"After suffering the worst start to a new year in history, the U.S. stock market has entered correction territory which is defined by a drop of 10% from its old high. The following "hateful eight" charts pretty much speak for themselves... This doesn't bode well for U.S. stocks which are now in the riskiest position since the bull market started seven years ago."
A lot of people were expecting some really great things to happen in 2015, but most of them did not happen. But what did happen? A global financial crisis began during the second half of 2015 threatens to greatly accelerate as we enter 2016. This is what the early stages of a financial crisis look like, and the worst is yet to come.
After The BOJ And ECB, Will Yellen Disappoint Next? SocGen Warns There Is "Risk The Market Will Be Wrong-Footed"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 12/16/2015 12:42 -0400
According to ScGen, the Fed is widely expected to start tightening policy on Wednesday and adds that "after the BoJ and ECB, we see a risk that the market will be wrong-footed for a third time, and that extreme positions built ahead of tightening will be reversed.... In particular, we are short US small cap equities vs large via being short Russell 2000 vs S&P 500.... As the Fed tightens and the market enters into a lower-liquidity environment (and higher-volatility regime), we think the premium on small caps is no longer justified."
In the end, we are just human. Despite the best of our intentions, it is nearly impossible for an individual to be devoid of the emotional biases that inevitably lead to poor investment decision making over time. This is why all great investors have strict investment disciplines that they follow to reduce the impact of human emotions. Take a step back from the media and Wall Street commentary for a moment and make an honest assessment of the financial markets today. Does the current extension of the financial markets appear to be rational? Are individuals current assessing the "possibilities" or the "probabilities" in the markets?
"It is our humble belief that the consensus at the Fed does not fully understand the magnitude of the problems in corporate credit markets and the unintended consequences of their policy actions."
"... As the tide of leverage goes out, the full extent of irresponsible lending becomes apparent. The previously virtuous cycle between risk spreads and fundamentals goes into reverse, with lower prices, defaults, and downgrades forcing leveraged investors to sell, leading to even lower prices."
"The previous three times this metric fell that far into negative territory on the S&P 500 were Q1 1990, Q1 2001, and Q4 2007, coinciding with the start of each of the last three high yield default cycles"
"The dealer market has collapsed, and all that's left are investors trading the same few bonds back and forth, leaving pricing services guessing with bigger and bigger margins of error on the real value of illiquid debt. That's the real problem. And it's not one the SEC can fix by targeting 'transcendent liquidity' in ETFs."
"From July through October, hedge fund favorite stocks posted their worst relative returns outside of 2008."
"Clients are quick to point out similarities between the current low breadth environment and the narrow breadth regime that emerged during the tech bubble in the late 1990s. Our Breadth index currently equals 1, one of the lowest levels in the 30- year series. The typical episode lasted four months, with past episodes ranging from two months in 2007 to a high of 14 months during the tech bubble."
Today’s dilemma – for financial markets and central bankers – is that pushing back against nascent “risk off” unleashes another forceful bout of “risk on.” At this point, it’s either Bubble on or off – destabilizing either way. The global Bubble has grown too distended and the market backdrop too dysfunctional. Central bankers over the past 25 years have created excessive “money,” while incentivizing too much finance into financial speculation. There is now way too much “money” crowded into the securities and derivative markets, and the upshot is an increasingly hostile backdrop for leverage and speculation.
If one looks at the NDX alone, one would have to conclude that the bull market is perfectly intact. The same is true of selected sub-sectors, but more and more sectors or stocks within sectors are waving good-bye to the rally. Even NDX and Nasdaq Composite have begun to diverge of late, underscoring the extreme concentration in big cap names. Naturally, divergences can be “repaired”, and internals can always improve. The reality is however that we have been able to observe weakening internals and negative divergences for a very long time by now, and they sure haven’t improved so far. In terms of probabilities, history suggests that it is more likely that the big caps will eventually succumb as well.