It is becoming increasingly obvious that we are seeing the disconnect between financial markets and the real economy grow. It is also increasingly obvious (to Citi's FX Technicals team) that not only is QE not helping this dynamic, it is making things worse. It encourages misallocation of capital out of the real economy, it encourages poor risk management, it increases the danger of financial asset inflation/bubbles, and it emboldens fiscal irresponsibility etc.etc. If the Fed was prepared to draw a line under this experiment now rather than continuing to "kick the can down the road" it would not be painless but it would likely be less painful than what we might see later. Failure to do so will likely see us at the "end of the road" at some time in the future and the 'can' being "kicked over the edge of a cliff." Enough is enough.
Discussion of a market bubble (in stocks, credit, bonds, Farm-land, residential real estate, or art) have dominated headlines in recent weeks. However, QEeen Yellen gave us the all-clear this morning that there was "no bubble." Are we currently witnessing a market bubble? It is very possible; however, as STA's Lance Roberts notes, if we are, it will be the first market bubble in history to be seen in advance (despite Bullard's comments in opposition to that "fact"). From a contrarian investment view point, there is simply "too much bubble talk" currently which means that there is likely more irrational excess to come. The lack of "economic success" will likely mean that the Fed remains engaged in its ongoing QE programs for much longer than currently expected - and perhaps Hussman's pre-crash bubble anatomy is dead on...
Between last night's dismal reality of enrollees in Obamacare, the collapse to record lows of Obama's approval rating, and the growing disillusionment among the President's own party have forced the administration to "fix" Obamacare. As Politico reports, the president’s proposal would allow insurers to offer plans in 2014 that were previously slated to sunset this year, but require the companies to let consumers know how — if at all — their policies don’t comply with the minimum benefits of the Affordable Care Act, according to a source briefed on the proposal. Insurance companies are not amused as risk pools will need to be adjusted. We leave to our policy-changer-in-chief to explain the nuances of this fiasco and why this is not a "fold", not an admission that the law is FUBAR, and not in any way similar to the Tea-Party's suggestion that Obamacare be delayed by one year...
Gold Spikes As QEeen Yellen Mentions Fed's Tools (Then Slides As She Warns "QE Can't Go On Forever")Submitted by Tyler Durden on 11/14/2013 10:32 -0500
UPDATE: Gold is slipping back as Yellen notes:
*YELLEN SAYS QE `CANNOT CONTINUE FOREVER'
*YELLEN SAYS FED TAKES RISKS OF QE `VERY SERIOUSLY'
Yesterday was equity markets turn to get all exuberant over Yellen's promises. Today, it is the reality that she will do whatever it takes and her mention of data-dependence and ongoing use of Fed tools that is sending gold (and silver) higher.
The last two years have seen a number of high profile Tech IPOs for businesses that are barely profitable or have never turned a profit. Indeed, of the tech firms that went public in 2013 so far, 73% have never turned a profit (compare that to just 27% of the tech IPOs that were unprofitable in 1999).
Treaty Threatens Global Government, Run by Giant Corporations ... And Would Really Mess Up the Intertubes ...
Just because very few actually understood the severity of the Cisco earnings guidance, in which the company forecast an 8-10% drop (let's call it 9%) in quarterly revenues when Wall Street was expecting a 4% increase, we have compiled and presented in chart form the historical and projected quarterly revenue data for CSCO to show today's preannouncement in all its gruesome context.
After spending a day ignoring the reality of moar money printing, it seems 'natural' non-algo forces released Gold and it is spiking after hours. The USD is fading further, stocks soaring moarer, and treasury yields tanking...
Despite rewriting history as usual, proclaiming that the administration 'knew' early numbers would be low (not true since they estimated 500,000 and are rumored to only have ~50,000), and changing the definition of what an enrollee is, and managing our expectations via Carney's press conference, we are intrigued to see what the "huge demand" Kathleen Sebelius expected for Obamacare has actually resulted in... Perhaps she needs to call the helpline! Remember, as Peter Schiff noted, the website can be fixed, but Obamacare can't (unless, of course, more keg-standers and sluts sign up).
*OBAMACARE ENROLLS 106,185 IN PRIVATE HEALTH PLANS IN OCTOBER (26,794 on Federal Exchange,79,391 on State Exchanges)
While chart analogs provide optically pleasing (and often far too shockingly correct) indications of the human herd tendencies towards fear and greed, a glance through the headlines and reporting of prior periods can provide just as much of a concerning 'analog' as any chart. In this case, while these 3 pictures can paint a thousand words; a thousand words may also paint the biggest picture of all. It seems, socially and empirically, it is never different this time as these 1936 Wall Street Journal archives read only too well... from devaluations lifting stocks to inflationary side-effects of money flow and from short-covering, money-on-the-sidelines, Jobs, Europe, low-volume ramps, BTFD, and profit-taking, to brokers advising stocks for the long-run before a 40% decline.
Five years have passed since the onset of what is sometimes called the Great Recession. While the economy has slowly improved, there are still millions of Americans leading lives of quiet desperation: without jobs, without resources, without hope. Who was to blame?
"The government, writ large, had a hand in creating the conditions that encouraged the approval of dubious mortgages. It was the government, in the form of Congress, that repealed Glass-Steagall, thus allowing certain banks that had previously viewed mortgages as a source of interest income to become instead deeply involved in securitizing pools of mortgages in order to obtain the much greater profits available from trading. It was the government, in the form of both the executive and the legislature, that encouraged deregulation..."
- Judge Jed Rakoff
This morning has seen a plague of talking-head-based soundbites propagated through the mainstream media as 'fact' and actionable. One that caught our eye, from none other than "largest asset manager in the world" Larry Fink of Blackrock, simply beggared belief:
- *FINK SAYS JAPANESE INVESTORS QUESTIONING INVESTING IN U.S. DEBT
As we recently noted, the Japanese bond market is now dead (for all intent and purpose) but a glance at the following chart of credit reality suggests those Japanese investors might stop to reflect a little on their own reality...
With the numbers of 'real' enrollees in Obamacare looking dismal relative to government expectations, and the deadline for the first official details of the health law's enrollment figures due later this week, the administration has decided - in an oh so US Government-esque move - to change the rules. An enrollee is now defined as people who have purchased a plan (normal health insurance plan protocol) as well as those who have a plan sitting in their online shopping cart but have not yet paid. As The Washington Post notes, the disparity in the numbers is likely to further inflame the political fight especially in light of the fact that - for context - the average e-commerce shopping cart abandonment rate is 67%.
A central tenet of propaganda is that the Big Lie repeated often enough is accepted with greater ease than small lies. Thus it is no surprise that the leadership and propaganda organs of the Fed, Federal government and the Keynesian cargo Cult of fellow travelers all repeat our era's Big Lie: There is a free lunch after all. There are two free lunches, according to our financial and political leaders: free money, in the form of money created out of thin air by the Fed, and almost-free money borrowed into existence by the Federal government. The problem with Big Lies is reality has not been disappeared; it still exists. Actions create consequences, and not necessarily the consequences that were planned or expected.
If you have not already, it is time to modify your UST trading strategy to adapt to current market conditions. Buyer beware...