After yesterday's algo-driven mad dash to close the S&P green both for the day and for the year following Fed minutes that came in shocking hawkish, the selling has continued overnight, led by the commodity complex as rate hike fears have pushed oil back down some 2% from yesterday's 7 month highs, which in turn has dragged global stocks lower to a six-week low, while pushing bond yields higher across developed nations as the market suddenly reprices the probability of a June/July rate hike.
If you want to get a sense of what’s motivating Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders voters, it’s a desire to take people like Robert Shapiro, remove them from the halls of power, and toss them into a cardboard box on the street. Of course, that won’t be happening any time soon, but that’s what a lot of people want. As we detail below, confirmed recently by Congressman X, Washington is infested by the secretive world of the dark money groups representing mercenary hedge funds in their insatiable quest for more and more money. In many ways, it’s merely a microcosm of America in 2016. A culture in which ethics has become so irrelevant, it isn’t even a nuisance; it simply never factors into the equation.
The establishment (and its mainstream media mouthpieces) proclaim that "confidence" is being threatened because Donald Trump has told the truth that the Federal debt is on a track toward unmanageability and default. Yes, Uncle Sam’s credit standing is in deep trouble and the Fed is heading for a monetary calamity. But these untoward prospects have nothing to do with a couple of alleged wild pitches from Donald Trump. Upon closer examination, it is evident that the Donald was actually right on the money.
While markets remain relatively subdued ahead of tomorrow's nonfarm payrolls report, after several days of losses in US stocks which pushed the S&P500 to three week lows, overnight markets ignored the latest weak data out of China where the Caixin Services PMI was the latest indicator to disappoint (dropping from 52.2 to 51.8), and instead focused on crude, which rebounded from yesterday's post inventory-build lows and briefly printed above $45/bbl over uncertainty related to the impact of Canada wildfires on production and how long will last. The bounce in WTI has meant Brent briefly traded at parity with West Texas for the first time in 6 weeks.
So what is to be done, as Lenin once queried? In a word it is this. Fire the Fed. Attend to supply side policy. Let market capitalism do the rest. The cult of central banking is dead in the water.
Less than one week after the BOJ floated a trial balloon using Bloomberg, that it would reduce the rate it charged some banks which set off the biggest USDJPY rally since October 2014, we are back where we started following last night's "completely unexpected" (for everyone else: we wrote "What If The BOJ Disappoints Tonight: How To Trade It" hours before said "shock") shocking announcement out of the BOJ which did absolutely... nothing. "It’s a total shock,” Nader Naeimi, Sydney- based head of dynamic markets at AMP Capital Investors told Bloomberg. "From currencies to equities to everything -- you can see the reaction in the markets. I can’t believe this. It’s very disappointing."
This afternoon Jeffrey Gundlach held one of his periodic interviews with Reuters' Jenna Ablan in which he said that the selloff in Treasurys is over and that investors looking to purchase Treasuries in the wake of the bond market's sell-off - if one can call a move in the 10Y to 1.91% a selloff - are making a prudent move. "I think it is a reasonable strategy to start legging into the Treasury market."
Somehow, without the American public’s awareness, the U.S. government is on the hook to two failed companies for $445.6 billion dollars. And that may be just the tip of the iceberg of this story.
Coming off a year in which Wall Street experienced the lowest average bonus since 2012, it now has to brace itself for new regulation on incentive compensation. One of the last pieces of Dodd-Frank to be written and implemented, regulators are looking to firm up the rules surrounding incentive pay for banks. The final regulation, once agreed upon, will not just apply to banks, it will also apply to investment advisers, broker dealers, credit unions, and executives at mortgage finance companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac according to the Wall Street Journal.
The comparison of Bernie to Ron goes like this: both launched insurgent, anti-establishment presidential campaigns while in their 70s, shook up their respective party establishments, and attracted large youth followings. But Bernie is no Ron. More importantly, Ron urged his followers to read and learn. Bernie’s platform merely regurgitates the fallacies and prejudices his young followers already imbibed in school. What more is there to read?
Attempts to control economic growth through government spending and/or manipulating interest rates (e.g., stimulate growth with low rates) generally leads to more severe crises. None of these things are recent phenomena, but can be found again and again throughout American history. Today, there is no party that favors true privatization or free markets. The solution, however, is simply to take as much power as possible out of the control of corruptible politicians and their special interest supporters.
In what looks like a spiteful move designed to undercut the FHA, Bank of America has partnered with Freddie Mac on a new mortgage scheme that will allow borrowers to make down payments as low as 3%. Because that's just what taxpayers need. Fannie and Freddie making more bad loans.
“The most serious risk and the one that has the most potential for escalating in the future is the enterprises’ lack of capital," Fannie's top regulator, Mel Watt says. The GSEs' capital buffer is being steadily depleted as the government sweeps the entirety of the businesses' profits, putting taxpayers in the absurd position of having to bail out two entities they've already bailed out due to the constraints imposed in an effort to recoup the first bailout.
Americans across the country have been priced out of the U.S. housing market since the “recovery” began due to a combination of factors; stagnant wages, private equity purchases and money laundering foreigners. As such, many potential first time buyers have been sidelined despite the availability of meager 3% downpayment loans from the FHA as well as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Fortunately for the U.S. ponzi scheme economy, the U.S. government has a solution. Lower mortgage insurance premiums.
Washington’s capacity to foster crony capitalist larceny and corruption never ceases to amaze. But as we recently noted, Wall Street’s shameless thievery from US taxpayers is about to get a whole new definition.