The robo machines pushed their snouts through 2100 on the S&P index again yesterday. This was the 13th time since, well, February 13th that this line has been re-penetrated from below. But don’t call it an omen of bad luck; its more like monetary rigor mortis. The bull market is dead, but the robo-machines and talking heads of bubble vision just don’t know it yet.
With Bloomberg's IPO index down 20% from its late 2014 highs and pressing 10-month lows (having gone nowhere in 2 years), all is not well in the private-to-public transaction market. Despite the multi-billion-dollar ponzi valuations of various 'disruptors' and leaked data opening the kimono on how insane this reality is, we thought the following clip perfectly summed up how it's different this time...
It is not enough to issue proclamations such as “it is time to get tough” or “It is time to make America great again”. These are the buzz words of a man that is reaching out to tap the rich vein of popular appeal. Perhaps that is what all politicians strive to do, especially when the field of candidates is rather crowded. However, what is clear is that a well-crafted economic strategy is not present, nor are staffers that would have the temerity to disagree with Mr T.
Will the West endure, or disappear by the century’s end as another lost civilization? Mass immigration, if it continues, will be more decisive in deciding the fate of the West than Islamist terrorism. For the world is invading the West.
Copper (and aluminum) tumbled overnight as base metals were battered during an intense Asia session and losses are extending in European trading. As one trader noted "sentiment toward China is weak, the dollar is somewhat strong and there is an unholy combination of many factors keeping prices under pressure," and copper traded $4,999/mt on the LME - its first sub-$5000 print since 2009. Aluminum, nickel and zinc all tumbled also.
After 3 months of exploding building permits - driven almost exclusively by the Northeast region (due to expiration of property tax breaks in NYC) - reality bit in July as permits plunged 16.3% to the lowest since March (biggest drop since June 2008). This was the biggest miss on record for permits. Housing Starts rose less than expected but thanks to a dramatic upward revision are stable at around 1.2 million units SAAR (driven by a rise in single-family units trumping multi-family units).
Greek PM Alexis Tsipras has lost the support he needs to win a confidence vote, setting up the possibility of snap elections. Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel's bulletproof reputation will be tested on Wednesday when the Bundestag will be forced to vote on the Greek bailout without an assurance that the IMF will ultimately shoulder a portion of the burden.
The downturn in China is “our” downturn. All the recent happy talk, due to unsuitable extrapolation and nothing more, has melted away yet again. In short, the same trend dating back almost four years now is quite expectedly unaltered by whatever any central bank does or does not do. “Stimulus” is just noise against all that, at best; at worst it actively contributes to the instability of the decline.
America is at the bottom of a self-knowledge low cycle in which we are incapable of constructing a coherent story about what is happening to us. The techno-industrial fiesta was such a special experience that we can’t believe it might be coming to an end. So, one option is to believe stories that have no basis in reality. As Tom McGuane wrote some forty years ago: “Life in the old USA gizzard had changed and only a clown could fail to notice. So being a clown was a possibility.”
Over the weekend, the Donald came to Iowa, saw, and then left in his chopper. But not before declaring himself to be America's latest caped crusader. So having gone back to New York, what is keeping the Donald occupied today? The answer: jury duty. Perhaps the reason the media is particularly fascinated with Trump's appearance in court is because it was his first time in six that he decided to respond to a jury duty summons: "The real estate mogul's service came after a state judge in March fined him $250 for failing to respond to summonses to serve jury duty five times since 2006."
Here, in one chart, is the reason why anyone following China's devaluation is very nervous. And if they aren't yet, they should be. As Goldman explains, "if the recent CNY moves are the start of a journey, even undoing half of the accumulated trade-weighted appreciation of the last three years, this may provoke a meaningful additional bout of currency depreciation across the EM complex."
"We are imperial, and we are in decline... People are losing confidence in the Empire."
Americans, both the destitute and the destitute-in-waiting middle class do need a champion to forever improve their lives, or at least one to light up their torch of hope. But the senator from Vermont isn’t likely to become that champion, becoming instead the prophet heralding the advent of a savior for America’s democracy, national dignity and pride; in Christian-speak, Bernie is not a Jesus but a John the Baptist.
Today many are talking about the economy, but that’s all they’re doing: talking. Doesn’t matter if its today’s politician, CEO’s from the largest corporations, some national or regional business association figure-head, right down to academia with its self-perpetuating gaggle of Ivory Tower economic aficionados. All they are doing is paying lip-service to the problems. And the reason? They can’t do anything about it because as of today, the U.S. economy is being controlled high-handedly by The Federal Reserve. The U.S. economy has never before been under the command and control of a single entity – until now. Today the Fed. entices nearly all businesses to focus on short-term games of financial engineering rather than on core business principles to grow. This is what a stance at the zero bound gives rise to.