St Louis Fed
Does it really take purportedly intelligent people six years to see that the macros are not responding? Better still, isn’t it time for the Fed to explain the exact channel by which its interest rate pegging and forward guidance is supposed to be transmitted to the main street economy? After all, if these channels are blocked or ineffective - then its flood of liquidity never leaves the canyons of Wall Street. In that event, the central bank actually functions as a financial doomsday machine, inflating the next financial bubble until it bursts. Then, apparently, its job is to rinse and repeat.
After three days of unexpected market weakness without an apparent cause, especially since after 7 years of conditioning, the algos have been habituated to buy on both good and bad news, overnight futures are getting weary, and futures are barely up, at least before this morning's transitory FX-driven stop hunt higher. Whether this is due to the previously noted "blackout period" for stock buybacks which started a few days ago and continues until the first week of May is unclear, but should the recent "dramatic" stock weakness persist, expect Bullard to once again flip flop and suggesting it is clearly time to hike rates, as long as the S&P does not drop more than 5%. In that case, QE4 is clearly warranted.
Dear Federal Reserve, we have just solved the biggest riddle that your "smartest economist PhDs in the room" have been unable to figure out for the past year...
The past two times US manufacturing orders declined at this rate, the US economy was already in a recession.
What people and central bankers do not understand, is that you can't devalue your way to prosperity. Absolutely nothing has changed since the last crisis. The same too big too fail banks have only gotten much bigger. The same people that were in charge leading into the crisis and during it, are the same people who are in charge of fixing it. New regulations were established to try and regulate the industry, but they will be proven to be ineffective. Why? Because the Volcker Rule and Dodd-Frank have had all the important elements removed, thanks to the massive lobbying power of the TBTF banks and the Fed.
"...we are failing to deliver on our obligations as Americans, that is undeniable. We are allowing the political class to plunder our wealth, negate our freedoms and desecrate our Constitution. Sadly we have become the immoral populace our founding fathers warned all future generations not to become... The duty and obligation is ours and so too then are the failures and successes of our society. We are 15 years in to what is absolute denial regarding the competence of our nation’s policymakers. Yet here we sit, silent and indifferent to our own demise; so completely antithetical to the character of a true American."
If there isone thing that is virtually certain about today's trading (aside from the post Rig Count surge in oil because if there is one thing algos are, it is predictable) is that despite S&P futures being a touch red right now, everything will be forgotten in a few minutes and yet another uSDJPY momentum ignition ramp will proceed, which will push the S&P forward multiple to 18.0x on two things i) it's Friday, and an implicit rule of thumb of central planning is the market can't close in confidenece-sapping red territory ahead of spending heavy weekends and ii) the Nasdaq will finally recapture 5000 following a final push from Apple's bondholders whose recent use of stock buyback proceeds will be converted into recorder highs for the stock, and thus the Nasdaq's crossing into 5,000 territory because in the New Normal, the more expensive something is, the more people, or rather algos, want to buy it.
Janet Yellen once again repeats that the economy is “looking stronger” although still it has yet to manifest into actual strength. In fact, it is still so weak that the Fed cannot even suggest that rates will raise anytime over the next several FOMC meetings. In short, the economy is still very sick. The Pundits (Liesman) are suggesting Janet feels the economy is strong but that the “data just isn’t cooperating”. What does that even mean?? The market is a red herring of sorts keeping our attention away from the reality of the economy. And so, to give up the market strength would be synonymous to removing the one remaining support holding up that 100 storey building that is otherwise completely rotted. Only when the economy is able to withstand a market repricing will the Fed allow the market to reprice.
One of the bigger asset bubbles in recent US history has nothing to do with stock, bonds or commodities, We are talking about farmland. And yet, like all other bubbles - be they the result of retail euphoria or central bank rigging - this one too must come to a close, and as the WSJ reports, the first crack in the farmland bubble are appearing, after farmland values declined in parts of the Midwest for the first time in decades last year "reflecting a cooling in the market driven by two years of bumper crops and sharply lower grain prices, according to Federal Reserve reports on Thursday." the average price of farmland in the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s district, which includes Illinois, Iowa and other big farm states, fell 3% in 2014, marking the first annual decline since 1986, which makes farmlands the only asset class that had not seen a down year in nearly three decades!
Controlling (stabilizing) today’s perception of tomorrow’s economic strength attached to (and thus backing) the USD is the Fed mandate. For if we lose control of today’s false perception well then god only knows what tomorrow’s given value may be. This is the absolute ‘mandate’ of central banking.
The fundamental problem with real estate is cost. The average household, whether renters or homeowners, is allocating too much of its income to housing. As a result, public policies are likely to continue in the direction of more subsidies, such the Federal Reserve’s manipulation of long term rates, and more regulations, such as eviction and foreclosure prevention, and rent controls. Real estate, could become a lot less “real” in the foreseeable future. As the market has witnessed since 2007, the Government could dictate the conditions of real estate ownership, even when it was not the lender. Today, it is in full control.
Adjusting Warren Buffett's favorite indicator for 'the giant con that America is still enjoying growing economic prosperity - predicated on debt being the bridge between rising GDP and a declining economy' suggests today’s true market valuation is more than twice the previous all time high in 2000.
Martin Armstrong, Max Keiser and High-Level Economists Weigh In
The key is to understand why real median household incomes continue to decline and then how to correct it. It all comes back to financial policies that incentivize investors to avoid economy-boosting investments and toward financial investments that have no economic benefit. The result is a narrowing of income distribution exasperating the down spiral, while inflating wealth to the already wealthy. As long as these policies remain intact the American quality of life will continue to spiral downward while the wealth at the top continues to accelerate until one day when the top pops off and all that wealth goes abroad. And that Mr. Liesman is what we call economics.