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USA Is Now Twice As Likely To 'Default' Than Germany

While the market turmoil (stocks down a few percentage points from all-time record highs) is being pinned on various factors (from North Korea, Trump, & Cohn to terrible retailer earnings and J-Hole anxiety), we suspect the real cause of market uncertainty is starting to peak through - the looming debt ceiling crisis that has now become too big and too imminent to ignore.

The S&P 500 Is Now Overvalued On 18 Of 20 Valuation Metrics

Based on BofA's 20 most widely used valuation metrics, the S&P remains substantially overvalued according to 18 of 20, the only exceptions being FCF, and relative to bonds where yields are depressed thanks to endless central bank monetization backstops.

"This Has Never Happened Before": Goldman Warns Low-Vol Regime Is In Jeopardy

This morning Goldman points out something that has never been observed before: the ratio of VVIX to VIX, or the vol of vol relative to implied volatility as per the VIX, just hit the highest level on record, while the VVIX itself spiked to the highest level since the August 2015 ETFlash crash.

Credit Investors Are Suddenly Extremely Worried About Central Banks

The latest credit investor survey by Bank of America shows a marked change in the Wall of Worry: "Quantitative Failure" by central banks has emerged as investors’ top concern (23%), up materially from June’s reading (6%). Investors say that a backdrop of the ECB ending QE next year, while inflation remains sub-par, "has the potential to rattle the market’s confidence."

ING FX Asks Why Trump Is Making Everyone (Else) Great Again

Whether intentional or not, President Trump has certainly managed to keep his word on one of his pledges: concerns about a rising $ are no longer an issue for the administration, with even the Fed’s trade-weighted index now at its lowest in a year.

Goldman's Clients Are Confused About Inflation: Here's Why

The US inflation outlook and its equity investment implications were key topics of discussion during recent visits with clients in Boston, Chicago, and New York. Looking forward, will the rate of inflation in 2018: (a) decelerate, (b) accelerate, or (c) stay about the same? The answer depends on the information source.

"Willful Blindness"

"...analysts are once again hoping for a “hockey stick” recovery in earnings in the months ahead... few, if any, Wall Street analysts expecting a recession at any point the future...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."

Visualizing "Conundrum 2.0": This Is What The Fed Is Missing

As the latest FOMC minutes demonstrated, the current period of especially loose financial conditions - despite a projected 3 rate hikes in 2017 - is confusing the Fed. Deutsche Bank has called this "Conundrum 2.0", and explains what is going on in the following chart...

Deutsche: The Market Broke In 2012, "This Is What Everyone Is Talking About"

"After 2011, the two measures of risk decouple with VIX consistently low despite growing uncertainty. The breakdown is structural, and it is visible across all market sectors, not only equities. Current levels of complacency are alarming. This is what everyone is talking about... The longer this regime continues, the lower the threshold of painful unwind."

The Global Commodity Cycle: Where Are We Now

"In commodity cycles, demand leads and supply reacts, with a lag. And the factor which facilitates this process is price. 2017 looks to be providing another classic example of this simple commodity rule."

Animal Spirits Are A Late-Stage Event

“While the temptations are great, and the pressures strong, illusions in numbers are only that - ephemeral, and ultimately self-destructive.