European banks today are universally feared and hated. But throwing the baby out with the bathwater has created an attractive investment opportunity...
Hedge Fund Billionaire Slams Democracy, Says The "Tyranny Of The Majority Is An Unhealthy Development"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 05/27/2016 14:38 -0400
In his latest letter to investors, OakTree Capital's Howard Marks goes political (slamming Trump's tariffs and Bernie's minimum wage machinations), shedding some blinding light on the economic reality of America, the dismal failure (and increasing impotence) of central bankers, and the ongoing "tryanny of the majority" warning that if everyone wants to tax-the-rich, soon there will be no rich to tax. As he concludes, short-term fixes simply cannot create wealth out of thin air (see Venezuela), as Churchill once said "for a nation to try to tax [or stimulate or devalue] itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle."
It's looking increasingly likely that third time's the charm: this set of bubbles is the last one central banks can blow. And when markets free-fall and don't reflate into new bubbles, pension funds will expire, as they were fated to do the day central banks chose zero interest rates forever as their cure for a broken economic model.
Since the turn of this century, debt-financed share buybacks have severely tested the character of those charged with growing publicly-traded U.S. firms. Should she ignore the potential for further QE-financed share buybacks to exact more untold economic damage, it would be akin to intentionally corrupting Corporate America. The time, though, has come for these wayward companies’ banker and enabler, the Fed, to hold the line, no matter how difficult the next inevitable test of their character may prove to be. It’s time for the Fed to defend the entire Union and end a civil war that pits a chosen few against the economic freedom of the many.
Given the history of intervention and “stimulus”, and more so when it occurs and really re-occurs, any impartial observer would be forgiven if they believed that QEs were actually constant impediments to growth. The proliferation of “stimulus” after the Great Recession correlates only with this downshift in the Japanese economy that cannot be due to demographics. At best, QEs have accomplished nothing at all positive, leaving no trace of something actually being stimulated for all the sustained “stimulus”; at worst, QE is the cause of Japan’s further nightmarish descent.
"As SOE restructuring progresses, it will also become more apparent that Chinese banks need to be rescued. We estimate that the total losses in the banking sector could reach CNY8 trillion, equivalent to more than 60% of commercial banks’ capital, 50% of fiscal revenues and 12% of GDP."
What happens when a system designed to sell to the "greater fool" runs out of fools?
It is obvious that the unintended consequences of ZIRP have destroyed financial market structure which ultimately flows through to the broader economy.
The difference between Trump and his critics is that he must believe there is a cost in printing too much money. Modern economists do not appear to grasp this basic concept.
On March 10, 2016 when the ECB announced the biggest expansion to quantitative easing in European history, when it shocked the market by announcing not only a reduction in its negative rate and expansion in the TLTRO program, but also the launch of a corporate bond monetization program.Well maybe not "shocked" the market, because as Bloomberg writes, ECB board members met with representatives of banks and investment managers including Goldman Sachs, BlackRock, Credit Suisse and Moore Europe Capital Management in February, just days before the ECB's March 10 announcement.
Ever since the U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) began to consider raising the federal funds rate, which it eventually did in December 2015, a cottage industry has grown up around taper talk. Will the Fed raise rates, or won’t it? Each time a consensus congeals around the answer to that question, all the world’s markets either soar or dive.
Why central planning efforts will ultimately backfire - Anyone involved with managing projects, people or systems knows that the only thing that can be planned with absolute certainty is that things will never go 100% according to plan. History is full of examples where governments' best-laid plans failed in spectacular fashion, exacerbating the very problems they were intending to solve. Here are a few of our favorites...
For the past 50 or so years, the quickest way for a sharp young sociopath to get rich has been to join an investment bank or hedge fund. The former were riding a “regulatory capture” gravy train that became ever-more-lucrative as new government agencies morphed into subsidiaries of Wall Street. Said another way, when financial assets are being artificially inflated by excessive liquidity, it’s easy to make money by shuffling this ever-appreciating inventory back and forth, and to look very smart while doing so. But those days are ending with a bang...
Things are getting ‘weird’ out there if you’re trying to be polite, and downright 'chaotic' if you're being blunt. Everywhere we look, we see signs that the systems that support us are breaking down.