“If you don’t own gold, you know neither history nor economics.” – Ray Dalio, Founder Bridgewater Associates
We cannot be sure what shape the next crisis will take, although it seems likely that it will be yet another “deflation scare”, mainly caused by falling asset prices. However, we do know what the last crisis of the current system will look like. It will entail a crumbling of the public’s faith in fiat money and the institutions that issue and administer it.
Will today be central bankers' Waterloo? We'll see, as Mario Draghi stares down sky-high expectations for ECB easing.
The world financial system is booby-trapped with unprecedented anomalies, deformations and contradictions. It’s not remotely stable or safe at any speed, and most certainly not at the rate at which today’s robo-machines and fast money traders pivot, whirl, reverse and retrace. Indeed, every day there are new ructions in the casino that warn investors to get out of harm’s way with all deliberate speed. And last night’s eruption in the Japanese bond market was a doozy.
In recent weeks Chinese stocks remained relatively resilient, levitating quietly day after day. That all changed overnight when the Shanghai Composite plunged by 6.4% with the drop accelerating into the close. This was the biggest drop in over a month and was big enough to almost wipe out the entire 10% rebound from the January lows in one session.
This has not been a good year for emerging markets since many of the emerging economies are commodity-reliant (mainly crude oil).
Has the Fed totally lost the plot....did they even have a clue to begin with??????
Foreign Central Banks Furiously Dump US Treasuries: Record $47 Billion Sold In First Two Weeks Of 2016Submitted by Tyler Durden on 01/17/2016 19:58 -0400
According to the latest Fed data, after a drop of $12 billion in the first week of the year, another $34.5 billion in Treasurys held in custody was sold in the week ended January 13, bringing the total to just $2.962 trillion, below the previous recent low recorded in early November, and at levels not seen since April 2015. Adding up the flows from the first two weeks of the year reveals the worst and most custody holdings "outflowing" start to the year in history.
As a potential worst case scenario, we use the simple sum of probabilities from 2001- 2002 and the current debt stock as an example of what could happen during a protracted downturn. If this comes to fruition, we estimate fallen angel volumes over 2 years could spike to $413bn, with $117bn of 10+ fallen angel paper (again crashing into a 10+ HY market that is only $48bn in size). This is an ugly spectre that the high-grade markets would need to face in future years.
The rift between Saudi Arabia and Iran has quickly ballooned into the worst conflict in decades between the two countries. The effect from the brewing conflict on oil is murky, but for now it is not having a bullish impact. But what if the current “Cold War” between Saudi Arabia and Iran turned hot?
Market psychology established in recent years is reversing. Market volatility is rising and will remain pervasive for a while as psychology, the change in direction of Fed policy, and the increases in general uncertainties, will all conspire to shape an environment ripe for sharp spikes in volatility which will be further amplified by rickety market liquidity.
If at first you don't succeed, try, try, keep trying again and again. That appears to be the mantra of Goldman's credit strategists.
"Security prices are not low. I wouldn’t say high, but full. So people are thinking cautiously but they’re acting bullish and they’re behaving in a pro-risk fashion. While investor behavior hasn’t sunk to the depths seen just before the crisis, in many ways I feel it has entered the zone of imprudence... The market is not an accommodating machine. It will not go where you want it to go just because you need it to go there."