Not many months ago bullish Wall Street strategists and pundits were celebrating the backdrop. It appeared to many that global central bankers had mastered the perpetual “money” machine. Markets could only go higher. Yet one would have to be delusional not to recognize the darkening clouds overtaking the world and U.S. Look no further than global terrorist attacks, geopolitical tension and the sour U.S. political discourse as confirmation that All is Not Well.
Some reversals of financial trends prove so momentous they define the generation in which they occur. The stock market crash in 1929 kicked off the Great Depression, which ushered in the welfare and then the warfare state and redefined the relationship between government and citizens. Bonds and stocks began their bull market runs in the early 1980s. Now, those markets are fonts of optimism increasingly unhinged from reality. The US has come full circle. The New Deal and World War II marked a massive shift of resources and power to the federal government. Conversely, financial reversal will fuel a virulent backlash against the government and its central bank.
The country’s social mood is apparently ripe and it finally seems actually possible for a perceived outsider to win by challenging the established order. Our main regret is that it wasn’t yet ripe at the time Ron Paul tried his hand at winning the nomination. Everything Trump is saying and doing should probably be seen in the context of his strategy. It’s quite Machiavellian actually. The alleged lack of discernible policy stances, the occasional contradictions and often hair-raising statements are all in pursuit of the same goal: to win the nomination. Other than that, we mainly enjoy the growing discomfort of assorted cronies and professional politicians.
Liu Lang, a Chinese migrant worker, left his rural hometown in Sichuan Province two decades ago to work in the factories of the southern province of Guangdong, China’s manufacturing powerhouse. Now, he is moving back. “I worked my way up from a basic worker to a department head. And my career basically ended today,” Mr. Liu said on the train leaving Guangdong. Factories in Guangdong have been hit hard by the slowing economy, and many of them have closed, including the shoe factory where Mr. Liu worked.
Global policymakers have gone to incredible measures to stabilize market, financial and economic backdrops. Yet reflationary measures will continue to only further destabilize. When policy-induced “risk on” is overpowering global securities markets, fragilities remain well concealed. Fragilities, however, swiftly manifest with the reappearance of “risk off.” Rather quickly securities markets demonstrate their proclivity for illiquidity and so-called “flash crashes.” So after an unsettled week in global markets, the critical issue is whether “risk on” is giving way to “risk off” dynamics.
Evidently, voters are in a very bad mood just about everywhere. Unfortunately, they are bereft of good choices in most places. Usually one essentially gets to exchange one bunch of psychopathic looters for another – so it is like jumping from the frying pan into the fire. Very often, things will simply go from bad to worse, as the underlying basic problems are usually misdiagnosed, resp. there is no-one willing to actually tackle them. Investors should pay very close attention to this trend...When the performance of financial markets diverges from underlying social mood trends, it is usually time to be very careful.
Vladimir Putin’s approval rating in Russia has soared to yet another all time high; leaving all those who don’t like Putin or were hoping for some sort of regime change in Russia continue to be out of luck. One reason why we are even posting about this is that the Western press has also reported on the event, employing a somewhat less neutral tone of voice. What makes the sour grapes style reporting in the Western media especially funny is that while it is true that the Kremlin exerts extraordinary influence on the media in Russia, one wonders in what way their reportage on Syria is different from the reporting in the happily self-censoring US mainstream media on the Iraq war, especially in the run-up to said war.
In a dramatic show of faux generosity, staple CNBC commentator and billionaires, Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal who several years ago sued Forbes for "underestimating" his net worth at "only" $20 billion (Forbes won) decided to show the world just how noble (and rich) he is. According to Arabian Business, Alwaleed Philanthropies, chaired by Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, has given out "10,000 housing units and 10,000 cars to Saudi citizens who are eligible as per the criteria set by the organisation."
"They'll Blame Physical Gold Holders For The Failure Of Monetary Policies" Marc Faber Explains EverythingSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 08/09/2015 19:00 -0400
"The future is unknown and we are not dealing with markets that are free markets anymore...now we have government interventions everywhere. [But] in the last say twelve months, I have observed an increasing number of academics who are questioning monetary policies. That's why I think they will take the gold away and go back to some gold standard by revaluing the gold say from now $1000/oz to say $10,000 dollars. An individual should definitely own some physical gold. The bigger question is where should he store it? because... the failure of monetary policies will not be admitted by the professors that are at central banks, they will then go and blame someone else for it and then an easy target would be to blame it on people that own physical gold because - they can argue - well these are the ones that do take money out of circulation and then the velocity of money goes down - we have to take it away from them... That has happened in 1933 in the US."
A decline in the desire to own products conferring and announcing one’s high social status happens close to, or hand in hand with fairly severe economic downturns. People no longer want to stand out as rich when times are getting tough. This effect can be observed in numerous areas, even in the colors and shapes people choose when buying cars.
"Does this country need a hug?" Well, Jon, actually, yeah, it kinda did.
It's been a sad week for Venezuela. First, on Wednesday we showed what happens to local supermarkets when formerly Latin American paradises run out of other people's money. Then, the next day we showed what happens when in the aftermath of scenes such as the one above the social mood turns violent, and how what was once supposed to be a socialist utopia paradise ends uplooking like a warzone. Today we show how the local population is forced to act like stampeding animals when it comes to obtaining even the most basic of staples, in this case milk powder.
"...If the S&P500 were to come down by 50% look at the bright side. The Millennial generation can finally buy into America’s future at a good price. Look at what they are facing right now: very little return on their savings and very lofty prices that they have to pay to invest in their future. So we often forget that these wrenching dislocating financial events, particularly for older generations, can create opportunities for the young, and often create space for something more durable for the times to be built. So I’ll just summarize it with Schumpeter’s phrase: creative destruction. That’s how I prefer to see what happens in a Fourth Turning."
Earlier today, as the exchange between Greece and its creditors got increasingly belligerent, Estonian Prime Minister Taavi said that "Greece’s debt would still remain outstanding and creditors would expect this money back." So did this latest antagonism change the Greek mind? According to a flash headline by the WSJ released moments ago, not all. In fact, Greece just made it official that it would default to the IMF in just over 24 hours: "Greece won't pay IMF tranche due Tuesday, government official says"
It seems yet another hero of the recent cyclical bull market, resp. echo bubble, may be in danger of falling from grace. This has already happened to his predecessor Alan Greenspan, who has been gradually demoted from “Maestro” to “irresponsible bubble blower”. In this sense the somewhat less praise-laden verdicts that are lately emerging with respect to Ben Bernanke could be seen as an early warning sign.