Maybe its time for a new version of the old regime at the Fed. That is, for the Eccles Building to eschew interest rate-pegging and ZIRP entirely, and thereby allow financial markets to once again engage in honest price discovery and two-way trading; and to allow the natural business cycle to meander along its own capitalist path as determined not by the 12 members of the monetary politburo, but the 317 million consumers, producers, investors, entrepreneurs and even speculators who comprise the real main street economy.
This week was interesting to say the least and it is ending with a bang. We are covering a number of brief subjects this week. I hope you enjoy them.
But... but... the VIX said everything is ok, and European rates were the lowest they have been in centuries... How can something possibly go wrong?
It just did.
1 minutes, 555 words, and Fed-whisperer Jon Hilsenrath declares that based on the FOMC minutes, QE is dead and now the uncertainty is all about rate-hike timing. Crucially, given the Fed's concerns over complacency, Hilsenrath explains, "while they don't expect rates to get very high because of lingering headwinds to the economy, they also don't want to give the public too much comfort that they'll remain near historically low levels far into the future."
Having continued to taper, expressed no fear of inflation, and been nothing but confident that Q1 was nothing-but-weather at the press conference, the FOMC Minutes shows:
*SOME FED OFFICIALS SAW INVESTORS AS TOO COMPLACENT ON RISKS
*FED SAW INSUFFICIENT INVESTOR UNCERTAINTY ON ECONOMY, RATES
*FOMC SEES QE ENDING WITH $15 BLN CUT IN OCT. IF OUTLOOK HOLDS
Strange not a mention of the surge in Treasury fails but this appears as close to a "sell" as the Fed will give...
Pre-FOMC Minutes: S&P Futs 1964, Gold $1323.50, 10Y 2.59%, Oil $102.22, JPY 101.75
Stocks at record highs... Unemployment rates at multi-year lows... magical job creation 'impressive'... President Obama has a lot to proclaim "mission accomplished" over - except its all fallacious (as Wal-Mart's CEO recently explained). Of course, this will all be solved if everyone was paid 'fairly' at least $15/hour despite the greatest irony of Obama's inequality fight is that "his policies are squeezing the middle class and causing the Fed – with the President’s encouragement – to engage in the radical monetary policy, which is exacerbating inequality. This simple truth cannot be repeated often enough."
When the CEO of the world's biggest company doubts the veracity of US economic data, you know you have a problem. After quarters of disappointing growth in the face of miraculous equity market performance; Wal-Mart CEO Bill Simon warns that shoppers aren’t returning at the pace one might expect years after the recession peaked, despite mainstream media interpretation of the data showing unequivocal growth. Simply put, he exclaims, "the unemployment numbers particularly have been difficult to read with the number of people dropping out of the work force," adding that if we see a further drop in the participation rate it would fit with the fact that "middle-class and lower-class are still economically challenged, only spending during holidays and for family occasions," adding that traction has only come at the top-end.
Many seem to believe that if we worked our way out of debt problems in the past, we can do the same thing again. The same assets may have new owners, but everything will work together in the long run. Businesses will continue operating, and people will continue to have jobs. We may have to adjust monetary policy, or perhaps regulation of financial institutions, but that is about all. I think this is where the story goes wrong. The situation we have now is very different, and far worse, than what happened in the past. We live in a much more tightly networked economy. This time, our problems are tied to the need for cheap, high quality energy products. The comfort we get from everything eventually working out in the past is false comfort.
"People who take short cuts, are political, prioritize themselves above others, take excessive risks for personal gain, don’t value capital, or are unethical are outright cancers. These types of people will not only flourish in the next crisis, but most probably they will cause it."
There was some good news in the JOLTS report released earlier today, mostly in the form of the Job Openings category which surged from 4,464K in April to 4.635K in May, well above the 4350K expected and the highest print since 2007 (granted the unadjusted data showed something completely different but that's a different story). And since this is one of Yellen's favorite labor market indicators, it means that the Fed is that much closer to finally turning the liquidity tap off (at least until the market crashes and the market is promptly forced to rush back in and bail everyone out all over again). Alas, there was also bad news. As the following chart shows, the trend that we have pounded the table on for the past year, namely the lack of actual hiring continues to persist. In fact, while job openings may have soared by nearly 300K in May, the actual number of Hired declined by 52K to 4,718K.
While Spain may have been scrambling for the past several years to figure out how to spin its economy, boasting one of the highest unemployment rates in the Eurozone, as recovering, coming up with numerous changes to what it believes should constitute GDP, most recently including an estimate of the contribution hookers and blow add to the economy, a surprising place which has emerged as a potential source of huge economic upside for Spain's economy is none other than the recently established Islamic State created by the ISIS al-Qaeda spin off. Because, stunningly, in a story right out of a history book covering the Islamic Conquest and subsequent Reconquista (however not in the middle ages but in the 21st century), the hardest-core Islamists around, those which even al-Qaeda deemed too "extremist", appears to have sworn to invade Spain next!
Washington can’t stop lying. Don’t be convinced by last Thursday’s job report that it is your fault if you don’t have a job. Those 288,000 jobs and 6.1% unemployment rate are more fiction than reality. What you can take away from this is the opposite of what the presstitute media would have you believe. For the most part economists have turned a blind eye. Economists serve the globalists. It pays them well. The corruption in present-day America is total. No one serves truth and liberty. America has left us. We now have the tyranny of the Orwellian state that rules, not by the ballot box and Constitution, but by force and propaganda.
Risk assets have started the week off on a slightly softer footing but overall volumes are fairly low given the quiet Friday session last week and with the lack of any major weekend headlines. Equity bourses are down between 25-50bp on the day paced by the Nikkei (-0.4%). In China, a number of railway construction stocks are up 3-4% after reports that China Railway Corp will buy around 300 sets of high speed trains and may potentially launch 14 news railway construction projects soon as part of national investment plans.
"He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past" - From George Orwell’s 1984. The reason Big Brother and his band of technocrat authoritarians spend so much time and effort erasing history in the classic novel 1984, is because they are a bunch of total criminals and they know it. Their grip on power is made so much easier if the proles are kept ignorant, confused and in the dark. This strategy is not just fiction, it is the philosophy of tyrants and authoritarians throughout history. While the internet is an amazing tool for communication and free speech, we must also be aware of how it can be abused by those in power who wish to whitewash history.
"The system we have now is one in which the Fed decides, through a Politburo of planners sitting in Washington, how much liquidity is necessary, what the interest rate should be, what the unemployment rate should be, and what economic growth should be. There is no honest pricing left at all anywhere in the world because central banks everywhere manipulate and rig the price of all financial assets. We can’t even analyze the economy in the traditional sense anymore because so much of it depends not on market forces, but on the whims of people at the Fed."