To avoid a violent militaristic clash with China, or another cold war rivalry, the United States should pursue a simple solution: give up its empire.
"U.S. surveillance imagery shows China has positioned weaponry on one of the artificial islands it is developing in the South China Sea," WSJ reports. US Defense Secretary says the US will "fly, sail, and operate" wherever it wants.
Rates have been so low for so long, that many of the traders who will be on the front lines if and when the Fed ever does decide to start down the long path to normalizing policy have never, in their professional careers, seen a rate hike. “The experience that many investment operations have with rising rates for most of us is very low for some it’s nonexistent," Jeff Gundlach warns.
We did not actually need confirmation that global trade is slowing to a crawl (and has in fact reversed): after all, we have been showing just that for the past year, most recently earlier this week but it is important to note that in today's negative GDP print, it was net trade (exports less imports) that subtracted -1.9% from the final GDP print, driven by a -1.03% annualized drop in exports. This was the biggest hit to US trade since thegreat financial crisis.
- Former House Speaker Hastert indicted on federal charges (Reuters)
- Blatter expected to win re-election despite soccer corruption scandal (Reuters)
- NYSE Looks to Ease Late-Day Pileup (WSJ)
- What Will Happen to a Generation of Wall Street Traders Who Have Never Seen a Rate Hike? (BBG)
- Japan spending slump casts doubt on central bank optimism (Reuters)
- Unclear rules, market volatility take toll on bank capital (Reuters)
- Greece Told Budget a Red Line for Creditors Venting at G-7 (BBG)
- The Economist Who Realized How Crazy We Are (Michael Lewis)
- Pimco Said to Have Considered Goldman’s Cohn for Top Job (BBG)
The most prominent market event overnight was once again the action in China's penny-index, which after tumbling at the open and briefly entering a 10% correction from the highs hit just two days ago, promptly saw the BTFDers rush in, whether retail, institutional or central bankers, and after rebounding strongly from the -3% lows, the SHCOMP closed practically unchanged following a 2% jump to complete yet another 5% intraday swing on absolutely no news, but merely concerns what the PBOC is doing with liquidity, reverse repos, margin debt, etc. Needless to say, this is one of the world's largest stock markets, not the Pink Sheets.
"...this time it is substantially different. Government is now on the hook, which is part of the reason why they are moving to eliminate cash to prevent bank runs and to force society to comply with their demands....They have lied to themselves and to the people. We have to crash and burn – that part is inevitable. Only when the economy turns down will we then argue over solutions."
History has not been kind to major trade blunders. Just as the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of 1930 sparked a global trade war that may well have put the “great” in the Great Depression, Congressional enactment of enforceable currency rules today could spark retaliatory actions that might devastate the free flow of trade that a sluggish global economy desperately needs.
"...with each passing session the casino is getting more dangerous, but the lemmings have no clue and the narrative gets ever more specious."
It is unknowable how much more pronounced these excesses can become, especially in light of extremely loose monetary policy around the world. Things could easily become quite dicey as soon as tomorrow, but it is just as easily possible that valuations will continue to expand for some time yet. However, these data do indicate one thing: risk has increased enormously, and it will keep increasing the longer the bubble persists. Frankly, the situation also scares us a bit, because we expect that governments and their agencies (such as central banks) will find it extremely difficult to deal with the next crisis. They have become quite overstretched as a result of the last one. After having gone “all in” last time around, what are they supposed to do for an encore? The only options that come to mind are repressive measures such as capital controls, confiscation of private wealth, and a host of other unpleasantries.
The ‘war’ word is being increasingly heard internationally as the U.S., EU, Russia and China adopt provocative postures over various disputes including Ukraine and in the Pacific. War with the U.S. is “inevitable” if the U.S. involves itself in the dispute which has arisen over the Spratley Islands in the South China Sea according to China's state controlled newspaper the Global Times.
WTI Crude hit new 7-week lows, dropping below $57 (front-month) for the first time since April 15th's 'inventory draw' rip. In addition to reports from Reuters of leaked details about OPEC not expectated to cut production (did anyone really expect that), a combination of renewed inventory builds (as reported by API last night) and reports that Iraq is increasing its supply to new record highs is forcing futures prices to catch down to physical markets.
- No change in Greek debt talks after another day of spin (Reuters)
- G-7 Weighs In on Greece as Government Told to Be Serious (BBG)
- FIFA Faces Mounting Pressure From Sponsors as Visa Threatens to End Deal (WSJ)
- U.S. hopes Chinese island-building will spur Asian response (Reuters)
- Japan Inc.’s $104 Billion Investor Payout Set to Surge (BBG)
- Russia masses heavy firepower on border with Ukraine (Reuters)
- China Says Its Most-Wanted Fugitive Is in U.S. Custody (BBG)