After a brief haitus from the ongoing currency wars, China fired another salvo at The Fed tonight by devaluing the Yuan fix to 6.5693 - its weakest against the USD since March 2011. After eight days higher in a row for The USD Index, it seems PBOC has turned its currency liberalization plan off, stabilizing the broad Renminbi basket (which has been steadly devalued) and turning its attention to devaluing against the USD. Having unleashed turmoil in August (pre-Sept FOMC) and January (post Dec rate-hike), it appears the rising rate-hike probabilities jawboned by The Fed are decidedly disagreeable to "authoritative persons" in China.
Yesterday's weak dollar headfake has ended and overnight the USD rallied, while Asian stocks dropped to the lowest level in 7 weeks and crude oil fell as speculation returned that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates as early as next month. The pound jumped and European stocks gained thanks to a weaker EUR.
While Hillary continues to remind everyone that her nomination is a "done deal", supporters of Bernie Sanders refuse to go quietly into the night. Bernie's supporters put so much pressure on establishment Senator Barbara Boxer that she suffered an unfortunate meltdown in Nevada recently; they plan to do the same at the Democratic National Convention in July as well. As a result, the Nevada State Democratic Party has warned that the demonstrations may be used to instigate "actual violence."
Amid a backdrop of oil prices near $50 per barrel, a sharp drop in Nigerian production due to sabotage, turmoil in Venezuela, Saudi Arabia operating with a new oil minister, and Iran aggressively pumping close to pre-sanction levels; the next OPEC meeting on the 2nd of June will act as little more than a forum for continued altercations between Saudi Arabia and Iran.
Somewhere back in the depths of time the world got the idea that easy money - that is, low interest rates and high levels of government spending - would produce sustainable growth with modest but positive inflation. And for a while it seemed to work. But that was an illusion.
There is a great deal that is wrong with mainstream economic commentary, starting with its unwavering devotion to orthodox economics and unshakable faith in their “stimulus.” No matter how little is actually stimulated there is never any doubt that the media will simultaneously forget the last one while lavishing praise on the next one. It is, however, the actual economic commentary itself that may be the most damaging. Because nothing works, every news story is printed from the shallowest, narrowest perspective. It is a grave disservice to the public and journalism.
Interviews in a civil lawsuit with current and former State Department officials concerning former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server will begin this week. Lewis Lukens, a former deputy assistant secretary of state, will be interviewed under oath in the first deposition taken as part of a lawsuit by the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch over access to Mrs. Clinton’s records during her time in office.
Is this why stocks are slipping? Following Hillary's hint last night that she would like to put her husband in "charge of revitalising the economy, because you know he knows how to do it," Bill confirmed the farce this morning, admitting he has asked for an "economic role" in his wife's adminstration. As Yves Smith so eloquently noted, after having institutionalized the neoliberal economic policies that have enriched the 1% and particularly the 0.1% at the expense of everyone else, Hillary Clinton wants to give the long-suffereing citizenry an even bigger dose. Good luck America.
“If the establishment is not willing to admit that no one is above the law and is not willing to garner justice, then ordinary Americans need to make sure the scales of justice are level for all of us...This is not about politics. It's about you, your family, and this great nation. It’s about preventing people who have no regard for the law, or you, for that matter, from running this country.”
The days of global reliance on Chinese demand are soon coming to end as seen by the decline in growth rate, decline in imports, and increase in service sector strength. The implications have already been great as stock markets across the developed world fell into peril when China's GDP growth rate fell below 7 percent. Withdrawal symptoms may last for a while until a recovery in demand alleviates some pressure. But global financial markets will have to adjust to a developed China, and as this "new normal" sets in, it will mean softer demand for commodities. China’s slowing demand for oil will lead to heightened competition for suppliers. For now, it appears that OPEC’s loss is Russia’s gain.