Well that escalated quickly. What gains were achieved yesterday in equity markets (or v-shaped recoveries) have been dismissed this morning as stocks test Tuesday's lows tumbling as Europe got into swing and Greek fears surged (along with peripheral bond spreads). Treasury yields are pushing on lower past 5Y maturity (10Y approaching 2% again) but 2Y higher, as the dollar limps lower. WTI Crude remains in the low $42s after last night's API inventory build. All in all, it appears markets are starting to be resigned to the impatient Fed's actions today.
Violent Clashes Break Out Next To New ECB Headquarters In Frankfurt As Thousands Protest Austerity: Live WebcastSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 03/18/2015 07:38 -0400
It's not just Greece which is protesting the utter lack of reforms enabled by the ECB known as "austerity" - as of today so is Germany itself with the so-called #Blockupy movement. According to local media reports, the start of anti-austerity rallies in Frankfurt coincided with the European Central Bank opening its new headquarters, whose occupants are now besieged by tens of thousands of protesters, so perhaps #OccupyQ€ would have been more appropriate. Police said they expect around 10,000 anti-capitalist protesters, marching under the banner of leftist alliance Blockupy, to attend the rally, with a march through the city planned for later in the evening. The result is what according to a police spokesman "is one of the biggest deployments ever in the city."
- Hilsenrath: Fed to Markets: No More Promises (WSJ)
- Fed set to ditch 'patient' rate vow as it eyes U.S., world growth (Reuters)
- Fannie, Freddie could need another bailout (Reuters)
- Alibaba Stock-Sale Lockup Is Ending (WSJ)
- Netanyahu Sweeps Aside Herzog’s Challenge to Win Israel Vote (BBG)
- Oil Bonds Lose Investors $7 Billion in 10 Days (BBG)
- There’s a mysterious $1.1 trillion in spending cuts in the House GOP’s budget (WaPo)
- ECB's Celebration of Its New $1.4 Billion Tower Is Spoiled by Protesters (BBG)
The only news that matters to algos today is whether Janet Yellen will include the word "patient" in the FOMC statement as a hint of a June rate hike, even though the phrase "international developments" is far more important in a world in which everyone (such as the 25 or so central banks who have cut rates in the past 80 days) is now scrambling to export deflation to everyone else. And with carbon-based traders recuperating from St. Patrick's day, few will notice that the oil tumble continues as WTI touches new 6 year highs after yesterday's shocking 10MM+ API build, and is now openly eyeing a collapse into the $30s. Just as nobody will notice that even as futures in the US and European stocks are looking a little hungover ahead of the Fed and perhaps on the latest bout of anti-austerity out of Europe, the China levitation has gone full retard, with the SHCOMP up another 2.1% yesterday and now in full-blown parabolic mode as housing data confirms the Chinese housing bubble has truly burst, and as shadow bankers dump all their funds into stocks in hopes of making up for losses due to regulatory intervention.
Dr. Mark Skousen: I’ve Been Fighting a Battle Against these Ideas – the ‘Paradox of Thrift’ is a Myth (Sprott`s Thoughts)Submitted by Sprott Money on 03/18/2015 04:47 -0400
According to Austrian economists like Dr. Skousen, consumption and consumer spending are not the main drivers of economic growth. What really drives an economy are investments and innovation from businesses.
“The game is rigged, the network is bugged, the government talks double-speak, the courts are complicit and there’s nothing you can do about it.”
An epic decoupling in the cost of put protection and S&P earnings multiples may be a bad omen for stocks as Goldman suggests a "substantial market correction may be on the horizon."
Is Greece truly on the verge of capital controls, especially the kind that has the blessing of the very man who created the Cyprus "blueprint"? For the answer we go to ISI, which discussed just that in a flash note issued earlier today:
All Good Things Must End... this may not be the end of the world exactly. But the end of the fiat money system President Nixon gave birth to in 1971... when he cut the dollar loose from gold. And it may feel like the end of the world, because of the social chaos it will provoke.
Things are not going well for the Greeks. Bond yields are at post-default highs, implicitly shutting them out of the capital markets; stocks are cratering; and deposit outflows continue as the cash crunch looms. Even ex-Goldman silver-lining-finder Erik Nielsen stated this weekend that he is "throwing in the towel," on Greece, adding, as Bloomberg reports, that things have gone "plain nuts" in Athens. However, things are going great for the Germans - borrowing costs have never been lower, and the stock market is at record-er highs every day, as Draghi's money-printing fiasco has succeeded in one thing (and one thing only) dividing an already fragile 'union' into ever-greater 'haves' and ever-lesser 'have-nots'.
As Americans, we tend to be pretty full of ourselves, and this is especially true of our young people. But do we really have reason for such pride? According to a shocking new report from the Educational Testing Service, Americans between the ages of 20 and 34 are way behind young adults in other industrialized nations when it comes to literacy, mathematics and technological proficiency. Even though more Americans than ever are going to college, we continue to fall farther and farther behind intellectually. So what does this say about us? Sadly, the truth is that Americans are stupid.
Currently, a new form of danger arises. The Keynesian pettifoggers at the Fed have painted themselves into an epochal corner. After 78 months of ZIRP they have no idea about how and why they got here; and now, mired deep in the lunacy of free money, they are clueless about where they are going next. There is not a chance the US economy has decoupled from the rest of the world. The great credit-driven boom was universal and fueled by out of control central banks. Now comes the bust phase, and these same money printing central bankers have no clue what to do about it.
News of an upcoming meeting between Tsipras and Putin comes just days ahead of EU Summit and a €2 billion debt repayment, suggesting Athens may be playing one of its few remaining cards.