The central planners are in a state of fear and panic. They are trying everything and anything to create market validation for their policies, watching with trepidation as their favored economic metrics fail to respond to all of their frenzied efforts. They are so far over the tips of their skis right now that there's nothing they won't do. By the time a central bank is behaving as recklessly as Japan, it's time to edge towards the exit, because the chance of a flash fire in the building has grown uncomfortably high. That is, instead of providing comfort, these most recent moves should invoke greater worry for those of us alert enough to see them for what they are: acts of panic.
The Keynesian notions of “potential GDP” and “aggregate demand” have no basis in the real world. They are revealed doctrine. They are the religion of the state’s economic policy apparatus. Its bad enough that this destructive economic religion leads to the farcical forecasting games evident in the EC’s chronic updates and slow-walks of the GDP numbers down. The evil, however, is that the Keynesian apparatchiks will not desist in their destructive money printing and borrowing until they have suffocated free market capitalism entirely, and have monetized so much public debt that the financial system simply implodes.
Sanctions are just another form of warfare, where the weapons can inflict destruction and pain, and be just as explosive. Their history can be millennially traced back, some with success, others with failure and a boomerang effect. One thing we can be sure of in modern times: sanctions will prove to yield long term ill will, in many cases providing multiplying seeds of vengeance and terrorism which we may not confront now but our children and their children certainly will.
As noted over the past week there has been a massive shortage of precious metals - most notably silver which as of this moment is indefinitely unavailable at the US Mint - as a result of the tumble in the paper price, and following 8 days of sliding and negative 1 month GOFO rates, today the physical metal shortage surged, as can be seen by not only the first negative 6 month GOFO rate since last summer's much publicized gold shortage when China was gobbling up every piece of shiny yellow rock available for sale, but a 1 month GOFO of -0.1850%: the most negative it has been since 2001!
"The chaos that one day will ensue from our 35-year experiment with worldwide fiat money will require a return to money of real value. We will know that day is approaching when oil-producing countries demand gold, or its equivalent, for their oil rather than dollars or euros. The sooner the better." - Ron Paul
Confused how your cost of living increase is always orders of magnitude above the "inflation" reported by the BLS' Consumer Price Index? Then prepare for your daily dose of Keynesian epiphany, with this step by step guide from the BLS of how to use the Hedonic Quality Adjustment to turn a 400% price increase into a 7.1% decline.
Every day for the past several years, sometime after 3pm, bullish market participants exhale a sigh of relief when as if out of nowhere, an "unexpected" surge of buying lifts stocks into the 4 pm close. There are several explanations for what some have dubbed if not Divine, then certainly centrally-planned intervention. This is the time when ETF creation and (far less frequently) redemption takes place. As a result, in a world in which the bulk of liquidity has shifted away from single name stocks and even futures toward ETFs, trends in the creation and redemption of ETFs are key to watch to determine how the market may move purely for to technical reasons (since fundamentals died some time in 2009). Which is why we note, with little surprise, that according to SocGen, Equity ETFs posted a record level of monthly creations in October, driven by US, regional eurozone and UK indexations, perhaps explaining the relentless levitation of the market on ever lower volume especially in the latter part of the day.
"The main message is ECB assets are set to expand as others contract," promises ECB's Mario Draghi, adding that "ABS buying is to begin shortly." Shrugging off any rumors of mutiny or lack of sovereign QE, the markets bought every stock market and risky bond with both hands and feet. EURUSD plunged under 1.24 - its lowest since August 2012 as peripheral bond spreads tumbled 10-15bps. US Treasury yields pushed higher and stocks knee-jerked higher. The USD index is now up 1% on the week.
"... the admissions of financial danger by internationalists, the sharp drop in stocks at the beginning of fall, the reversal of the political theater, and the fact that mainstream investors now recognize the illegitimacy of the markets yet continue with the scam anyway, signals the last gasp of the global economy. I expect increasing market instability from this point on, as well as numerous geopolitical distractions which will be blamed for the fiscal chaos. Needless to say, the coming storm is a deliberately engineered one, meant to achieve very specific goals, including a fearful and panicked populace, easy to manipulate as the system goes off the rails for the last time."
We've written a lot about Japan lately as what happens today under the no longer rising sun is going to have such repercussions worldwide that it would be foolish not to pay attention. Moreover, there’s something about what Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said this morning that both perfectly and painfully illustrates to what depths, economically as well as morally, the country has sunk.
What happened in October is that an unadjusted response which indicated the weakest labor market in half a year, was magically transformed into almost the best print in the history of the Employment series.
Isn't it ironic that the demographic in America that has seen the largest job growth during the 'recovery' turned out in droves to vote (against the incumbents) while the generation that remain mired in student debt, living at home with their mom-and-dad in record amounts, and having lost hope of the American Dream were apparently uninterested in 'change'. Perhaps, just perhaps, the elder generation still believes there is a difference between the two parties... or perhaps they are the ones who are most pissed as the promises of sipping margaritas on a golden beach in retirement is crushed into the reality of working to your grave at Home Depot...
"Whichever side emerges victorious, both Republicans and Democrats should face up to a much bigger truth: Neither party as currently constituted has a real future." On this, another election day sham, it is key to not get discouraged. Things are changing at the grassroots for the better. The battle of decentralization vs. centralization, networks vs. hierarchies, will not be easily won, but it will be won. Keep fighting.
Having destroyed any remnants of the "it's earnings that matter" meme, we thought the following chart would clarify just how bad the outlook for Q4 EPS is. As Factset notes, "the decline in the bottom-up EPS estimate recorded during the course of the first month (October) of the fourth quarter was higher than the 1-year, 5-year, and 10-year averages." That is not a 'good' thing..