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With Rehab Still Nowhere In Sight, Fed Floats a "First Step" Trial Balloon

Tyler Durden's picture




 

Equity market volatility over the past two days is largely due to worries that the U.S. Federal Reserve will lessen its purchases of longer-dated Treasuries, thereby reducing the flow of fresh cash into the risk markets. ConvergEx's Nick Colas notes the analogy of stocks - and other investments - being “addicted” to Fed money holds some resonance (as we noted here most recently), given the pains of withdrawal we’re seeing ripple through equities worldwide since the FOMC minutes hit the tape. Then again, the fact that the US financial system is terminally hooked to zero-cost liquidity is well-known to our readers, since our initial profiling of this core problem nearly four years ago in "Bailoutspotting (Or The Search For The Great Financial Methadone Clinic)." Needless to say, so far nobody is actually doing any actual searching as the alternative is too painful for anyone to even contemplate.

Either way, it got Colas wondering: what are the methods and success rates of modern drug rehab programs?  And what can they tell us about the potential pathways markets might travel on their road to recovery from that “Addiction” to monetary policy?  Good news first: rehab works – people can and do change behaviors and dependencies.  The bad news: any real rehab is likely years ago. And a word of caution: it takes time, needs to be flexible, and lapses happen.  If the first step to recovery is admitting there is a problem, maybe the Fed just made that first, critical, admission. Or maybe it simply floated a trial balloon to see test how fast the S&P500 would drop upon the admission that the Fed does, in fact, have a problem, only to be talked up by the Fed's doves the next day.

Sadly, in the codependency between dealer and user, in this case the Fed and the market, it is most likely that as with the vast majority of cases of narcotic addiction, this one too will end in tragedy, and with the death of one, or more likely both participants.

From ConvergEx's Nick Colas: Rehab? No, No, No...

Every year over 1.5 million Americans go through some form of drug and alcohol abuse treatment, according to the last large survey done by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, an agency of the Federal government.  Only about half – 47%, to be precise – complete their treatment.  One quarter drop out, and the remaining 25% either transfer facilities or end treatment for some other reason.  In general, the more intensive the treatment – inpatient hospital care, for example – the more successful the outcome.  The length of treatment varies, as one might imagine, based on what addiction is being treated.  Heroin and other opioids take over 150 days, but the median is anywhere from 90 – 121 days. Needless to say, these are long days for anyone who goes through them as well as the family and friends who support them.

 

Somewhere over the past few years, the serious term ‘Addiction’ has entered the lexicon of capital markets watchers as it relates to how central bank policies enable and distort the price of debt and equity securities.  Essentially, the analogy is that markets have become dependent on both artificially low interest rates and the cash provided by liquidity programs such as “Quantitative Easing” in much the same way that a person can become addicted to a dangerous drug or alcohol.  If you’ve ever seen addiction first hand, you know this is a spurious anthropomorphizing of financial markets.  If you haven’t, well, just trust me.

 

But I get why market observers make the comparison – just consider the twitch in U.S. equity markets over the last two days.  The release of the minutes from the Jan 29-30 Federal Open Market Committee meeting highlighted that ‘Many participants (members of the FOMC) also expressed some concerns about potential costs and risks arising from further asset purchases.’ There was also commentary to the effect that more QE could “Foster market behavior that could undermine financial stability.” The minutes go on to say that one participant argued for varying the amount of stimulus month-by-month, depending on incoming economic data.  Pretty innocuous stuff, you might say, but it created the first significant market volatility of the year and took the CBOE VIX Index to a close today of over 15, its high for 2013.

 

“Withdrawal pains” are a part of drug and alcohol rehabilitation, and if one is so inclined to view market behavior through this lens then the last 2 days clearly resemble a market “Tell” that Fed liquidity is ingrained in equity market psychology.  I would not put it past the Federal Reserve to have written the minutes in such a way as to tease out what response the capital markets would have to a proposed change in their asset purchasing plans.  That is a common communication strategy in Washington, after all.  It is called a “Trial balloon,” meant to gauge a reaction more than actually policy direction. I don’t think equity markets much like or even understand this approach.  Too much of how the Street communicates is heavily regulated for the concept of a “Trial balloon” to be a common feature of the landscape.

 

If, however, the Fed is seriously thinking about changing its tack, then the “Addiction” paradigm does hold some information about how markets may react during what would be a very different world from the one many investors saw just a few days ago.  A few points here:

  • Drug and alcohol “Rehab” is essentially a medical and psychological treatment to change behavior.  There are medications like methadone which treat heroin addicts and disulfiram for alcoholics, but any effective treatment also works on the mental processes which enabled the person to become addicted in the first place.  No two cases are exactly the same, and the National Institutes of Health note in their online guide that, “Addiction is a complex but treatable disease.”
  • Unhooking the capital markets from the Federal Reserve’s liquidity spigot is certainly easier than actual rehab, but the process is similar.  Let’s not lose sight of why the Federal Reserve felt the need to pursue so many unconventional policies in the first place: the U.S. economy remains mired in a very slow climb out of a very big hole.  Corporate profits have recovered to near-record levels, yes, but unemployment is still high and GDP growth remains near zero. Ordinarily that would have meant equity markets would apply a lackluster multiple to those high earnings, fearing a relapse to recession and declining corporate profitability.  But with incremental liquidity and low interest rates, stock market valuations resemble something approaching a “Normal” mid-cycle recovery.  Add to this the presumptive benefits of increased business confidence and consumer wealth effect, and you can see what the Fed had in mind. 
  • So here’s the “Rehab” – real investors have to take the place of the Federal Reserve and provide liquidity and buying power in equity markets.  The tricky bit is that private investors using ‘Real’ capital have distinctly higher required rates of return than leveraged institutions which take advantage of low interest rates to opportunistically speculate on stocks. But the transition is not impossible, and the pathway is clear.  And there is every possibility that those real investors will accept that challenge, once they know that the Fed really is clearing out.  But we won’t know until they do. 
  • Treatment takes time.  As mentioned above, the typical stay at an in-hospital program is measured in months.  There are no shortcuts.  The number one cause – by a wide margin – of a failed course of rehab is the patient quitting part way through. 

I think this point is what troubles equity markets at the moment.  No one knows how much time it will take to clear market psychology of the last few years’ presumption of a “Fed put” on stocks.

The other analog to recovery from addiction is the need for consistency.  The NIH guidelines I mentioned above highlight the need for continuous monitoring of the patient because lapses back to drug and alcohol abuse occur frequently.  Once the Fed decides to seriously cut back or eliminate its long-dated Treasury buying program, there’s really no going back.  If you buy the notion that “Real” investors are waiting for the Federal Reserve to leave the scene before they step in, then it makes sense that they will want to be sure the market is cured of its “Addiction” before they return. 

One final thought: as I read through this before pushing ‘Send,’ it strikes me just how difficult the transition to a less-aggressive Federal Reserve asset buying program will be for U.S. stocks.  So much of the baseline assumptions for equities are anchored on a highly accommodative U.S. central bank that it is hard to imagine how this transition would work.  But, as the saying goes, the first step to curing addiction is to admit you have a problem.  And maybe that’s what the Fed just did.

 

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Sat, 02/23/2013 - 17:22 | 3270284 DJ Happy Ending
DJ Happy Ending's picture

Are we sure this is a floater and not a blumpkin?

Could be an upper decker.

Sat, 02/23/2013 - 17:58 | 3270313 Kitler
Kitler's picture

When the Junkee owns the Drug Dealer it's never going to end well.

The 'High' the TBTF Junkees seek are the Insane Financial Rewards for stupendously immense malinvestment (if you could call consumption investment) and resultant destruction of both currency and country.

If the Junkee doesn't want to get clean (and he doesn't) he won't until it ends with him (assisted by the Federal Reserve) owning everything left and everything left in either flames or ashes.

And the economy (not the Junkee) dead.

There just is no way this can end otherwise.

Sat, 02/23/2013 - 18:14 | 3270364 ZerOhead
ZerOhead's picture

My Karmageddon portfolio... (where everything bad we did in the past comes back to haunt us)... consists of PMs, land, equipment, foodstuffs and of course Goldman Sachs, Citi and JP Morgan shares.

Cockroaches are known to be the heartiest of survivors...

Sat, 02/23/2013 - 18:33 | 3270394 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

Toradol [Ketorolac] for all DJX call buyers... Doctor's Orders...

Sat, 02/23/2013 - 20:45 | 3270585 Pure Evil
Pure Evil's picture

Just because the Fed leaves the marketplace doesn't mean the crooks currently running Wall Street have seen the error of their ways.

Sat, 02/23/2013 - 23:32 | 3270914 Manthong
Manthong's picture

By the time the politicians or the market get serious about an intervention, the patient will be on a gurney heading  out of the ICU and down to the morgue.

Sat, 02/23/2013 - 18:57 | 3270428 Chupacabra-322
Chupacabra-322's picture

The first dangerous mistake the average person makes is the assumption that “evil” is a kind of subjective concept. We would love to believe that all destructive and malicious behavior is merely a product of bad environment, bad upbringing or mental psychosis. Deviance in the name of “profit” or “status” is often more acceptable to the public, as long as there is a reason we can easily understand and grasp.

What frightens the average American today is not the abhorrent action of criminality; rather, it is criminality without rationality. What frightens the common citizen is the possibility that some people hurt others not because their mommy and daddy “mistreated” them or because they have a psychological deficiency, but because they fully and consciously enjoy doing what they do.

Our society is desperate to make excuses for the monsters of our era, perhaps because we would rather not entertain the possibility that there is a dark side to humanity that, if allowed, could take control in a deliberate and calculated way.

This is why the greatest crimes of our time often go ignored by the public. The idea, for instance, that international financiers and political elites would purposely create economic disparity, social chaos and global war out of a desire for centralized power and a disturbed sense of superiority is simply too much for many to handle. Surely, these terrible events throughout our modern history are merely the result of random coincidence and human error, right?

Unfortunately, this is not the case. In fact, most catastrophic cultural policies and tragedies can be traced back directly to a subset of people who use their positions of influence for ill purpose and who knowingly engineer calamity not just for personal gain, but also for the gain of their social class.

In the liberty movement, we often refer to members of this group as “globalists” or “elitists.” They permeate the upper echelons of our Nation, and they do indeed have a culture that is entirely separate and disparate from our own. If one studies their literature, initiatives and motives, he would discover another world, driven by outlandish goals and an even more outlandish brand of religious fervor. Here are some of the character traits and beliefs that make these people easy to identify.

Xenofascism

Global elitists tend to see themselves as a separate breed of human being, a superior class with superior faculties, born to rule over the rest of us. In their writings they often espouse the teachings of The Republic by Plato and the concept of the philosopher kings. They believe that some men and women are endowed with a genetic predisposition to leadership and that the average person does not have the intelligence to determine his own destiny. They see the rest of humanity as a blank canvas and themselves as the artists. We are to be molded, and our social dichotomies are to be manipulated.

In reality, they are no smarter than the rest of us. Rather, they inherit positions of wealth and influence, and they automatically assume this makes them superior. Their ability to mold society is derived entirely from their extensive capital and their complete lack of morality. If they were not in the top .1 percent of the world’s rich, they would be treated like common criminals for their behavior. But sadly, in our day and age, money often buys undue respect. Imagine a group of John Wayne Gacys or Charles Mansons, except with 80 percent of the world’s wealth at their disposal and the means to purchase good publicity and legal immunity. That is essentially what we are dealing with.

Zero Conscience

Elitists believe that conscience is a hindrance to success, instead of a worthwhile virtue. They knowingly and deliberately abandon their moral compass because they see it as an unnatural restriction, an obstacle that makes getting what they want more difficult. Conscience, however, never quite disappears in anyone. In order to reconcile their wretched mindset with that distant nagging sensation of guilt, they claim that their actions are “for the greater good of the greater number.” They desperately want to believe that they are serving the future of mankind and that we should appreciate their guiding hand, even though the things they do seem far more hateful than helpful. They would call this “tough love.”

They further attempt to avoid the fact of their own dysfunction by trying to elicit criminality in others. If they can convince the masses that morality is relative and that right and wrong are subject to interpretation, if they can convince us to ignore our own inner voices which are inborn, then their monstrosity could be considered normal — even preferable. In a world of moral relativists, the man with a conscience becomes the criminal, the outcast; and the elites become the heroes they always wanted to believe themselves to be.

Promote Collectivism

Top globalists are not necessarily collectivists themselves. In fact, they often swing far to the other end of the spectrum into an aberrant form of individualism. As discussed above, they even see conscience as a restriction on their personal freedom and rebel against it as if rebelling against enslavement. What they do not grasp is that the inherent nature of conscience is a gift, one which has, so far, kept humanity away from the brink of total self-destruction, at least to this point. It is not a prison. Rather, it is protection from ourselves.

The elitist’s insane ideal of pure individualism without self-discipline is a private matter they rarely discuss. In public, they constantly promote the collectivist lifestyle and admonish individualism in common people. If people can be convinced that they are devoid of inherent qualities and characteristics and that their environment is the totality of their existence, then they will hand over all power to anyone who promises them the best possible surroundings. That is to say, when we have no faith in our own individualism and self-responsibility, we will automatically seek protection, usually from a nanny government or dictatorship.

People often confuse “collectivism” with “community.” This is caused by a lack of understanding as well as a lack of experience. Community is a voluntary gathering of individuals for the purpose of mutual aid. Collectivism is the gathering of people by threat of force or loss, for the purpose of consolidating power into the hands of a few. It is the act of destroying individualism in the name of protecting the group. In America today, we have disappearing sense of community, while the “advantages” of collectivism are being sung to the rooftops by global elites.

The Noble Lie

Elitists are very adamant about the idea of the noble lie, the use of a lie to attain a positive goal. In their view, average citizens lack the capacity to understand the bigger political and social picture; so we must be lied to in order to make us do what is best for ourselves. Of course, their version of what is best for our culture always seems to include first and foremost what is best for them.

The noble lie is a logical fallacy of epic proportions, and I often wonder if global elitists secretly doubt its legitimacy. If you need to lie to people in order to get them to accept your ideas, then there must be something terribly wrong with your ideas. Ideas with vitality and honesty do not need to be “sold” to the public through chicanery; the truth takes on a life of its own. Only destructive philosophies need a foundation of lies in order to take root.

Population Reduction

One of the centerpieces of the globalist religion is the concept of population reduction. They not only see themselves as a separate species with superior genetic makeup and a propensity for rulership, they also see the rest of us as cockroaches and “useless eaters,” a herd that needs to be culled. The funny thing about population reductionists is that they always want other people to die in order to save the planet. They never offer their own life as a sacrifice for the greater good. This is because they assume they are too important (ostensibly because they think they are intelligent), while many of us are expendable.

Of course, overpopulation today is an oversold myth that has been disproven in many scientific circles. Population expansion is also not necessarily a bad thing. Greater population means more minds working on more problems. It drives technological advancement and forces us through the survival imperative to invent more efficient methods of production. There are advantages to growth.

In the end, though, global elites do not care about the Earth. They do not believe in population reduction because they want to reduce pollution or the so-called “carbon footprint,” save the poor animals, or even protect finite resources. They want population reduction because first, they are eugenicists who see some people as genetically inferior to others, and second, because a culled population is easier to dominate. Again, fewer minds working means fewer problems solved and fewer individuals to rock the boat when the state abuses its power.

The Source Of Our Pain

Globalists are not the only source of our social pain. We bear some responsibility. When we are not vigilant, when we deny our own ignorance and refuse to learn, when we lie to ourselves and when we cater to personal superficial desires rather than taking the future into account, we open the door for the devil. Evil, like conscience, resides in us all.

That said, global elites are not just randomly terrible people. They have constructed an entire culture of deviance. They are organized evil, and this is a problem we must deal with soon. Good men are defined not only by their adherence to the inner voice of truth, but also by their willingness to act when the truth is threatened. We must educate others and, when the time comes, put ourselves in harm’s way to remove the globalist ilk before they destroy everything in a raging elitist fervor.

–Brandon Smith

Sat, 02/23/2013 - 19:10 | 3270449 tenpanhandle
tenpanhandle's picture

shit! Jungs doctorate dissertation was shorter than that.

Sun, 02/24/2013 - 08:55 | 3271222 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture

 

 

Elitists believe that conscience is a hindrance to success, instead of a worthwhile virtue.

 

Thus the Cremation of Care ritual every year at the Bohemian Grove.....it's tradition.

 

You can run but you can't hide...just ask Johnny Cash.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJlN9jdQFSc

Sun, 02/24/2013 - 10:11 | 3271311 fiftybagger
Sun, 02/24/2013 - 13:14 | 3271642 TPTB_r_TBTF
TPTB_r_TBTF's picture

I want my NZT!

 

I want the clear pill.

Sat, 02/23/2013 - 18:43 | 3270411 Id fight Gandhi
Id fight Gandhi's picture

Scarface: never get high on your supply.

Sat, 02/23/2013 - 21:25 | 3270652 mr. mirbach
mr. mirbach's picture

Rehab is for quitters -Hank Moody

Sun, 02/24/2013 - 02:41 | 3271090 Buck Johnson
Buck Johnson's picture

Your totally correct, there is no way for this to end without everything going to flames.  The reason why the Fed is doing what it have been doing is because they are all in.  Meaning that they have passed the Rubicon and there is no way to take away the punch bowl without major loss.  So they are "riding it out" and hope when it can't work they will either be in a war and/or blame someone else for the destruction of the US economy.

Sun, 02/24/2013 - 16:19 | 3272090 TraderTimm
TraderTimm's picture

So, just thinking about this - what if the method involves a version of 'cold turkey'?

Get a false-flag, close the exchanges for 'terror' reasons, then do a massive revaluation. All the while, proclaiming that savings were indeed 'safe', and to trust the government to keep things running smoothly as we transition to the new order. < Patriotic Flag Images, Swelling Music >

Its so sick I can almost believe it will happen.

Sat, 02/23/2013 - 17:28 | 3270300 agent default
agent default's picture

Of course far more addicts eventually die of an overdose rather than get rehabilitated.  And assuming that there is some attempt at rehabilitation does anybody think the present political system will survive the withdrawal syndrome?  They will never try to fix it or allow anybody to fix it, because it will be the end of their power plain and simple.  So overdose it is.

Sat, 02/23/2013 - 17:31 | 3270307 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

My Dad liked to point out that there are more old drunks than old doctors.

Sat, 02/23/2013 - 17:35 | 3270314 akak
akak's picture

My dad liked to point out that there is also significant overlap between the two groups.

And under Obama(don't)care, one can only expect that degree of overlap to increase.

Sat, 02/23/2013 - 18:30 | 3270391 Debeachesand Je...
Debeachesand Jerseyshores's picture

"Obama(don't)care".That's a good one and the best I have seen lately.

Sat, 02/23/2013 - 17:36 | 3270318 agent default
agent default's picture

Probably makes sense. Alcohol and barbiturate withdrawal symptoms can cause  all death by themselves.  Things may have come to the point where we are faced with a terminal/terminal situation despite of what the Fed decides to do from now on.

Sat, 02/23/2013 - 18:13 | 3270370 cowdiddly
cowdiddly's picture

My Dad was an old drunk who did not trust doctors.

Sat, 02/23/2013 - 18:42 | 3270407 DangerClams
DangerClams's picture

There are also more dead drunks than old doctors.

For every live drunk, there is almost universally a path of personal and moral destruction than no shot of, well, "medicine" will cure.

But hey, drunks are hilarious.  Just watch someone have a cirrhotic hemorrage and laugh yourself all the way to the, um, hospital!

 

Sat, 02/23/2013 - 19:12 | 3270452 tenpanhandle
tenpanhandle's picture

stop it, you're harshing my buzz.

Sat, 02/23/2013 - 19:27 | 3270471 nmewn
nmewn's picture

He's young, he hasn't learned the difference between professional drunks and medical quacks yet ;-)

Sat, 02/23/2013 - 20:29 | 3270552 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

Professional? Doesn't that imply work; that proverbial curse of the drinking class?

Sat, 02/23/2013 - 21:44 | 3270678 nmewn
nmewn's picture

lol...as far as I'm concerned, it only requires due diligence and knowing ones limits of expertise!

Sat, 02/23/2013 - 20:13 | 3270526 Michelle
Michelle's picture

Not really hilarious...my friend's sis decided that taking pain killers for her bad back while keeping up the daily heavy drinking would be okay, until 2 weeks ago. Today the hospital staff removed all the machines and she has been transferred to hospice with only hours, maybe days left. Only 50 years old and alcoholism and painkiller addiction took her life. Don't think she truly understood the consequences of her actions. Sad.

About the Fed, the co-dependents of the world are allowing the money printing, one of these days someone will attend an Al-Anon meeting and realize that they too are part of the problem.

Sun, 02/24/2013 - 01:53 | 3271057 Lore
Lore's picture

Perceptive. That is the problem with globalism / communitarianism: everybody is supposed to accept the mantle of "Enabler" (defined). 

Sun, 02/24/2013 - 09:47 | 3271294 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

To do that much damage, those "pain killers" must have been prescription.  I wonder if the corporate pill pushers didn't know that she had a drinking problem, or didn't care.

Sat, 02/23/2013 - 17:28 | 3270301 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

How can economics be considered a profession?

Is there any evidence that "economists" know something the rest of us don't know..., something sane and useful to know?

Sat, 02/23/2013 - 17:41 | 3270330 agent default
agent default's picture

Well, it's like marketing with a bit of astrology mixed in,  but get this:  WITH OTHER PEOPLES MONEY.  Whoopieeeeeeee !!!!!!!

Sat, 02/23/2013 - 19:46 | 3270499 DosZap
DosZap's picture

Once the body gets past the withdrawal dangers, its all in your head.

And it can take less than a week to shake most off.Staying clean is then up to the individual.

Until you HIT THE WALL w/ any addiction, your not ready to try and stop.

Changing friends(so called),haunts, and old habits is KEY to success).

Sat, 02/23/2013 - 17:29 | 3270302 Dead Canary
Dead Canary's picture

This is scary stuff - for adults only. Is it possible that some fungus has invaded the brains of our politicians and directed them to lead us into financial ruin?

> http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=fungus-makes-zombie-ants

No, now that I think of it if a fungus was controlling politicians brains, they would make better decisions.

Sat, 02/23/2013 - 17:44 | 3270333 CH1
CH1's picture

if a fungus was controlling politicians brains, they would make better decisions.

You misunderstand: They are making wonderful decisions. It's just that their purpose is not what you think it is.

The purpose of a ruler is to RULE, and the current batch are doing a grand job of it. They skimm away half the produce of over a hundred million people, continually, and are simultaneously held in the highest esteem.

These are the glory years for politicians. The fact that they stink for the populace is BY DESIGN. Politicians live off of the skim, which is stunningly abundant these days.

Sat, 02/23/2013 - 18:00 | 3270356 Dead Canary
Dead Canary's picture

Sir, I stand corrected.

Sat, 02/23/2013 - 19:22 | 3270463 CH1
CH1's picture

And you are gracious. Thank you.

Sat, 02/23/2013 - 19:16 | 3270457 tenpanhandle
tenpanhandle's picture

stop it, you're really, really harshing my buzz.

Sat, 02/23/2013 - 19:50 | 3270505 CH1
CH1's picture

stop it, you're really, really harshing my buzz.

But dude, that was a polite exchange!

Polite! Here on ZH!!

That's pretty cool, no?

Sat, 02/23/2013 - 21:24 | 3270650 tenpanhandle
tenpanhandle's picture

It wasn't the tone but the content.  The truth usually "harshes" one's buzz. (just a comment, no down vote from me)

Sat, 02/23/2013 - 19:16 | 3270458 jimmytorpedo
jimmytorpedo's picture

You are actually thinking of a zombie control parasite called Toxoplasma Gondii

It's why pregnant women are told to avoid kitty litter boxes

T Gandii short circuits the amygdala (fear centre) of rats and mice and makes them sexually attracted to cats

That is where T. Gondii reproduces, in a cats gut

People with T. Gondii also exhibit defective amygdala characteristics

Your son makes rickety jumps out of 2x4's and cardboard boxes for his dirtbike?

--check him for T. Gondii

Your daughter is a slut and sleeps with the old town drunk

--T. Gondii

Your local bankers are fucking psychopaths

Toxoplasma Gondii, your alien parasite overlord

It is trying to get you dead so you will be eaten by a cat (no really)

Sat, 02/23/2013 - 19:50 | 3270503 Dead Canary
Dead Canary's picture

Priceless!

Sat, 02/23/2013 - 23:15 | 3270736 Ignatius
Ignatius's picture

Jimmytorpedo, are you willing to say that on camera wearing a white coat and stethoscope?

Sat, 02/23/2013 - 17:55 | 3270353 rhinoblitzing
rhinoblitzing's picture

Drug Test ALL Politicians  -  Seriously... We have a right to know if these people are on Prozac or Legal Opiates - and in CA and CO - If they are inhaling - Why can't we demand disclosure ? Most jobs require a drug test.

Sat, 02/23/2013 - 18:15 | 3270374 nmewn
nmewn's picture

There ya go...we have to submit to the dehumanizing practice giving away pieces of our bodies or its wastes (and pay for the "privilege" in most cases) to test for drugs...why shouldn't they?

Sat, 02/23/2013 - 18:22 | 3270386 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Yes.  Hey!  I could then be a politician!  President Bearing would make a few changes....

Sat, 02/23/2013 - 19:57 | 3270511 nmewn
nmewn's picture

It'd be fun wouldn't it?...lol.

I'm thinkin they'd give me three to six months running rampant before the Veep would have to take over...but what a time it would be...it would be slash & burn...no prisoners.

Thats why it will never happen ;-)

Sat, 02/23/2013 - 21:46 | 3270683 Professor Fate
Professor Fate's picture

Slip em' an IQ test as well.  Odds are they all will fail one or another.  Maxine Waters and Pelosi, of course, will fail both gloriously.

Fate the Magnificent

"Push the Button Max"

Sat, 02/23/2013 - 21:52 | 3270688 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Yep, they are produced by the education system in many countries, from the population at large...you'll love this...

"By discharging the jury which had failed to reach even a majority verdict, the judge, Mr Justice Sweeney, did not hide his astonishment and dismay at the way it had behaved.

On Tuesday, the jurors had presented him with a list of ten questions which revealed that they simply did not have a clue about what they had heard as evidence, what they had been told by himself or indeed what they were supposed to be doing there at all.
For example, they asked for a definition of reaching a verdict ‘beyond reasonable doubt’.

This was despite the fact that the judge had already given them guidance on this in writing.

Mr Justice Sweeney effectively threw up his hands in despair, saying that these were ‘ordinary English words’ that he could not define any further.
Bafflingly, they asked whether a wife’s religious conviction would make her feel that she had no option but to obey her husband. But since Vicky Pryce’s religious beliefs had not even been mentioned, this was clearly totally irrelevant to the case.

Equally perplexingly, they asked whether the defendant had an obligation to present a defence. In reply, the judge reminded them he had told them that the defendant did not have to prove anything at all.

Most extraordinary of all, they asked whether they could reach a verdict based on a reason that was not presented in court and had no facts or evidence to support it. Since a criminal trial is no more or less than a trial of the evidence, such a question revealed a fundamental lack of understanding of what a criminal trial actually is.

No wonder the judge said that some of these questions had shown a ‘fundamental deficit in understanding’ of the jury’s role, and that in 30 years of criminal trials he had not come across anything similar."

http://www.melaniephillips.com/do-we-need-iq-tests-for-juries

Sat, 02/23/2013 - 17:31 | 3270309 mrdenis
mrdenis's picture


Vowing to close what they're calling "the police loophole," at least 50 US companies, ranging from gun machinists to gun shops, are now saying publicly they'll refuse to sell weapons and gear to police in places where governments have banned the use of the same gear by civilians.

Quality Arms, located in Rigby, Idaho, writes on its website that it "will not supply any firearm or product manufactured by us or any other company, nor will we warranty, repair, alter or modify a firearm owned by any state, county or municipality that infringes on the right of its citizens to bear arms under the 2nd Amendment."

http://news.yahoo.com/firearms-makers-politicians-gun-rights-balk-walk-1...

Sat, 02/23/2013 - 17:37 | 3270319 akak
akak's picture

Terrorists!

They hate us (the police) for our freedoms (over the rest of the population)!

Sat, 02/23/2013 - 18:17 | 3270379 nmewn
nmewn's picture

I love it ;-)

Sat, 02/23/2013 - 19:22 | 3270462 tenpanhandle
tenpanhandle's picture

They have nothing to lose as anyone in Rigby, Idaho is already on the terrorist watch list.  Besides, public demand is so high, who needs the police business, but those gun dealers can forget about "protect and serve" response.

Sat, 02/23/2013 - 23:17 | 3270878 AllWorkedUp
AllWorkedUp's picture

Good. I live down the road from Rigby. Does that mean the fucking Feds will stay the fuck out of my state? Good. CA., NY, and ILL. can have the Nanny Feds.

We don't need the "protect and serve" response. It's always late anyway.

Sun, 02/24/2013 - 09:51 | 3271296 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

and you can forget about your fat, bloated, gubbermint pension.  Got kibbles and bits?

Sat, 02/23/2013 - 17:32 | 3270310 earleflorida
earleflorida's picture

one must hit absolute zero... or in near death circles-- rock bottom, period! ask me? naught.

this frb will implode first before it admits to it's failings,... they're simply out of this world... perhaps all krugmanian martians

Sat, 02/23/2013 - 21:32 | 3270666 max2205
max2205's picture

Tops take weeks or months, unless we crash....not likely.

Ben is retiring so a slow drift is likely

Sat, 02/23/2013 - 17:32 | 3270311 Sigep0612
Sigep0612's picture

Hmmmm.  The presumption is that the Fed minutes are truthful...or have they been manipulated?

Sat, 02/23/2013 - 17:49 | 3270331 Clesthenes
Clesthenes's picture


There’s another aspect of this liquidity provided by the Fed: it is provided by using government securities as collateral.  In other words, it is issued into circulation in exchange for government bonds surrendered by a private party – just as, 150 years ago, new paper currency was issued in exchange for gold.

In the second example, the paper held its value so long as the issuer held gold in reserve.  In the first example, paper, or computer impulses, hold their value so long as the market believes US Treasury securities are collectible.

Are they collectible?  Most market players assume that Treasury will be able to extort taxes from – that is, to cannibalize – future generations of American taxpayers to make good on the federal debt.

It leads to the question, “Does this society, that cannibalizes its children, deserve to survive?”

In my book, it does not.  Forget the fact that such debt can neither be collected practically nor constitutionally… such a society does not deserve to survive.

So, what’s the solution?

We cannot rely on those who are addicted to their sets of pleasing lies to correct the problem… they will die or kill rather than admit error, or crime.

I suggest that we focus on saving ourselves.  Let the self-blinded stumble off their cliffs, or meet their end by hunger or cold.

If we are to save ourselves, we also have to design and establish a better alternative, and protect ourselves, when the Pied Piper presents his invoice, from hordes of self-blinded with empty stomachs AND from death squads with lists of dissidents.

How is this to be done?

We can stumble around guided by the indoctrination shoved into our heads by media and education, governments and churches all dominated by criminal and useful-idiot classes… or we can learn lessons of the history of those men and eras that advanced the cause of man.

 

 

 

 

Sat, 02/23/2013 - 17:44 | 3270332 Henry Hub
Henry Hub's picture

"They tried to make me go to rehab, but I won't go, go, go!!"

The Bernack

Sat, 02/23/2013 - 18:44 | 3270412 Id fight Gandhi
Id fight Gandhi's picture

And coincidentally THAT singer ended with a THUD

Sat, 02/23/2013 - 19:22 | 3270465 jimmytorpedo
jimmytorpedo's picture

I'm dying to see b b b Benny do the Winehouse

Sat, 02/23/2013 - 17:44 | 3270334 grid-b-gone
grid-b-gone's picture

At the 2008 bottom, all the Fed had to say was, "We will support a 700 S&P floor for the next 10 years." Investors would have returned. We would not be at 1,500+ today, but we would have discovered market equilibrium by now. 

As it stands today, we don't know the current market value of the S&P. We have a manipulated, liquidity-driven number of 1,515 that we understand is too high, leaving the only reason to buy at this level, the belief that the Fed will drive it even higher. This is not a convincing argument for most to get off the sidelines, especially with insider selling picking up.

Sat, 02/23/2013 - 18:07 | 3270363 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

Yes, and the same can be said for real estate, cars, tractors, bonds, washing machines..., essentially all durable goods, and even metals.  When the Fed decided to screw up long term rates, they distorted all normal pricing, comparison, and feed-back mechanisms.  The return to free markets won't be smooth or pretty.

Sat, 02/23/2013 - 18:51 | 3270419 DJ Happy Ending
DJ Happy Ending's picture

+1

Distorted pricing and feedback is why businesses with cash are sitting on it.

 

I am beginning to wonder if there will ever be a return to anything resembling a free market until it all collapses.

 

Sat, 02/23/2013 - 19:27 | 3270472 tenpanhandle
tenpanhandle's picture

The collapse itself will be the first manifestation of free markets.

Sat, 02/23/2013 - 17:46 | 3270337 knukles
knukles's picture

Bottoms are by definition, experienced by the individual alone.
That virtual spiritual moment of clarity where it is recognized that "I cannot do this any more, the jig is up, I've lost all control and self esteem."  And if lucky, will add "God, please help me.", for it is effectively a recognition that no temporal element can be of any aide to fill the hole in ones' soul... and never was. 

You see, institutions have no soul.

Collectives may conclude that policies have been wrong or publicly "recognize" a time for a change in policy, but never experienc a true bottom, for they would thus conclude that their role is no longer necessary.
Within Central Bank space, a bottom would recognize the futility and waste, the very transitory nature of a fiat system. 

The best can be hoped for is a policy change.  Period.

Sorry to disappoint. 

Sat, 02/23/2013 - 18:18 | 3270383 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

knukles wrote:

"Bottoms are by definition, experienced by the individual alone."

Yes, I would agree.  A soul and a wish to right oneself is about the only way to find a way out.  The Fed has neither.  When WE hit bottom, wherever that is, then there is a chance to reset the system.  And the whole process will not be pretty.

Sat, 02/23/2013 - 18:45 | 3270415 DangerClams
DangerClams's picture

Aren't bottoms also experienced by the top?  I mean, someone has to do the driving.

Sat, 02/23/2013 - 19:29 | 3270476 jimmytorpedo
jimmytorpedo's picture

It all depends on who is doing the spanking when you hit bottom.

It's much better to be doing the spanking.

Get ready to do some spanking people.

I sense a bottom approaching.

Sat, 02/23/2013 - 17:51 | 3270341 ISEEIT
ISEEIT's picture

The only thing keeping us from getting well is motherfucking sickness itself..........The fucking disease is in charge and hellbent on death.

Forward??

www.whitehouse.gov

Sat, 02/23/2013 - 18:07 | 3270345 JustObserving
JustObserving's picture

US debt is $15.6 trillion and US unfunded liabilities are $122.84 trillion.  The total is $138.44 trillion and rising at $8.2 trillion a year.

How can the Fed stop printing?  US debt will shoot up as interest rates will rise as the Fed will no longer be purchasing 80% of US Treasuries.  But this constant talk of stopping the printing gives pause to buyers of gold and oil and other commodities.  It supports the dollar.  So the Fed wins since inflation is managed while they print $85 billion a month.  The Fed has its cake and eats it too.

This situation is untenable though and will end badly even as the Fed continues to lie about its true intentions.

All US markets have degenerated into fraud starting at the top - the Fed.  When it gets serious, you have to lie.  And it gets more serious everyday.

 

Sat, 02/23/2013 - 17:59 | 3270355 trollin4sukrz
trollin4sukrz's picture

Drowning the headache at the local bar today and noticed the NASCAR race had empty stands. I hope the asleepsheeples took notice as well.. oh and other good news i received today is amerikan idle audience has tanked big time. harketh is that a slim glimmer of light?

Sat, 02/23/2013 - 18:17 | 3270380 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

Not sure what this means, but I have noticed that I am rarely the craziest anti-gov radical at the coffee shop or the local pub any more.  People are getting pissed.  That's a start.

Sat, 02/23/2013 - 18:20 | 3270385 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

+ 1

They're waking up, slowly, but apparently they are.

Sat, 02/23/2013 - 19:06 | 3270445 ISEEIT
ISEEIT's picture

It is spreading. I'm a natural Conservative. Very much a Libertarian. I've noticed lately that increasingly other folks with the same bottom line desire for honesty and basic human decency have become more open to accepting that we've been played by the 'two party' system. The tough part for people to accept is that they've spent their entire lives being played for a fool. Admitting that you've been wrong is very painful but at some point STAYING wrong is far, far worse.

Sun, 02/24/2013 - 00:18 | 3270976 tarsubil
tarsubil's picture

I'm not kidding here. I saw a "Who Is John Galt?" bumper sticker in a Federal agency parking garage. That always makes me wonder.

Sun, 02/24/2013 - 10:37 | 3271332 Jani
Jani's picture

Yeah, greened you there Kaiser, I've niticed the same thing.

I tend bar one day a week at a local drinking hole, and it used to be tha political discussions would usually morph into some kind of a left, right argument, but lately the discussions are turning more to a "us" vs "them" type discourse.

Baby steps in the right direction -- it takes some time to admit that what you thought for so many years is all wrong. 

We all have to keep planting seeds.

Sat, 02/23/2013 - 18:11 | 3270367 blindman
blindman's picture

"Many Rivers To Cross" at the Dub Club
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hd0-EjlnpwU
.
Jimmy Cliff - I can see clearly now
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gIqLsGT2wbQ
.
William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)
THE SECOND COMING

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.

The darkness drops again but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0XVlMvnLH2A
.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=spCq1dAiZ6g
.
Jimmy Cliff Live @ Marquee - Sitting In Limbo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=EbYmXY13Jw0&feature=endscreen
.
Amy Winehouse - Rehab
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KUmZp8pR1uc

Sat, 02/23/2013 - 18:11 | 3270368 Oldwood
Oldwood's picture

As my small business is on the down low and goin lower, I habitually come to ZH to find out why. Negative reinforcement maybe? We are all addicts to our needs. Some are just more destructive than others.

Sat, 02/23/2013 - 18:13 | 3270371 spentCartridge
spentCartridge's picture

Off topic

Irish guy lodges claim against Irish bank for trading without a license, first banksters to get charged with criminal fraud !

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hjkrJDkdP2s

Sat, 02/23/2013 - 18:38 | 3270402 ZeroAvatar
ZeroAvatar's picture

ANYONE can start a bank.  All you need is about $300 million in seed money.  We don' need no steenkeen LICENSE!

 

(Or am I thinking of a Hedge Fund?)

Sat, 02/23/2013 - 18:59 | 3270430 knukles
knukles's picture

Neither or both, as you like it.
To wit: Goldman Sachs

A Bank in Name and Fed access only
A Hedge Fund in process
Regulated by neither banking nor securities masters, apparently.

Sat, 02/23/2013 - 18:40 | 3270405 The Heart
The Heart's picture

"first banksters to get charged with criminal fraud!"

No, not the first.:

http://www.blacklistednews.com/Iran_to_Execute_4_Bankers_on_Fraud_Charge...

Monkey see, monkey do?

And, how well is that Iceland doing now too?

Everybody talks about the superficial this and that's, balds and bores. The true solution TO THE WORLD'S ECONOMIC DOWNFALL is right here in front of the everyone's face.

How to fix the vix and do what is right, is being shown to the world by the supposed bad guys in Iran that are dealing proper Justice to these enemies of the world. Line up ALL the lame stream media propagandists right next to them for most excellent pay-per-view entertainment!

 

 

Sat, 02/23/2013 - 22:47 | 3270821 g speed
g speed's picture

wonderful---made my night-- 

Sat, 02/23/2013 - 18:15 | 3270375 Catullus
Catullus's picture

It's not monetizing debt because the Fed is going to sell the bonds back.

Still laughable, When we're talking about the degree to which they can stop buying the bonds.

Sat, 02/23/2013 - 18:25 | 3270388 Herdee
Herdee's picture

Can Helicopter Ben bring the U.S. out of this economic mess without going down the same path as Japan?Trouble is,he has to deal with Washington politicians and out of control spending and now they are bringing in the dreaded cutbacks.Corporations need to be able to bring offshore money back in tax free (trillions) if the money is going to be used to stimulate.There's a lot of risk in the "basement".If the Fedreal Government cuts back bigtime are Corporations going to step up to the plate?I haven't seen those types of tax incentives yet.And that brings up the next issue of tax reform.Gradually reducing income taxes and bringing in Value Added Taxes.IMO,gutting income tax would starve the big Government and literally kill it.A Value Added Tax (VAT) system or a Goods and Services Tax (GST) works great if you can eliminate all interest rates and go with a fee only based system.Tall order to get rid of corruption.Interest has always been the cause and the root of it.Imagine an economy with no interest rates.The United States used to have this a long,long time ago.It was the way of the original Thirteen Colonies.

Sat, 02/23/2013 - 18:32 | 3270393 Never One Roach
Never One Roach's picture

Moar empty store fronts in the indoor mall today. A couplke of new ones down the road in the strip mall area.

 

'Green shoots' for the 'jobless recovery.' So where do these employees go after these stores close down? I feel sorry for them. At least they were giving work a try.

Sat, 02/23/2013 - 18:52 | 3270422 holdbuysell
holdbuysell's picture

"I don’t think equity markets much like or even understand this approach."

Translation: Text-parsing, "Literal Louie" algos don't understand what a trial balloon is.

Sat, 02/23/2013 - 19:04 | 3270442 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

And me buying Gold and Silver is a way of telling my addiction riddled "family" that I won't be playing the game with them.

Sat, 02/23/2013 - 19:32 | 3270480 tenpanhandle
tenpanhandle's picture

Doesn't the fed already own all the longer dated treasuries?

Sat, 02/23/2013 - 20:03 | 3270514 Quinvarius
Quinvarius's picture

The base money supply blew up 10% in the last two months.  Who cares what the Fed says?  Only a CNBC guest speaker trades off of FOMC meeting minutes when the Fed is printing 85 billion a month.  How are going to stop funding the government?  How are they going stop bailing out Wall Street's "deleveraging" program?  All that government spending and all the bad debt deleveraging will be funded with printed money a far as the eye can see.

Besides, ALL of their minutes contain these same statements.  They always say, "we might have to stop".  But they can't stop.  It is not mathematically possible to stop.  If anything they will need to increase government debt purchases.

Sun, 02/24/2013 - 00:11 | 3270542 Lucius Corneliu...
Lucius Cornelius Sulla's picture

The FED will stop monetizing when the market forces them to because they are not in control of the bond market.  Case in point: In July 2012 the 30 year was at 2.5%.  When QE3 was announced on September 13, 2012, rates were at 2.97%.  When QE4 was announced on December 12, 2012, rates were at 2.9%.  They now stand at about 3.2%.  The bond market does respond to inflation and default risk.  There is a tipping point where the balance sheet of the FED and USG get so big that tax receipts will no longer be able to service it.  Of course the FED knows this and will ultimately act to preserve its existence.

Sat, 02/23/2013 - 21:30 | 3270661 Freewheelin Franklin
Freewheelin Franklin's picture

I think it was 7-10% make it 3 years or more.

Sat, 02/23/2013 - 21:30 | 3270662 slightlyskeptical
slightlyskeptical's picture

"– real investors have to take the place of the Federal Reserve and provide liquidity and buying power in equity markets. "

This is very true. But to do so we need to end debt based money(the fed) and restore productive investment by simply printing off the debt.  I think any other course will fall short at this point. We need pure fiat based only on our level of productivity, both realized and potential.

Sat, 02/23/2013 - 21:47 | 3270686 Crash Overide
Crash Overide's picture

"Yes, $237 BILLION was PRINTED for “recovering” European banks; atop the $85 BILLION the Fed prints each month for “quantitative easing”…"

Love,

          Andy

Sun, 02/24/2013 - 01:49 | 3271058 q99x2
q99x2's picture

AA is a microcosm of the struggle for existance and ends with a solution. That solution transcends spiritual, psychological and philosophical concepts because it arrives at the development of the individual from which morality leads to a more prosperous future. It is a clearing in the forest despite what goes on in everyday life.

Its free.

Sun, 02/24/2013 - 04:16 | 3271131 IridiumRebel
IridiumRebel's picture

Truth is the key to getting better. Without it, there is no recovery. When "it" hapens.....I'll head down to Columbus Circle.

Sun, 02/24/2013 - 08:52 | 3271255 Downtoolong
Downtoolong's picture

If you’ve ever seen addiction first hand, you know this is a spurious anthropomorphizing of financial markets.

I’m not so sure. Addiction is mostly psychological, and not to be confused with physical dependency. You can also become addicted to specific behavior. There are people who take morphine for chronic pain who would experience severe physical withdrawal symptoms if they stopped using. But, they never become psychologically addicted to it or crave more than they need. On the other hand, working on Wall Street does seem to correlate highly with cocaine use, drinking, excessive gambling, sexual abuse, etc.  

And who's the last person to ever spot someone is an addict? Answer: the addict.  

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/info/addiction/

Sun, 02/24/2013 - 08:57 | 3271261 DutchR
DutchR's picture

Rehabilitation to what?

 

There must be a baseline first....

 

Interesting times we DO live in.

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