St Louis Fed
It is time for a comprehensive audit of Janet Yellen ’s Federal Reserve - and not just for the reasons presidential candidate Rand Paul and others have given. The Fed needs to be audited to see if its ruling body has broken the law by manipulating financial markets that are outside its jurisdiction.
The correction may soon morph into a full-fledged bear market if the Fed makes good on its supposed intentions to raise interest rates this year. Have no illusions, while most market observers are quick to blame the sell-off on China, this market was given life by the Fed, and the Fed is the only force that will keep it alive. Unfortunately for the Fed, it won't be able to get away with doing nothing for too much longer. Events may soon force it to show its hand. Then perhaps some may notice that the Fed is holding absolutely nothing and has been bluffing the entire time.
We warned on Friday, after last week's China rout, that the market is getting ahead of itself with its expectation of a RRR-cut by China as large as 100 bps. "The risk is that there isn't one." We were spot on, because not only was there no RRR cut, but Chinese stocks plunged, with the composite tumbling as much a 9% at one point, the most since 1996 when it dropped 9.4% in a single session. The session, as profile overnight was brutal, with about 2000 stocks trading by the -10% limit down, and other markets not doing any better: CSI 300 -8.8%, ChiNext -8.1%, Shenzhen Composite -7.7%. This was the biggest Chinese rout since 2007.
"Clearly, markets have lost faith in the ability of unorthodox monetary policies to kick start the economy over time. This also fits the findings of academic literature suggestion diminishing returns from subsequent rounds of QE."
"The combined levels of bullish optimism, lack of concern about a possible market correction (don't worry the Fed has the markets back), and rising levels of leverage in markets provide the 'ingredients' for a more severe market correction. However, it is important to understand that these ingredients by themselves are inert. It is because they are inert that they are quickly dismissed under the guise that 'this time is different.' Like a thermite reaction, when these relatively inert ingredients are ignited by a catalyst, they will burn extremely hot. Unfortunately, there is no way to know exactly what that catalyst will be or when it will occur. The problem for individuals is that they are trapped by the combustion an unable to extract themselves in time."
BULLARD SAYS FED DOESN'T REACT DIRECTLY TO EQUITY MARKETS
It’s getting downright hazardous out there, and not just because the robo-machines were slamming the “sell” key today. The real danger comes from the loose assemblage of official institutions which claim to be running the world.
"Evidence in support of Bernanke's view of the channels through which QE works is at best mixed. There is no work, to my knowledge, that establishes a link from QE to the ultimate goals of the Fed inflation and real economic activity. Indeed, casual evidence suggests that QE has been ineffective in increasing inflation."
Market pundits robotically suggest that the Fed should not raise rates because inflation is too low. Well, if zero rates and $4 trillion in asset purchases did not boost inflation, do they really believe that another few months at zero rates will do the trick? Some Fed researchers are actually asking whether policies have become counter-productive to their dual mandates. The path to rate normalization will not come without pain. On the contrary, there will be a difficult period, potentially even a damaging recession. Fed doves will likely feel vindicated. However, while a period of hardship is likely inevitable, purging both bad businesses and market speculation is vital for long-run economic health and will allow more productive businesses to evolve over time.
It appears that the Fed's cunning plan to hike rates so it can cut rates was just foiled once again.
For 6 ½ long years, we have been bombarded with the mythology known as “the U.S. economic recovery” by the mainstream media.
If GDP growth only averages 2.0% in the Second Half (which I think is likely), then 2015 growth will only be about 1.7% annually. Given that the Fed didn't raise rates in 2012, 2013, and 2014, when growth was well north of 2%, why would they do so now? Yet Wall Street and the media stubbornly cling to the notion that 3% growth and rate hikes are just around the corner. Old notions die hard, and this one has taken on a life of its own.
Did you take out a $245,000 loan to pay for your degree? Good news, the Department of Education wants you to know that "your payment could be as low as $0 a month!"
I sure am glad there's no inflation, because these "stable prices" the Federal Reserve keeps jaw-jacking about are putting us in a world of hurt.