Who’s dumb enough to buy this stuff—10-year debt at negative yields and 100-year debt in a doomed currency? Institutional investors, of course—large pension funds and the like. You might look at news like that and think, well, that’s crazy, I’d never do that. But the fact is, it’s being done with YOUR MONEY. Just like Winston Churchill commented that it’s false to characterize the fighting at places like the Somme, Verdun etc. in WWI as battles, when they were actually more like prolonged sieges, what’s happening in the financial world today is similar. The financial world today is the same. Billion dollar stimulus packages. Quantitative Easing 1, 2, 3… Negative interest rates. Negative long-term debt yields. Cash withdrawal and transaction controls. Higher taxes. Capital controls...
As noted several hours ago, the main story overnight is not that Greece once again narrowly averted a Grexit when it was reported it would make its scheduled payment to the IMF today (adding that next month is a "different story") a development that was met with yet another ultimatum by its "partner", the Eurozone, but the dot com bubble deja vu-esque move in Hong Kong stocks, where the Chinese, seemingly tired of pushing up their local market into the stratosphere have turned their attention southward and are desperate to buy up every single Hong Kong stock.
- Shell Will Buy BG Group for $70 Billion in Cash and Shares (BBG)
- IMF warns of long period of lower growth (FT)
- Wall Street sanguine as it heads into worst earnings season in six years (Reuters)
- Switzerland First With 10-Year Bond at Negative Yield (WSJ)
- U.S. Dot-Com Bubble Was Nothing Compared to Today’s China Prices (BBG)
- Rahm Emanuel Re-Elected as Mayor of Fiscally Ravaged Chicago (BBG)
- Oil falls on U.S. stock build, record Saudi output (Reuters)
- White South Carolina policeman charged with murdering black man (Reuters)
- German Factory Orders Drop for Second Month (BBG)
- A third of Republicans support Iran nuclear deal (Reuters)
Bernanke drove interest down to zero, where it has stayed for over 6 years. In his rationalization, he concedes an importantg point that undermines his argument (and the Fed).
Germany has been kind enough to provide an idea where the foundering Greek "radical leftist" government can find some additional funds: by freezing and raiding the bank accounts of wealthy Greeks. Of course, the legal loophole provision is that only those suspected (not convicted) of tax fraud would be eligible for such an asset freeze, however since in Greece virtually nobody pays the amount of tax they should, this is essentially a carte blanche to freeze and raid the funds of the wealthiest Greeks who have bank accounts in Germany (and soon in all other European nations) no questions asked.
With the Fed supposedly steeling itself at last to remove a little of its emergency ‘accommodation’, it has suddenly become fashionable to warn of the awful parallels with 1937 as an excuse The Fed must not act today. We strongly refute the analogy. Instead, the real Ghost of ’37 takes the form of mean-spirited and, counter-productive 'pitchfork populism' politics and the spectre should not be conjured up to excuse the central bank from further delaying its overdue embarkation on the long road back to normality and policy minimalism.
"I think Kerry will get an enormous amount of credit for pulling it off. He will be in line for a Nobel Peace Prize... He could go down in history books as being a monumentally important character, like Jimmy Carter with Camp David..."
Or "He could go down as Neville Chamberlain at Munich. Both are possible here."
The American economic and financial landscape is vastly different than it was following World War II. The wealth gap between the rich and the poor has shifted sharply to the upper 10% of the population. For that group, the economic picture is considerably brighter than for those in the bottom 80%. For Byron, whose personal net worth is in the billions, this is truly a "Picasso economy," for the majority of everyone else it is more like a "starving artist sale."
In the same style as we have grown used to around the world, a major negotiation has ended with all sides claiming victory and no sides offering any actual solutions. Iran proclaims the talks have made "significant progress," yet Western diplomats are saying progress is "limited," only to be confused even more by Iran's Foreign Minister stating that "but still we have not agreed on the reviewed solutions." So in summing it all up, a press conference will be held shortly to explain that 'they agree on the outline of a plan which will pave the way for an agreement but aren't sure how much of the plan or hypothetical agreement they want to share'. New normal geopolitics... no deal is the new deal.
Why Is the U.S. Smack Dab In the Middle of a Religious War ... Backing the Most Violent Muslim Terrorists?
Crude oil prices continue to push higher. Following the earlier drop in US crude production this week and PEMEX oil rig fire, we now have more substantive headlines from Switzerland:
*IRAN TAKES PAUSE IN TALKS, NO DOCUMENT SEEN TODAY: TASS CITES UNIDENTIFIED EUROPEAN DIPLOMAT
Of course, one wonders who really wants a deal now... with over-supply already a problem, any sanctions-lifting would boomerang back to US Shale firms and further destabilize the illusion of recovery in America.
Following last night's pump'n'dump after API inventories exceeded expectations (5.2mm vs 4.2mm exp.), WTI crude prices have dropped to almost a $46 handle and recovered as chatter of "no deal" from Switzerland picks up. DOE reports a 4.766mm barrel build, greater than expected, for the 12th week in a row - the longest streak since records began in 1982. Crude prices are however surging as production dropped wekk-over-week for only the 2nd time this year...
Shortly after the US equity mnarkets closed, headlines crossed from Switzerland seemingly confirming "no deal" with Iran...P5+1 MINISTERS PLAN TO LEAVE LAUSANNE IN MORNING but that was quickly watered down with a warning that Iran has until dawn to agree to the deal. This sent WTI up modestly and then API Crude inventories, which were expected to rise 4.2mm barrels, printed 5.2mm barrels - the 12th weekly rise in a row. Crude was slow to react but after a brief fade, shot higher... then dumped...
Houthi rebels have reportedly entered the military base at the stratgeic Bab el-Mandeb Strait, according to Reuters. This is the 4th largest oil-shipping chokepoint in the world... Oil has pushed modestly higher on the news but remains driven more by the headlines from Switzerland...