The populist revolt fueling non-mainstream political movements in both Europe and the US flows from a single source: you can not fool all the people all the time. The central lie of our time is that governments can and should forcibly assume control of individuals’ lives, in the name of vague and always shifting greater goods. The Command and Control Futility Principle holds that governments and central banks can control one, but not all variables in a multi-variable system. The number of variables global governments and central banks have arrogated to their purported control has grown beyond measure. Breakdowns are visible everywhere, and as those failures exact their ever-increasing toll on the masses, the masses are pushing back.
As with Japan, Western economies that pursue a long-term policy of low or negative interest rates can expect decades of low growth unless these “unorthodox” monetary policies are rapidly abandoned. Recessions are not a problem of insufficient demand. They are a problem of supply being misaligned with demand.
With investment grade credit risk soaring, it's now or never for many firms to lever up at "relatively" low costs and two of the biggest buyback-ers are stepping up to the debt issuance window this week. Perhaps helping to explain the carnage in Treasuries at the end of last week (as rate-locks are set), Apple has unveiled a 10-part deal which could price today and IBM a 7 part deal. No size is indicated yet but Apple's previous two issuances were $8bn and $6.5bn.
"Worse than Lehman" is how one European bond market trader described the carnage this week as the brief respite that ECB monetization and debt-buyback rumors provided yesterday have morphed into utter destruction this morning. European (and US) banks are a sea of contagious red with Deutsche Bank the tip of the collapse spear. Credit risk on Deutsche has exploded this morning with Sub CDS trading up 85bps to a record high 540bps... eerily reminiscent of the pre-Lehman bankruptcy week in 2008.
Rumors of ECB monetization (which would be highly problematic in the new "bail-in" world) and old news of the emergency debt-buyback plan have sparked an epic ramp in Deutsche Bank's stock this morning (+11% - the most since Oct 2011). This extreme volatility is, however, eerily reminiscent of 2007/8 when headline hockey sparked pumps and dumps on a daily basis in Lehman stock... until it was all over.
Lies are always misrepresentations of reality, and reality always wins. The US government rests on an inherently unstable foundation of whoppers - big lies so huge they would make big lie proponent Adolf Hitler blush. The first trick to defeating an enemy is to ascertain its biggest weaknesses and the lies, which it feeds itself, flowing from those weaknesses.
"... at sufficiently negative IOER rates, DIs might opt to shift a significant quantity of their reserve balances into currency. Present Federal Reserve inventories of currency, at about $200 billion, would not be adequate to cover large-scale conversion of the nearly $1 trillion in reserve balances to banknotes."
The time for more insanity has come... It is the Keynesian mantra: the fact that the policies recommended by Keynesians and monetarists, i.e., deficit spending and money printing, routinely fail to bring about the desired results is not seen as proof that they simply don’t work. It is regarded as evidence that there hasn’t been enough spending and printing yet.
"You can’t deny the price action. Over the last few weeks, it is positively buoyant. If I were short, my butt cheeks would be tightening up. I’m starting to develop a theory, which is crazy, but then again... it might not be entirely crazy. You can help me decide. Maybe gold is starting to price in some of this political instability. Maybe it is starting to price in a Sanders or Trump presidency."
What began with Greenspan’s early-nineties covert bank recapitalization evolved into Bernanke’s foolish policy to openly inflate risk markets with new central bank Credit. Amazingly, U.S. inflationism took the world by storm. The issue today goes much beyond a stock market correction, a bear market or even global financial crisis. Contemporary central banking has failed. Theories have failed. Doctrine has failed. The inability to spur self-sustaining economic recovery has been a major issue.
The economic emergency decree and any measures that the government could take at this point may be too late. After two years of inaction and the recent decline in oil prices, a credit event in 2016 is becoming increasingly difficult to avoid, in our view. After two years of inaction, with depleting external assets and the recent decline in oil prices, a credit event in 2016 may be becoming hard to avoid, in our view.
The Fed may have officially tapered QE at the end of 2014 but that doesn't mean it is done buying Treasuries: since the Fed never ended rolling over maturing paper, it means that it will remain indefinitely active in the open market. And while there were no sizable maturities from the Fed's various QEs to date (only $474 million in 2014 and $3.5 billion in 2015) that will change dramatically this year, when Brian Sack's team will have to purchase about $216 billion to replace matured TSYs. According to JPM calculations, this represents half the net new government debt that will be issued over the next 12 months.