With everyone hoping that The Fed says something dovish (because after all stocks are 1% off their highs) there was some disappointment as the weakness was shrugged off as transitory:
- *FED SAYS WINTER SLOWDOWN PARTLY REFLECTS `TRANSITORY FACTORS'
- *FED SEES MODERATE GROWTH, JOB GAINS EVEN AFTER 1Q SLOWDOWN
In the end, once again, the dovish Fed provides just enough wealth-creating hope to keep stock dreams alive but knows it has to move sooner rather than later (keeping the "but we think the economy will strengthen" meme alive).
Pre-FOMC: S&P Futs 2099.50, 10Y 2.04%, EUR 1.1175, Gold $1210, Oil $58.85
Honest price discovery is essential to capitalist prosperity since it is the miraculous mechanism by which capital is raised from savers and investors and efficiently allocated among producers, entrepreneurs and genuine market-rate borrowers. What the central banks have generated, instead, is a casino that is blindly impelled to churn the secondary capital markets and inflate the price of existing assets to higher and higher levels - until they ultimately roll-over under their own weight. The Easy Button addiction of our central bankers is thus not just another large public policy problem. It is the very economic and social scourge of our times.
"It is unbearable for Greeks to watch the drama of the negotiations rendered (either simplistically or maliciously) as though it were a western, in which the others are Good and Greece is both the Bad and the Ugly. If this perception is actually reflective of the real situation, irrespective of whether it’s being played up a bit for the sake of the drama, then there is a very real fear that a union which solves its differences in High Noon style is no longer a union."
- Maryland Governor Calls in National Guard to Control Baltimore Riots (BBG)
- Fed Seen Delaying Liftoff to September to Push Down Unemployment (BBG)
- Nepal PM says toll could rise to 10,000 (Reuters)
- China Readies Fresh Easing to Tackle Specter of Debt (WSJ)
- ‘Damned Lies’ Threaten to Overshadow U.K. GDP in Election Fight (BBG)
- Uncertainty Over Impact of a Default by Greece (NYT)
- Why the Cost of Hedging European Banks Stocks Has Soared (BBG)
- Carinthia cash crunch gives Austria its own mini-Greece (Reuters)
The 20th century could be categorized as THE century when communications took off and we started living in each other’s pockets. Lives had been ruined by war, trouble and strife. Wealth had been redistributed beyond belief.
Following yesterday's early MNI rumor that a Chinese QE is being "considered" and which sent the Shanghai Composite surging 3% and led to an initial boost in US stock futures, overnight the PBOC scrambled to once again deny such speculation. Of course, going full "cold Turkey" on Chinese stimulus would be too much for the market to handle, so in a piece by the WSJ also released overnight, the author said the PBOC would pivot from outright QE to mere LTRO, which is also not new and was reported over a week ago here in "China Floats QE Trial Balloon, PBoC May Launch LTROs." In any event, for now at least, Asian stocks are not happy despite Apple's latest blockbuster results, and neither is Europe, with the Stoxx 600 down 1%, and even the E-mini is hugging 2100 unable to levitate on any imminent central bank intervention.
Some borrowers are allowed to remain in a perpetual state of default even as they avoid actual payment default and in the end, their loans are legally discharged at the expense of the US taxpayer. Meanwhile, the payments they aren't making appear to be classified by the Department of Education as both "in repayment" and "current."
This new nothingness is creating a youth, a political system and an economic outlook which is based more in peoples’ heads and minds than it is in reality.
At a certain point, even central bankers will realise they can go no further.
There are two main events in the coming week: the (second in a row disastrous) Q1 US GDP and the April FOMC.
Germany had lost the war, the Nazi industrialists agreed, but the struggle would continue along new lines. The Fourth Reich would be a financial, rather than a military imperium. The industrialists were to plan for a “postwar commercial campaign.” They should make “contacts and alliances” with foreign firms but ensure this was done without “attracting any suspicion.”... The State Department’s efforts on Schacht’s behalf worked. He was initially found guilty but was then acquitted, to the fury of the Soviet judge.
What does it mean to be an effective advocate of liberty?
"The EU and US need to hear the pleas coming from the southern European countries, as well as those of the refugees. The humanitarian catastrophe has reached large scale, with profound and irreversible consequences. Greece is paying a disproportionately high price, although Greece played no role in triggering this catastrophe. The EU and the US have the moral obligation, which is also consistent with their long-term interests, to take the necessary steps to put an end to the suffering of those in war zones, while at the same time preventing Greece’s collapse under the mounting pressure of refugees."
UK debt has continued to rise throughout the recovery and has soared to an eye-watering £1.48 trillion. In recent days, a slew of foreign exchange analysts have warned that the pound is vulnerable to falling in value. The incumbent government have not reined in public and trade deficits and have been accused of juicing the property market and the economy to postpone a crisis until after the election.
Students are left with a debt burden that can’t be written off by declaring bankruptcy, very few jobs in their fields of study, wages that can barely cover the debt payments, and no chance of ever owning a home. They were told by their parents, politicians, and the mainstream media that college was the path to prosperity. They were lied to.
In 2014, all but a few argued that the path of interest rates was certainly higher. Despite a steady decline beginning on January 1st of 2014 and continuing today, everyone still insists strenuously that interest rates simply have to go up. What if all the arguments about growth in the US economy and much anticipated rate hikes by the Federal Reserve hinged upon a decision-making premise that is flawed? What if instead of the standard and variety of factors informing the consensus perspective about the direction of interest rates it is actually interest rates themselves that are sending signals that should inform our perspective about all other things?