Amid record unemployment, even recorder youth unemployment, and politicians willingly breaking EU treaties (with apparently no consequences), it appears - just as in the US - police brutality in France was the straw that broke 'Le Camel's back. As RT reports, another anti-police brutality protest turned violent in the French city of Rennes, with masked youths and police engaging in running street battles. The unrest follows the death of a young environmental activist earlier this week. Overnight Thursday, protesters in the northwestern city lobbed flairs at police and flipped over cars, some of which they set ablaze. Police responded by firing tear gas. We hear guillotines are still cheap on ebay.
As faces are filled with chocolate on All Hallow's Eve, we thought this evening's reading list should maintain the focus of "scary" ponderances now that the Federal Reserve has ended their latest monetary iterations.
"We start our Q4 GDP tracking estimate at +2.2%, eight-tenths below our prior standing forecast. The lower tracking estimate mainly reflects the larger-than-expected +0.7 percentage point contribution from defense spending to Q3 growth (which introduces risks for payback in Q4), the weaker-than-expected trajectory for consumer spending heading into the quarter apparent in today’s personal income and outlays report for September, and a slightly weaker assumption on net exports in light of the large net trade contribution in Q3, our global teams’ recent downgrades to rest-of-world growth forecasts and the recent appreciation of the US dollar." - Goldman Sachs
Two days ago, when QE ended and knowing that the market is vastly overstimating the likelihood of a full-blown ECB public debt QE, we tweeted the following: "It's all up to the BOJ now." Little did we know how right we would be just 48 hours later. Because as previously reported, the reason why this morning futures are about to surpass record highs is because while the rest of the world was sleeping, the BOJ shocked the world with a decision to boost QE, announcing it would monetize JPY80 trillion in JGBs, up from the JPY60-70 trillion currently and expand the universe of eligible for monetization securities. A decision which will forever be known in FX folklore as the great Halloween Yen-long massacre.
Central banks are printing rules almost as fast as they’re printing money. The consequences of these fast-multiplying directives — complicated, long-winded, and sometimes self-contradictory — is one topic at hand. Manipulated interest rates is a second. Distortion and mispricing of stocks, bonds, and currencies is a third. Skipping to the conclusion of this essay, Jim Grant is worried: "The more they tried, the less they succeeded. The less they succeeded, the more they tried. There is no 'exit.'"
When the next crisis comes there will no doubt be economists and commentators who blame it on some proximal event, like the failure of a large important financial institution. Don’t be fooled. The seeds of the next crisis are already sown. Fed policy under Ben Bernanke and Janet Yellen has distorted the economy in a way that makes it precariously fragile, and susceptible to collapse.
Greenspan told the CFR that "gold is a good place to put money these days given it's value as a currency outside of the policies conducted by governments." "Gold has always been accepted without reference to any other guarantee." When asked where the price of gold was headed in the next five years he said “higher --- measurably" ...
And then there is BusinessWeek, which quite to the contrary, is urging its readers in its cover story, ignore common sense, and do more of the same that has led the world to dead economic end it finds itself in currently. In fact, it is, in the words of NYT's Binyamin Appelbaum, calling the world governments to become the slaves of a defunct economist. And spend, spend, spend, preferably on credit. Because, supposedly, this time the resulting crash from yet another debt-funded binge will be... different?
- "Soaring consumer confidence" - How the Economy Is Stoking Voter Anger at Incumbent Governors (WSJ)
- Euro zone deflation worries shield German Bunds from upbeat Fed (Reuters)
- Greece’s Euro Dilemma Is Back as Minister Sees Volatility (BBG)
- Ukraine gas supplies in doubt as Russia seeks EU payment deal (Reuters)
- Sterling Lads Chats Show FX Traders Matching Fix Orders (BBG)
- NATO Tracks Large-Scale Russia Air Activity in Europe (WSJ)
- U.K. SFO Charges Ex-Tullett Prebon Broker in Libor-Rigging Probe (BBG)
- Jerusalem on edge after shooting of rabbi (FT)
- Israeli police kill Palestinian suspected of shooting far-right activist (Reuters)
- Samsung seeks smartphone revamp to arrest profit slide (Reuters)
To summarize (even though with liquidity as non-existant as it is, this may be completely stale by the time we go to print in a minute or so), European shares erase gains, fall close to intraday lows following the Fed’s decision to end QE. Banks, basic resources sectors underperform, while health care, tech outperform. Companies including Shell, Barclays, Aviva, Volkswagen, Alcatel-Lucent, ASMI, Bayer released earnings. German unemployment unexpectedly declines. The Italian and U.K. markets are the worst-performing larger bourses, the Swiss the best. The euro is weaker against the dollar. Greek 10yr bond yields rise; German yields decline. Commodities decline, with nickel, silver underperforming and wheat outperforming. U.S. jobless claims, GDP, personal consumption, core PCE due later.
Shinzo Abe has lost his magical touch as Japan's economy is nose-diving again...
"The dove dissenting says it all," trader quips. "Fed comes in with a bit of a Hawkish tilt as it rids of key policy line around labor market..." If they are only fighting inflation now, they have less ability to enact more dovish policy. I think this should be a "risk off" trade.
Pointing to “solid job gains” and a falling unemployment rate, the Fed said a range of labor market indicators suggest that labor market slack is “gradually diminishing.” In the process it struck from the statement an earlier assessment that labor market slack was substantial, a phrase investors have been watching closely for signs the Fed is becoming more confident about the economy. If all goes as they plan, officials will turn their attention in the months ahead to discussions about when to start raising short-term interest rates and how to signal those moves to the public before they happen. Many expect to move on rates by the middle of 2015.
"Steady as she goes" was expected... having kept the "considerable time" dream alive last month, the FOMC ended QE3 on schedule but remained 'data-dependent' on reviving it... (even as Kocherlakota dissented)
- *FED ENDS THIRD ROUND OF QUANTITATIVE EASING AS PLANNED
- *FED SEES `SOLID JOB GAINS' WITH LOWER UNEMPLOYMENT
- *FED REPEATS RATES TO STAY LOW FOR `CONSIDERABLE TIME'
And so now the "flow" has stopped; given that "bond buying" did not work, we are reminded of Alan Greenspan's warning that "I don’t think it’s possible" for the Fed to end its easy-money policies in a trouble-free manner. Full redline below.
Most defenders of the state assume that government services help the poor. And, sometimes, some poor people do benefit financially from government programs. But there’s a hidden cost: taxation and mandatory programs (Social Security, for instance) that hurt the needy by restricting their choices. Government taxes away income that low-income households could invest in improving their lives. At the same time, state-sponsored benefits create incentives that keep the poor trapped in poverty.