The lofty leaders at the ECB, and Berlin, Paris, Brussels, pretend they can make everything right that’s wrong inside their toy monetary union through asset purchases, sovereign bond purchases, and anything that falls in the ‘whatever it takes’ category. But it’s all just bluff. Because, what it all boils down to, they can’t keep buying Greek bonds with German taxpayer money until the end of time. And the markets know this.
The level of micro-management by the Fed appears to have reached a new shockingly high plateau. Recently prices have been driven more by liquidity, fear, greed, and Fed policy, than by valuation. It is time that the Fed stops being a source of interference and confusion. There are also two less obvious or less discussed economic reasons why the Obama administration may be urgently focusing more on the Ebola crises.
With a combined position of nearly $2 trillion in US government debt, against which they hold little or no capital buffer, US banks are now extremely vulnerable to a bond market sell-off.
"I see deflation flirting with America." Retail sales equals consumer spending equals velocity of money. And unless the money supply is rising, hardly likely in the taper, less spending is deflation by definition. Forget about PMI and all that kind of data, it’s much simpler than that. Central banks can do all kinds of stuff, but they can’t make us spend our money on things we don’t want or need. Let alone make us borrow to do so. And if we don’t, deflation is an inevitable fact. That doesn’t mean prices for some items won’t go up, but that’s not what counts. It’s about how fast we either spend the money we have – if we have any left – or how much we borrow. And if time is money, then borrowed money is borrowed time. So we really shouldn’t.
This is all only the beginning. When the smoke clears, stocks could be 30% lower than where they are now, if not more.
What's French for 'sacre bleu'? While the fundamental reality of France's record unemployment, plunging industrial production and economic growth, and treaty-busting deficits are all fact, for many months now, the 'market' has been convinced at Draghi's omnipotence and enabled French bonds to trade as if they are 'in the core'. But... on the heels of Sapin's slap in the face of Schaeuble, shunning of Brussels, the market appears to be changing its mind about France's credit worthiness (risk is up over 30% in the last week). Across Europe, we are witnessing a 2012 replay as re-denomination risk rises and risk spreads between the periphery (which means everything but Germany) and Germany surge...
Here is why the center will hold.
- Dallas County May Declare State of Disaster From Ebola Virus (BBG)
- Markets on edge after worst turmoil in four years (Reuters)
- Central bankers may have no quick fix as markets swoon, economy weakens (Reuters)
- Risk of Deflation Feeds Global Fears (Hilsenrath)
- U.S. health official allowed new Ebola patient on plane with slight fever (Reuters)
- Texas Hospital Fights Allegations About Ebola Protocols (BBG)
- Treasuries Gain as Oil Drops Below $80 While Stocks Slide (BBG)
- Greek Bonds Slump on Bailout Concern as Spain Misses Sale Target (BBG)
- White House shifts into crisis mode on Ebola response (Reuters)
- Obama Confronts Slippery Slope as Islamic State Advances (BBG)
“Unemployment down, jobs up,” President Obama exclaimed, adding gloatingly that "manufacturing growing. Deficits cut by more than half. High School graduation up. College enrollment up. Energy production up.” As Spectator's Ralph Reiland points out, Obamanomics, allegedly batting a thousand - everything that should be up was up and everything that should be down was down. “By every economic measure, we are better off now than we were when I took office,” declared President Obama... so why, if everything is ponies and unicorns, is President Obama's approval rating at record lows. 61% of Americans disapprove of Obama's foreign policy with only 42% approving of the President overall.
We know low interest rates and QE hasn`t worked, or they wouldn`t have to be re-initiated in the form of additional QE Programs, and we wouldn`t still be having this entire conversation 7 years after ZIRP began.
With each new piece of legislation being proposed in the Land of the Free, Atlas Shrugged seems to be ever more prophetic. While even the most terrifying elements of the book are coming true, so are the reactions. People and companies are leaving, refusing the put up with the looting of their efforts any longer. Despite politicians’ desperate attempts to stop it, Atlas is already shrugging.
It would appear The Fed is in panic mode. According to two "people familiar with her comments" - who asked not to be named because the meeting was private last weekend:
- *YELLEN SAID TO VOICE CONFIDENCE IN EXPANSION AMID FOREIGN RISKS
Of course, this is now the last thing that markets want to hear since it means she is less likely to unleash QE4.
For the fourth consecutive night, futures attempted to storm higher, and were halted in their tracks when the USDJPY failed to rebound from the recalibrated 107 tractor beam, following a statement by the BOJ's former chief economist and executive director (until March 2013) who said that now is the time for the Bank of Japan to begin tapering. Needless to say, there could be no worse news to bailout and liquidity-addicted equities as the last thing a global rigged market can sustain now that QE is about to end in two weeks, is the BOJ also reducing its liquidity injections in the fungible world. This promptly took away spring in the ES' overnight bounce. Not helping matters is the continuing selloff in oil, which as we reported first yesterday, has hit the most oversold levels ever, is not helping and we can only imagine the margin calls the likes of Andy Hall and other commodity funds (ahem Bridgewater -3% in September due to "commodities") are suffering. But the nail in the coffin of the latest attempt by algos to bounce back was the news which hit two hours ago that a second Ebola case has been confirmed in Texas, and just as fears that the worst is over, had started to dissipate.
One would think: i) French + ii) economist + iii) Nobel prize winner = the French version of Paul Krugman, which immediately means someone who exists in a permament state of eternal hubris and confused shock at the endless stupidity of all those others who (have a functioning frontal cortext and thus) fail to recognize his brilliance (hence, are capable of rational thought), whose only explanation for the failure of all his promoted policies is that not enough, never enough of them was attempted, and that, like a good socialist, the only thing better than a massive government apparatus is an infinite government apparatus, coupled with 10 Princeton economists sitting in a circle, chanting and micromanaging the world, the economy and the capital markets.
One would be wrong.
The fact that the US economy is nowhere near strong enough to offset the deflation it would import and is already importing through USD strength vs EUR and JPY in particular, has now become a key market theme. Crucially, markets are now collectively having to consider what Bob Janjuah thinks is the reality – that annual trend global growth is converging down at around 2.5%, well short of the pre-crisis levels of over 4%. Janjuah believes "we will see UST 10yr yields closer to 1.5% before they get anywhere near 3.5%, with 10yr Bund yields at 50bp; and a weekly close on the S&P 500 below 1905 was and remains his key pivot point - targeting 1770 as the next stop."