running at THE LOWEST average growth rate in American history, the time frame between the first rate and next recession will not be long. For investors, there is little “reward” in the current environment for taking on excess exposure to risk assets. The deteriorating junk bond market, declining profitability and weak economic underpinnings suggest that the clock has already begun ticking. The only question is how much time is left.

Common Sense Declares "Something Far Worse Is At Work In The Economy"

Since that transition in mid-year, oil prices have again persisted rather than rebounded and of late have turned to new “cycle” lows. Yet, neither transportation nor retailers have traded as if further benefits were accruing in terms of that “stimulus.” This is not to say that stock investors have boarded the recession view, only that there is a clear shift in risk perception that has undoubtedly rebalanced and reprioritized risk parameters. If the left side of the chart below was risks being viewed very favorable in terms of the economic fallout of low oil prices, the right is undoubtedly (much) less certain.

Virtually Every Wall Street Strategist Expects "No End To The Bull Market"

Soaring junk bond redemptions; rising investment grade (and high yield) yields pressuring corporate buybacks; record corporate leverage and sliding cash flows; Chinese devaluation back with a vengeance; capital outflows from EM accelerating as dollar strength returns; corporate profits and revenues in recession; CEOs most pessimistic since 2012, oh and the Fed's first rate hike in 9 years expected to soak up as much as $800 billion in excess liquidity. To Wall Street's strategists none of this matters: as Bloomberg observes, virtually every single sellside forecasts expects "no end to the bull market."

10 Investor Warning Signs For 2016

Wall Street’s proclivity to create serial equity bubbles off the back of cheap credit has once again set up the middle class for disaster. The warning signs of this next correction have now clearly manifested, but are being skillfully obfuscated and trivialized by financial institutions. Nevertheless, here are ten salient warning signs that astute investors should heed as we roll into 2016.

Key Events In The Coming "Fed's First Hike In 9 Years" Week

While this may well be the most important week for capital markets in the past 9 years, when the Fed is widely expected to hike rates on Wednesday, precisely 7 years to the day since it cut rates to zero, here are the other key events to watch out for.

About That Rate Hike...

This is where the Fed. now finds itself. Here they were. Just holding policy lines doing what they in their Ivory Tower contemplated and the so-called “smart crowd” insisted they do. And now the saying of “Between a rock and a hard place” might be an understatement. The world sits atop a tinderbox fueled by monetary policies that created them and awaits a match that could set it off in a blaze of who knows what. All in short order. Unless they don’t do anything except try their best Draghi impersonation and declare, “They too are once again at the ready to do what ever it takes!” Except – just not now.

Peter Schiff Exposes The Real Problem Facing The Fed

The real problem for the Fed will be how foolish it will look if it does raise by 25 basis points and is then forced by a slowing economy to lower rates back to zero soon after liftoff. At that point, the markets should finally understand that the Fed is powerless to get out of the stimulus trap it has created. But it looks like the Fed would rather look foolish later when it's forced to cut rates, than look foolish now by not raising them at all. The Fed’s rocket to nowhere will hover above the launch pad for a considerable period of time before ultimately falling back down to Earth.