Whether you agree or disagree with our points below, or the President's "wealth redistribution agenda" in tonight's SOTU address, is of little matter. With both houses of Congress controlled by conservatives, the likelihood of any of these proposals actually passing into law nears "zero." This will leave the President with his nuclear option of "excutive orders" to move his agenda down the field, but even that is likely to be viciously contested in the months ahead.
Breaking the stranglehold of vested interests is the essential step to rebuilding an economy that isn't totally dependent on manipulated money and statistics.
It was all so awesome. Chinese GDP 'beat' expectations which means everything is great (apart from it being the worst growth in 24 years) and so stocks rallied, helped by even moar ECB QE jawboning. But this morning's plunge in crude and copper (global growth?) finally knocked on into equity market reality as the opening ramp quickly gave way to selling pressure and erased all 'wealth' created by Chinese data. US Treasury yields are 3-5bps lower with 30Y testing 2.39%.
The problem, and the source of hope for Eurozone equity investors, is that Eurozone corporate profits have not matched this strong equity price performance. Headline EPS and DPS growth have not advanced since 2012. In fact, aggregate earnings and dividends as measured by MSCI are down by 7% and 5% respectively, whilst the equity index is up 50%." We'll repeat that again: in the past 2 and a half years, Eurozone earnings are down 7%! So where did this upside come from? "This strength in share prices but not in profits has meant the reported P/E multiple on Eurozone equities has risen from 11.5x to 18.7x today – a multiple expansion of over 60% in 30 months – and now stands at a premium to both the rest of Europe and RoW."
Events are moving faster than brains now. Isn’t it marvelous that gasoline at the pump is a buck cheaper than it was a year ago? A lot of short-sighted idiots are celebrating, unaware that the low oil price is destroying the capacity to deliver future oil at any price. The table is set for the banquet of consequences. The next chapter in the oil story is more likely to be scarcity rather than just a boomerang back to higher prices. The tipping point for that will come with the inevitable destabilizing of Saudi Arabia. Next time around, the federals are going to have to confiscate stuff, break promises, take away things, and rough some people up. The question is how much of this abuse will the public take?
As 2015 begins, policymakers around the world are faced with three fundamental choices: to strive for economic growth or accept stagnation; to work to improve stability or risk succumbing to fragility; and to cooperate or go it alone. The stakes could not be higher; 2015 promises to be a make-or-break year for the global community. The new networks of influence should be embraced and given space in the twenty-first century architecture of global governance. This is what I have called the “new multilateralism.”
The Fed's own favorite mouthpiece Jon Hilsenrath (for more see "On The New York Fed's Editorial Influence Over The WSJ"), just released a piece in which he claims, or rather his sources tell him, that the Fed is "on track to start raising short-term interest rates later this year, even though long-term rates are going in the other direction amid new investor worries about weak global growth, falling oil prices and slowing consumer price inflation." In other words, just like the ECB in 2011, the Fed which has hinted previously that it will hike rates just so it has "dry powder" to ease once the US economy falls into recession, will accelerate a full-blown recession in the US when it does - if indeed Hilsenrath's source is correct and not merely trying to push the USDJPY higher (for reference, see Reuters "exclusive" report on the Samsung takeover of Blackberry, denied by both parties within hours - hike some time this summer.
Market Wrap: Chinese Stocks Crash As Financials Suffer Record Drop; Commodities Resume Decline; US ClosedSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 01/19/2015 07:12 -0500
Following last week's Swiss stock market massacre as a result of a central bank shocker, and last night's crack down by Chinese authorities, it almost appears as if the global powers are doing what they can to orchestrated a smooth, painless (as much as possible) bubble deflation. If so, what Draghi reveals in a few days may truly come as a surprise to all those- pretty much everyone - who anticipate a €500 billion QE announcement on Thursday.
Everyone loves a good conspiracy theory debate. Regardless of whether you argue for it, or against, there are times when suddenly the ramifications for plausible truth are realized that overshadow the conspiracy. This is where the plot of truth can get far more sinister than the imagined conspiracy ever could.
Quality stocks along with everything else are expensive. Increasing risk while valuations in the equity market are so elevated seems dangerous, so the obvious answer is to hide in cash. Given valuation dispersion is so tight, avoiding risk will be pivotal in 2015. To that end, avoiding or even shorting companies with a high degree of earnings manipulation seems sensible. This style was a particular strong performer in Europe and Japan last year. We expect to see similar effects emerging in US stocks this year. Simply put, the lack of quality income stocks to invest in is often a precursor to a market downturn.
My conclusion is that the SNB deliberately screwed the market, and in the process shot itself in the foot for 30-50 billion dollars. What were they thinking?
Once again the mainstream media peddled the spoon-fed propaganda that world leaders "led the march" to honor the victims of the Paris shootings last week. Glorious photo-ops of Merkel, Hollande, Poroshenko, David Cameron (oh, and not Barack Obama) were smeared across front pages hailing the "unity in outrage." However, as appears to be the case in so many 'events' in the new normal managed thinking in which we live, The Independent reports, French TV has exposed the reality of the 'photo-op' seen-around-the-world: the 'dignitaries' were not in fact "at" the Paris rallies but had the photo taken on an empty guarded side street...
A promise is a promise is a promise... especially if it's from a Central Bank. That was true and undeniable for decades of BTFD 'equity market put'-provision by the world's central planners... until Wednesday. But now, on the heels of the Swiss National Bank's 'victory' against the vicious cycle of currency wars and monetary debauchment, The Asian Nikkei Review reports stirrings in the Bank of Japan as one official warns, "we have caused tremendous trouble for the financial industry," and many others growing anxious about continuing its massive purchases of government bonds (confronted with the program's negative side effects) and pressure from the financial industry is strengthening by the day "to scale back monetary easing soon."
Next week, I'm tossing up the notion that the market will run up until Mario delivers his large pepperoni pizza pie on Thursday....... Hold the Greek olives, Italian sausage and Spanish onions!