The American dream has become perverted into the equivalent of hoping to pick a winning economic lottery ticket: hoping that you somehow will become one of the lucky 0.00001% who strike it big and make millions upon millions of Dollars.
Hope, quite simply, just isn’t close to enough for a real recovery. There is an undeniable element of troubling prevarication in the whole attempt to coax unearned optimism, as taken to the extreme it means that policymakers will never quite be honest about especially realistic downsides. That may even mean, in their zeal to “fool” consumers, they fool themselves on the circular logic.
With all eyes currently transfixed on Iran’s nuclear future, there is seemingly little attention being paid to another landmark Middle Eastern nuclear trend, spearheaded by Russia.
Japan Inc Rocked By Massive Accounting Fraud: Toshiba CEO Quits After Admitting 7 Years Of Cooked BooksSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 07/21/2015 07:58 -0400
While Abenomics has been an unmitigated disaster for Japan's ordinary population, where the soaring stock market has benefited the top decile of the population while everyone has been slammed by a record 25 consecutive months of declining real wages and soaring input costs, there had been one bright spot: corporate earnings. Then on Friday, a report out of Reuters caught our attention when news hit that 140 year old electronics conglomerate, and "pillar of Japan Inc", Toshiba had inflated profits by a stunning $1.2 billion for a whopping 7 years, with fabricated figures amounting to 30% of the company's "profits" since 2008!
The dollar has been a stalwart of international trade over the majority of the last century. Around the time of the formation of the Eurozone, it reached its recent peak at 71.0% of official foreign exchange reserves. Since then, its composition of global reserves has more recently dropped to a more modest 62.9% in 2014. However, the dollar is slowly losing its status as the world’s undisputed reserve currency.
With all hopes and dreams of economic renaissance in America pinned on small businesses (see ADP's recent gains), today's data from the NFIB will strike fear in the heart of the wealth-effect-creating Fed. The NFIB small business optimism index disappointed expectations in June (94.1 vs. consensus 98.5), falling to its lowest level since March 2014 - the biggest drop since 2012. All components were weaker but most notably hiring and plans to raise worker compensation tumbled. Furthermore, Deloitte's Q2 latest survery shows American CFOs are more worried than at any time since 2013.
If earnings are the mother's milk of stock bull markets, then the endless supply of talking heads bloviating on the next leg of the stock market rally being driven by a post Q1 renaissance in earnings growth (ever ready to pull out their hockey-stick forecasts) may want to look away from the following chart...
Strong Conviction + Low Volatility + High Levels/Low Costs of Leverage [irrespective of Dodd-Frank] + More Absolute Capital at Risk + Increased Concentration of “At Risk” capital + “Doing the Same Thing" = combustible market cocktail.
Through a series of "fairly complicated" and "quite amazing" legal maneuvers, Jim Simons' Renaissance Technologies has devised a way for employees to invest their retirement savings tax free in Medallion fund which has averaged 72% annually for the past ten years.
It just blows our mind, that in the face of almost every indicator having collapsed over the first 6 months of this year, market ‘pros’ just act as though it isn’t happening! It’s impressive to watch the insanity, the denial, the delusion, that has become the basis of the steady state market. What is continuing is us extending ourselves again on the very assumption that the American Consumer will rebound to its peak strength. Because there are those few all powerful economic cannibals that profit on policy rather than economics, we will continue down this flawed path until the legend of the Almighty American Consumer succumbs to reality. And that day my friends will be an ugly one for the record books.
"Chinese tech firms have fallen out of love with America, and it shows - a growing number of them are looking to drop their listings in New York and head back home," Reuters reports. With 133X valuations singing a siren song, and with Beijing looking to remove restrictions that discouraged some companies from listing in China, dozens of Chinese companies are looking to repatriate.
- Europe shares set for worst week of 2015 (Reuters)
- Jobs Report Not Likely to Trigger June Rate Hike (Hilsenrath)
- U.S. jobs market seen firming despite lackluster growth (Reuters)
- Gross Says Bond Rout Scary as Hell Even Without Bear Market (BBG)
- Apple Is the New Pimco, and Tim Cook Is the New King of Bonds (BBG), which ZH said in 2013
- In 'year of Apple Pay', many top retailers remain skeptical (Reuters)
- OPEC Nations Signal Few Prospects for Oil-Production Change (BBG)
- China regulator says amending rules on margin trading, short selling (Reuters)
While hope has long been dismissed as a strategy among the investing public, for game-theory expert (and Greek FinMin) Yanis Varoufakis, "hope" appears to be all he has left. Reflecting on James Byrnes 1946 speech, Varoufakis explains a “Speech of Hope” for Greece would make all the difference now – not only for us, but also for our creditors, as our renaissance would terminate the default risk.
China is building the world’s greatest economic development and construction project ever undertaken: The New Silk Road. The project aims at no less than a revolutionary change in the economic map of the world. It is also seen by many as the first shot in a battle between east and west for dominance in Eurasia. For the world at large, its decisions about the Road are nothing less than momentous. The massive project holds the potential for a new renaissance in commerce, industry, discovery, thought, invention, and culture that could well rival the original Silk Road. It is also becoming clearer by the day that geopolitical conflicts over the project could lead to a new cold war between East and West for dominance in Eurasia.
The financial world today is now an island on its own – separated from the real economy, as can be seen by the paradox of record high valuation in the stock market coinciding with record low inflation, employment , productivity and no hope. There is asset inflation, but deflation in the real economy. When the world has been this long at the zero-bound, the misallocation, the inability to reform, and a toolbox without new tools creates a mandate for change. "I expect stocks to trade sideways for the balance of 2015 and have now sold all my fixed income, increased my gold exposure, and I’m looking to buy mining companies and overall to increase my exposure to commodities beyond the normal allocation."