Charles Gave: "I Cannot Remember A Time When Less Thinking Has Ever Been Done In The Financial Markets"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 12/10/2015 10:48 -0400
"What I find most hilarious is that some serious commentators have been pontificating at considerable length about what the market’s participants think. These days, some 70% of market orders are generated by computers, and many of the rest by indexers. And computers do not think... I cannot remember a time when less thinking has ever been done in the financial markets, which is why I find today’s financial markets infinitely boring."
- Charles Gave
Gold is one of the few investments that every investor should have in their portfolio. We are now at the dangerous end-game period of a very bold but very reckless & disappointing experiment with the world's fiat (unbacked) currencies. If this experiment fails -- and we observe it's in the process of failing -- gold will provide one of the best forms of wealth insurance. But like all insurance products, it only works if you buy it before you need to rely on it.
More signs that the economy is actually not all that well. It may yet recover on its own (believe it or not, but from a historical perspective the data in their totality are not yet decisive), but we think this is a very low probability scenario at this stage. There is likely already way too much malinvested capital in need of a significant purge.
Government interference by both central banks and regulators (the latter are desperately fighting the “last crisis”, bolting the barn door long after the horse has escaped, thereby putting into place the preconditions for the next crisis) has created an ever more fragile situation in both the global economy and the financial markets. As the below charts and data show, price distortions and dislocations have been moving from one market segment to the next and they keep growing, which indicates to us that there is considerable danger that a really big dislocation will eventually happen.
Hitler said often that the bigger the lie, the easier it would be [for the masses] to believe. This is no where more true than Forex.
While EM sovereigns as a group may be in better shape now in terms of “original sin” (i.e borrowing heavily in foreign currencies) than they were during say, the Asian Currency Crisis, the confluence of factors outlined above means no one is truly “safe” in the current environment as moving from liquidation back to accumulation will entail a sharp reversal in commodity prices and a pickup in the pace of global growth and trade.
Monetary policy 'rules' are no more accurate at determining interest rates than meteorologists are at forecasting the weather. The only difference between the two is that weathermen are precise on occasion, whereas the federal funds rate under the Taylor Rule is, at best, less wrong. Setting the price of money and credit in the name of unleashing the economy’s supposed potential output is the equivalent of enacting price controls on milk to unlock its full buying power. It’s a fallacy that cannot be achieved. The sooner the Fed pawns off its printing press, the sooner its market distortions will be lifted; and the sooner that each individual will be able to make rational decisions that make sense for not only himself or herself, but for the economy at large as well.
As we approach the Fed meeting expect markets to get more volatile. While the odds favor a move, it isn’t a sure thing until it is actually done. We found out last week what happens when forward guidance turns out to be forward misdirection. All those traders who thought they had a sure thing, who assumed that Draghi wouldn’t dare disappoint the market, got whipped. Whipped good.
So how do you grow household wealth by $18 trillion in the face of these dismal real world trends? In a word, with a printing press. But what happened today is that Draghi showed he is out of tricks and Yellen confessed she is out of excuses. Yes, this sucker is going down. And this time all the misguided economics professors turned central bankers in the world will be powerless to reverse the plunge.
Most experts are of the view that the massive monetary pumping by the US central bank during the 2008 financial crisis saved the US and the world from another Great Depression. On this the Federal Reserve Chairman at the time Ben Bernanke is considered the man that saved the world. Bernanke in turn attributes his actions to the writings of Professor Milton Friedman who blamed the Federal Reserve for causing the Great Depression of 1930s by allowing the money supply to plunge by over 30 percent. Careful analysis will however show that it is not a collapse in the money stock that sets in motion an economic slump as such, but rather the prior monetary pumping that undermines the pool of real funding that leads to an economic depression.
The very first major economic collapse in recorded history occurred in 218-202 BC when the Roman Empire experienced money troubles after the Second Punic War. As a result, bronze and silver currencies were devalued. As HowMuch.net depicts in the video below economic collapses date back thousands of years. While many countries today still feel the effects of the most recent Global Financial Crisis, it is important to note that economic troubles are not unique to the present-day, but rather date back to some of the oldest civilizations.
We are talking of course, about the infamous RRR-hike of 1936-1937, which took place smack in the middle of the Great Recession.
The central banks are simply trapped. They have bought in bonds under the theory that this will stimulate the economy by injecting cash. But there are several problems with this entire concept. This is an elitist view to say the least for the money injected does not stimulate the economy for it never reaches the consumer. This attempt to stimulate by increasing the money supply assumes that it does not matter who has the money... The attempt to “manage” the economy from a macro level without considering the capital flow within the system is leading to disaster.
Long term risk has increased quite a bit, no matter which data points one happens to consider. Whether one looks at valuations, market internals, leverage or positioning, there are now more warning signs than ever. With the support provided by strong money supply growth declining as well, it becomes ever more likely that these potential dangers will actually materialize. It is an accident waiting to happen.
Even despite the saturation criminality that readers have already seen, many will still argue that we “need” these Big Banks, and that we even “need” fractional-reserve (no reserve) fraud.