• Steve H. Hanke
    02/11/2016 - 16:08
    The burgeoning literature contains a great deal of hype, which validates the 95% Rule: 95% of what is written about economics and finance is either wrong or irrelevant.

New Normal

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How Much Longer Can Our Unaffordable Housing Prices Last? (Spolier Alert: Not Much)





This globalization of regional housing markets is pricing the middle class out of housing in areas that also happen to be strong job markets. Many commentators are concerned that a nation of homeowners is being transformed into a nation of renters, as housing is snapped up by hedge funds and wealthy elites fleeing China and the emerging markets. But will current conditions continue unchanged going forward?

 
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The "Secret" Of Successful Biotech Investing Revealed: All You Need To Know In One Chart





Here is the chart exposing the "secret" behind biotech investing success: the more cash a biotech company burns, the higher the return it generates.

 
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It's Time For Negative Rates, Fed's Kocherlakota Hints





If you’re a fan of dovish policymakers who are committed to Keynesian insanity, you can always count on Minneapolis Fed chief Narayana Kocherlakota who is out today with the latest hint that NIRP is coming to America.

 
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China Opens Weaker Than Expected After Goldman Downgrade And "Mirage Of A New Dawn" Warnings





After a "no change" statement from The BoJ, today's dismal Japanese data was terrible enough to be great news in the new normal as August machine orders drop the most in at least a decade and stocks, USDJPY dipped and ripped. However, it was the China open that investors waited for (after China shares rising 10% in US trading, and CNH strengthening on lower than expected reported outflows) as Goldman slashed its 12m target for Chinese stocks, and Bocom's chief strategist (who called the boom and the bust) says "rally is mirage of new dawn, volume is dying, sell the rallies." PBOC fixed the Yuan at its strongest in 2 months and while Chinese stocks opened up notably it was less than US ADRs suggested (CSI +4% vs ASHR +9.5%).

 
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Q3 Earnings Bloodbath Continues With Terrible Monsanto Results: Company Fires 2,600 As It Boosts Buyback





It had been quite a downcast start to the third quarter earnings season following very disappointing earnings from Illumina, Adobe and Yum Brand. Then Moments ago agri-giant Monsanto made it four out of four when it reported absolutely terrible results, cut guidance, but at least announced a new $3 billion stock buyback, one that will soak up all the company's net cash flow. The cost of all of this: some 2,600 worker terminations.

 
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Futures Jump Despite BOJ Disappointment, Weak Earnings Offset By Commodities Levitation





The big overnight story was certainly the BOJ's announcement at 11pm Eastern whether or not the Japanese central bank would boost QE. This is how we previewed it: "now all eyes to the BOJ when tonight around 11pm Eastern, Japan's central bank is expected do and say precisely... nothing." Sure enough, nothing is precisely what the BOJ delivered, leading to a big, if brief tumble in the USDJPY suggesting many were expecting at least a little tip from the BOJ.

 
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Have We Reached A "Peak Water" Tipping Point In California?





"For the first time in 120 years, winter average minimum temperature in the Sierra Nevada was above freezing"

 
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"Everyone's Praying But No One's Believing" - The 'Fed Put' Is Dead





Yellen’s detailed speech initially triggered an out-sized market reaction.  Unfortunately, it was mainly due to shallow market depth and weak-hand positions. Yellen’s speech should quickly begin to hurt over-priced financial assets. Yellen’s speech was the first time I can ever remember a Federal Reserve Chairperson commenting that inappropriate risk-taking might be undermining financial stability.  This is explicit confirmation that the Fed’s aim of lifting asset prices in the hopes they bolster broader economic activity has reached the end of its useful life.  Barring a financial or economic disaster, the ‘Fed put’ has been put out to pasture.

 
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Weekend Reading: Fed Confusion





The current surge in dis-inflationary pressures is not just due to the recent fall in oil prices, but rather a global epidemic of slowing economic growth. While Janet Yellen addressed this "disinflationary" wave during her post-meeting press conference, the Fed still maintains the illusion of confidence that economic growth will return shortly. Unfortunately, this has been the Fed's "Unicorn" since 2011 as annual hopes of economic recovery have failed to materialize. However, it is these ongoing views of optimism that have collided with economic realities.

 
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The Worst Part Is Central Bankers Know Exactly What They Are Doing





The best position for a tyrant or tyrants to be in, at least while consolidating power, is tyranny by proxy. That is to say, the most dangerous tyrants are those the people do not recognize: the tyrants who hide behind scarecrows and puppets and faceless organizations. The worst position for the common citizen to be in is a false sense of security and understanding, operating on the assumption that tyrants do not exist or that potential tyrants are really just greedy fools acting independently from one another. Being the clever tyrants that they are, the members of the central banking cult hope you are too stupid or too biased to grasp the concept of conspiracy. If you cannot identify the agenda, you can do nothing to interfere with the agenda.

 
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Welcome To The Newer Normal: Your Complete Guide To A World In Which The Fed Is No Longer In Control





For those who have had the nagging feeling that something in the market has changed dramatically in the past few months, you are absolutely correct. Here is the full explanation.

 
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Petrobras Default Looms Under $90B Dollar-Denominated Debt





There is blood on the streets wherever you look in Brazil today, but probably of most interest to the hundreds of US asset managers (the ones managing your mutual funds) is what happens to Petrobras as it remains so widely held. As we noted below, bond prices are collapsing and default risk is soaring, and with the nation's currency collapsing amid the lower-for-longer oil prices, $90 billion of dollar-denominated debt could soon potentially be too burdensome for the company to repay.

 
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Budget Deficit Explodes Higher In Portugal After Government Throws In Towel On Bad Bank Sale





Newly-upgraded Portugal unleashed a budget bombsell on Wednesday when it revised its 2014 deficit higher by some 60% after a failure to liquidate the predecessor to bailed out Banco Espirito Santo left taxpayers holding a €5 billion bag. 

 
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Bill Gross' Latest: "Mainstream America Is Being Slowly Cooked Alive"





"Mainstream America with their 401Ks are in a similar pickle. Expecting 8-10% to pay for education, healthcare, retirement or simply taking an accustomed vacation, they won’t be doing much of it as long as short term yields are at zero. They are not so much in a pickle barrel as they are on a revolving spit, being slowly cooked alive while central bankers focus on their Taylor models and fight non-existent inflation."

 
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Top UK Hedge Fund Manager Admits: "Central Banks Made The Rich Richer"





Quantitative easing, as this policy is known, has bailed out bonus-happy banks and made the rich richer.  Banks have been the biggest beneficiaries, with their 20- or 30-times leveraged balance sheets. Asset managers and hedge funds have benefited, too. Owners of property have made out like bandits. In fact, anyone with assets has grown much richer. All of us who work in financial markets owe a debt to QE.

 
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