With the Fed decision just one day away, followed the very next day by the increasingly more irrational BOJ, stocks had no desire to make significant moves and overnight's boring session was the result, as European stocks and U.S. index futures rose modestly but mostly hugged the flatline while Asian declined 0.2% for a third day as raw-material shares declined and Tokyo equities slumped before central bank meetings in the U.S. and Japan this week. China’s stocks rose the most in almost two weeks, up 0.6% but failed to rise above 3000 on the Shanghai Composite, in thin trading.
An economic and financial system premised on perpetual growth was bound to run into trouble. What happens as population growth turns to population decline is honestly and literally a complete and total game changer. A flat to declining number of buyers and consumers opposite ramping elderly sellers plus their unfunded liabilities is a problem with no happy resolutions. Currencies (what will constitute "money"), "free-markets", and perhaps the basis of civilization hang in the balance of the transition from high population growth to potential outright depopulation.
A record-setting 115,831 Chinese people lined up for Hubei province's civil services exam on Friday... all knowing that the 6,500 open positions meant the chances of acceptance were lower than that of getting into Princeton or Yale...
"What these central banks and governments are doing is incredibly irresponsible and stupid, printing these currency units up by the trillions... so there’s going to be a panic into gold. ...They’ve created a super-bubble in bonds, a bubble in stocks, and meanwhile commodities have collapsed and are below production costs in many cases. ...The economy is going to be very, very bad... It’s the next stage of what I call the Greater Depression."
If nobody is working in one out of every five U.S. families, then how in the world can the unemployment rate be close to 5 percent as the Obama administration keeps insisting? The truth, of course, is that the U.S. economy is in far worse condition than we are being told.
To gauge the degree and duration of the manufacturing slowdown, turn to semiconductors, which are the primary and early component in all things manufactured. That, plus other factors, make semiconductors an excellent leading indicator.
As out friends from Fasanara Capital remind us, despite record liquidity injections by the PBOC in the past few days, Chinese repo rates have resumed continue breaking higher. The move is odd, given ongoing record liquidity injections (RMB 680 bn last week, RMB 150 bn today).
One Chart Shows Where The World's Record Surplus Oil Has Gone
Overnight, Hong Kong's local gold excange announced it would team up with the world's largest bank to build a massive, HK$1 billion gold vault facility and trading hub which would include a bonded warehouse, trading floor and related offices areas in Qianhai: that would make it among the largest if not the biggest gold vault and trading hub in the world.
After meandering steadily higher for the past week, and completely ignoring the negative newsflow out of the Doha meeting, today oil took an unexpected leg lower to 4-day lows, leaving many stumped: what caused this drop? The answer: it looks increasingly likely that the Kingdom is targeting another 0.5-m b/d of sales, bringing its production up to a steadier 11-m b/d or higher as it scramble to regain Chinese market share lost in recent months to Russia.
In spite of Ben Bernanke’s assurances to the contrary, it is clear that China still sees gold as money. Along with bolstering their gold holdings, China has reformed its banking system to be friendlier to gold trading.
That the status quo--the current pyramid of wealth and power dominated by the few at the top - has failed is self-evident, but we can't bear to talk about it. This is not just the result of a corporate media that serves up a steady spew of pro-status quo propaganda--it is also the result of self-censorship and denial. The truth is the usual menu of reforms can’t stop this failure, so we have to prepare ourselves for the radical transformations ahead.
"Central banks are mistaken. They think they’re targeting employment and inflation,” he continued. “They’re actually targeting asset prices and leverage.” When asset values rise, inflation and employment gradually increase. When assets fall, inflation collapses; it’s a coincidental variable. “At these levels of asset prices, it takes a lot of leverage to lift them further.” So the second central banks see a little inflation and curb leverage, rates rise and it all unwinds. “The only way to make money this year is to understand this sequence, and trade it.”
"This Is Not A Good Time To Be In Business": Dallas Fed Disappoints, Contracts For 16th Straight MonthSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 04/25/2016 10:41 -0400
Following the death of Philly Fed's dead-cat-bounce, Dallas Fed did the same with a disappointing thud back to -13.9 (missing expectations of a rise to -10.0). This is the 16th consecutive month in contraction (below 0) and respondents are increasingly depressed, "it is a bad time for manufacturing, agriculture and mining - the only sectors that actually create wealth." What kind of fiction are these real average joes peddling? Have they not seen the jobs data?
There is no smell here: metal has none. There is no noise, either, on account of the vaults’ thick concrete walls. What there is, however, is one of the world’s most important traded assets. Deals are still done in gold in almost every country in the world. Its price is a crucial barometer for consumer confidence. Prices rise when markets are uncertain, and before US elections – like now.