It appears that more even than the Fed, the market, being a perfectly insane reflexive device, saw the 0.1% knee-jerk drop in stocks, and took that as a far greater THE NEW QE™ catalyst than anything just released by the Fed's printer. Gold is now higher than before the FOMC statement and QE-favorites Energy and Financials are notably outperforming.
Sampling several investment banks' opinions on what to expect out of today's FOMC decision in a few hours, one would be left with the impression that absolutely nothing will happen. Not surprisingly, this is what the official party line reps and warrants as well, as telegraphed by that faithful mouthpiece, Jon Hilsenrath. And yet if the Fed has finally understood that its role is only effective if it is surprising, this gives all us all the opportunity to not only doubt what the media and the sellside wants us to expect, but to naturally fade Goldman - one of the best trades in the past three years - who says: "We expect no clarity from Wednesday's FOMC statement and press conference on additional monetary easing. Fed officials will not close the door but are also unlikely to provide a clear hint of further action. Our forecast of additional easing hinges not on what Fed officials say this week, but on our expectation of continued weakness in the economic data." Of course it is possible that the Fed is merely staying true to its recent creed of being honest and transparent and telegraphing policy from miles away. And is thus forced until the market is actually driven by actual macro data instead of who buys how many gizmos using student loans. Or not. Because when in doubt, always ask i) what would Goldman Sachs sell and ii) what would PIMCO buy. The two are rarely both wrong at the same time.
The ECB has found its hands tied: if it continues to monetize aggressively, inflation will surge and Germany will either leave the Euro or at the very least make life very, very difficult for the ECB and those EU members asking for bailouts.
After all, doing this would score MAJOR political points for both Merkel and Weidmann who have both come under fire for revelations that the Bundesbank has in fact put Germany on the hook for over €2 trillion via various back-door deals.
Modern investing offers the promise that investors who "do their homework" and use data more intelligently than the herd can gain a valuable edge. But what if the underlying data available to the investing public is fundamentally flawed?
Yesterday as we all watched the Holland and Hollande Show; Greece was scarcely on the radar. That act was behind us now we think and we are off to different adventures. Not so fast my friends, a moment’s respite; nothing more. The Greek Statistical Office released new data yesterday and the results were anything but positive. The official debt to GDP ratio now stands at 165.3%, a fourteen percent increase from last year’s numbers. Quite frankly, this is a disaster and hardly in-line with all of the fantasy projections that Greece will now be heading towards the mythical 120% number bandied about by both the EU and the IMF. To make matters worse; the banks in Greece are losing $344 million a day and have capital outflows of about $500 million per month. Even with the $32.2 billion in recapitalization funds it does not take a fiscal genius to see where this is all leading which is right down the Spartan rabbit hole.
- China’s Biggest Banks Are Squeezed for Capital (NYT)
- Greeks detect hypocrisy as Dutch coalition stumbles (Reuters)
- Hollande Blames Europe’s Austerity Plan for Le Pen’s Rise (Bloomberg)
- In a Change, Mexico Reins In Its Oil Monopoly (NYT)
- China Tire Demand Slows as Economy Decelerates, Bridgestone Says (Bloomberg)
- Social Security’s financial forecast gets darker; Medicare’s outlook unchanged (WaPo)
- Fed’s 17 Rate Forecasts May Confuse More Than Clarify (Bloomberg)
- Senate to vote on array of Postal Service overhaul proposals (WaPo)
- Weidmann Says Bundesbank Is Preserving Euro Stability (Bloomberg)
It' quiet out there... Too quiet, as everyone is awaiting the most important earning number of the quarter - that of Apple. Everything else is secondary. Here is how the secondary data is driving the market so far in the trading session.
It's Official & As I Foretold Years Ago, Greece Is Now In A True Depression As Reality Hits Greek BanksSubmitted by Reggie Middleton on 04/23/2012 09:28 -0500
Who beleves the Euro-Depression will really just stop at Greece? Here's tons of supporting evidence that the biggest financial disruption & largest wealth accumulation opportunity of this lifetime is nigh upon us. Remember how the robber barons from the US depression era got started?
All you need to read and some more.
No wonder one third of Americans are obese. The crap we are shoveling into our bodies is on par with the misinformation, propaganda and lies that are being programmed into our minds by government bureaucrats, corrupt politicians, corporate media gurus, and central banker puppets. Chief Clinton propaganda mouthpiece, James Carville, famously remarked during the 1992 presidential campaign that, “It’s the economy, stupid”. Clinton was able to successfully convince the American voters that George Bush’s handling of the economy caused the 1991 recession. In retrospect, it was revealed the economy had been recovering for months prior to the election. No one could ever accuse the American people of being perceptive, realistic or critical thinking when it comes to economics, math, history or distinguishing between truth or lies. Our government controlled public school system has successfully dumbed down the populace to a level where they enjoy their slavery and prefer conscious ignorance to critical thought.
These are interesting times in the Netherlands. I'm glad things are shaking up personally. Things have been going nowhere fast, with no indications from the elites of any real solutions to the euro crisis. Dutch politicians generally say they'd still like to send a budget to Brussels by the end of the month, and hold elections.
Update: according to Belgian Le Soir, first exit polls show that Hollande is not surprisingly ahead, with 27% of the vote, 25.5% for Sarkozy, 16% for Marine Le Pen, and 13% for Jean-Luc Melenchon. More or less just as expected, and setting the stage for the runoff round which will be Hollande's to lose. French speakers demanding a minute by minute liveblog, can find a great one over at Le Figaro, and an English-one can be found at France24.com
As of 8 am CET, polls are open in the first round of the French presidential elections where voters are expected to trim the playing field of ten to just two candidates, incumbent Nicholas Sarkozy and his socialist challenger Francois Hollande, who will then face off in a May 6 runoff, where as of now Hollande is expected to have a comfortable lead and take over the presidency as the disgruntled French take their revenge for an economy that is contracting, an unemployment rate that keeps rising (see enclosed) despite promises to the contrary, and as their to "express a distaste for a president who has come to be seen as flashy following his highly publicized marriage to supermodel Carla Bruni early in his term, occasional rude outbursts in public and his chumminess with rich executives.....France is struggling with feeble economic growth, a gaping trade deficit, 10 percent unemployment and strained public finances that prompted ratings agency Standard & Poor's to cut the country's triple-A credit rating in January." In a major shift for the country, Hollande would become France's first left-wing president since Francois Mitterand, who beat incumbent Valery Giscard-d'Estaing in 1981. As Reuters reports, "Hollande, 57, promises less drastic spending cuts than Sarkozy and wants higher taxes on the wealthy to fund state-aided job creation, in particular a 75 percent upper tax rate on income above 1 million euros ($1.32 million)." The Buffett Rule may have failed in the US but La Loi de Buffett is alive and well in soon to be uber-socialist France. Yet it is not so much Hollande's domestic policies, as his international ones, especially vis-a-vis the European Fiscal Treaty, Germany, and most importantly the ECB, that roiled markets last week, causing French CDS to spike to the widest since January. In other news, goodbye Merkozy, hello Horkel as the power center shifts yet again to a new source of uncertainty and potential contagion.
Krugman Rebutts (sic) Spitznagel, Says Bankers Are "The True Victims Of QE", Princeton-Grade Hilarity EnsuesSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 04/21/2012 14:54 -0500
At first we were going to comment on this "response" by the high priest of Keynesian shamanic tautology to Mark Spitznagel's latest WSJ opinion piece, but then we just started laughing, and kept on laughing, and kept on laughing...
Oops, Hollande, likely winner in the French election, saw the 5% spread that banks get from the ECB....