St Louis Fed
Busy day today with lots of economic data and some more Fed good cap-bad cop theater as both hawk Bullard and dove Pianalto pretend to give an objective picture of what is on CTRL+P's mind.
"In the last three plus years, central banks have had little choice but to do the unsustainable in order to sustain the unsustainable until others do the sustainable to restore sustainability!" is how PIMCO's El-Erian introduces the game-theoretic catastrophe that is potentially occurring around us. In a lecture to the St.Louis Fed, the moustachioed maestro of monetary munificence states "let me say right here that the analysis will suggest that central banks can no longer – indeed, should no longer – carry the bulk of the policy burden" and "it is a recognition of the declining effectiveness of central banks’ tools in countering deleveraging forces amid impediments to growth that dominate the outlook. It is also about the growing risk of collateral damage and unintended circumstances." It appears that we have reached the legitimate point of – and the need for – much greater debate on whether the benefits of such unusual central bank activism sufficiently justify the costs and risks. This is not an issue of central banks’ desire to do good in a world facing an “unusually uncertain” outlook. Rather, it relates to questions about diminishing returns and the eroding potency of the current policy stances. The question is will investors remain "numb and sedated…. by the money sloshing around the system?" or will "the welfare of millions in the United States, if not billions of people around the world, will have suffered greatly if central banks end up in the unpleasant position of having to clean up after a parade of advanced nations that headed straight into a global recession and a disorderly debt deflation." Of course, it is a rhetorical question.
John Taylor, of the Taylor-Rule, who has not been sheepish with his views towards the Fed openly questioned the Fed's independence during a speech to the Joint Economic Committee today. During his testimony at the hearing on the 'Sound Dollar Act of 2012', Taylor noted: "The discretionary interventions of the Federal Reserve have been ratcheted up in such unprecedented ways in recent years that they raise fundamental questions about the future of monetary policy." Perhaps more pointedly, especially given Bernanke's speech today on the Fed's extreme actions and given the hope for a constant interventionist role for the Fed to keep our economy market afloat "The fact that the Fed can, if it chooses, intervene without limit into any credit market - raises more uncertainty, and of course raises questions about why an independent agency of government should have such power."
Bunch of irrelevant and reflexive (stock market is up so confidence - in what? manipulated markets? - is higher, so stock market is up so confidence is higher etc) stuff today, as the world central banks prepare to pump another $600-$1000 billion into the consolidated balance sheet and send input costs into the stratosphere. Somehow this is bullish for stocks. Luckily, it will finally break the EURUSD - ES linkage.
It may be just me, but it seems like majority of market participants are terrible at dealing with one of the rudiments of life as a human being; time. It is almost as if the herding man lives in constant contempt for his former self and dogmatic surety about his current convictions (whether they relate to past, present or even the future). If this hunch happens to be true, then it doesn’t take much to see the folly – for surprise surprise; as time passes the much-loved present conviction joins the realm of past regrets. So to thwart the arrogance of the gold bubble-top callers and the long-for-the-sake-of-being-long speculators here I outline why you, they and — hell — I might just buy that forthcoming parabolic move in gold.
As the market digests the European bailout and prepapres to plunge back into the abyss of the unknown, we get ISM, jobless claims, construction spending and vehicle sales
Following our observations last night that there was an $88 billion swing in the weekly "other" deposit account with the Fed, some have quickly come to the fore to "debunk" our observation that this is a rather curious swing in total notional, by claiming that this can easily be explained away using cash demands at the GSE level. There are two problems with this "explanation" - i) it does not actually explain the swing, and ii) it is incomplete. As noted previously, Fannie tapped the Treasury for $7.8 billion in Q3, while the quarterly Freddie Mac injection amounted to $6.0 billion. In other words the combined $13.8 billion cash draw need (assuming a deferral to the funds flow) would almost explain the $88 billion weekly shift... if only it weren't for the other $74.2 billion, which not even fully unmatched (i.e., assuming no new issuance) weekly debt maturity and interest repayment comes close to filling the gap. Furthermore, the "Other" cumulative delta for November and the YTD period is $61.5 billion and $115 billion, respectively, which is nowhere near close to explaining the total funding needs of these entities. What may explain the delta, and what these "debunkers" have missed is the full definition of the "Deposits with Federal Reserve Banks, other than Reserve Balances: Other (WOTHLB)" from the St Louis Fed which is as follows: "Other deposits at Federal Reserve Banks include balances of international and multilateral organizations with accounts at FRBNY, such as the International Monetary Fund, United Nations, International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (World Bank); the special checking account of the ESF (where deposits from monetizing SDRs would be placed); and balances of a few U.S. government agencies, such as the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac." In other words, the GSEs may well be a part of last week's cash outflow package, but they certainly are not the full story, and other entities such as the IMF, the UN, the World Bank and the legendary in some circles ESF are all part of the "other" reserve "use of funds" destination. In other words, someone (presumably someone with some urgent window dressing needs), and it sure wasn't only (if at all) the GSEs, had a massive capital shortfall and had to resort to Fed deposits. And by the looks of things, these could have easily been "international" entities tasked with bailing out the world such as the IMF.
If I win the bet, i will have lost big elsewhere. So will we all.
In addition to the usual headline barrage from a broke continent, the first of many, we have a very busy data schedule, highlighted by October retail sales.
Today's Economic Data Docket - Market Moving Rumors; Also Claims, Philly Fed And Existing Home SalesSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 10/20/2011 06:55 -0500
While the only market moving events today will come out of Europe, where we will learn just how much of a ponzi scheme the EFSF will be, we will also get largely irrelevant and ignored for anything but HFT kneejerks data on claims, the Philly Fed index, existing home sales, and speeches from several Fed officials.
While the deranged, schizophrenic market could not care less about actual facts and data, and continues to trade purely on month end liquidations, and the now traditional bailout rumors, here is what to expect in terms of scheduled releases today: Personal income and spending, Chicago NAPM and consumer sentiment indexes. Also today the Fed will announce the first Operation Twist schedule which will consists of 13 bond purchases in October, as well as 6 sales.
Speaking at a Bloomberg inflation meeting this morning, former St. Louis Fed official William Poole was quite vociferous in his concerns over current Fed policy noting that Bernanke paid too much attention to equity prices. He also noted that there is a risk of an 'astonishing rise in inflation.