Will today be central bankers' Waterloo? We'll see, as Mario Draghi stares down sky-high expectations for ECB easing.
Something that has gone unnoticed in all the talk about the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s e-mails is the content of the original leak that started the entire investigation to begin with.
"She should be terrified of the fact that he’s been granted immunity," adding that "they would not be immunizing him and thereby inducing him to spill his guts unless they wanted to indict someone."
It’s getting weird and the market is having a tough time figuring out what to take seriously, what to ignore, what to laugh nervously about and what to just laugh at. Are serious economists actually have a debate about whether it is a good idea to just print up cash and pass it out? Is that really monetary policy? Are governments really talking about banning actual currency, the very money created by that government? Money that depends, oh by the way, solely on people’s trust that the government will stand behind the money they are about to outlaw? Has everyone lost their freaking minds?
The sign of a totalitarian or authoritarian state is a media that feels no responsibility to investigate and to find the truth, accepting the role of propagandist instead. The entire Western media has been in the propaganda mode for a long time. In the US the transformation of journalists into propagandists was completed with the concentration of a diverse and independent media in six mega-corporations that are no longer run by journalists. The government has us where it wants us—powerless and disinformed.
The size and scope of the political, economic and financial problems that now challenge the relative stability and tranquility of developed societies are unprecedented. Negative interest rates combined with the eradication of cash appear as a desperate attempt to control global private wealth. Should the war on cash prove unsuccessful in its early stages, banks could be closed for long periods.
Italy is big enough to matter (it is the eight largest economy on the planet), but so uneventful that most does not pay any attention to what is going on there. We contend that Italy will, during the next year or two, be on everyone’s radar screen as it has the potential to derail the European project for real.
The same Fed which for 7 years provide generous funding to offshore commercial banks, is now granting foreign central banks the same arbitrage privilege, one which worst of all, is almost entirely shrouded in secrecy.
There are times you try to connect the dots. There are others where those connections warrant adorning your trusted tin-foiled cap of choice; for you just can’t get there unless you do. This I believe is one of those times. And if correct? What at first might appear apocryphal, may in fact, be down right apocalyptic. And besides, what good is a tin-foil capped conspiracy theory anyhow if it doesn’t have the potential for doom, correct? The implications for everything we now take for granted such as: money, enterprise, global commerce, and a whole lot more may be far closer to a “Minsky moment” than any of us dared to imagine.
"Apple’s stance in the San Bernardino case may not be quite the principled defense that Cook claims it is... it may have as much to do with public relations as it does with warding off what Cook called “an unprecedented step which threatens the security of our customers.""
History might look back on this period as a great intellectual failure for not properly understanding the dynamics. The Fed should spend more of its intellectual power trying to understand why its policy actions have not had the desired or expected result. Market pundits arguing for easier money (or negative rates) do not fully understand the long-run unintended consequences to markets and economies from extreme and long periods of unconventional monetary policy. Market turbulence today is a warning sign.
Biggest Short Squeeze In 7 Years Continues After Bullard Hints At More QE, OECD Cuts Global ForecastsSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 02/18/2016 08:00 -0400
Just when traders thought that the biggest and most violent 3-day short squeeze in 7 years was about to end a squeeze that has resulted in 3 consecutve 1%+ sessions for the S&P for the first time since October 2011, overnight we got one of the Fed's biggest faux-hakws, St. Louis Fed's Jim Bullard, who said that it would be "unwise" to continue hiking rates at this moment, and hinted that "if needed", the most natural option for the Fed going forward would be to do further Q.E.
Australia Stops "Cooking" Its Jobs Report And The Result Is A Disaster: Full-Time Jobs Plunge Most Since 2013Submitted by Tyler Durden on 02/17/2016 21:20 -0400
One week ago, when we reported that Australia had admitted to cooking its jobs numbers, we said that what this means is that : "Australia need more easing, and to do that, the economy has to go from strong to crap." And with the Australian economy suddenly desperate for lower rates from the RBA, one can ignore the propaganda lies, and focus once again on the far uglier truth. That "far uglier truth" was revealed moments ago.
As you might have noticed, the Fed made a policy mistake in December. We could delve deeply into the specifics, but quite frankly it all boils down to this: Yellen hiked right into a recession. With the pressure mounting, and with Janet Yellen having failed (miserably) to reassure the market with her testimony on Capitol Hill earlier this month, what’s in the cards for the Fed if the situation (both in financial markets and in the real economy) continues to deteriorate?
Since the January FOMC statement, Janet has spoken twice and what seems like every Fed speaker has hit the headlines to explain their decisions (only to confuse the market more) leaving bonds and gold outperforming amid their clear confusion. The Minutes appear to confirm that confusion:
- *FOMC MEMBERS AGREED DATA TOO UNCLEAR TO GAUGE RISKS TO OUTLOOK (confused)
- *FED OFFICIALS CONTINUED TO EXPECT GRADUAL POLICY TIGHTENING (hawkish)
- *MANY FED OFFICIALS AT JAN. FOMC SAW INCREASED DOWNSIDE RISKS (dovish)
So The Fed was unanimous in its decision to leave rates unchanged, downgraded the economic outlook, and was fearful of the global financial volatility - which in the last 3 days has all been solved.