St Louis Fed
Despite the authorities' best efforts to keep everything orderly, we know how this global Game of Geopolitical Tetris ends: "Players lose a typical game of Tetris when they can no longer keep up with the increasing speed, and the Tetriminos stack up to the top of the playing field. This is commonly referred to as topping out."
"I’m tired of being outraged!"
Every year, David Collum writes a detailed "Year in Review" synopsis full of keen perspective and plenty of wit. This year's is no exception. "I have not seen a year in which so many risks - some truly existential - piled up so quickly. Each risk has its own, often unknown, probability of morphing into a destructive force. It feels like we’re in the final throes of a geopolitical Game of Tetris as financial and political authorities race to place the pieces correctly. But the acceleration is palpable. The proximate trigger for pain and ultimately a collapse can be small, as anyone who’s ever stepped barefoot on a Lego knows..."
America has created a moral hazard for all Americans in that we feel we always have a fail safe no matter what we do because we’ve always succeeded. But so too had every other great dynasty until it didn’t. If we do not force a change in our economic policies we are very close to and perhaps already past the point of no return. I have no witting quip to end this article. The economic landscape we face today is nothing short of dire. And at the risk of sounding overdramatic we either force a policy change, suffer the short term pain and restructure or we and all future generations will live in a very different America from the one our folks left us.
"We are living in an aberrational world. It’s all driven by an orgy of money printing...it sure feels to me that we’re nearing the day that it spins out of control. By the end of this year or by the start of next year, without QE, the market is going down."
"To maintain your sanity, you need to turn off the hype machines of some of the financial media like CNBC."
Here we go again. By now everyone, including 2 year old E-trade babies and Atari algos know, that the only reason the market soared from the October 15 bottom, a move which we showed was entirely due to multiple expansion and thus nothing to do with earnings and everything to do with faith in even more free central-planning liquidity (something the PBOC was all too happy to provide overnight), was James Bullard's casual "QE4" hint on Bloomberg TV. And now that the market is at ridiculous all time highs and trading above 19x GAAP PE, far above the level when in September the IMF, the G-20, the BIS and even the Fed all warned of assets bubbles, here is Bullard once again, with a fresh mea culpa and a new attempt to jawbone stocks, only this time back down, because as Dow Jones reports, "Bullard Says Markets Misread Him In October Bond-Buying Dustup."
“If [They're] Right, Everything The Fed Has Been Doing To Try To Stimulate The Economy Isn’t Just Useless — It’s Backward”
Our world, our life, has been built on debt and propaganda for many years. They have kept us from noticing how poorly we are doing. But now a third element has entered the foundation of our societies, and it’s set to eat away at everything that has – barely – kept the entire edifice from crumbling apart. Deflation.
Isn't it amazing what 2000 Dow points will do to a Federal Reserve member's perspective of 'the economy' and 'inflation expectations'. Bullard is back again today:
*BULLARD: INFLATION EXPECTATIONS REBOUNDED SINCE MID-OCTOBER
*BULLARD: FED TO RAISE RATES IN 2015, TIMING DETERMINED BY DATA
So basically calling off QE4 until the next 9.9% correction... Dow-Data-Dependent indeed
The U.S. and many other economies left the gold standard more than 40 years ago, yet advocates periodically call for its return, saying that it would curtail or prevent inflation. In these brief clips from the St. Louis Fed video series, David Andolfatto, a vice president and economist explains the gold standard noting "most economists believe a return to the gold standard would not be a wise policy," and "under the gold standard, banking panics are more likely to occur," and then pointing out somewhat stunningly that "however, the fiat system employed by the Federal Reserve has been largely successful in maintaining low inflation and price stability." Enjoy...
In just one month, St.Louis Fed President Jim Bullard has eviscerated what little credibility he had with his desperate pleadings to the Dow-Data-Dependent Federal Reserve gods.... today we find out that there is "no need for more QE for now, the economy is in good shape" and 1400 Dow points higher than when it was crucial to "delay the end of QE." What is more worrying is the fact that in the last 2 weeks of total market melt-up since Bullard spoke, earnings outlooks for Q4 have collapsed and macro data has done nothing but disappoint.
Never let a crisis, or war on terror, go to waste...
Pointing to “solid job gains” and a falling unemployment rate, the Fed said a range of labor market indicators suggest that labor market slack is “gradually diminishing.” In the process it struck from the statement an earlier assessment that labor market slack was substantial, a phrase investors have been watching closely for signs the Fed is becoming more confident about the economy. If all goes as they plan, officials will turn their attention in the months ahead to discussions about when to start raising short-term interest rates and how to signal those moves to the public before they happen. Many expect to move on rates by the middle of 2015.
Of the last 150 years of developed market monetary policy, we suspect nothing will prepare market participants or Fed members for the twisted terms and double-speak the FOMC will try to unleash today as they attempt to 'end' the most extreme policy measures ever. Goldman Sachs' 'base-case' for today's FOMC is a "steady as she goes" message with few substantive changes in language and asset purchases ending on schedule... but Goldman warns, recent macro and market action might bias the Fed dovish.
The behaviour of financial markets these days is frankly divorced from reality, with value-investing banished. Our dysfunctional markets have become little more than the essential prerequisite, as Louis XIV’s finance minister Colbert might have said, to plucking the goose for the largest amount of feathers with the minimum of hissing.