Rate of Change

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It Might Be A "Services Economy" But Manufacturing Drives Recessions

While it is hoped that the economy can continue to expand on the back of the "service" sector alone, history suggests that "manufacturing" continues to play a much more important dynamic that it is given credit for.

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The Next Level of John Law Type Central Planning Madness

The cries for going totally crazy are growing louder... the lunatics are running the asylum. One shouldn’t underestimate what they are capable of. The only consolation is that the day will come when the monetary cranks will be discredited again (for the umpteenth time). Thereafter it will presumably take a few decades before these ideas will rear their head again (like an especially sturdy weed, the idea that inflationism can promote prosperity seems nigh ineradicable in the long term – it always rises from the ashes again). The bad news is that many of us will probably still be around when the bill for these idiocies will be presented.

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Volatility Traders Aren't Buying The Rally

This is the fifth time in the past three years that the VIX rose 2% of more on a day the S&P 500 also rose, and short-term volatility expectations were at least 10% below longer-term volatility expectations. Those dates were: September 14, 2012, January 21, 2014, August 25, 2014, and May 18, 2015. Over the next month, the S&P 500 was not able to gain more than +1% at its best point, and suffered a loss averaging -3.2% at its worst point. Quite a negative reward-to-risk ratio.

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The Central Bankers' Death Wish

There is no alternative except to take cover because the latest stock market rip is based on pure central bank hopium. Indeed, Mario Draghi has confirmed once again that the world’s central bankers have a monetary death wish. Unlike the gamblers who bought Cramer’s top 49 stock picks, the best course of action is to sell, sell, sell—–and do it now.

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Draghi "MOAR QE Please" Press Conference - Live Feed


Draghi hints at December QE expansion, noting that "the degree of monetary policy accommodation will need to be re-examined at our December monetary policy meeting." 

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3 Things: The Fed Is Screwed

The Federal Reserve is quickly becoming trapped by its own "data-dependent" analysis. Despite ongoing commentary of improving labor markets and economic growth, their own indicators are suggesting something very different. As we have stated previously, while the Federal Reserve may hike interest rates simply to "save face," there is indeed little real support for them doing so. Tightening monetary policy further will simply accelerate the time frame to the onset of the next recession. Of course, the Fed knows this which is why they recently floated the idea of "negative interest rates" out into the markets. In other words, they already likely realize they are screwed.

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How Our Aversion To Change Leads Us Into Danger

The persistent claim emanating from Washington that America spreads freedom and democracy around the world has been exposed as ludicrous numerous times and in many parts of the world, but not in the US itself, and that’s what counts most. The notion that we we can grow our way out of the mess that our previous growth spurt has gotten us into, rests at best on very flimsy foundations. To shake off this all-encompassing growth ideal, however, we would need to radically change our ‘model’ of the world.

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The Stock Market Rally... To Nowhere

"...the markets did retest the late August lows, and when combined with the very oversold conditions, led to a frantic 'short covering' rally back to previous resistance. It is worth noting that the recent market action is very similar to that of the August decline and initial rebound as well... . If the market is still confined within a more "bearish" trend, the current rally, like the ones that preceded it, will be a "rally to nowhere."

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The 80/20 Rule Is Crushing The Economy

In business, the 80/20 rule states that 80% of your business will come from 20% of your customers. In an economy that is more than 2/3rds driven by consumption, such an imbalance of the "have" and "have not's" impedes real economic growth.

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Cacophony Of The Clueless - FedSpeak Reaches Peak Confusion

Superficially one gets the impression that they aren’t really trying to “explain” anything to the hoi-polloi, since it all sounds remarkably uncoordinated. To the extent that the messages are contradictory, they merely reveal the literal impossibility of central planning – neither Dudley nor Evans can possibly know at what level short term interest rates should be set.

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The Market In Pictures - The Aging Bull

What has always separated successful professional gamblers from the "weekend sucker" is knowing when to step away from the table.

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Yellen "Do-Over" Speech - Live Feed

When risk sold off last week in the wake of the Fed’s so-called “clean relent,” it signalled at best a policy mistake and at worst the loss of any and all credibility. Tonight, Yellen gets a do-over.

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Oblivious To Risk – Investors In La-La-Land

The market has delivered a warning shot in August, but it seems investors aren’t taking it seriously yet. This could turn out to be a costly mistake. If (or rather when) faith in the omnipotence of central banks crumbles, we could see an unusually severe market dislocation.

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Economy In Pictures: Is It Strong Enough?

The question on everyone's mind is whether the economy is strong enough to withstand rate hikes by the Federal Reserve? In our opinion, the answer is no. The economy continues to ebb and flow between weak growth and no growth. This puts the Federal Reserve at risk of a policy mistake that could trip the economy into an outright recession. While there have certainly been positive bumps in the data, as pent-up demand is released back into the economy, the inability to sustain growth is most concerning.

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Mario Draghi's Panic Button, Birthday Presser - Live Feed



Mario Draghi holds court (on his birthday, no less) in a closely watched post-meeting presser as markets hope collapsing inflation expectations, heightened volatility, EM chaos, and China turmoil will be enough to force the ECB's hand. 

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