Rate of Change
In Japan, the European Union and Switzerland, where negative nominal interest rates have already been adopted, it was observed that demand for safes and cash increased. At the same time, we learn that negative rates have boosted demand for gold in Japan (sales of gold to Japanese consumers rose to 32.8 metric tonnes in 2015 from 17.9 tonnes a year earlier). According to Takahiro Ito, chief manager at Tanaka Kikinzoku Kogyo K.K.’s store in Tokyo’s Ginza shopping district, “Many customers are wagering that it’s better to turn their savings to gold as a safe asset rather than deposit money at banks that offer low interest rates."
It is quite evident there is something amiss about the BLS’ employment reports. Is the disparity simply an anomaly in the seasonal adjustments caused by the depth of the financial crisis? Is there an exceptional and unaccounted for margin of error in the surveys? Or, is it something more intentional by government-related agencies to keep “confidence” elevated as Central Banks globally “paddle like crazy” to keep global economies afloat.
The mainstream loves to hate gold, but then again, these are the same people who were bearish on gold all the way up from $250 to $1,900 (some turned bullish shortly before it topped, but that’s another story). What actually explains all this contempt for gold is the fact that it remains the main antagonist of the current statist centrally planned fiat money system. It’s as simple as that.
Crony capitalists, corrupt politicians, and Deep State hustlers paid good money for Yellen; she’ll do all she can to avoid letting them down. But something isn’t working. Not for her. Not for Bank of Japan governor Haruhiko Kuroda. Not for the president of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi. Not for People’s Bank of China governor Zhou Xiaochuan. Their tricks no longer work.
When it comes to the "here and now", which in the Fed's centrally-planned market is driven almost excusively by momentum ignition algos, complacency indeed rules (VIX 13). But even the merest glimpse into the near future, or rather how the present environment may disconnect with what may happen tomorrow, or next week, or, as the case may be, in three months, institutional investors are more concerned than ever before. But is this a confirmation that the US stock market is about to have a new "Deutsche Bank" moment?
Today, however, may be a time for some modest celebrations for perennial Herbalife bear Ackman, because moments ago, Herbalife released an 8-K with some of the most unprecedented data revisions we have seen in a long time, one explaining that the company's "Active New Members" data has been not only completely wrong but massively inflated in the past year. The culprit: "database scripting errors." One wonders if there was perhaps a person who created this database...
While we still think its early to call the end of the dollar bull market that has been in place since July 2011, it's apparent that the world is currently not in as broad of a dollar bull market as we were in last year.
The bear will soon be arriving in earnest, marauding through the canyons of Wall Street while red in tooth and claw. Our monetary central planners, of course, will once again - for the third time this century - be utterly shocked and unprepared. That’s because they have spent the better part of two decades deforming, distorting, denuding and destroying what were once serviceably free financial markets. Yet they remain as clueless as ever about the financial time bombs this inexorably fosters.
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.
The Fed doesn’t see it coming and would be petrified by the prospect of a Wall Street hissy fit were it actually to express doubts about the sustainability of this so-called recovery. At the same time, Wall Street fails to recognize the obvious truth that the Fed is out of dry powder. If it attempts QE4, it will be a confession of total failure and lack of efficacy. If it actually seeks to launch negative interest rates, it will ignite a political firestorm of untold intensity. So both parties are unprepared for what is coming down the pike, and that makes this time truly different. There will be no massive liquidity injection and quick reflation of risk assets because even the Fed can’t push on a string when it is out of dry powder.
The whole Keynesian regulatory structure is going to collapse. Why? Because we are reaching an inflection point. We are reaching the point at which the exponential curve turns sharply upward. This is good news for liberty, and it is bad news for the arrogant theorists of Keynesian central planning, the arrogant tenured bureaucrats of central banks, and the protected employees of virtually every other government-regulated industry or profession. They are presiding over the final stages of the illusion of central planning.
"While buybacks work great during bull market advances, as individuals willfully overlook the fundamentals in hopes of further price gains, the eventual collision of reality with fantasy has been a nasty event..."
“...parts of the U.S. jobs report for January seem fishy...”
What’s a Keynesian monetary quack to do when the economy and markets fail to remain “on message” within a few weeks of grandiose declarations that this time, printing truckloads of money has somehow “worked”, in defiance of centuries of experience, and in blatant violation of sound theory? In the weeks since the largely meaningless December rate hike, numerous armchair central planners, many of whom seem to be pining for even more monetary insanity than the actual planners, have begun to berate the Fed for inadvertently summoning that great bugaboo of modern-day money cranks, the “ghost of 1937”.