- Stronger than expected decline in GDP Growth & weaker economic activity
- China in a major meltdown its government is not capable of stopping
- Major deflationary pressures forcing commodities down & credit spreads up
Is the economy as strong as some say it is?
We are told bank earnings and revenue are under pressure from a slew of “tough markets” but what makes those markets so untenable in the first place?
Moody's took the global energy sector to the woodshed, placing 175 global oil, gas and mining companies and groups on review for a downgrade due to a prolonged rout in global commodities prices that it says could remain depressed indefinitely. Here are the 69 US, 19 Canadian and 13 European companies (the full list of all global companies can be found here) that just Moody's black list, a grand total of 101 companies which now face a downgrade threat on just about $540 billion in total debt.
Eight months ago, Bank of America chief economist Ethan Harris triumphantly declared victory over the "perma-bears." Today, the "perma-bears" get the last laugh.
"There is hope of more stimulus in March and potential for even more stimulus in Japan and China, so if we get concrete positive economic news the rebound could last into next week,” said John Plassard, senior equity- sales trader at Mirabaud Securities. “I told my clients to fasten their seatbelts and wait for better news, and this is finally happening."... "The turnaround in sentiment came amid signs central banks may be prepared to act after $7.8 trillion was erased from the value of global equities this year on China’s slowdown and oil’s crash."
"dip buying is officially dead and stocks (esp. US ones) are no longer impressed by promises of central bank largess. The reason the SPX has only witnessed insipid rally attempts during this weeks-long swoon is the absence of robust dip-buying."
Japan has pioneered the absurd in orthodox economics, but we mustn’t think we are all that far away from the same. What planet are we living on? It is, at least, truly the death of money both as an economic tool and even the living, historical concept. Again, if we think that only something for or from Japan, ask yourself what a Yellen might do if 2016 turns out the way it is shaping up. Our future is continuously bleak as central bankers cling with religious devotion to increasingly absurd redistribution schemes, or to fix the error – them.
It may not be as sexy as gold and silver, but sometimes even doctor copper needs a little squeeze and corner love as well, and according to Bloomberg, that is precisely what someone is trying to do. One company whose identity is unknown, is "hoarding as much as half the copper available in warehouses tracked by the London Metal Exchange."
Is the economy “nowhere near recession?” Maybe. Maybe not. But the charts above look extremely similar to where we were at this point in late 2007 and early 2008. Could this time be “different?” Sure. But historically speaking, it never has been.
Today, none other than railroad titan Canadian Pacific (whose stock is down 4% despite the torrid surge higher in risk assets) confirmed that not only are things "worse", but the bottom may have fallen out from what until recently was one of Warren Buffett's favorite industries, after missing on both the top and bottom line, but especially during its conference call in which the management team admitted to "tremendous pressure" on the top line, "challenging times" for revenue growth, strong headwinds for the US economy in 2016 and warned another 1,000 workers are about to get the pink slip.
Despite the turmoil reverberating across global markets, the ECB kept the depo rate unchanged on Thursday at -0.30%. The focus now turns to the Draghi presser where market participants will be keen on parsing the former Goldmanite’s every word for hints at how the central bank plans to cope with the disinflationary impulse unleashed by sub-$30 crude and the ongoing “adjustment” of the Chinese economy and currency.
Things are looking increasingly shaky for central planners around the globe.
While the economic implosion progresses this year, there will be considerable misdirection and disinformation as to the true nature of what is taking place. As I have outlined in the past, the masses were so ill informed by the mainstream media during the Great Depression that most people had no idea they were actually in the midst of an “official” depression until years after it began. The chorus of economic journalists of the day made sure to argue consistently that recovery was “right around the corner.” Our current depression has been no different, but something is about to change. Unlike the Great Depression, social crisis will eventually eclipse economic crisis in the U.S. That is to say, our society today is so unequipped to deal with a financial collapse that the event will inevitably trigger cultural upheaval and violent internal conflict.