Behavioral economics suggests that a little QE can change human behavior at the margins, but no amount of QE is enough to change human nature at its core. The High Priests of the IMF, the Fed, and the ECB are blind to this because all of modern economic theory – ALL of it – is based on a single bedrock assumption: humans are economic maximizers. Yes, we are maximizers of reward. But we are also minimizers of regret. We seem destined to learn the hard way... once again... that you can’t change human nature by government fiat. But individual investors and allocators can listen and learn from these old good ideas, and that’s how you survive the Golden Age of the Central Banker.
Back in March 2014 we forecast that it in the aftermath of the US State Department-sponsored military coup in Kiev, it was only a matter of time before Ukraine (all of its sovereign gold having since "vaporized") succumbed to full blown hyperinflation and economic implosion. Less than a year later, precisely this outcome has finally played out, and as a result, the entire nation has finally entered its economic endgame, one which has two conclusion: either it joins Greece in becoming a ward of Europe (of which it is not an official member) and the IMF (thank you Joe Q Public taxpayer), or it quietly fades away into insolvent "failed state" status.
Nasdaq 5,000 or bust (or maybe ...and bust). The following clip came to mind as we see the Nasdaq ceaselessy inflated day after day, defended as 'different this time' on every mainstream media channel, and increasingly focused on fewer and fewer large stocks...
While Crude Oil and Dr. Copper are often cited as economic indicators, as we noted previously, in fact Lumber prices are the most correlated with ISM and GDP of all industrial commodities (h/t @Not_Jim_Cramer). That is a problem. Lumber prices are tumbling - breaking to 18-month lows today. We have seen this picture before, and it did not end well...
Using the subject heading “you should definitely check this out,” Thomas A. Kennedy, CEO of the defense contractor Raytheon, reportedly emailed President Obama today with yet another link to an article detailing mounting tensions in Libya...
“Based upon a review of your account, there has been no such qualifying activity and it is therefore subject to being classified as abandoned if you do not act quickly... If we fail to hear from you the account will be escheated to the state and closed.”
Sovereign Risk is the biggest risk out there. You cannot ever underestimate the desperate tactics and procedures of bankrupt governments.
With the invasion of Syria, pardon, the "Islamic State" on behalf of US allies in the middle east imminent, it is time to send the fear meter to Max, and spook the US population with the reminder that far from being expert, Hollywood-quality video editors, ISIS is engaged in not only in selective, carefully sponsored and funded beheadings several thousand miles away, but is operating right under everyone nose.
If "everything is awesome" in Greece (and Europe) then why - oh why - did Greek government bond yields surge higher today, Greek stocks tumble, Greek bank stocks (and less so bonds) collapse, and Greek CDS jump? It appears that as the euphoria relief wears off, as WSJ reports, doubts over the willingness of Greece’s left-wing government to follow its creditors’ orders on budget cuts and economic overhauls spilled into the public today. IMF's Lagarde stated that the Greek proposal "is not conveying clear enough assurances that the government intends to undertake the reforms," and even Syriza officials admitted, "it is difficult to determine how the government can fulfill its promises, including the debt write-off, with this agreement,” as doubts arise across Europe's policymakers and markets.
Stock market investors live by the Apple and die by the Apple... and with Apple's 2.5% drop today, broad stock market indices have cratered in the last few minutes retracing the gains accrued since Yellen started speaking yesterday...
At the end of September 2011, just days before his passing, the company that Steve Jobs founded had a $25 billion cash hoard. Nearly half of this was stashed overseas. His personal share of the untaxed offshore booty was obviously substantial. Did this make him ‘unpatriotic’?
Was the guy who revolutionized five industries and touched the lives of billions of people some nefarious traitor because he held so much money offshore? Of course not.
Ukrainian authorities decision to halt gas supplies to Donetsk amid the ongoing humanitarian catastrophe occurring there "bear the hallmarks of genocide," blasted Russia's Vladimir Putin during an awkward press conference with Cyprus' President Nicos Anastasiades (who he had just agreed bilateral military and trade deals with). "Apparently, some responsible leaders of the modern-day Ukraine are unable to understand the importance of humanitarian issues," Sputnik News reports Putin concluded. In an attempt to gain leverage and force Ukraine's hand however, Russia's Gazprom has indicated it intends to suspend gas deliveries to Ukraine (and thus Europe via pipelines) unless Kiev makes a further prepayment.
Is it time to spread Heating Gas and Gasoline in anticipation of the arrival of Spring? Is China "devaluing" the Yuan as policy? Is Ms. Yellen is taking rather more of a gamble than she is willing to admit?