Some people will never learn... ever. What is happening today is nothing more than rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. The iceberg has been struck, we’re taking on water, and this sucker is going to sink. Game Over.
It seems increasingly likely the next Global Financial Meltdown will arise in the FX/currency markets. The core paradox - that central banks can't control both domestic and global FX markets with the same set of policies - cannot be resolved by printing $1 trillion, or even $5 trillion. Printing money to fix one problem leads to another set of problems that are only made worse by additional money-printing.
The world is becoming increasingly chaotic and the American people are seeking a leader who can bring order, make tough decisions, and capture the zeitgeist of this moment in history. They are in search of a prophet generation (Boomer) Grey Champion, whose arrival marks the moment of darkness, adversity and peril as the Fourth Turning careens towards its climax. The Grey Champion doesn’t necessarily have to be a good person, but they must lead and display tremendous confidence in their cause and path. Franklin, Lincoln, and FDR have many detractors, but during their Fourth Turnings, they most certainly led, casting aside obstacles (sometimes illegally) and enduring dark days and bleak prospects for success. Is there someone of that stature ready to lead the American people now?
Liar loans are back from the dead which means that if you look under the hood, you might just have a shoddy credit or two hiding in the collateral pool of your triple-A mortgage-backed paper. Meanwhile, in a further sign that we've learned nothing since the crisis, non-Agency RMBS is set to stage a comeback.
"It’s not how I want my epitaph to read, but it’s not a shameful thing helping people finance themselves. It’s not a bad thing."
The lessons of ignoring history are likely to be learned once again... the hard way.
"...rising asset prices provide investors confirming evidence that their strategy is good and everything is fine. This induction problem lulls investors into a sense of confidence, and sets the stage for the shock when events turn down. That nonlinearity causes sudden change only adds to the confusion."
The one undeniable truth about the debt drama in Greece is that each of the conventional narratives - financial, political and historical - has some claim of legitimacy. These facts matter not only because contagion from Greek debt defaults may ripple in dangerous ways through the financial system, but because they are also true for many other members of the Eurozone. The Euro is a fatally-flawed monetary concept and what we now seeing playing out was eminently predictable from the start.
The fact that Moody's and Fitch are beginning to reevaluate student loan ABS is indicative of an underlying shift in the market. Between the proliferation of IBR and the Department of Education's recent move to open the door for debt forgiveness in the wake of the Corinthian collapse, financial markets are beginning to see the writing on the wall. Perhaps Bill Ackman said it best: "there's no way students are going to pay it all back."
The Fed sees no risks of bubble trouble because they are looking at it all from the 2008 perspective. That is completely wrong-headed; if there is a “next one” it will have nothing to do with subprime mortgages, or even mortgages and real estate. Everyone seems to simply assume that the subprime problem ended in 2008, if only by crash. That is true but only of mortgages. Deleveraging is myth as debt has still expanded, and greatly, just not in the same exact places. There are certainly auto and student loans that have exploded exponentially, especially in subprime categories, but if there is another credit bubble now, the third, it is undoubtedly corporate debt.
"Today, six and a half years after the collapse of Lehman, there is a Bigger Short cooking. That Bigger Short is long-term claims on paper money, i.e., bonds."
"You said you weren’t monetizing the debt when you talked to Congress. You said the Fed was going to sell the bonds, but none of them have been sold. They’ve all been rolled over. So how are you claiming victory when you haven’t exited? You haven’t raised rates, you haven’t shrunk the balance sheet. You were wrong in the past. You didn’t see the financial crisis coming. You told us there was no housing bubble. You said subprime was contained. So you were certainly wrong then. So how do you know you’re not wrong now? Is there anything that might change your opinion and get you to rethink and maybe admit that your outlook is wrong?"
To paraphrase H.L. Mencken, anyone who wants the government and Federal Reserve to create a housing recovery, deserves to get it good and hard, like a four by four to the side of their head. Subprime mortgages, subprime auto loans, and subprime student loans driven by preposterously low interest rates are the liquefying foundation of this fake economic recovery. Most rational people would agree that loaning money to people who will eventually default is not a good idea. But it is the underpinning of everything the Fed and government apparatchiks have done to keep this farce going a little while longer. It will not end well – Again.
When student debt and subprime car loans aren't enough, you have to get creative. It now appears Wall Street is set to feed its securitization machine with a new kind of debt: peer-to-peer loans. You read that correctly. Soon enough, the pool of micro loans that are facilitated by sites like LendingClub will be used to create CDOs.
Moody's puts $3 billion in student debt-backed ABS on default watch leading us to wonder when 30% delinquency rates in a market where nearly $1.3 trillion in credit has been extended will finally result in the bursting of what is America's most spectacular debt bubble.