Mauldin: It's A Bonfire Of The Absurdities

Tyler Durden's picture

Authored by John Mauldin via MauldinEconomics.com,

“Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.”
– Ecclesiastes 1:2, King James Version (attributed to King Solomon in his old age)

This week’s letter will take a look at the growing number of ridiculous, inane, and otherwise nonsensical absurdities that fill the daily economic headlines. I have gone from the occasional smile to scratching my head now and then to “WTF” moments several times a week.

Wondering if it was just me, I recently sent an appeal to a what became a large number of my friends and fellow writers and analysts, asking for their graphic examples of this paranormal economic activity. Suffice to say, it is not just me who sees absurdities. I received so many responses that I may have to extend this letter another week or two. (Note: This letter will print long, as there are lots of graphs.)

Some of what you’ll see depicted in the following charts originated a decade ago in the Global Financial Crisis – or was caused by the reactions of central bankers to that crisis. The many shocking, previously unimaginable acts by central banks and governments left us so numb that I think we started to simply accept them without much thought. That was our mistake: We must confront the unthinkable, not just shrug our shoulders at it. Because when we have our next crisis, I will bet you dollars to donuts that central banks and governments will react in ways that are even more unthinkable.

Now on to the bonfire.

Vanity of Vanities

If you work in the financial industry you’ve probably read, or at least know plenty about, the Tom Wolfe novel Bonfire of the Vanities. It’s a great book, but it’s not the source of this letter’s headline. I’m thinking back further to the original “bonfire of the vanities” in fifteenth-century Florence.

In 1490 the ruling Medici family brought in Dominican friar Girolamo Savonarola to serve them, but within a few years he was more or less ruling the city. In 1495, during the pre-Lenten carnival, Savonarola began hosting a “bonfire of the vanities,” at which people would burn objects that inspired the deadly sin of vanity: mirrors, cosmetics, musical instruments, and so on. This being Florence, they also destroyed tons of artworks, tapestries, books, furniture, and other priceless treasures. Did doing so make them any less vain? Probably not, but I’m sure the bonfires were quite magnificent.

In a similar manner, we in this century routinely “burn” hard-won lessons (or at least expel them from our thoughts) because someone with an ulterior motive convinces us they’re useless or harmful. That’s rarely true, as we often discern too late, and then we have to learn the same lessons again.

Think about this. How often do central bankers, regulators, corporate leaders, lawyers, politicians, and ordinary investors make the same mistakes over and over again? All the time. If we would stop burning our memories, we might make better progress. But no, we must have our bonfires. And so the absurdities are perpetuated.

To kick off our tour of absurdities, Michael Lebowitz of 720 Global sends this chart of Federal Reserve assets as a percentage of GDP. You might notice a slight trend change along about 2008:

Not to put too fine a point on it, but this is bonkers. I understand that we were caught up in an unprecedented crisis back then, and I actually think QE1 was a reasonable and rational response; but QEs 2 and 3 were simply the Fed trying to manipulate the market. The Keynesian Fed economists who were dismissive of Reagan’s trickle-down theory still don’t appear to see the irony in the fact that they applied trickle-down monetary policy in the hope that by giving a boost to asset prices they would create wealth that would trickle down to the bottom 50% of the US population or to Main Street. It didn’t.

The Fed has left that bloated balance sheet alone for almost 10 years. And now for some reason they feel it is urgent to reduce the balance sheet even as they also raise rates. This is not model-based monetary policy; it is simply an emotional monetary policy experiment. I can understand raising rates – I wish they had done that four years ago. I can even understand reducing the balance sheet. But at the same time? When you don’t know what you don’t know? I mean really, there is no way to know how the market is going to react to either of these events, let alone to both at the same time. This seems to me the height of monetary policy lunacy.

The Fed’s stimulus efforts manifested themselves, among other places, in years of near-zero interest rates, helpfully illustrated here by Peter Boockvar:

We all lived through this remarkable set of experiments, but it’s still amazing to think that in 2007–2008 the Fed chopped short-term rates by five full percentage points in just five quarters. Today we agonize over whether they’ll hike rates by half as much, spread over five years or more. Note also that this gargantuan rate cut still couldn’t avert a near meltdown of the banking system. You can argue that it would have been even worse to do nothing, but it’s hard to argue they didn’t do all they could have.

But it wasn’t just the Federal Reserve. The European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan have both grown their balance sheets more than the US has. The Bank of Japan’s balance sheet is almost five times larger in proportion to GDP. And it is still growing. The Land of the Rising Sun has become the land of the rising central bank balance sheet. This graph is courtesy of my friend Dr. Ed Yardeni:

Those Crazy Swiss

Meanwhile, the more sober-minded (hah!) gnomes of the Swiss National Bank expanded their own balance sheet at a much steadier pace, though in percentage terms they blew it up far more than the Fed or the BOJ did theirs. The Swiss National Bank is now the world’s largest hedge fund.

My friend Dennis Gartman wrote me yesterday, saying,

We have written many times about the fact... and it is a fact... that the Swiss National Bank has effectively become both the nation’s central bank and one of the largest, if not indeed the very largest, hedge funds in the world. The process began several years ago when the SNB swore that it would do what it could and using what methods were available to it to weaken the Swiss franc relative to the EUR and to the US dollar. It has succeeded, until recently, creating Swiss francs out of the thinnest of air, and selling those Francs vs. the EUR and the dollar, and then taking those EURs and dollars to buy European and US equities and debt securities.

 

The SNB’s balance sheet is a CHf 813 billion (and given that the CHf and the US dollar are effectively at parity one with the other that CHf 813 billion is the same as $813 billion) and this is very nearly 125% of the Swiss GDP. By comparison, the Fed’s balance sheet of $4.5 trillion is but 25% of the US GDP. In other words, if the Fed is taken to task for being expansionary, the SNB is truly explosive!

 

Of the CHf 813 billion on the Bank’s balance sheet, 760 billion of it is the form of securities, of which 90 billion are in equities. The other 670 billion are held in EUR and US debt securities.

 

Thus far this has been a huge, stunning, almost unimaginable profit for the SNB and theoretically for the people of Switzerland. However, the problem is that the SNB will have enormous difficulty in liquidating this massive portfolio, for once the news leaks out that the Bank is selling the bids will disappear; the CHf will soar in price while debt and equity markets melt away.

 

What the SNB has done here is stunning; some have even called it nearly “criminal” in nature. We suggest that there is nothing at all criminal in what the SNB’s leaders have done and that they are well within their legal guidelines; however, what they have done is optically and philosophically wrong and very badly so. This is QE gone very badly wrong, rivaled only by the same actions taken by the Bank of Japan that openly deals in the forex, debt and equity markets in Tokyo, buying ETFs on a very regular basis and becoming one of Japan’s largest public shareholders. This is central banking gone very, very badly awry. It will be stopped when equity prices collapse.

As I wrote earlier this year:

The SNB owns about $80 billion in US stocks today (June, 2017) and a guesstimated $20 billion or so in European stocks (this guess comes from my friend Grant Williams, so I will go with it).

 

They have bought roughly $17 billion worth of US stocks so far this year. And they have no formula; they are just trying to manage their currency.

 

Think about this for a moment: They have about $10,000 in US stocks on their books for every man, woman, and child in Switzerland, not to mention who knows how much in other assorted assets, all in the effort to keep a lid on what is still one of the most expensive currencies in the world.

 

Switzerland is now the eighth-largest public holder of US stocks. And apparently they are concentrating on the largest of the large-cap stocks. The own 19 million shares of Apple (as of March 31). That is roughly 3% of the current market.

 

I’m in Switzerland as you read this, so I am personally experiencing the reality of currency strength. Have you ever paid $12 for a Diet Coke? (Seriously!) No wonder the SNB is worried about the valuation of their currency.

I will be speaking at a conference in Lugano on Monday. The conference sponsors have asked me to give them three questions to ask the attendees during my speech. One of those questions is, do you think the Swiss National Bank will eventually hold $1 trillion in assets? And do you agree with that policy? I will be asking some of the larger asset managers what they will do and how they will react. Hedging? How do you do that in that environment?

Gartman is right: How can the SNB sell? The Swiss franc would levitate almost instantly, which is the one thing they are desperate to avoid. As long as people keep trying to convert their money into Swiss francs (at -0.75 basis points!), the natural direction for the franc will be up unless the SNB continues to intervene in foreign markets. My bet is that they will do so – and that this will not end well. Or maybe they’ll get lucky and their even more massive bond portfolio will offset their losses.

The Absurdities in the Bond Markets

Not coincidentally, European yields are at rock bottom, or actually below that, in negative territory. And what is even more absurd, European high-yield bonds, which in theory should carry much higher rates than US Treasury bonds, actually yield below them. Here’s a chart from old friend Tony Sagami:

Interest rates are supposed to reflect risk. The greater the risk of default, the higher the rate, right? Yet here we see that European small-cap businesses are borrowing more cheaply than the world’s foremost nuclear-armed government can. That, my friends, is absurd.

Understand, the ECB is buying almost every major bond it can justify under its rules, which leaves “smaller” investors fewer choices, so they move to high-yield (junk), driving yields down. Ugh.

And can anything be more absurd than negative interest rates in long-term bonds?

This 2016 article on the Quartz site, under the subhead “World Gone Mad,” makes clear the level of ridiculousness we’re looking at here:

If you were to buy, at random, any government bond, there is a one in three chance you’d lose money if you held onto it until it matured. That is, around a third of all developed-country government debt – or more than $7 trillion [That was last summer. It’s now $9 trillion, so it’s even worse –JM], in terms of market value – is now trading at negative yields, according to Citi. That means that investors are effectively paying borrowers to lend to them – giving away $100 and a few years later getting back $99. In the euro zone, more than half of all outstanding bonds are priced in this upside-down way, according to Tradeweb. (source)

All that said, the economists who designed these interventions had their reasons. They thought lower interest rates and liquidity injections would create jobs, spur investment, and eventually produce inflation. The idea was to then reduce the stimulus before inflation got out of control. Their gauge for assessing this tricky process is the unemployment rate. An economy at “full employment” is one in which inflation is right around the corner. The theoretical relationship looks something like this – chart from Gary Shilling.

In fact, we now have very low unemployment, accompanied by stubbornly low inflation. Why is that? No one really knows. All sorts of theories are floating around, but none have yet proven helpful in restoring the Phillips Curve. Here’s reality, again via Gary Shilling:

The result is a strange economy in which the people who want jobs mostly have them – but remain deeply dissatisfied, stressed, overleveraged, and often angry. Consider this graph of real median household income, from my friend Murat Koprulu.

This is median, not average, household income. That means half of households are doing better and half worse. It’s also inflation-adjusted, so the amounts are consistent over time. We see that the median family is roughly back where it was 20 years ago, in the mid-1990s. Worse, it’s still far below where it was ten years ago before the financial crisis. Is it any wonder people are mad?

One more absurdity. In the US we often think education is the key to getting ahead. That’s not necessarily the case anymore. Here’s another chart Murat sent me, showing real average hourly wages by education level.

From 2007–2014, possessing an advanced degree enabled you to “get ahead” only in a relative sense. Your wages stayed flat while those of the less-educated fell.

Notice how having “some college” was actually more negative for wages than having only a high school education. How can that be? Possibly because going to college without obtaining a degree leaves you in debt with less practical experience than your peers who went straight to work after high school.

To that point, student debt is quickly becoming a problem for everyone. Look at this chart from Grant Williams on student loan debt held by the federal government. Do we add that to our national debt?

Taxpayers are on the hook for over a trillion dollars in student debt. Unlike mortgage or business debt, student debt is backed by no tangible asset you can repossess. It bought knowledge that now hopefully resides in the student’s brain, but it may have just gone in one ear and out the other. That makes this debt uniquely risky. You and I are taking that risk, like it or not.

And here’s another chart from Grant Williams, showing stock market capitalization to GDP. We are only another healthy bull market run away from being back to dot-com bubble levels. A run that many of my friends firmly believe awaits us.

The US stock market as a percentage of GDP is now far bigger than it was at the housing bubble’s peak, and it’s rapidly approaching the dot-com bubble peak. That ought to make us a little nervous as we watch the Dow hit new all-time highs.

And we will close this week’s adventure into absurdities with a note I got from Louis Gave this morning.

Rather than just looking for absurdities in the developed world, Louis’ research team at GaveKal scours the entire world in depth every day. So he gives us a few lesser-known absurdities. [My comments will be in brackets.]

Usually currency pegs are not a bad place to start when looking for absurdities.

 

What are the odds of Lebanon keeping its peg now that Saudi won’t bankroll it? After all, you have a pegged currency with current account deficit in double digits relative to GDP:

 

 

And once the Lebanese peg goes, will it be like Thailand in 1997 with Bahrein, Qatar, Oman, Egypt, Pakistan and ultimately Saudi all following suit?

 

If so, you can kiss goodbye to those large defense orders…

 

Incidentally, why pay 7x book to buy defense stocks when it seems pretty obvious that the wars of the future will either be:

  • low-grade terrorist events or
  • cyber warfare

 

Who will need the big destroyers, tanks, and missiles anymore? Increasingly, our wealth is not about building and factories but about zeros and ones in a computer. Yet defense stocks have never been so richly valued:

 

 

And this at a time when 95 cents out of every dollar collected by the US government goes to either pay a) interest, b) entitlement spending and c) defense. Which do you think goes first?

 

I don’t think it is interest (hard to make them that much lower). And I doubt it will be entitlements. Which leaves you with defense. And so just like European nations before it, the US will slash defense spending to keep the welfare state alive

 

So why pay 7x book for defense stock?

 

There are many other ideas. A lot of them linked to the craziness in the bond market (negative swiss yields, Italian junk below UST, etc…). But how about this one:

 

 

Okay, John back. Please note the serious level of sarcasm in the right-hand column above: “Good thing there is no common thread in the above names...” It’s all tech and all digital in the top seven. Note, however, that Exxon Mobil keeps hanging in there.

*  *  *

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Winston Churchill's picture

Trying capitalism again would be nice,its been a long time.

takeaction's picture

I have been looking at this screen for the past 6 to 8 years going WTF?  I don't get it...

I should have bought Bitcoin...

Jon_Locke's picture

I can guarantee that I can absolutely crash Bitcoin. If I buy even .5 of one it will crash 90% within a week.

HillaryOdor's picture

$12 for a diet coke?  How does that come from a strong currency?  A strong franc should be able to buy many dollars and therefore many cokes.  I don't get it.

Winston Churchill's picture

Home brewed and canned in Switzerland ,not imported.All the inputs are in swissies,not USD.

HillaryOdor's picture

Then just import it for very cheap.  Problem solved.  I wish I had the problem that my purchasing power suddenly spiked.

 

gmrpeabody's picture

Well, I suppose some of the mystery comes from the fact that your stats are jacked beyond amazement. CPI isn't dropping or holding steady as your graph shows, that massaged stat is as phony as a $3 bill. And low unemployment is really a loss of living wage jobs being replaced with many worthless McJobs without benefits.

Garbage in.., garbage out I suppose, but for the author to be perplexed is a joke...

Code Duello's picture

As my mother used to say (paraphrasing here 'cause I can't remember exactly), "....there's nothing to exceed the faith of a convert..."

Poor old John Mauldin, having spouted the establishmentarian bullshit for his whole professional life - quoting as well as cutting-pasting all of his "good", "dear" and "old" friends - now finds himself at a dead end:  he cannot sell the no-brainer fund-of-funds concept anymore because individual investors have finally achieved a level of sophistication beyond that of John's simplicity.  Either that or the market now only consists of institutional giants that are hardly the middle class prey that John's been used to.

So what's a guy in his sixties, saddled with a worn out investment philosophy and a new, say we say middle-aged zaftig, wife to do?  Why, what else but convert to the apocalyptic and sell the doom porn - hoping for that cash income that will pay all of the allimony accumulated when he was rolling high.

Flogging it indiscriminately, here he is - enabled by the new unsophisticated Tylers.  It doesn't get much more funny than this.

Escrava Isaura's picture

HillaryOdor: $12 for a diet coke?  How does that come from a strong currency?

Money is not wealth. Money is an end to a mean. Like violence. Money can be made weaker or stronger; but, in the end, it won’t matter.

What matters is value. And the only way to acquire value is through ownership.

With ownership you can raise and lower prices. If you sell a product to a nation that has a growing population that is in constant need to print new money, you raise the prices. If a nation doesn’t print too much money, you lower the prices. You come up on top no matter what.

But, you can only own your productive value in a socialist social order because the money is debt free.

You can’t do that in capitalism.

 

HillaryOdor's picture

My god.  You really are retarded.

Escrava Isaura's picture

I wasn’t writing for the ignoramus and propagandist of a dying system.

Plenty of those around here.

I was writing for the curious Hedgers. The Hedges that want to connect the dots themselves.

 

HillaryOdor's picture

Actually I'm pretty sure you were.  You are the ignoramus and propagandist of a dying system.  

IH8OBAMA's picture

It looks like you have everything backwards, Escrava!

 

But, as an example of your corrected first sentence - For a single guy dancing is just a means to an end.

As a married guy, I refuse to dance with my wife.

 

Escrava Isaura's picture

I know, at first telling a conservative that socialism is a better fit for them than capitalism might sound outrageous.

But, isn’t that true?

Say that you’re a farmer. A very productive farmer. But, can you compete with a heavily mechanized farm? No, because you can’t offer value. But, in capitalism value is everything.

Now let’s say that the government gave $1 million dollars to every citizen.

The next day, all that money will go to the owners again, because they will raise prices and because they own the means of production, NOT the workers.

Actually, most of those workers became a commodity. Discard them, because their jobs will be sent overseas.

So, let me ask you again, conservatives, what are you gonna do about it?

 

HillaryOdor's picture

Well I'm not a conservative, but I'll tell you what we're gonna do about it (i.e. you and your control freak friends)

Since you control freak parasites refuse to allow peaceful secession (we can't have anyone seeing how much more successful freer markets can be), when the time comes for it we're probably gonna have to kill all the socialists.  Say your goodbyes.

If your system was so successful then you wouldn't have to implement it by the barrel of a gun.  

Tolomeo's picture

I can beat that!!! If I buy 0.125 I’ll crashed it!!! I’ve had the worst year of my life (40+) this year!!! I completely fuck up after the election... I got it right (Trump winning), but thought he’d bring a lot of volatility... To the contrary it’s being record low and I’ve lost EVERYTHING betting that at this point tomorrow is the day it all finally goes kabum!!! But it hasn’t happened! At this point it will not happen, not before I get Margin Called again... I just cannot process the thing!!! I’m like a dear in the headlights... Can’t stop going long volatility! What a fucking looser!!! I wish I had a drug problem, or alcohol... This is much worse!!! Anyhow... I’m a King Midas (but the things I touch just turn to shit instead of gold!) LOL!

cossack55's picture

Perhaps you are really Prince Turdas

armageddon addahere's picture

I have felt like that since, basically, forever. ALL the news is bullshit and so are government stats etc. Your only chance is to learn to trade technically that is go by the charts not by the news.

Like you, a year ago I was all ready to go short if Trump won because the markets would surely bomb (so said the experts). 3 days after the election it was up, up up so I went long the SPY but kept my hand on the rip cord all the way into the new year. Then with no end in sight to the run up I started buying individual stocks, only ones that had a positive graph with NO interest of the fundamentals. This resulted in buying stocks like BABA, NVDA, YY and JP. So , have done very well but still keep tight stops because THE WHOLE MARKET IS BULLSHIT.

Dame Ednas Possum's picture

And start doing this...

 

Stack the phyzzz.

GunnerySgtHartman's picture

True capitalism ... what a novel idea!  /s

Winston Churchill's picture

Semi.The govt. doesn't approve of free markets,they call it smuggling/the black market.

peippe's picture

blackmarket has a distinct advantage, let's just do that instead. I don't want to share with anyone anymore, you can all go F yourselves.

Surrealist's picture

Would this be considered an absurd headline?

Satire much...

 

Trump orders deployment of navy aircrew to show the world whose boss

https://www.aussieadvocate.com/trump-orders-deployment-navy-aircrew-show-world-whose-boss/ 

 

Spaghetti Monster's picture

.... it all makes me want to fondle my pet rocks.

Crazy Or Not's picture

NOT 1 thing really surprises me anymore in this fucked up ponzi.
Once you know what it is, you know (((they'll ))) do ANYTHING to keep it going.

https://www.europhysicsnews.org/articles/epn/pdf/2016/04/epn2016-47-4.pdf

(Page 23 of PDF - save and forward to shitheads who still doubt )

SH_Resurrected's picture

Is Mauldin bullshitting us?  Is he trying to hook us, by using the old fear-mongering technique?

Why is the "Real Median Household Income in the United States" chart found at the FRED site showing a much higher median income than the one Maulding is showing in the article?

https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/MEHOINUSA672N 

How many other charts in his article contain inconsistencies?  Inquiring minds wanna know.

wintraiz's picture

He has been bullshitting us for a long time now is there any question?

SH_Resurrected's picture

If so, someone should point out to him that using verifiable charts is generally not a good bullshitting technique.

IH8OBAMA's picture

John Mauldin gets his market ideas from his brother Carl.

 

Brazen Heist's picture

I've been reading Mauldin's newsletter since 2005 (I think), then lost my email. Time passed. Its good to see he's still writing. He called out central bank shenanigans long ago.

SH_Resurrected's picture

"He called out central bank shenanigans long ago."

 

Who didn't... ?

shizzledizzle's picture

"My friend Dennis Gartman wrote me yesterday"

I don't know what's worse... having Dennis Gartman as a friend or taking a word he says with any shred of credibility. 

Endgame Napoleon's picture

There is family income.

There is family income, augmented by layers of welfare, like free or reduced-cost rent, free EBT food, reduced-cost electricity and monthly cash assistance, topped off by a cash assistance check at tax time called a child tax credit that, at the high-womb-productivity maximum, equals 4 months of wages in a $9-per-hour, full-time job.

Then there is the ignored per capita income and the individuals—not families—who must live on earned-ONLY income, with no spousal income and no welfare and child-tax-credit welfare. They often have rent bills that absorb half or more of their wages, making work simply not worthwhile for most.

Many college-educated people fall into this per capita category.

The reason employers often prefer to hire the non college educated and the non licensed in cases where licensing is.......[legally] applicable is that the non college educated often have layers of unearned income that make it easy to accept low pay and part-time hours. In fact, to stay below the $1,000-per-month-or-less income limit for welfare, many moms must work few hours for rock-bottom pay, thereby driving down wages for those without unearned income for womb productivity.

Texas — $19, 617

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Texas_locations_by_per_capita_in...

Kentucky — $18,093

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Kentucky_locations_by_per_capita...

Mississippi — $20, 670

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Mississippi_locations_by_per_cap...

Alabama — $18,198

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Alabama_locations_by_per_capita_...

Tennessee — $19,393

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Tennessee_locations_by_per_capit...

Indiana — $20, 397

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Indiana_locations_by_per_capita_...

DungeonMaster's picture

Boomers have destroyed our economy for their own evil greed.

Dickweed Wang's picture

You would not exist if it wasn't for some boomers out there so don't ever forget that.

armageddon addahere's picture

Somebody is bullshitting you. When you figure out who you will be on your way to freedom.

tedstr's picture

A world flooded with oil and nat gas.  flooded with cheap labor.  flooded with labor saving technology.  and you wonder why there is no inflation

pitz's picture

"In fact, we now have very low unemployment, accompanied by stubbornly low inflation. Why is that? No one really knows. "

 

That's not a 'fact'.  That's a lie.  Unemployment is actually very high, but isn't being reported properly.  Kids who graduate from college and can't find a job aren't counted as the unemployed, as they never were employed.  An engineering grad who desperately takes up pizza delivery is counted as an employed engineering grad.  The "statistics" are all messed up, and it is for this reason, reliance on false statistics, that traditional economic models to predict inflation are flawed.  

SuperRay's picture

So everybody knows the whole financial sector is full of highly educated criminals (fraud, malfeasance, manipulation, etc.) and everybody knows the whole system will collapse under it's own bullshit, and they're STILL trying to squeeze every last cent out of the market, believing that they'll be able to get out an hour before the whole thing just implodes.  I have to say i'm pretty surprised that some loosely put together financial types (of which there are no doubt thousands, make that hundreds of thousands) haven't just lost it and gunned down a few federal reserve officers, or bankers, or politicians, or other members of the Vast Fucking Conspiracy of the Smartest Guys in the Room.  I guess we'll see some of that after TEOTWAWKI

armageddon addahere's picture

I no longer believe that the Ponzi can't continue or that we must have a collapse. If we haven't had one yet we aren't going to. The number of bullshit schemes over the years is astonishing, yet right when one collapses in a pile of shit they come up with another one. I now believe Catherine Austin Fitts when she says we are going to have a slow burn not a sudden explosion. The dumpster fire has been going on for quite a while.

Herdee's picture

Central Banks have got a lot of buying power when they have printing presses. A lot of staying power. Just look at Japan. How long can the Treasury and Fed trading desks hang in there? Very long.

Justapleb's picture

Weimar, baby.

The Assignat.

Not worth a Continental, these printing presses.

moorewasthebestbond's picture

Don't take any wooden nickels either!

Nobodys Home's picture

What Economic Headlines?
To me they seem like a lot of statist bullshit pump your product chart porn the world is fucked Swami predictions lately. When none of them matter because