"There is virtually no 'bullish' argument that will currently withstand real scrutiny. Yield analysis is flawed because of the artificial interest rate suppression. It is the same for equity risk premium analysis. Valuations are not cheap, and rising interest rates will slow economic growth. However, because optimistic analysis supports our underlying psychological 'greed,' all real scrutiny to the contrary tends to be dismissed. Unfortunately, it is this 'willful blindness' that eventually leads to a dislocation in the markets."
Germans can’t get their gold reserves. Do how did the Dutch get their 122 tonnes of gold?
Is Germany being prevented from holding gold to prevent independent foreign policy action?
With someone desperate to sell 6,100 S&P 500 e-mini contracts in 1 second at 12:20:05, US stocks market indices hit a mini-flash-crash air-pocket as the 4th Hindenburg Omen signal flashed in the last 5 days... paging Waddell & Reed... We await the next Fed speaker to save stocks in a v-shaped recovery.
We doubt anyone will find it one bit surprising that as Bank of America observes in its latest weekly hedge fund monitor, "S&P500 longs increase to six month high" with all equities bought. And alongside that, and confirming that the short squeeze in the Treasury market will continue indefinitely, "10-yr contracts were sold at a strong pace to increase net short positioning to largest in six months." Why? Because that imminent economic recovery which everyone has been betting on since the second half of 2013 is just not coming, seasonally adjusted low-paying temp, retail, teacher and secretary jobs notwithstanding.
For those, who are leery of seasonally-adjusted government data (showing soaring low-wage jobs offset by crashing employment in the energy sector and M&A synergies which mysteriously are never captured), or sentiment surveys and confidence polls (of Wall Street executives and government workers), here is the latest data from McDonalds. Showing the worst US comp store sales in nearly 12 years at -4.6%, one does wonder if following America's inability to even pay for sub-$1 meals, mass starvation will follow?
- Welcome to the recovery:
- Oil Extends Retreat With European Stocks as Dollar Gains (BBG)
- California police, protesters clash again after 'chokehold' death (Reuters)
- Ruble’s Rout Is Tale of Failed Threats, Missteps (BBG), not to be confused with "Yen's Rout Is Tale Of Keynesian Success, Prosperity"
- Uber banned from operating in Indian capital after driver rape (Reuters)
Seeing the two “depressions” as historically and generationally comparable, makes it easier to recognize other similarities between the 1930s and the 2010s. Many are economic, as we have seen. But others are demographic (falling fertility, migration, and mobility). Still others are social (growing localism, income inequality, and distrust of elites; stronger families; and declines in personal risk-taking). And still others, ominously, are geopolitical (rising isolationism, nationalism, and authoritarianism, and the unraveling of any “world order” consensus). The confluence of all these trends is not accidental...
Remember when that absolute disaster of a Q3 GDP print hit Japan and the world of talking-heads proclaimed... "yeah, but.. capex revisions and stuff and things will make it all better" or some such nonsense? Well that's exactly what it was - utter nonsense. Going entirely the opposite direction to expectations of a revision up to -0.5% QoQ, Japanese GDP was revsied even lower to -1.9% QoQ (from -1.6% QoQ initial) confirming the quadrupled-dip-recession. Add to that the fact that Abenomics has ushered in record bankruptcies this year as small- and medium-sized businesses have been crushed by soaring import costs amid the collapsing JPY and you have a recipe for domestic disaster... and having rallied in anticipation of the exuberant revisions in Friday's US session, Japanese stocks are sliding quickly off the 18,000 level.
Friday's jobs data proves it - America is back baby!!! Or is it all totally manipulated statistical shenanigans? A quick glimpse at the following charts two rather uncomfortably 'non-recovery-like' lines - of structural unemployment and the percent of the US population of Food Stamps - would suggest that for much of America, the recovery never happened... and in fact has got worse...
"I find it extremely odd and troubling that starting with January 2013, the Establishment Survey started moving in nearly an exactly straight line (benchmarks are important). That observation is made more curious by a memo that was just sent out by the Census Bureau to its field offices (the BLS crunches the numbers, but contracts out with the Census Bureau to actually conduct the surveys)... In other words, they were told that there would be penalties for cheating on the surveys, which apparently is tied to suggestions of a rash of field workers completing surveys for people never actually surveyed. The reason for doing so, spelled out by the New York Post, is that compensation is tied to a 90% completion rate."
"The nation was leery of a national bank with seemingly endless power to manipulate the money supply and the Second National Bank of the United States was attacked by both the expansionists and the sound money opponents. It was during this period that future President Andrew Jackson shaped his anti-Bank views in Tennessee while his future hard-money arm in the Senate, Thomas Hart Benton (Old Bullion), shaped his views in Missouri, two of the hardest-hit states. The debate over central banking, and the concern over deflation and inflation, continue two hundred years later."
In the great fiscal scheme of things, October 22, 1981 seems like only yesterday. That’s the day the US public debt crossed the $1 trillion mark for the first time. It had taken the nation 74,984 days to get there (205 years). What prompts this reflection is that just a few days ago the national debt breached the $18 trillion mark; and the last trillion was added in hardly 365 days.
Here's a paradox: a month after the democrats were massacred in the House in the midterm elections due to America's revulsion with the non-recovery, and a week after the worst start to the holiday shopping season since Lehman, the WSJ tells us that 2014 will be the best year for jobs in the New Millennium.
The ink isn't dry yet on the amazing midterm drubbing of the democrats over what most Americans said were deteriorating economic issues and a recovery that continues to only be there on BLS goalseeked paper, and lo and behold, here is Obama, about to boast about today's whopper of a jobs number, in which the BLS proudly reported the US hired some 321K workers in November, mostly temps, secretaries, retail and leisure workers and teachers. That, and the president is also expected to announce the choice of Ash Carter as the new Secretary of Defense.
- JP Morgan 200K
- Goldman Sachs 220K
- Citigroup 225K
- HSBC 230K
- UBS 230K
- Credit Suisse 235K
- Morgan Stanley 235K
- Deutsche Bank 250K