St Louis Fed

St Louis Fed

Summarizing The "Black Monday" Carnage So Far

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.

SocGen: "Markets Have Lost Faith In Monetary Policies"

"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."

Weekend Reading: Is This The Big One?

"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."

The Path To Rate Normalization Will Not Come Without Pain

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.

Peter Schiff: What Kind Of "Improvement" Does The Fed Want?

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.

"I Sure Am Glad There's No Inflation"

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.

Gold and Gibson's Paradox

There is a myth prevalent today that the gold price always falls when interest rates rise. The logic is that when interest rates rise it is more expensive to hold gold, which just sits there not earning anything. And since markets discount future expectations, gold will even fall when a rise in interest rates is expected. With the Fed's Open Market Committee debating the timing of an interest rate rise to take place possibly in September, it is therefore no surprise to market commentators that the gold price continues its bear market. Only the myth is just that: a myth denied by empirical evidence.