The consequences of all this will be felt all over the world, and for a long time to come. All of our economic systems run on oil, so many jobs are related to it, so many ‘fields’ in the economy, and no, things won’t get easier when oil is at $20 or $10, it’ll be a disaster of biblical proportions, like a swarm of locusts that leaves precious little behind. Squeeze oil and you squeeze the entire economic system. That’s what all the ‘low oil prices are great for the economy’ analysts missed (many still do). Entire nations will undergo drastic changes in leadership and prosperity.
Slumping crude prices are weighing heavily on Norway's economy as the government looks to its $830 billion sovereign wealth fund to plug budget holes and pay for fiscal stimulus. Officials hope a weaker krone can serve as a shock absorber but with Mario Draghi stuck in easing mode, that may prove to be an increasingly dubious proposition.
Global Risk Off: China Reenters Bear Market, Oil Tumbles Under $30; Global Stocks, US Futures GuttedSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 01/15/2016 07:57 -0400
Yesterday, when looking at the market's "Bullard 2.0" moment, which in many ways was a carbon copy of the market's response to Bullard's "QE4" comments from October 17, 2014 until just a few minutes before the market close when suddenly selling pressure appeared, we said that either the S&P would soar - as it did in 2014 - hitting all time highs just a few months later, or the "Fed is now shooting VWAP blanks." Judging by what has happened since, in what may come as a very unpleasant surprise to the "the market is very oversold" bulls, it appears to have been the latter.
Europe has voluntarily begun the process of giving up its liberal and hard-fought-for freedoms. Free speech no longer exists, only -- straight out of totalitarian ideologies -- "responsible" free speech: "free" only if it does not "offend" anyone. The desire of many Europeans and other self-declared devotees of "human rights" to cover up, downplay or explain away what is happening in Europe, in fact represents the opposite of respect for others and equality before the law.
Norway is in trouble. As we have detailed previously (here, here, here, and here), the world's largest sovereign wealth fund has begun liquidating assets (after its largest quarterly loss) as the nation faces recessionary fears (key data deterioration as oil stays lower for longer) with expectations building (despite denials by the central bank) that ZIRP (or even NIRP) is coming. Why? Simple - as the following real-time map shows - every one of Norway's oil fields are currently underwater!
On Tuesday we get the latest tragedy out of Turkey as at least 10 are dead in a suicide attack on Istanbul. The explosion rocked Sultanahmet Square outside the city’s Blue Mosque injuring 15 in addition to those killed.
While the media attention was directed to the shale oil boom in the US, the Saudis created a giant offshore oil project called Manifa. With one single project Manifa added 1 million barrels a day to the world oil glut. Manifa will expand its capacity the coming year, adding a further 500 million barrels a day to world markets.
When Mario Draghi “disappointed” markets in December by “only” cutting the depo rate by 10 bps and “merely” extending PSPP by six months while electing not to expand monthly asset purchases, the Riksbank, the Nationalbank, the Norges Bank, and the SNB all breathed heavy sighs of relief. And while we doubt the ECB is done when it comes to going "full-Krugman" (as it were), Mario Draghi’s “hawkish” ease did buy his counterparts some breathing room. Case in point: Denmark just hiked.
Market psychology established in recent years is reversing. Market volatility is rising and will remain pervasive for a while as psychology, the change in direction of Fed policy, and the increases in general uncertainties, will all conspire to shape an environment ripe for sharp spikes in volatility which will be further amplified by rickety market liquidity.
While the market might have been disappointed by the ECB’s “underdelivery in December, it came as a relief for the Riksbank, the SNB, the Norges Bank, and the Nationalbank who are effectively forced to cut each time the ECB eases or risk seeing upward pressure on their respective currencies. That dynamic has led to a veritable race to the Keynesian bottom with Norway as the last man standing in terms of conducting monetary policy with rates above zero. As we enter the new year, a number of questions remain regarding Europe's headlong plunge into NIRP-dom.
The unfolding correction of the visible excesses of the credit inflation - such as overinvestment and malinvestment - will destroy incomes and profits; the Great Unwind of the less visible effects, such as the sovereign wealth fund liquidations, are a giant pin aimed squarely at the monumental worldwide bubbles in stock, bonds and real estate.
As we move into winter, darkness has fallen up on us. Oil, ca. 65% of the nation’s economy, will not see the required $70 barrel anytime soon. American innovation, once again, turns a scarce resource into an abundant commodity. Despite optimistic Norwegian media articles, the potential for $20 per barrel looms. Production overwhelms demand while inventories rise to record highs. Although, still considered the best place to live, the cracks, in the oil based economy, are forming.
It has come down to this: a year in which the US stock market (led by a handful of shares even as the vast majority of stocks has dropped) has gone nowhere, but took the longest and most volatile path to get there, is about to close either red or green for 2015 based on what happens in today's low-volume session following yesterday's unexpected last half hour of trading "air pocket" which brought the S&P back to unchanged for the year.
The movement toward deeper European integration appears to have halted, and gone into reverse, as the EU seems to be unraveling along ideological, national, tribal and historic lines. If these trends continue, and they seem to have accelerated in 2015, the idea of a United States of Europe dies, and with it the EU. And this raises a question about the most successful economic and political union in history - the USA.
The S&P 500 closed at 2052 on November 18,2014. That was 405 days ago, and despite the rips and dips in the interim the broad market average has gone nowhere.