For all this talk and hype, QE 3 is nowhere to be found. And it won’t be showing up anytime soon unless a full-scale Crisis hits. The reason for this is that the political landscape in the US has changed dramatically with the Fed becoming more and more politically toxic. As a result of this, the Fed (with few exceptions) has begun to shift into damage control mode.
Dallas Fed's Fisher "Perplexed" By Wall Street "Fetish" With QE3 And Disgusted With The Addiction To "Monetary Morphine"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 03/05/2012 14:36 -0400
And now for some pure irony, we have a member of the Fed, granted a gold bug, but a Fed member nonetheless, one of the same people who not only enacted ZIRP, but encourage easy money every time there is a downtick in the market, complaining about, get this, Wall Street's "continued preoccupation, bordering upon fetish" with QE3. The irony continues: "Trillions of dollars are lying fallow, not being employed in the real economy. Yet financial market operators keep looking and hoping for more. Why? I think it may be because they have become hooked on the monetary morphine we provided when we performed massive reconstructive surgery, rescuing the economy from the Financial Panic of 2008–09, and then kept the medication in the financial bloodstream to ensure recovery....I believe adding to the accommodative doses we have applied rather than beginning to wean the patient might be the equivalent of medical malpractice." So let's get this straight: these academic titans, who for one reason or another, are given free rein to determine the fate of the once free world with their secret decisions every two or three months, are completely unaware of classical conditioning, discovered by Pavlov nearly 90 years ago, also known as a salivation response. The same Fed is shocked, shocked, that every time the market dips, the red light goes off, and the "balls to the wall" crowd scream for more, more, more free money. Really Fisher? Really? Oh, and let us guess what happens the next time the S&P slides into the tripple digits: will the Fed a) do nothing, thereby letting the market slide to its fair value in the 400 point range, or b) print. Our money, in the form of hard yellow metal, is on the latter, just like we predicted, correctly, back in March 2009 in " Bailoutspotting (Or The Search For The Great Financial Methadone Clinic" that nothing will ever change vis-a-vis the great market junkie until it all comes crashing down.
Last week's manufacturing ISM was a big disappointment, making a mockery of Wall Street expectations, and of course its biggest permabull , Joe Lavorgna who came 10 standard deviations above the final number. Will this weakness continue today? If yes, it is merely a loophole for the Chairman to use at the next FOMC meeting and further goose the market. If not, it likely means that Friday's NFP number will see a record 'adjustment' fudge factor with payrolls soaring well above the consensus, on a last ditch effort to get the economy to sustain a virtuous cycle. Unfortunately when one takes away the $2 trillion punchbowl injected over the past 6 months into the global economy, this is impossible.
On this leap day, we have a busy schedule which includes the second Q4 GDP revision, Chicago PMI (expect another massive beat courtesy of consumers confident that they can have Apple apps, if not so much food, since they still don't pay their mortgages), various Fed speakers, of which most important will be Ben Bernanke who takes the podium in Congress at 10 am for his semi-annual monetary policy report.
Mind versus technicals.
A one-stop shop summary of bullish and bearish perspectives on this weeks news, data, and markets.
Punxsutawney Ben, who just saw the printer's shadow, and predicts six more trillion of free money, will address the House Budget Committee later this morning. We will also get the latest BS from the BLS how thousands of mass layoffs every day result in a drop in initial claims.
Following the Fed's somewhat downbeat perspective on growth, confidence in investors' minds that the US can decouple has been temporarily jilted back to reality. It is of course no surprise and as the World Bank points out half of the world's approximately $15 trillion trade in goods and services involves Europe. So the next time some talking head uses the word decoupling (ignoring 8.5 sigma Dallas Fed prints for the statistical folly that they are), perhaps pointing them to the facts of explicit (US-Europe) and implicit (Europe-Asia-US) trade flow impact of a deepening European recession/depression will reign in their exuberance.
The Dallas Fed Manufacturing Index joined a long and distinguished list of recently disappointing macro prints by missing expectations - coming in at -14.4 versus an expectation of -11.4 (the fifth negative print in a row). While the Production sub-index was up and will provide fodder for bulls (it is still half what it was in July 2011), it is the drop in the outlook for future business activity to a -1.5 (the first such negative print since April 2009) that should have central planners the most concerned as borrowing demand is surely bound to drop further on these weak expectations. This combined with the Philly and Empire prints implies a sub-50 ISM print is forthcoming.
The second economic disappointment of the day comes from the Dallas Fed, which dropped from -2.0 to -11.4 on expectations of -9.0- this was the 4th consecutive negative print month. The report was, in a word, horrible, with just 2 of the 15 constituent indices posting an increase, and the bulk solidly in the red, led by Unfilled and New Orders which dropped 16.8 and 11.2, respectively: not good for economic growth. On the employment side there was nothing good either, with both employment and hours worked declining by -6.7 and -10.1, respectively. The only components rising were materials Inventories (must.restock.always), and CapEx, up 10.7. The most critical Production index declined by 9.7, just barely positive at 1.1, and the second lowest in 2011, with a worse number before that printing all the way back in 2009. Yet the most descriptive are the responses from the survey respondents themselves: two words "peak gloom." And why not: the ISM will print in the mid 40s and the NFP could well be negative. Which of course will send stocks soaring even higher on QE3 being priced in for the 666th time.
Three B-grade economic updates today to serve as an appetizer to the ISM release on Thursday and the NFP data (very likely negative - more shortly) on Friday.
The collapse in the manufacturing base continues: the Dallas Fed general business activity index just printed at a whopping -17.5 on expectations of -3.2, number that was supposed to be a gain from before, and yet another confirmation that Wall Steet is populated by a bunch of illiterate lemmings. From the report: "Perceptions of general business conditions were mixed in June. The general business activity index pushed further negative, falling from –7.4 to –17.5. Twenty-eight percent of respondents said activity weakened this month, the highest share in nine months. However, the company outlook index rose from 3.2 to 7.2, suggesting manufacturers were more optimistic about their firms’ prospects for the near future." Ah, back to consuming hopium. We wonder how many of these manfucturers were optimistic back in Q1 when the the index was printing in the 20 range only to see a near-historic collapse. We are now certain the ISM will pring sub-50, with a print as low as 46 most certainly possibly.
Yesterday it was the Dallas Fed confirming our assumption that the US economy in Q2 has hit stalled speed. Today, it is the Richmond Fed which plunged compared to expectations and the March print of 20, instead dropping to 10, and indicative of a major slowdown in the manufacturing sector. From the index: "In April, the seasonally adjusted composite index of manufacturing activity – our broadest measure of manufacturing – fell ten points to 10 from March’s reading of 20. Among the index’s components, shipments decreased seventeen points to 6, new orders dropped ten points to finish at 10, and the jobs index eased two points to 14....All broad indicators – including shipments, new orders and employment – continued to grow but at a rate below March’s pace. Other indicators were mixed. Fifth District contacts reported that capacity utilization continued to grow more slowly, while backlogs turned slightly negative. Vendor delivery times edged higher and raw materials inventories grew at a somewhat higher rate." Now "Below March's pace" means trending Q2 GDP is now at or below 2%. But that's fine: somehow the economy will really hockeystick in Q3. And if not, there is QE3, 4 and 5. And the kicker, as usual, Prices Paid jumped as Prices Received plunged: which is always bullish for (collapsing) margins. Elsewhere the CON board called 7 Wall Street CEOs w
And following the continuing plunge in new homes for sale reported earlier, we get the second validation of the theory that the Q2 GDP is about to get the rug pulled from underneath it. The April Dallas manufacturing number came precisely at the borderline we expected earlier would mean an outright downgrade of Q2 economic data by Goldman, or 10.5%. Of note: The production index, a key measure of state manufacturing conditions, moved down from 24 to 8, suggesting slower growth in output." We thing the proper word is "plunged." This is as expected considering our long held assumption that the Japanese economic collapse is already impacting the US. In addition to production, other indicators that saw a collapse were volume of shipments, down 10.9 and the average employee workweeks, which tumbled by over 13. But at least Bernanke is getting his hyperinflation wet dream on: average wages increased by 4. Probably the most important index: prices paid, barely budged, printing at 56.6 compared to 57.2 last month. We are confident that Hatzius will have some very unpleasant words when commenting on this latest contractionary data point. As for the respondents, they confirmed that the bulk of the broader inflation is about to hit, as manufacturers can no longer internalize plunging margins. To wit: "From a cost
standpoint, commodity prices continue to increase, negatively impacting
material and delivery costs. As a result, we are in the process of
taking a price increase to the market, which should occur in May" and "Our sales are up,
but our cost of goods sold and the cost of diesel are keeping our
margins at record lows" and, FTW: "Rapidly increasing costs and fuel costs have
shocked the consumer away from any nonmandatory spending." Pretty much says it all.