WSJ’s Fed whisperer is always good for a bit of Eccles propaganda and so, for whatever it's worth to you, we present the following Hilsy interpretation of the just-released minutes from the “most important” Fed meeting in recent history.
But the question remains whether financial condition concern should manifest itself through unemployment and inflation dual mandate forecasts or be a separate consideration all together? To me, the danger in the latter is it turns central bankers into traders and market timers and that is something they are unlikely to have trained for
Courtesy of JPM we find something curious: it is no longer the Fed, nor its capital markets proxy, Citadel, nor even the banks or hedge funds that are the primary sellers of volatility. It is retail investors themselves!
"Germany's domestic intelligence chief warned on Sunday of a radicalisation of Right-wing groups amid a record influx of migrants, as xenophobic rallies and clashes shook several towns at the weekend."
With Janet Yellen choking back the vomit as she shifted The Fed's stance to a "hawkish hold," markets remain just as confused (and disconnected) as they were after The FOMC's "dovish hold." The problem, as Deutsche explains, is The Fed's reliance on 'conventional' inflation dynamics (and its mean-reversion - higher in this case) as opposed to actual market expectations (which are collapsing), leaving them open to a major Type II policy error - the risk of rejecting something that is, in actuality, true. The Fed's credibility is teetering on the brink as inflation 'reflexivity' - that is, Fed expectations strengthen the dollar, depress risk in general and commodities in particular, with lower commodities driving headline inflation lower - raises the prospect that the Fed fails to raise rates at all in 2016.
When you tie the reflexivity problem in with the fact that the excessive use of counter-cyclical policy is leading to the creation of ever larger asset bubbles by effectively short circuiting the market's natural ability to purge speculative excess and correct the misallocation of capital, what you get is a never-ending loop whereby the consequences of unconventional monetary policy serve as the excuse for doubling and tripling down on those same policies.
In case anyone should ask you to explain Fed reflexivity in under 100 words, here is the answer...
Ever since Simon Potter's 2012 arrival as head of The NYFed's trading desk, the manipulation of VIX (and thus its reflexive levered tail wagging the algo-driven dog of the indices) has been front-and-center day-after-day in the so-called US equity 'market'. While only fringe-blogs have noticed this in the past, now The FT admits that not only was recent volatility in markets exacerbated by VIX ETFs (thus confirming the tail-wagging-dog analogy), and further, the nature of the link between VIX ETFs and VIX Futures (rebalancing) enables frontrunning which serves to reinforce any trend into the close and thus manipulate the markets.
If only the data - that apparently The Fed is 'dependent' on - would collapse. The surging JOLTS data has lifted September rate-hike odds - after a week of sliding - and dragged The Dow more than 200 points off its morning highs...
Fed Hike Will Unleash "Panic And Turmoil" And A New Emerging Market Crisis, Warns World Bank Chief EconomistSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 09/08/2015 17:25 -0400
Earlier today we got the most glaring confirmation there had been absolutely zero coordination at the highest levels of authority and "responsibility", when the World Bank's current chief economist, Kaushik Basu warned that the Fed risks, and we quote, triggering “panic and turmoil” in emerging markets if it opts to raise rates at its September meeting and should hold fire until the global economy is on a surer footing, the World Bank’s chief economist has warned. And just in case casually tossing the words "panic in turmoil" was not enough, Basu decided to add a few more choice nouns, adding a rate hike "could yield a “shock” and a new crisis in emerging markets"
The world is in the waning days of a historic multi-decade experiment in unfettered finance. International finance has for too long been effectively operating without constraints on either the quantity or the quality of Credit issued. From the perspective of unsound finance on a globalized basis, this period has been unique. History, however, is replete with isolated episodes of booms fueled by bouts of unsound money and Credit – monetary fiascos inevitably ending in disaster. We see discomforting confirmation that the current historic global monetary fiasco’s disaster phase is now unfolding.
Yesterday it was US and Italian energy giants Chevron and Saipem which announced a total of over 10,000 new job cuts in the aftermath of oil sliding back under $50 and resuming its downward trend. Today, we got more confirmation of this when Royal Dutch Shell, still basking in the glow of its proposed $70 billion mega-acquisition of BG Group, announced it would axe 6,500 jobs this year and step up spending cuts, responding to an extended period of lower oil prices which contributed to a 37 percent drop in the oil and gas group's second-quarter profits.
The ongoing decline in the VIX starting last week (and still going) is the largest supernormal volatility collapse in VIX history. Over the past 2 years, we have been experiencing a quantifiable ‘outlier’ or ‘black swan’ decline in the VIX every 6 months as evaluated against history. We can only point to government intervention as the core reason. We firmly believe that this moral hazard produces a hidden leverage and “shadow market gamma” that at some point will result in a sustained volatility outlier event in the opposite direction.