"The nominal GDP of the industrialized world has grown just 4.1% since the lows of Q1’2009, one of the tiniest, deflationary expansions ever. And while asset prices are up significantly since their 2008/09 lows, the underlying message from Wall Street in recent years has been doggedly deflationary."
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"... When stocks are falling this much, it's hard to justify not acting"
"... Davos - where he mingled with central bankers such as ECB President Mario Draghi and leading company executives - likely prompted him to pull the trigger"
What’s a Keynesian monetary quack to do when the economy and markets fail to remain “on message” within a few weeks of grandiose declarations that this time, printing truckloads of money has somehow “worked”, in defiance of centuries of experience, and in blatant violation of sound theory? In the weeks since the largely meaningless December rate hike, numerous armchair central planners, many of whom seem to be pining for even more monetary insanity than the actual planners, have begun to berate the Fed for inadvertently summoning that great bugaboo of modern-day money cranks, the “ghost of 1937”.
Not only is the specter of recession growing more visible, but it is also attached to a truth that cannot be gainsaid. Namely, having stranded itself at the zero bound for an entire business cycle, the Fed is bereft of dry powder.
"The BoJ actions should lead to further intensification of global currency wars with central banks around the world trying to engineer sustained competitive devaluation against the background of slowing global trade and growth as well as persistent commodity price disinflation. With its latest measures the BoJ will allow Japan to borrow more growth from its trading partners and limit the severity of the imported disinflation."
Well that did not last long. After initial exuberance over The BoJ's wishy-washy decision to adopt a 3-tiered rate policy including NIRP, markets have realized that without further asset purchases (which were maintained at the current pace), there is no ammo to lift stocks. An almost 200 point surge in Dow futures has been erased and Nikkei 225 has dropped 1000 points from its post BOJ highs... as 10Y JGB yields hit record lows at 11bps and 20Y JGB yields drop to 82bps - the lowest since 2003
"You can’t deny the price action. Over the last few weeks, it is positively buoyant. If I were short, my butt cheeks would be tightening up. I’m starting to develop a theory, which is crazy, but then again... it might not be entirely crazy. You can help me decide. Maybe gold is starting to price in some of this political instability. Maybe it is starting to price in a Sanders or Trump presidency."
"With January looking like a loser, there is a 70% chance that February will decline also. The high degree of risk of further declines in February would likely result in a confirmation of the bear market. This is not a market to be trifled with. Caution is advised."
According to the head of financial markets research Asia Pacific at Rabobank, Michael Every, not only has China not begun to delever at all, but since McKinsey's update, its debt has risen by another 70% of GDP! According to Every, China's 2015 debt-to-GDP might be as high as 346%, and while that is in line with wealthier developed economies but is “vastly higher” than any EM peer.
"We learned one thing yesterday: the U.S. Federal Reserve is in the same position as the rest of us when it comes to forecasting the future path of economic growth. Nobody really “Knows” anything right now. Now, there’s enough doubt for everyone: markets, central banks, consumers, governments. Everyone. The best thing we can say about that: if markets accept that the Fed is no better informed than they are, maybe investors will devote more time to stock fundamentals and intrinsic value analysis."
Fed Back-Pedals Hawkishness, Hints At Policy Error: "Monitoring Global Developments", Admits "Growth Slowed Last Year"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 01/27/2016 15:01 -0500
Treading a fine line between losing all credibility and exposing their total devotion to the stock market, it appears The Fed is maintaining its delusion that everything will be fine as they unwind the largest and most experimental monetary policy of all time, and yet for the first time we get proof that the Fed admits it made an error by hiking into a slowing economy: "labor market conditions improved further even as economic growth slowed late last year.
"Nobody is really sure where we go from here, and nobody is brave enough to make the call,” Peter Dixon, Commerzbank AG’s global equities economist in London told Bloomberg. “Corporate earnings season won’t provide much of a support - markets may find a floor if the Fed is extremely dovish tonight. At least investors will have time to think and reassess valuations."
The financial engineering that has been made possible by zero percent interest rates is no longer available to paper over weak corporate results in the U.S. Our economy is addicted to QE and zero rates, and without those supports, we will spiral back into recession. This is the reality that the mainstream tried mightily to ignore the past several years. But the chickens are coming home to roost, and they have a great many eggs to lay. In the end, stimulus does not create actual growth, but merely the illusion of it.
“Soros’s war on the renminbi and the Hong Kong dollar cannot possibly succeed — about this there can be no doubt. Reckless speculations and vicious shorting will face higher trading costs and possibly severe legal consequences. And just as proved in the yuan exchange rate case, the Chinese government has sufficient resources and policy tools to keep the overall economic situation under control and cope with any external challenges.”