First the good news: of the 28 global regions that have reported PMIs so far (the US Markit PMI is due later today), 18 posted a print of over 50, or indicating manufacturing expansion.
Now the bad news: more than two-thirds of PMIs in August deteriorated compared to July suggesting that while the global economy is not in a recession yet, absent some dramatic improvement, a global economic contraction is just around the corner.
The Jackson Hole gathering may end up providing at least some clarification, but not even close to the manner in which everyone seems intent on inferring. With Janet Yellen’s notable absence, there isn’t the same sort of celebrity about what would have been the media hanging upon every word; that is, after all, what the Federal Reserve has become, not an organ of stability or even expertise but a public relations effort aimed squarely at trying to convince everyone possible that it is. Given the unique circumstances at the moment, the real issue is not whether they might raise rates but just how much systemic misdirection has already been revealed even to the least attentive of people.
During the last crisis period, starting in March 2007 and lasting through November 2008, foreign central banks withdrew gold for a total of 20 out of 21 consecutive months, repatriating a grand total of 409 tons of gold. The last period of peak redemption culminated with the failure of Lehman in September 2008, the near failure of AIG in October and November 2008, coupled with the Fed's bailout of the western financial system. If past is prologue, one should ask: what current or future event is driving the ongoing redemption of 246 tons of gold (and rising) from the NY Fed this time?
We are heading for a crisis that will be exponentially worse than 2008. The global Central Banks have literally bet the financial system that their theories will work. They haven’t.
Dollar recovered from the exaggerated panic at the start of last week. Outlook is still constructive. Here is an overview of the technical condition of currencies, bonds, oil , and S&P 500.
The United States lags far behind other developed countries in terms of personal, civil and economic freedoms, according to a study released this month. Its neighbor to the north, for example, ranked 14 spots ahead of the so-called “Land of the Free.”
As Bloomberg reports, "China has cut its holdings of U.S. Treasuries this month to raise dollars needed to support the yuan in the wake of a shock devaluation two weeks ago, according to people familiar with the matter. Channels for such transactions include China selling directly, as well as through agents in Belgium and Switzerland, said one of the people, who declined to be identified as the information isn’t public. China has communicated with U.S. authorities about the sales."
Aggressive Chinese Intervention Prevents Another Rout, Sends Stocks Soaring 5% In Last Trading Hour; US Futures JumpSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 08/27/2015 06:48 -0400
After a 5 day tumbling streak, which saw Chinese stock plunge well over 20% and 17% in just the first three days of this week, overnight the Shanghai Composite was hanging by a thread (and threat) until the last hour of trading. In fact, this is what the SHCOMP looked like until the very end: Up 2.6%, up 1.2%, up 2.8%, up 0.6%, up 2%... down 0.2%. And then the cavalry came in: "Heavyweight stocks like banks and insurance companies helped pull up the index, and it’s possibly China Securities Finance entering the market again to shore up stocks," Central China Sec. strategist Zhang Gang told Bloomberg by phone. Net result: the Composite, having been red just shortly before the close, soared higher by 156 points or 5.4%, showing the US stock market just how it's down.
In spite of all the attention the nation has received in recent years, SCMP reports that thousands of so-called "politically exposed persons”, or PEPs - a category that includes heads of state and other top officials - hold Swiss bank accounts, a Swiss foreign ministry official said. But, perhaps not for much longer as Bern aims to finalize a law aimed at simplifying the process of freezing and unblocking such funds.
As asset bubbles are in the way of the Fed’s policy, a decline in stock prices removes the equity market bubble and enables the Fed to print more money and start the process up again. On the other hand, the stock market decline could indicate that the players in the market have comprehended that the stock market is an artificially inflated bubble that has no real basis. Once the psychology is destroyed, flight sets in.
The reason given by our rulers for suppressing cash is to keep society safe from terrorists, tax evaders, money launderers, drug cartels, and other villains real or imagined. The actual aim of the ?ood of laws restricting or even prohibiting the use of cash is to force the public to make payments through the financial system. This enables governments to expand their ability to spy on and keep track of their citizens’ most private financial dealings, in order to milk their citizens of every last dollar of tax payments that they claim are due.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record we'd like to say a bit more about economists' tendency to get their monetary history wrong; in particular, the common myths about the gold standard. If there's one monetary history topic that tends to get handled especially sloppily by monetary economists, not to mention other sorts, this is it. Sure, the gold standard was hardly perfect, and gold bugs themselves sometimes make silly claims about their favorite former monetary standard. But these things don't excuse the errors many economists commit in their eagerness to find fault with that "barbarous relic." The point, in other words, isn't to make a pitch for gold. It's to make a pitch for something - anything - that's better than our present, lousy money.
"Evidence in support of Bernanke's view of the channels through which QE works is at best mixed. There is no work, to my knowledge, that establishes a link from QE to the ultimate goals of the Fed inflation and real economic activity. Indeed, casual evidence suggests that QE has been ineffective in increasing inflation."
It's human nature for us to want to keep our wealth close at hand. Trouble is, you have all your wealth in one jurisdiction, and should that jurisdiction find itself in an economic crisis, all that “diversification” will be seriously at risk. If we’re being really truthful with ourselves, governments pose a greater threat than the average thief, as they can steal legally. Much of the world has gone on a massive spending spree and has, in effect, used a credit card to do so. Soon, that bill will need to be paid and the jurisdictions that are in debt will unquestionably be revealed to be insolvent. The economic crisis, when it hits, will be sudden and will be devastating.