"...we think that Q1 GDP was an aberration, and is not representative of the strengthening underlying trend in US growth." There is nothing we can add to such brilliant weatherman insight as what Jan Hatzius from Goldman just unleashed on the unwitting muppets (all of whom can't wait for Goldman's second above-consensus GDP forecast to pan out... unlike the last time in 2010). In brief: Goldman just boosted their Q2 tracking GDP from 3.8% to 4.0% because Q1 GDP imploded. And scene.
Between the second and final revision of Q1 GDP something dramatic happened: instead of contributing $40 billion to real GDP in Q1, Obamacare magically ended up subtracting $6.4 billion from GDP. This, in turn, resulted in a collapse in Personal Consumption Expenditures as a percentage of GDP to just 0.7%, the lowest since 2009!
As the 'leaked recordings' scandal grows in Poland, the Prime Minister has taken a dramatic step and called for a vote of confidence ahead of crucial meetings in Brussels. As Bloomberg reports, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk says he needs mandate to rule on eve of talks in EU, he tells parliament; adding that the taping scandal erupted after government took serious steps against importers and distributors of coal and also comes in “context” of people involved in gas trading. The Polish Zloty has given up its earlier gains on this news.
It appears the sad reality that a consistently tapering Fed won't be able to support this fairy castle with words (forward guidance) alone as - rather unusually -this morning's double whammy of bad news has been taken as "bad news" by the market. Thanks to decisive break below 102 in USDJPY, stocks are dropping and bonds are rallying. Gold and silver are well bid (as copper and oil slide) and the USD is fading fast.
Following last month's far-stronger-than-expected 'defense-spending-stuffed' Durable Goods orders, which were subsequently revised downwards, they plunged in May (at the heart of Q2 GDP creation). Against expectations of no gain, Durable Goods Orders tumbled 1.0% - the biggest miss in 2014. It seems the brief bounce back from weather has now gone entirely as it seems no submarines were ordered this month or excess Blackhawks to save the day. Not exactly great news for Q2 GDP (especially after the Q1 collapse). New orders ex transportation dropped for the first time since January - again hardly differentiating Q1 'weather' from Q2 'rebound'.
With the cease-fire on shaky ground in Ukraine, and the ongoing proxy war between the US and Russia growing in intensity (once again ignited in Syria); it seems Putin has fired a significant warning shot across the bow of the west. Reuters reports that Russia is considering banning state companies and other strategically important firms from holding accounts at foreign-owned banks. As Liberty Blitzkrieg's Mike Krieger notes if this actually happens, it would be a very big deal with significant negative implications to the global economy, and certainly an escalation in the friction between these two geopolitically crucial nations.
Here are the most notable news updates from overnight events in Iraq.
Putin Scores Another Historic Victory: Austria Signs South Stream Pipeline Deal In Defiance Of EuropeSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 06/25/2014 07:23 -0400
In the great chess-vs-checkers game, Putin just keeps steamrolling his clueless opposition.
- Obama Administration Widens Export Potential for U.S. Oil (BBG)
- WTI Pares Gains as U.S. Export Ruling Seen Limited (BBG)
- Senator Cochran defeats Tea Party rival in Mississippi Republican runoff (Reuters)
- Militants attack Iraq air base, U.S. assessment teams deploy (Reuters)
- Maliki rules out national emergency govt (AFP)
- Koch to Start EU Power Trading as It Plans LNG Expansion (BBG)
- Obama Said to Ready Sanctions on Russian Industries (BBG)
- Ghana Sends Plane With $3 Million to Calm World Cup Team (BBG)
- Ghana’s First Hedge Fund Planned by Ex-Exchange Regulator (BBG)
- SEC Is Gearing Up to Focus on Ratings Firms (WSJ)
- Abe Declares Deflation End as Growth Plan Confronts Skeptics (BBG)
The S&P500 has now gone 47 days without a gain or loss of more than 1% - a feat unmatched since 1995, according to AP. Overnight markets are having a weaker session across the board (except the US of course). Even the Nikkei is trading with a weak tone (-0.7%) seemingly unimpressed by the Third Arrow reform announcements from Prime Minister Abe yesterday (and considering in Japan the market is entirely dictated by the BOJ, perhaps they could have at least coordinated a "happy" reception of the revised Abe plan). Either that or they have largely been priced in following the sizable rally in Japanese stocks over the past month or so. Abe outlined about a dozen reforms yesterday including changes to the GPIF investment allocations and a reduction in the corporate tax rate to below 30% from the current level of 35%+. Separately, the Hang Seng Index (-0.06%) and the Shanghai Composite (-0.41%) 98closed lower as traders cited dilutive IPOs as a concern for future equity gains.
Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im), the federally-backed bank which has been around since 1934, faces a very serious threat to its survival. The most important aspect of this entire fight is the fact that on opposite sides of the debate are not Democrats versus Republicans, but once again Republicans vs. Republicans. We again see tea party Republicans facing off against establishment RINOs. On one side we hear claims by the tea party wing that the Ex-Im merely serves as a conduit for crony capitalism and favoritism to large corporations, or those willing to bribe officials. On the other side, we see establishment Republicans, who are extremely cozy with mega-corporations, maintaing that the institution plays a crucial role in financing American exports to make them competitive. The battle against the Ex-Im bank, a 80 year old institution, is just another example of the sort of changes that happen in Fourth-Turnings. So what does Barack Obama think of the Export-Import bank? As usual, it depends on who you ask, Presidential-candidate Obama, or President-elect Obama.
"Sell economic ignorance; buy gold" as Tim Price once said, is the premise behind Incrementum's 94-page extravaganza as they explain how we are currently on a journey to the outer reaches of the monetary universe. Stoeferle and Valek believe that the monetary experiments currently underway will have numerous unintended consequences, the extent of which is difficult to gauge today. Gold, as the antagonist of unbacked paper currencies they note, remains an excellent hedge against rising price inflation and worst case scenarios. "Our 12-month price target is the USD 1,500 level. Longer-term, we expect that a parabolic trend acceleration phase still lies ahead. In the course of this event, our long-term target of USD 2,300 should be reached at the end of the cycle."
Are the markets ready (and, more importantly, able) to withstand higher rates? Well, with the Fed tapering another $10 bn last week to a chorus of "meh" from the markets, it certainly seems to suggest that this whole taper thing is going to trundle along harmlessly until it's been completed without disruption, but Grant Williams has a very nasty feeling about all this. Essentially, the central bank heads all around the globe are engaged in a must-win confidence game. They 'have' to make people believe that everything is under control and getting better, BUT at the same time they must ALSO make them believe that the accommodative policies currently in place will be here, essentially, forever (forever in market-time is normally about 18 months to two years). Bernanke gave us ZIRP; now Draghi — damned by his own lack of earlier action — has been forced to add NIRP to the acronym lexicon of modern finance. In reality, it's not about Zero Interest Rate Policy or, for that matter, Negative Interest Rate Policy. It's about Broken Interest Rate Policy. BIRP!
"I was curious if I could care about (money) on some fundamental level, and I couldn’t,” she told Fast Company in an interview that ran in the magazine's May edition, explaining why she gave up lucrative gigs to join her family’s philanthropic foundation. “It is frustrating, because who wants to grow up and follow their parents? I’ve tried really hard to care about things that were very different from my parents … it’s a funny thing to realize I feel called to this work, both as a daughter and also as someone who believes I have contributions to make,” she continued about her reluctant status as a boomerang kid.