It is increasingly certain that the future will not be like the past. Previous downturns have been equally devastating but the primary causes eventually reversed themselves; low commodity prices recovered and damaging government policies were rescinded. This recovery will be different for a variety of reasons which will combine to cap growth, opportunity and profits, even if oil and gas prices spike. The following major changes appear permanent...
Less than one week after the BOJ floated a trial balloon using Bloomberg, that it would reduce the rate it charged some banks which set off the biggest USDJPY rally since October 2014, we are back where we started following last night's "completely unexpected" (for everyone else: we wrote "What If The BOJ Disappoints Tonight: How To Trade It" hours before said "shock") shocking announcement out of the BOJ which did absolutely... nothing. "It’s a total shock,” Nader Naeimi, Sydney- based head of dynamic markets at AMP Capital Investors told Bloomberg. "From currencies to equities to everything -- you can see the reaction in the markets. I can’t believe this. It’s very disappointing."
For those who thought that the world's biggest company losing over $40 billion in market cap in an instant on disappointing Apple earnings, would have been sufficient to put a dent in US equity futures, we have some disappointing news: with just over 7 hours until the FOMC reveals its April statement, futures are practically unchanged, even though the Nasdaq appears set for an early bruising in the aftermath of what is becoming a disturbing quarter for tech companies. Instead of tech leading, however, the upside has once again come from the energy complex where moments ago WTI rose above $45 a barrel for the first time since November after yesterday's unexpected 1.07 million barrel API inventory drawdown.
Although money supply growth remains historically strong and investors are desperately chasing returns in today’s ZIRP world and are therefore evidently prepared to take much greater risks than they otherwise would, an extremely overvalued market is always highly vulnerable to a change in perceptions. In a sense the rebound may actually turn out to be self-defeating, as it will increase the Fed’s willingness resume tightening policy.
Tomorrow's ECB meeting "looks set to be sleepy" according to Saxo Bank's Mads Koefed as Draghi is largely cornered into confirmation he will do "whatever it takes" and some additional details on the corporate bond purchase plan. Most of the sell-side's research suggests the same, as Bloomberg notes, ECB will probably leave the door open for further cuts if needed; but any downside risk for the euro is seen limited, as Draghi stays on hold by reinforcing its dovish stance after the mix of easing measures announced in March with some defense of the efficiency of his policies after recent criticism by Germany.
The biggest catalyst for overnight markets, first reported on this site, was the announcement by Kuwait that its oil workers had ended their strike which disrupted oil production in the 4th largest OPEC producer for 3 days cutting it by as much as 1.7 mmb/d, and had served to offset the negative news from the Doha debacle. Kuwait Petroleum also added that it would boost output to 3m b/d within 3 days, which in turn has pressured the price of oil overnight, and the May WTI contract was back to just over $40 at last check, sliding 2%. Not helping things was a very dejected Venezuela oil minister Eulogio Del Pino who said at a conference in Moscow that he sees oil prices returning to lows in 3-4 weeks if oil producers can't make a deal. For now the algos - and central banks - disagree.
The only achievements of the American neoconservatives are to destroy in war crimes millions of peoples in eight countries and to send the remnant populations fleeing into Europe as refugees, thus undermining the American puppet governments there, and to set back the chances of world peace and American leadership by creating a powerful strategic alliance between Russia and China. This boils down to extraordinary failure. It is time to hold the neoconservatives accountable, not elect another puppet for them to manipulate.
The economy’s capital structure remains imbalanced as a result of the enormous amount of monetary pumping since 2008 (total TMS-2 growth since then: approx. 128%). There is a limit to this though, even if it cannot be quantified. What can be stated though is that the greater the boom, the greater the eventual bust usually is. There are now more and more indications that a decisive inflection point may be quite near.
Pestilence. War. Famine. Death. One could give these Four Horsemen any cute nicknames that they desire. But what the four Fed-heads all have in common is that they are destroyers. Just like all of the West’s other central bankers.
Frequently one can tell by the title of an opinion piece whether it is going to consist of quality arguments or just meretricious mudslinging. Professor Charles Postel of San Francisco State University boldly announces the latter in choosing to title his recent tirade against sound money, "Why Conservatives Spin Fairytales About the Gold Standard". As this article is so typical of what we seek to rebut, we publish it here, and now.
A big move is coming in the S&P 500 and it will take everyone’s breath away.
The Eccles Building and its Washington/Wall Street acolytes have become a House of Keynesian Denial because the assumption that capitalism is an 80 pound recessionary weakling without the constant ministrations of the state is dead wrong.
The middle class in America forgot all about the importance of savings and frugality and instead bought into the lie that one’s future would be “taken care of” if only it threw its money into the stock market.
Since modern-day “policymakers” are averse to allowing even the slightest bit of economic pain to materialize (except if the countries concerned are small and helpless, such as Greece), they have implemented unprecedented monetary pumping and debt expansion to hold recessions at bay. China’s planners have been especially diligent in this respect, misallocating resources in truly grand style and leaving the country buried in a pile of unsound debt. The combination of demographic and economic challenges the country now faces means that more than just a small hicc-up is probably in store, even though the timing of the denouement remains uncertain.