A quick anecdote that should quickly confirm just how broken everything is: earlier today MarkIt reported European manufacturing data that was atrocious, with both German and European PMIs tumbling to levels not seen since mid-2013, and with Europe's growth dynamo now in a contraction phase clearly signalling what has been long overdue: a European triple dip recession. So what happens? Moments later Germany sells €4.1 billion in 10 Year paper at a record low yield below 1%.... even as the Bundesbank had to retain a whopping 17.84% of the auction, the highest since June, with only €4.663 Bn in bids for the €5 Bn target, the first miss since May 21. So hurray for the central banks, boo for the economy, and as for that mythical creature, once known as bond vigilantes, our condolences: good luck figuring out what the hell just happened, and good luck recalling what a free market is.
The fundamental mistake is to think in terms of a low yield telling you anything about the economy, as it is price that you should be focusing on.
Alarm bells in the European banking system have been ringing for quite a while but nobody seems to be listening. The roaring capital markets are just too loud. But we have been keeping track of a few things.
"What is the matter with us? Why can't we - especially our financial leaders - get it? Too much demos? Are we ruled by the Sun, the NY Post, and the Roman circus?Dropping back to earth from 10,000 meters - unfortunately, not high enough to be safe - the Japanese yen and the Dollar Index in general went wild this past week rising from comatose - straight lining almost - seemingly out of nowhere. It wasn't actually the Japanese industrial production coming in at minus 3.3% instead of the forecasted minus 1.2% that was such a surprise. We and many other analysts have been saying the Japanese economy was acting worse than it did in 1997 when they last hiked the sales tax, but the authorities everywhere said nothing, there seem to be no vigilantes of any sort. This is not the 1970's or the 1980's, we don't call an idiotic policy by its name (with money, that is). Zero Hedge can rant on but no one follows them or, more important, does a real analysis of the situation."
"In effect, by pursuing indexation we have introduced a socialist way of allocating capital in the heart of the capitalist system... As we all know, socialism is the ultimate form of freeloading. It has never worked, and it never will. This indexation is one of the most obvious forms of parasitism we have ever encountered."
Yellen has got to be the most dovish Fed chairperson going into the most important policy initiative withdrawal phase ever to be recorded since the inception of the Federal Reserve!
Back in Feb 2013 we introduced the "Brent Vigilantes" and reminded traders how stock markets (and macro economies) react to shifts in the oil price with the two trading together to a 'tipping point' at which point strocks belief in growth breaks. We further confirmed that this is even more worrisome in the case of an oil price shock which strongly suggests that VIX at 12 is not pricing in the volatility that we have seen in the past when the oil complex starts to shake.
When The Head Of The European Central Bank Lies To Zero Hedge On The Record: Presenting Europe's "Plan Z"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 05/15/2014 15:16 -0400
We are happy to report that Zero Hedge is the first media outlet that Mario Draghi has very publicly, officially, and on the record, lied to. Because as we learned overnight, Europe most certainly had a "plan in place so that the markets don't basically collapse." Only it wasn't as Margio Draghi called it, Plan B. It was a different letter of the alphabet. Thanks to the FT's Peter Spiegel we now know that just over a year ago, in order to preserve the myth that Europe's power echelons are so "confident" with the Eurozone staying together they did not even consider a break up as a potential outcome, Draghi explicitly and on the record lied.
Presenting Europe's Plan Z.
When it comes to expressing democratic opinion, one can wait for one's corrupt congressional critter to do something, which will never happen if that something is against the will of the largest lobbying client, or one can take matters into their own hands. The latter is what disgruntled Libyans did moments ago. From Reuters:
- GUNMEN STORM LIBYAN PARLIAMENT, START SHOOTING AND FORCE LAWMAKERS TO ABANDON VOTE ON NEXT PM -SPOKESMAN
- SEVERAL PEOPLE WOUNDED BY SHOOTING AT LIBYA'S PARLIAMENT, GUNMEN ARE ALLIED TO ONE OF THE DEFEATED PM CANDIDATES -SPOKESMAN
It may not be the most polite way to get one's views across but it gets the job done. But more importantly, when it comes to the epic chaos that is post-CIA intervention Libya, what difference does it make if parliament is stormed by enraged vigilantes?
Krugman frequently accuses his opponents of being stupid and/or evil, when they present a view that he himself advanced in other circumstances. His typical readers would have no idea that Krugman once worried about bond vigilantes, or that his books lay out the standard case for why generous government unemployment benefits might contribute to structural unemployment. No, Krugman has led such typical readers to believe that anyone espousing such views is either a complete idiot - immune to theory and evidence that we’ve had since the 1930s - or is a paid shill who hates poor people.
"Eventually (un-manipulated) asset prices always return to their fundamental value, which is why bubbles always pop. The FOMC has backed itself into a corner. Current changes in policy are being designed around efforts to manage the unwind process seamlessly. Central bank (and government official’s) micro-management appears based on a belief that they can exert an all-encompassing central control over markets and peoples’ lives. Those in power have come to believe that policies have a precise effect that can be defined and managed. This is highly unlikely."
Following the battery of optimistic news from this morning that the debt deal is all but done, yields on short-term debt, soaring until about 9am, have tumbled as fears of an immediate default have been taken off the table. And moments ago today's most important auction, that indicating whether the "Money Market Vigilantes" have gone home, the auction of $20 billion 4-Week Bills took place. As a reminder, it was last week that yields on the same issue soared to a high of 0.35% - the most "distressed" yield since October 2009. Today, the fireworks were far more muted, however with a high rate of 0.24%, this was still a very elevated closing level, and still the second highest in years. So the question becomes: is this higher yield just a function of the lack of a definitive deal on the table, or has the broken Congress now assured that going forward so called "money equivalent" Treasury paper will have a step-wise higher clearing haircut, and if so, just how substantial is the structural damage to money markets, especially if all Congress does is kick the can forward by a few months?
The standard wisdom on gold is that it does well in times of economic bad news such as in the 1970s, a period of stagflation and recessions, when the yellow metal rose from $35/oz to peak at $850/oz in 1980. But this time, Don Coxe, a portfolio adviser to BMO Asset Management, believes, things are different. In this interview with The Gold Report, Coxe explains why gold will rise when the economy improves.
If this latest dose of harsh language from Gollum and the Bazooko Circus doesn't end the Egyptian civil war, nothing will. Maybe Egypt should just take a hint from the ECB and issue forward guidance on domestic violence, saying it will do "whatever it takes" to crack down on future coups and countercoups, or else it will fire an imaginary bazooka at the bond vigilantes.
Depending on one's sources, the death toll since the start of the "Days of Wrath" in Egypt is anywhere between 800 and several thousand. What is worse, the situation is spiraling out of control as the west, plagued by America's failed attempt at diplomatic non-intervention to preserve its "democratic transition" narrative, is paralyzed while the death toll mounts and the country is gripped by civil war in all but name. Below, via AP, is a rundown of key events that have taken place in Egypt over the past week together with a photo album of Egypt's very own Dies Irae.