recovery

The Madness Of Crowds And The Great Insanity

The central banks have created moral hazard on a scale which is simply unbelievable and set a stage for a bonfire of the vanities seldom, if ever, seen in history. Professional Investors who have spent a lifetime playing these contrarian opportunities offered by human behavior are being carried out on stretchers as historic market behaviors fail to materialize. "Never in my 30+ year career as a market observer have I seen so many out on a limb which is about to be sawed off." Those who live within the matrix are fully loaded for a recovery which is not and will not appear. But when the leverage fails, the world’s developed economies will be thrust into the next leg of the cleansing process of deleveraging and the destruction of it will be equally bigger. This conclusion is firmly on the horizon; let’s call it the great insanity.

The US Housing Market's Darkening Data

When looking at residential real estate, we often tend to focus almost solely on recent price movements in assessing the health of the housing market at any point in time. But as both homeowners and income-earners in the larger economy, of which the housing market is an important component, to really understand what's going on, we need clarity into the larger cycle driving those price movements. The more we look at today's data, the more it looks like that we are in a new type of pricing cycle -- one that homeowners and housing investors have no prior experience with. And the more we learn about the fundamentals underlying the current cycle, the harder it becomes to justify today's home prices on any sustained level. Meaning a downward reversion in home values is very probable in the coming years.

The Fed Won't Let the Economy Heal

Most commentators are of the view that the Fed’s massive monetary pumping of 2008 has prevented a major economic disaster. We suggest that the massive pumping has bought time for non-productive bubble activities, thereby weakening the economy as a whole. Contrary to popular thinking, an economic cleansing is a must to “fix” the mess caused by the Fed’s loose policies. To prevent future economic pain, what is required is the closure of all the loopholes for the creation of money out of “thin air.”

5 Things To Ponder: The Central Bank Edition

This past week has been all about "anticipation." The markets made little headway during the first half of the week as traders waited in an almost breathless anticipation of the announcement from the European Central Bank. When the news was finally received, investors were initially disappointed but David Tepper stepped into the fray with his ever bullish optimism. The more we read, the clearer it becomes that the world's Central Banks have become caught in a "liquidity trap" which is entirely based on circular logic... Central banks must create asset bubbles in the hopes of stimulating economic activity. When the bubble eventually pops the economic activity evaporates which requires the creation of another asset bubble.

It Snowed In Mexico? Mexican Central Bank Unexpectedly Cuts Rate Due To "Worse Than Expected Economy"

While we are led to understand that the US economy contracting at a pace not seen in three years was blamed on the snow (which somehow subtracted $100 billion in US economic growth for Q1 from early estimates of over 2.5% Q1 GDP estimates), we are not sure if one can also accuse snow for what the Mexican central bank just announced, when in a seemingly shocking announcement, it reported that it cut rates from 3.50% to 3.00%, a move expected by precisely zero economists out of the 20 polled by Bloomberg.

  • BANXICO SAYS DOMESTIC SPENDING, PRIVATE INVESTMENT WEAK
  • BANXICO DOESN’T SEE PRESSURE ON INFLATION FROM AGGREGATE DEMAND
  • BANXICO SAYS POOR PERFORMANCE SUGGESTS MODERATE 2Q RECOVERY
  • BANXICO SAYS MEXICO’S 1Q ECONOMIC DYNAMISM WORSE THAN EXPECTED

Yup, sure sounds like a whole lot of snow.

No, The Economy Wasn't Built On Consumer Debt

Steve Liesman unleashed a torrent of abuse when he claimed recently that "This Country Was Built On Consumer Debt" Of course, Steve's comments really are of little surprise. With the average American still living well beyond their means, the reality is that economic growth will remain mired at lower levels as savings continue to diverted from productive investment into debt service. Furthermore, with the Federal Reserve and the Administration actively engaged in creating an artificial housing recovery, and wealth effect from increasing asset prices, it is likely that another bubble is being created. This has never ended well. The concern is that without a reversion of debt to more sustainable levels the attainment of stronger, and more importantly, self-sustaining economic growth could be far more elusive than currently imagined.

US Finally Recovers All Jobs Lost Since 2007 While People Not In Labor Force Increase By 12.8 Million

There was good news in today's NFP report: at 138,463K jobs reported by the establishment survey, the US economy has finally not only recovered the prior cyclical high of 138,365K, but surpassed it by 98K. Congratulations. And now the bad news. As the next chart shows, that virtually every job gaines since the trough of the depression has been matched by at least one person dropping out of the labor force. In fact, since December 2007, the total number of jobs is virtually unchanged, while the number of people not in the labor force has increased by an unprecedented 12.8 million from 79.2 million to a record 92 million. Recovery?

Algos Waiting For Today's Flashing Red NFP Headline To Launch The BTFATH Programs

If predicting yesterday's EURUSD (and market) reaction to the ECB announcement was easy enough, today's reaction to the latest "most important ever" nonfarm payrolls number (because remember: with the Fed getting out of market manipulation, if only for now, it is imperative that the economy show it can self-sustain growth on its own even without $85 billion in flow per month, which is why just like the ISM data earlier this week, the degree of "seasonal adjustments" are about to blow everyone away) should be just as obvious: since both bad news and good news remain "risk-on catalysts", and since courtesy of Draghi's latest green light to abuse any and every carry trade all risk assets will the bought the second there is a dip, the "BTFATH mentality" will be alive in well. It certainly was overnight, when the S&P500 rose to new all time highs despite another 0.5% drop in the Shcomp (now barely holding on above 2000), and a slight decline in the Nikkei (holding on just over 15,000).

Previewing Tomorrow's Payroll Number

With a 9 standard deviation range between the highest and lowest excuse for a forecast from the 81 "qualified" economists on Bloomberg's survey, there is plenty of room for noise to dominate signal with tomorrow's payrolls data. Goldman forecasts a softer-than-consensus 210k increase in non-farm-payrolls as May employment data flow looks more mixed, and they expect that the unemployment rate rose two-tenths to 6.5% in May (vs. consensus 6.4%). Average hourly earnings (AHE) are likely to be in focus again following several months of heightened attention to wage growth and labor market slack; Goldman expects an increase of 0.2% in May (vs. consensus 0.2%).

What Mario Draghi Did Today: Goldman Sachs Explains

Since Mario Draghi is merely a frontman for (and former employee of) Goldman Sachs in yet another central bank, and since his policy mandate is implemented only after extensive drafting and pre-clearance with 200 West, the best "most-mortem" of what happened today comes from the firm that was responsible for today's announcement in the first place: Goldman Sachs itself.

Bubble, Bubble, Toil, And Monetary Policy Trouble

In his recent note “Treacherous Market Conditions,” Scotiabank's Guy Haselmann attempted to outline the precarious position the FOMC has put itself in. The Fed’s depleted ammunition applies greater pressure on its attempts to ensure a strong recovery; yet, as Haselmann hinted, the Fed is in a race against time, because risks to financial stability aggregate with each passing day, while economic benefits approach zero. Despite differences as to the extent and degree of financial risks, FOMC members have (finally) become aware that they have arisen. Draghi seems to share concerns about bubble conditions... and now the BIS fears that a "persistently aggressive monetary policy risks exacerbating collateral damage."

The ZIRP Economy Unmasked, Part 1: Zero Growth In Private Labor Hours Since 1998

Every now and again the apparatchiks who dutifully tend Washington’s statistical sausage factories accidently let loose a damning picture of what actually goes on inside. In that vein the BLS has just published the equivalent of a smoking gun. Namely, a study showing that in 2013—the year of 32% stock returns—the business sector of the US economy generated no more labor hours than it did way back in Bill Clinton’s blue dress period (1998) yet purportedly produced 42% more output in real terms... Stated different, the truth about the Fed’s dangerously misguided ZIRP policy is that it generates a ZIRP economy.