Ponzi schemes are as old as time.
When people lose everything and they have nothing to lose, they “lose it.”
The financial engineering that has been made possible by zero percent interest rates is no longer available to paper over weak corporate results in the U.S. Our economy is addicted to QE and zero rates, and without those supports, we will spiral back into recession. This is the reality that the mainstream tried mightily to ignore the past several years. But the chickens are coming home to roost, and they have a great many eggs to lay. In the end, stimulus does not create actual growth, but merely the illusion of it.
What is currently transpiring in the markets today is exactly what the "everything is awesome" crowd stated wouldn’t happen – and exactly what many others argued – was inevitable. And, suddenly it is they who are finding out the rarefied air of "brilliance" The Fed enabled them to breathe has indeed been shut off – and all that’s left to inhale is their own exhaust fumes.
A paper recently published by the National Bureau of Economic Research confirms that a large percentage of the increase in college tuition can be explained by increases in the amount of available financial aid: "Essentially, [financial aid] lead to higher college costs and more debt, and in the absence of higher labor market returns, more loan default inevitably occurs."
"The new rounds of rate cutting and Quantitative Easing that the Fed will have to unleash will echo the military "surge" in Iraq in 2007. Those fresh troops were needed to roll back the chaos that the Administration had ignored for so long. But just as that surge only bought us a few years of relative calm, look for the gains brought about by our next monetary surge to be even more transitory. That is a development for which virtually no one on Wall Street is preparing."
Now, slave, get back to work, if you have a job, and make sure you save some energy for your other part time employment as you will be going to those jobs later today.
The real problem for the Fed will be how foolish it will look if it does raise by 25 basis points and is then forced by a slowing economy to lower rates back to zero soon after liftoff. At that point, the markets should finally understand that the Fed is powerless to get out of the stimulus trap it has created. But it looks like the Fed would rather look foolish later when it's forced to cut rates, than look foolish now by not raising them at all. The Fed’s rocket to nowhere will hover above the launch pad for a considerable period of time before ultimately falling back down to Earth.
"We’re broke. We’re basically living off of debt. We’ve had a huge transformation of the American economy. Look at all the Americans now on food stamps, on disability, on unemployment... The whole economy has imploded... the bottom hasn’t dropped out yet because we’re able to go deeper into debt. But the collapse is coming."
U.S. stock investors may be complacent regarding the ability of the stock market to withstand higher interest rates. Their confidence may come from the fact that, historically, markets have not peaked until 12-24 months after the Fed begins to tighten. This assumes the tightening cycle begins with the first official rate hike. But if it really began with the increase in the Shadow Rate, then a December rate hike will already be 19 months into the tightening cycle! Plus, given how overvalued stocks may currently be, and the amount of corporate debt accumulated to finance share buybacks, this bull market may be far more vulnerable than most to higher interest rates.
Following this morning's basic admission by Janet Yellen that "no matter what" The Fed is raising rates in December (which was then solemnly supported by an obedient Bill Dudley who "100% agrees with Yellen"), Fed Vice-Chair Stan Fischer, speaking tonight, reaffirmed this belief by, as we detailed previously, telling investors to ignore weak inflation. After San Fran Fed's Williams admission that "there's something going on here we don't understand," Fischer tonight admitted "US inflation is not as low as you think," at once contradicting Yellen's earlier comments and the various market-based measures, while confirming our previous detailed solving of the mystery of the hidden inflation.
Almost all serious analysts see a Terminal problem developing - "We will go from deflation to hyperinflation without seeing inflation." But hyperinflation is a political phenomenon. It is caused by those same authorities the masses think they can trust. When they are threatened, they will protect themselves by printing money on a scale we haven’t seen since the War Between the States (consumer prices in Richmond, Virginia, had risen 6,700% by the end of the war).
If you’re sophisticated and have a bit of luck, you could end holding your gold exposure at zero or even make a profit.
Most of you will be quite familiar with Peter Schiff. Fewer of you will know much about his father, Irwin Schiff, who was posthumously referred to as the “grandfather of the contemporary tax protest movement” in Forbes. Irwin was treated very poorly by his own country, particularly toward the end of his life when, despite being legally blind and dying of cancer, he was not permitted to die in peace amongst family members.