"The combined levels of bullish optimism, lack of concern about a possible market correction (don't worry the Fed has the markets back), and rising levels of leverage in markets provide the 'ingredients' for a more severe market correction. However, it is important to understand that these ingredients by themselves are inert. It is because they are inert that they are quickly dismissed under the guise that 'this time is different.' Like a thermite reaction, when these relatively inert ingredients are ignited by a catalyst, they will burn extremely hot. Unfortunately, there is no way to know exactly what that catalyst will be or when it will occur. The problem for individuals is that they are trapped by the combustion an unable to extract themselves in time."
The ongoing deterioration in fundamentals, economics and technicals suggest that risk currently outweighs the potential reward for now. With respect to the technical front, the ongoing deterioration in relative strength, momentum, and breadth, combined with a compression of price action, have only been witnessed at more important market peaks in the past. "Bull markets" do not die on their own. Their death is generally dictated by the onset of an unexpected catalyst that creates enough "panic selling" to spark a liquidation cycle. Does the current situation in China rise to such a level? Maybe. It is an issue we began discussing this past June, and there may be a danger in dismissing the issue too quickly.
"It wan't raining when Noah built the ark."
"Mr. Varoufakis, who kept reminding everyone that he is a professor of game theory, believed that the European leaders would prefer to make concessions now rather than manage the disruption of a Greek default. He must not be familiar with the Tyler Durden school of negotiation: the first rule of using game theory is you do not talk about using game theory. What’s more obvious is that Syriza didn’t understand what the game is."
This weekend's reading list is a smattering of articles to enjoy between your favorite beverage, grilled meat and really fattening desert. Just remember to go back to the gym on Monday...
As we await the final capitulation by the ECB, EU and IMF to provide Greece another bailout (or not), we have assembled a list of reading for you that has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with Greece.
"You're cruisin' for a bruisin'." - Kenickie, Quote From "Grease"
Since the beginning of this year the markets have primarily treaded water. The primary support for the bulls has been continued acknowledgement by the Fed on an inability to remove accommodative policy by raising interest rates. (Which should make you question what happens the first time they do.) The bears have been feasting on weak economic data and deteriorating fundamentals.
As Americans continue to gain weight, heart attacks and emergency room visits should increase, doughnut consumption will rise, gyms will close, and healthy food stores will be stuck with inventory they cannot sell. But on Wall Street, greed is good. So if someone is going to have a heart attack, there's nothing wrong with making a few bucks from it right?
"It's starting to get ugly..."
Greece should get out as fast as it can, all member countries should, especially the poorer ones. There is no benign or even economically viable future for any of them in the Union. A future inside the union is infinitely more frightening than one outside. What is evident by now is that the troika creditors don’t come to the table to negotiate, they come to impose their will. And those countries that carry the most debt are most vulnerable to the threats flung across the table. If you don’t get out, in time Germany will decide what you can eat, what your children learn in school, and how you are to behave. You will no longer live in sovereign nations.
Central bankers have promised ad nauseum to keep rates low for long periods of time. And they have delivered. Their claim is that this helps the economy recover, but that is just a silly idea. What it does do is help create the illusion of a recovering economy. What we have is the financial system posing as the economy. And a vast majority of people falling for that sleight of hand. Now the central bankers come face to face with Hyman Minsky’s credo that ‘Stability Breeds Instability’. Ultra low rates (ZIRP) are not a natural phenomenon, and that must of necessity mean that they distort economies in ways that are inherently unpredictable. For central bankers, investors, politicians, everyone. That is the essence of what is being consistently denied, all the time.
Although a slew of ‘experts’ say the darndest things (e.g.Bloomberg ‘Intelligence’s Carl Riccadonna: “You had equity markets benefit from QE, but eventually QE also jump-started the broader recovery.. Ultimately everyone’s benefiting.”), we can’t get rid of this one other nagging question: who needs an expert to tell them that today’s markets are riddled with bubbles, given that they are the size of obese gigantosauruses about to pump out quadruplets?
Taibbi called Goldman "a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity." This time, their victim was Sarvshreshth Gupta, a rookie analyst just 22 years old from the University of Pennsylvania. Gupta was found dead in a parking lot next to his apartment building on the corner of Sacramento Street and Brooklyn Place in San Francisco. He apparently fell from the building.After working 100 hours a week, he told his father, "This job is not for me." In March, he quit. However, like the crazy woman in Fatal Attraction, Goldman was not going to be ignored.
Like Houston, the financial system has been flooded with liquidity over recent years which has ultimately only had one place to flow - the financial markets. That excess liquidity has sent prices soaring to record highs despite weakting macro economic data. While many hope that the Central Banks can somehow figure out how to keeps the rivers of liquidity from overflowing their banks, history suggests that eventually bad things will happen. Of course, for investors, that translates into a significant and irreperable loss of capital.