“If the weather forecast suggests it might rain, wouldn’t you carry an umbrella?”
So what is to be done, as Lenin once queried? In a word it is this. Fire the Fed. Attend to supply side policy. Let market capitalism do the rest. The cult of central banking is dead in the water.
In an asset management context, US Treasury interest rates tend to trend lower when there is an output gap and trend higher when there is an output surplus. This simple, yet overlooked rule has helped to guide us to stay correctly long US Treasuries over the last several years while the Wall Street community came up with any reason why they were a losing asset class. We continue to think that US Treasury interest rates have significant appreciation ahead of them. As we have stated before, we think the 10yr US Treasury yield will fall to 1.00% or below.
Markets have stopped focusing on what central banks are doing and are "positioning for what they believe central banks may or may not do," according to BofA's Athanasios Vamvakidis as he tells FX traders to "prepare to fight the central banks," as the market reaction to central bank policies this year reflects transition to a new regime, in which investors start speculating which central bank will have to give up easing policies first.
"The escape options are a mixture of the ineffectual, the limited, the risky, the foolhardy or the excessively slow. As Japan’s recent experiments have demonstrated, upping the monetary dosage alone is not enough to cure the affliction. Indeed, to the extent that monetary stimulus only encourages a further wave of risk-taking within financial markets – often outside of the mainstream banking system - it may only perpetuate unstable deflationary stagnation."
Inflation targeting has been a giant cover story for a monumental power grab. The academics who grabbed the power had no idea what they were doing in the financial markets that they have now saturated with financial time bombs. When these FEDs (financial explosive devices) erupt in the months and years ahead, the central bankers will face a day of reckoning. And they will surely be found wanting. The immense social damage from the imploding bubbles dead ahead will be squarely on them.
After yesterday's torrid, chaotic moves in the market, where an initial drop in stocks was quickly pared and led to a surge into the close after a weaker dollar on the heels of even more disappointing US data and Bill Dudley's "serious consequences" speech sent oil soaring and put the "Fed Relent" scenario squarely back on the table, overnight we have seen more global equity strength on the back of a weaker dollar, even if said weakness hurt Kuroda's post-NIRP world and the Nikkei erased virtually all losses since last Friday's surprising negative rate announcement. Oil and metals also rose piggybacking on the continued dollar weakness as the word's most crowded trade was suddenly shaken out.
Bill Dudley and the Federal Reserve (Fed), in their efforts to influence economic growth may have created a speculative and consumption driven environment that is crushing productivity growth. Ingenuity, not debt, made America an economic powerhouse. If we are to resume down that path we need the Fed to end their “self-defeating” policies and in its place we must demand ingenuity from them. The Fed, along with government, needs to properly incent productivity. The Fed should start this arduous task by removing excessive stimulus which will take the speculative fervor out of markets and allow asset bubbles to deflate.
Since our Keynesian central bankers have no clue that their prodigious money printing resulted in the drastic underpricing of credit and capital over the course of the past two decades, they are flying blind. They simply fail to see that the global economy is now swamped in more excess capacity than at any time since the 1930s, and probably even then. So they keep expecting the commodity cycle to momentarily bottom and prices to rebound, thereby reflating CapEx and household spending.
Futures Jump After Friday Drubbing, Despite Brent Sliding To Fresh 11 Year Lows, Spanish Political UncertaintySubmitted by Tyler Durden on 12/21/2015 07:55 -0400
In a weekend of very little macro newsflow facilitated by the release of the latest Star Wars sequel, the biggest political and economic event was the Spanish general election which confirmed the end of the PP-PSOE political duopoly at national level. As a result, there was some early underperformance in SPGBs and initial equity weakness across European stocks, which however was promptly offset and at last check the Stoxx 600 was up 0.4% to 363, with US equity futures up nearly 1% after Friday's oversold drubbing. In other key news, the commodity slide continues with Brent Oil dropping to a fresh 11-year low as futures fell as much as 2.2% in London after a 2.8% drop last week.
We want to take a minute to explain why the collapse in US ISM Manufacturing is important, because as with any negative economic news released, it has been roundly dismissed by the optimistic Wall Street group.
Over the last few months, in a prime example of currency failure and euro-defenders' narratives, Finland has been sliding deeper into depression. Almost 7 years into the the current global expansion, Finland's GDP is 6pc below its previous peak. As The Telegraph reports, this is a deeper and more protracted slump than the post-Soviet crash of the early 1990s, or the Great Depression of the 1930s. And so, having tried it all, Finnish authorities are preparing to unleash "helicopter money" to save their nation by giving every citizen a tax-free payout of around $900 each month!
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.
Mario Draghi is on deck Thursday morning and market expectations could scarcely be higher. In fact, Draghi is widely expected to execute the Keynesian trifecta, i) a rate cut, ii) expansion of QE, and iii) extension of QE duration. The ECB has indeed gained a reputation for over-delivering, but as SocGen puts it, "with high expectations comes a high risk of disappointment."
So if Draghi pulls a "Draghi" on December 3, and stuns the market by admitting he merely jawboned the ECB's "assured" easing to death, with the EUR now pricing in both a 15 bps rate cut and more QE, and thus making any actual by the ECB meaningless (and why should the ECB actually launch a bazooka round when jawboning is enough) you have been warned.