China’s historic post-2009 debt binge flew largely under the radar - fooling most observers into thinking the global economy was recovering rather than just re-leveraging. Now Beijing is back at it, borrowing over $1 trillion in this year’s first quarter, buying up commodities and creating the illusion of global growth. But this time the scam hasn’t gone unnoticed. Reporters, editors and money managers seem, at last, to be catching on. So think of today’s relative calm as the eye of yet another storm, and what’s coming as a return to the hyper-leveraged new normal.
Remember that once-in-a-lifetime, "don't worry there's plenty of liquidity" flash-crash in japanese Government Bond futures on Tuesday night (Wednesday morning Japan time)... well it happened again...
With China's Plunge Protection Team having intervened and set a positive spin on another poor session, traders put declines in Asia behind them as European markets rose along with U.S. index futures and commodities. European shares advanced for the first time in three days on speculation the region’s central bank will ramp up monetary stimulus on Thursday. A gauge of raw materials rebounded from its biggest selloff in a month, buoyed by gains in oil and copper. Furthermore, the previously noted selloff in Japanese government bonds - one which triggered circuit breakers and which some speculated may have been precipitated by the BOJ itself - dragged Treasuries and German bunds lower, gold fell a second day and the euro dropped versus most of its major peers.
Just 24 hours after hitting record low negative yields, trading of Japan’s government bond futures was halted for 30 second after the price of the contracts dropped as much as 0.6% driven by a sudden, dramatic selloff in the 10 Year JGB. The Benchmark bond tumbled, pushing yields up eight basis points to minus 0.015 percent as of 2:51 p.m. Yields rebounded after dropping more than five basis points to a record minus 0.1 percent Tuesday.
Italy is no Greece...it's worse!
In recent weeks Chinese stocks remained relatively resilient, levitating quietly day after day. That all changed overnight when the Shanghai Composite plunged by 6.4% with the drop accelerating into the close. This was the biggest drop in over a month and was big enough to almost wipe out the entire 10% rebound from the January lows in one session.
Larry Summers is a pretentious Keynesian fool, but we refer to him as the Great Thinker’s Vicar on Earth for a reason. To wit, every time the latest experiment in Keynesian intervention fails - as 84 months of ZIRP and massive QE clearly have - he can be counted on to trot out a new angle on why still another interventionist experiment or state sponsored financial fraud is just the ticket. Right now he is leading the charge for the greatest stroke of foolishness yet conceived.
ALL of the so called, “economic recovery” that began in 2009 has been based on the Central Banks’ abilities to rein in the collapse.
"The world has fundamentally shifted over the last decade, especially since we’ve emerged from the Great Recession... But the professional class has been very slow to understand what is going on, not just quantitatively but qualitatively in a new generational configuration that I call the Fourth Turning. They don’t accept the new normal. They keep insisting, just two or three years out there on the horizon, that the old normal will return – in GDP growth, in housing starts, in global trade. But it doesn’t return."
Investment expert, Harry Markopolos, wrote detailed letters to the SEC for years, raising red flags that Bernie Madoff was running a Ponzi scheme – only to be ignored by the SEC as Madoff fleeced more and more victims out of their life savings. Today, there are two equally erudite scribes who have jointly been flooding the SEC with explosive evidence that some Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) that trade on U.S. stock exchanges and are sold to a gullible public, may be little more than toxic waste dumped there by Wall Street firms eager to rid themselves of illiquid securities.
- Stronger than expected decline in GDP Growth & weaker economic activity
- China in a major meltdown its government is not capable of stopping
- Major deflationary pressures forcing commodities down & credit spreads up
Is the economy as strong as some say it is?
There may be shallow lulls in the asset markets, nothing ever only falls down in a straight line in the real world, but the debt will and must come down and be deleveraged. The process will in all likelihood lead to warfare, and to refugee movements the likes of which the world has never seen just because of the sheer humbers of people added in the past 50 years. When your children reach your age, they will not live in a world that you ever thought was possible. But they will still have to live in it, and deal with it. They will no longer have the facade you’ve been staring at for so long now, to lull them into a complacent sleep. And the Kardashians will no longer be looking so attractive either.
It would be hard for a year to start any worse than 2016 has... "Prices are oversold and sentiment hasn’t been this despondent in a long time (even Aug/Sept wasn’t this palpably negative) but any bounce will not be particularly impressive and in a lot of ways that is the main problem as the upside just isn’t compelling enough to make a major stand...as Western central banks attempted to mollify sentiment with dovish rhetoric but to no avail."
A jump in the overnight cost for borrowing yuan in Hong Kong is "reflecting further PBOC efforts to stamp out speculation," according to Michael Every, head of financial markets research at Rabobank Group. Hong Kong-based Every told Bloomberg in an interview, following a massive spike in overnight borrowing rates for Offshore Yuan that "a 66% rate is murderous for others being swept up in this who are not speculating." PBOC advisor Han earlier warned that short selling the yuan "will not succeed," adding that "it is pure imagination that the Chinese yuan will act like a wild horse without any rein." But as Every notes, the unintended consequences could be a problem, "imagine you needed access to CNH for other purposes for a few days," concluding ominously that "in other EM crises we see that central banks usually win a round like this, but lose in the end."