- A German government spokesman said that the German cabinet has approved framework for a draft law on expanding the Eurozone rescue mechanism
- A French government spokeswoman said that France wants full application of a Eurozone agreement on Greece and no bilateral deals
- A German government draft mentioned that the EFSF will be allowed to recapitalise banks but only via national governments, which negated an earlier press report suggesting that the fund can lend to banks directly
- According to an Italian government source, the government is set to drop pension changes from its austerity package
- Strength was observed in CHF across the board as no comments emerged on curbing the currency's strength following the Swiss government's regular meeting
Confirming that the Fed's doves, every single one of them, are genocidal sociopaths, we have a repeat appearance from Chicago's Chuckie Evans, who first sent stocks barreling in the latest algo driven, no volume meltup, earlier, this time dodecatupling down, by telling Fed lackey Jon Hilsenrath that "we need to do much more to increase the level of accomodation"... much more as in the ~$2.5 trillion of debt that needs to be monetized in the period before Obama's desperate reelection campaign. And by "we", he means the group of 12+1 madmen bundled up in a room in the Marriner Eccles building with or without padded walls, who unlike a simple unfunded blog, believed that Q4 GDP in the US would be about 4% instead of the negative print it is about to be in a few short months. Yes sure: lets give the sociopaths-cum-Econ Ph.D's another run at destroying the world: just because the Arab Spring was not enough to demonstrate just how efficient the Fed is at toppling regimes, this time around they will make sure that the revolutionary wave sweeps across Asia, through Europe, and ends on the banks of the Potomac. Of course, if in the process it also brings with it the much desired hyperinflation that will make the US banking sector whole, who cares if a few million people die - at least Wall Street, which has long since converted its fiat wealth into gold and other real money, will be spared, go on a 5 year vacation to non-extradition Libya, then come back when the shotguns have rusted, and the pitchforks have been dulled, and pick up where they left off. Because as we all know, nobody is more "intuitive" than an Econ. Ph.D, and nobody can create greater financial innovation, aka the primary export of the US, the than someone from New York's Financial District.
We can blame politicians a little bit, but the bulk of the blame lies with the American people. That was kind of an epiphany for me. During the 1980s, I would occasionally have lunch with Senator Jesse Helms from North Carolina. He knew that I was highly critical of agricultural subsidies, handouts to farmers. Something Jesse Helms told me at one of our luncheons made me realize some things I had not realized until then. He said, “Walter, I agree with you 100% that these farm subsidies ought to be eliminated.” But then he asked, “Can you tell me how I can remain the senator from North Carolina and vote against them? If I do what you say, I would be voted out of office.” Applying his observation today, we can note that the biggest expenditures by the federal government are Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and prescription drugs. Along with other entitlements, these expenditures amount to almost 60% of the federal budget. The beneficiaries of these programs vote in large numbers. Politicians who talk about cutting these programs are going to run into trouble. We have to get the American people, as much as politicians, to respect the Constitution.
While Ben Bernanke has tried to exude confidence, he is now clearly discouraged. As well he should, since none of the Fed's "suite of tools" have worked as intended and almost every forecast the Fed has given since the Crash has been wrong. We are forecasting a stagnant economy and come the elections it is likely that unemployment will remain high. Like all Fed Chairmen, it will be hard for Dr. Bernanke to resist calls from politicians to "do something." He will earn his moniker as "Helicopter Ben" and unleash more quantitative easing, a dangerous and regressive policy.
Did Bernanke Pre-announce QE3 And More "Hope" Last Friday As Stocks Believe? Here Is Rosenberg's TakeSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 08/29/2011 14:23 -0400
With today's market session merely a continuation of what happened on Friday, here is David Rosenberg's explanation of the market move seen following the initial dip on Friday, followed by the latest surge in stocks. Rosie's summary on what has been driving stocks higher over the past 48 trading hours? Simple - " the markets were responding to something and they were. It's called hope, and Ben gave them some." If indeed stocks are correct about QE3, look for Brent, WTI, Gold, and everything else to resume the upward climb, completely ignoring anything and everything that the CME decides to do with "speculative" margins levels.
The response of the market makes sense from the perspective of Pavlovian conditioning.
Two interactive maps, the same disturbing message.
The US Follows Japan Into A Balance Sheet Recession: What Do Investors Know and Why Is It That Policymakers Appear Clueless?Submitted by Reggie Middleton on 08/26/2011 09:58 -0400
What is it that the successful in the investment community see that policy makers in the US and Europe don't? Let's walk through the evidentiary building blocks of a US balance sheet recession and query why everyone has forgotten about the very real real estate depression.
Gold is set to finish the week lower as it is 3.7% lower so far on the week. This will embolden the momentum traders on the COMEX. There is also the risk of another margin increase from the CME. Although it is hard to know how they could justify this as gold’s leverage is now in line with most commodities and less than that on US Treasuries. The correction was primarily due to the Shanghai and COMEX margin increases. Profit taking and short selling also took place due to gold’s short term very overbought status. Sharps Pixley’s respected Ross Norman noted that the furious nature of the selling could be motivated by Jackson Hole: "I have never been a fan of conspiracy theories but I do wonder about the manner and timing of the sell-off. Much of the selling was conducted through the London p.m. fixing (when New York was active) which is a favored route for official (central bank) selling rather than being finessed into the market as a fund might prefer. It was, if you like, a statement - and quite a handy and effective one just in advance of the Jackson Hole meeting." Our conversations with people in the industry and our own experience makes us confident that this is a paper driven sell off drive primarily by speculative, leverage interests on Wall Street.
Below, for those who are still undecided we present RanSquawk's preview of what to expect, or as the case may be, not expect, from the Chairman in about 3 hours, when the embargo on his speech is lifted. Also attached is the final summary of Citi's Steven Englander of what the Chairman's thoughts would mean for the dollar, as well as various third party takes on implications for gold and other general asset prices. The consensus, as noted yesterday, is one of no immediate escalation in the push for QE3 as the stock plunge has been contained for the time being - a factor that has always been the primary catalyst for Fed decisionmaking. Granted should the S&P drop to around 1,000, everything will change. In terms of catalysts, the next FOMC meeting will be September 20, so at best silence from the Fed today will mean the market is on its own for 4 weeks, with an ugly NFP number inbetween. In other words, the next month is shaping up for yet more abnormal volatility, "as usual" for 2011.
Guest Post: Federal Reserve Policy Mixed With Extreme Weather Has Put The World On A Fast Track To Revolution And WarSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 08/25/2011 22:39 -0400
There are many factors that clearly demonstrate why it would be disastrous for the Federal Reserve to repeat their vicious Quantitative Easing (QE) policy. If you want to know a significant reason why they cannot get away with another round of QE, here is an equation for you: (Quantitative Easing + Extreme Weather = Revolution + World War III)
I am crossing Pimco off my list as a credible institution. If Bill Gross and Mohamed el-Erian are running that show, and if you have any money invested there, I recommend pulling out, fast.
After 3 months ago everyone was convinced there was no QE3 imminent ever, all it took for the lemming majority to scramble to the other side of the boat was a 20% drop in stocks. Since then, following a brief stabiliziation in stocks, based precisely on beliefs that Bernanke would once again pull something from this bag of goodies, the lemmingrati once again shifted back, and the majority now pretends it does not expect anything out of Jackson Hole tomorrow, even though it obviously does, as otherwise the market would resume its plunge. UBS earlier conducted a survey among money managers, finding that 50% of the 82 respondents expect Bernanke to limit Jackson Hole remarks only to reviewing the rationale for the Fed to pledge ZIRP until mid 2013. Then there are those who actually told the truth, such as Goldman which, in a note yesterday, says that $1 trillion in QE3 is an absolute minimum if the Fed wants to get GDP higher by at least 0.5%. To wit: "Taken together, our analysis suggests that QE3 is unlikely to be a panacea for growth. Nonetheless, our estimates suggests that $1trn of asset purchases–or an equivalent increase in the duration of the Fed's balance sheet–might increase GDP growth by up to 0.5 percentage point in the first year after any announcement of QE3." And since we are talking the truth here, why not stop pretending you care about GDP - just think of the marginal impact on Wall Street bonuses...