It is fair to say, Bloomberg’s Richard Breslow dares to say - without being trite, that this really is a very interesting pivotal week we are heading into. The FOMC trying to thread the needle of moving on, keeping everyone calm and keeping a wary eye on a geopolitical landscape that isn’t getting better. Greek negotiations that layer existential questions of problem resolution paralysis on top of default and Grexit. And let’s not forget MERS, Turkey coalition issues, Hong Kong bomb makers, Ukraine and meaningful MPCs given Kuroda’s comments, CHF wariness and NOK economic projections. Feels to me like Act 4 of Macbeth, “Double, double toil and trouble.” Lots of predictions, forecasts and pronouncements, but what will it all really mean and should we beware what we ask for?
The Fed’s balance sheet grew eight times more rapidly than the economy during the last fourteen years. That’s just the inverse of the relationship that occurred back in the Golden Era. if you need any proof at all of this massive intrusion into the financial system isn’t working; the huge amount of money printing and balance sheet expansion; the unremitting financial repression and pegging of interest rates; look at that fundamental comparison. The only thing it’s really doing is simply inflating the serial bubble that ultimately reach unsustainable peaks and collapse. Hopefully on the third strike, the people who gave us these bubbles will be out.
During the last 27 years the financial system has ballooned dramatically while the US economy has slowed to a crawl - a divergent trend that has intensified with the passage of time. While the rationale for monetary central planning is bogus, the model on which state intervention is based is even more invalid.
For a sense of what is driving sentiment this morning look no further than the Athens stock market which exploded higher yesterday on a Bloomberg story based on "two sources" that Germany was willing to compromise, only to close just as the IMF pulled a classis bad cop and announced it was halting work on Greece, and before further news from Bild that Germany was preparing for a Greek default while Europe had given Greece 24 hours to submit a final, workable proposal. As a result, it tumbled promptly at the open even as optimism persists and since the opening plunge, Greek stocks have continued to climb and are now back to yesterday's euphoric opening levels.
Are we QE'd out??? It was supposed to be about the quality of growth,not helping the oligarchy protect their collective arses
This central bank fueled boom will ultimately be paid for in the form of a prolonged deflationary contraction. Then, trillions of uneconomic assets will be written off, industrial sector profits will collapse and the great inflation of financial assets over the last 27 years will meet its day of reckoning. On the morning after, of course, it will be asked why the central banks were permitted to engineer this fantastic financial and economic bubble. The short answer is that it was done so that monetary central planners could smooth and optimize the business cycle and save world capitalism from its purported tendency toward instability, underperformance and depressionary collapse.
The most important not yet double seasonally-adjusted economic datapoint is upon us: in 90 minutes the BLS will report the May payrolls number which consensus expects to rise by 225K, (range of 140K to 305K), barely unchanged from April's 223K. The meaningless unemployment rate is expected to remain unchanged at 5.4%, even as the number of people not in the labor force likely will rise to a new record high. The most important variable, however, will be the hourly earnings with consensus expecting a 0.2% increase for all workers (the non-supervisory workers category is a different story entirely), up from the 0.1% increase in April.
The carnage in Europe and US bonds is echoing on around the world as Aussie 10Y yields jump 15bps at the open (to 3.04% - the highest in 6 months) and the biggest 2-day spike in 2 years. JGBs are also jumping, breaking to new 6-month highs above 50bps once again raising the spectre of VAR-Shock-driven vicious cycles...
Central banks took over everything and thus changed everything; they cannot simply declare themselves successful and just give it all back. That might (stress might) have been possible had it actually worked, a true and robust economic recovery to smooth the shift, but the majority part of that November 2013 recoil was the growing acceptance, throughout 2014 and into 2015, that it was never coming in the first place.
Courtesy of central planning, virtually every single capital market has become an illiquid penny stock, with wild swings from one extreme to the other, the latest example of this being the Shanghai Composite, which after soaring 10% in the past ten days, crashed 6.5% overnight tumbling 321 points to 4620 after it briefly rose just shy of 5000. This was the biggest drop since January 19 when the Composite dropped 7.7% only to blast higher ever since. Putting the "plunge" in perspective, now the SHCOMP is back to levels not seen in... one week.
A little over two years ago, in the middle of April 2013, there was a gold crash that came seemingly out of nowhere. Worse, for gold investors anyway, that crash was repeated just a few months later. Where gold had stood just shy of $1,800 an ounce at the start of QE3, those cascades had brought the metal price down to just $1,200. For many, especially orthodox economists, it heralded the end of the “fear trade” and meant, unambiguously, that the recovery had finally at long last arrived. However, gold price activity since QE3 has been a warning, and a big one, not cause for victory celebrations.
While yesterday most markets were closed and unable to express their concerns at the very strong showing of "anti-austerity" parties in Spain's municipal election from Sunday, then today they have free reign to do just that, and as a result European stocks are broadly lower, alongside the EURUSD which dripped under 1.09 earlier today, with Spanish banks among the worst performers: Shares of Banco Sabadell, Bankia, Caixabank and Popular were down 1.8 to 2.3% earlier this morning, and while the stronger dollar was a gift to both the Nikkei and Europe in early trading, after opening in the green, Spain's IBEX has since slid into the red on concerns of what happens if the Greek anti-status quo contagion finally shifts to the Pyrenees.
There’s something quite contradictory about telling governments to tighten their belts while promising to buy any and every piece of paper their treasury departments care to issue. In fact, it’s probably fair to say that a €1.1 trillion QE program simply cannot peacefully coexist with a strict, currency bloc-wide austerity policy. This glaring contraction was on full display at the ECB’s April 14-15 policy meeting, minutes show.
As the economic calendar slowly picks up following the NFP lull, we are looking at a busy week both globally and in the US, where an army of Fed speakers culminates with a Yellen speech on Friday at 1pm in Rhode Island.