The world is threatened with a renewed wave of anti-capitalism and anti-business sentiments and policies. Many who cheered the demise of Soviet communism in the early 1990s, presumed that this meant that, by default, the case for free markets and competitive enterprise had won in the battle of ideas. Over the last twenty-five years it has become clear that the same misguided arguments against free market capitalism constantly reemerge, like an ideological vampire waiting to rise from the intellectual grave and drain market freedom of its lifeblood by more government regulations and controls.
ABC, Fox News, and Rasmussen now have polls suggesting Donald Trump leads Hillary Clinton nationally and for the first time during this campaign RealClearPolitics 'tracker' has Trump with a 0.2pt lead - the unofficial "death cross" of Clinton's campaign as Wayne Allyn Root right remarks "Hillary is sinking faster than the Titanic." Voters are putting their money where their polls are too as bookies odds of a Hillary victory in November are tumbling.
The broadest measure of the stock market has risen by 125% since 1999. The real median family income has fallen by 7%. Stated differently, the bicoastal elites who own most of the nation’s financial assets or who feed off the financial system and a debt-swollen central state in Washington, believe themselves to be in the pink of prosperity. They do not understand, of course, that this is all a giant bubble which at length will burst in spectacular fashion, causing their own unearned windfalls to shrink in the process. In the meanwhile, they may come to understand that the flyover zone of America has been left behind. The main street insurgency fueling Donald Trump’s shocking rise to the top of the Presidential race proves that much in spades.
Government as we know it is doomed. It will not recognize this reality until markets and/or citizens force it. This time is likely close and the process will not be painless. The more government ignores what is inevitable the greater the pain will be. One hopes that civilization does not enter an economic and anarchical Dark Ages. To the extent that government refuses to respond to the fantasy world they have created, the more likely that is to be the outcome.
While the warning flags are raging in Illinois and Connecticut, JPMorgan's Michael Cembalest states that New Jersey's problems are "not mathematically solvable." The stunning admission from a status-quo-sustaining bank that is “very focused on the total indebtedness of US states," should be worrisome enough but as Cembalest explains the answer to a debt problem is not always piling up more debt - "when debt reaches a certain level, the can kicking is over and difficult decisions need to be made;" the issue is to address the root of the problem, which can be a delicate and at times politically incorrect topic.
Financial and economic prospects for the Eurozone have many similarities to the 1972-75 period in the UK, which this writer remembers vividly. This time, the prospects facing the Eurozone potentially could be worse. The obvious difference is the far higher levels of debt, which will never allow the ECB to run interest rates up sufficiently to kill price inflation. More likely, positive rates of only one or two per cent would be enough to destabilise the Eurozone’s financial system. Let us hope that these dangers are exaggerated, and the final outcome will not be systemically destabilising, not just for Europe, but globally as well. A wise man, faced with the unknown, believes nothing, expects the worst, and takes precautions.
The central bank already missed the “window of opportunity” for normalizing rates in a manner that doesn’t hamper the recovery. While the big news for the market was the release of the April 27th FOMC minutes which once again suggested the Federal Reserve may be on a path to hike rates sooner rather than later. The reality is simple, with the markets hovering on critical support, a Presidential election just around the corner and no real evidence of economic recovery, the likelihood of a rate hike in June is approaching zero.
What happens when a system designed to sell to the "greater fool" runs out of fools?
Having cashed out a few hundred million dollars worth of stock to some dliuted greater fools - with the help of Goldman Sachs - the ugly face of reality of descending on Elon Musk and his government-subsidized car maker. Rather shockingly, given the huge demand, automaking consultants and supply executives, who asked not to be identified, admitted that Tesla has still not finalized the Model 3 design and specifications, warning that Musk's goals were "implausible."
This could not have come at a more perfect time, with the Fed once again flip-flopping about raising rates. After appearing to wipe rate hikes off the table earlier this year, the Fed put them back on the table, perhaps as soon as June, according to the Fed minutes. A coterie of Fed heads was paraded in front of the media today and yesterday to make sure everyone got that point, pending further flip-flopping. Drowned out by this hullabaloo, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve released its delinquency and charge-off data for all commercial banks in the first quarter – very sobering data.
The underlying economic ugliness that triggered the August and January meltdowns emerges once again.
"I feel the burden of many new initiatives as they affect my company’s ability to operate profitably and to hire and retain employees. Many of these initiatives often have unforeseen consequences and cause small businesses additional expenses and burdens that can lead to less hiring, more expenses, and sometimes lead to businesses closing their doors."
What do financing your retirement as well as finding affordable healthcare and the possibility of losing your job all have in common with each other?
USA has a FOREX Nuclear Option that can obliterate investment markets in one click.