The markets are beginning to show just how tall and flimsy this house of cards built on QE quicksand has grown. Entrepreneurs and ideas thrive in that type of environment. Exactly what we so desperately need. Yet, instead, all we have is this crony styled, unicorn imagined monstrosity of all that’s unholy to true business principles. "Markets right themselves with pain... That’s Capitalism. Back room manipulation to avoid that pain only increases the severity of it down the road."
Did Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott just lose his job because of fears that a probe and audit of the "data" and "statistics" behind global warming could threaten to destroy Goldman Sachs' best laid cap-and-trade, emissions trading scheme and carbon tax plans?
After 35 years of falling and now zero rates, the direction is only up for the cost of money, as is the cost to service debt, along with the burden to those who are most indebted (i.e. the U.S.). What should no longer be unthinkable is that the clock is ticking on America’s status as the holder of the reserve currency. If you still doubt this proposition, consider that China is in the process of setting up a third benchmark for oil, along with Brent and West Texas Intermediate, for trading oil futures contracts. And unlike the existing contracts, these will be traded in Renminbi. Who needs the dollar?
From a financial market psychology standpoint it is however very important that central bankers don’t appear clueless. A majority of market participants needs to be able to suspend disbelief to an sufficient extent, i.e., they must be able to share in the collective hallucination that central bankers actually do know what they are doing. When it is no longer possible to maintain this facade, many things are likely to be suddenly questioned – and among these is the question whether it makes sense to remain exposed to yet another gargantuan asset bubble.
The game is over. The trend has changed. And the Fed knows it. The question is: What will it do about it? Roll-over or fight? But will it matter much if it fights? Janet Yellen clearly lost the crowd this week as “accommodative” was met with a resounding SELL as confidence has been shaken. Her job is now to win back confidence. Whether she can or not is now largely determined how the binary set-up we face here plays out. Bottom line: Bulls need a 1998 like repeat to save this year. How did the Fed manage the big correction in the Fall of 1998: It cut rates of course...Well, good luck with that this year.
One can’t help being left slack-jawed witnessing that the Fed has just publicly inserted itself into geopolitics via its monetary policy as de facto first responder/savior of all economies. Even if it puts U.S. savers, retirees, along with its economy in the back seat.
What the Fed really decided Thursday was to ride the zero-bound right smack into the next recession. When that calamity happens not too many months from now, the 28-year experiment in monetary central planning inaugurated by a desperate Alan Greenspan after Black Monday in October 1987 will come to an abrupt and merciful halt. Yellen and Co should be so lucky as to only face torches and pitch forks.
"Every day brings another reason why the Federal Reserve should hold off before raising interest rates... First and foremost there was the recent plunge in stock prices."
One of these days, the people of main street will rediscover their torches and pitchforks. But until they do, Goldman has apparently invented still another ruse to keep the Fed doing Wall Street’s bidding, and to thereby keep its wretched jihad against savers fully in force.
This is getting way too stupid. The Keynesian Chorus has launched a full blast trilling campaign, emitting an increasingly shrill cackle of warnings against a Fed rate hike. Yes, 80 months of pumping free money into the canyons of Wall Street is not enough. Why? Well, this is hard to type with a straight face, but according to the cackling gaggle of Keynesian Chicken Littles, the Fed has already tightened too much!
In a word, the official unemployment rate is now in what has been the macroeconomic end zone for the past 45 years. Might this suggest that the emergency is over and done? Self-evidently, the only “incoming” information that can matter between now and next Wednesday is the stock market averages. If the Fed takes no action in September, it’s hard to imagine any economic or jobs report that wouldn’t support ZIRP or near-ZIRP in the minds of the money printers and the Wall Street gamblers they pleasure.
The destruction of honest financial markets by the Fed and other central banks has created a class of hedge fund hot shots that are truly hard to take. At length, both the epic bond bubble and the monumental stock bubble so recklessly fueled by the Fed and the other central banks after September 2008 will burst in response to the deflationary tidal wave now cresting. Needless to say, that eventuality will be the death knell for the risk parity trade. It will cause the volatility seeking algos to eat their own portfolios alive. Leon Cooperman and his momo chasing compatriots will soon be praying for an event as mild as October 1987.
Call it the rigor mortis of the robo-machines. About 430 days ago the S&P 500 crossed the 1973 mark for the first time - the same point where it settled today. In between there has been endless reflexive thrashing in the trading range highlighted below. As is evident, the stock averages have not “climbed” the proverbial wall of worry; they have jerked and twitched to a series of short-lived new highs, which have now been abandoned. Surely most thinking investors have left the casino by now. So what remains is chart driven trading programs, racing madly up, then down, then back up again - rinsing and repeating with ever more furious intensity.
With every passing week that money markets rates remain pinned to the zero bound by the Fed, the magnitude of the financial catastrophe hurtling toward main street America intensifies. When the next financial bubble crashes it can only be hoped that this time the people will grab their torches and pitchforks. Stanley Fischer ought to be among the first tarred and feathered for the calamity that he has so arrogantly helped enable.
...one theory is that some within the Fed realized that QE wasn’t working, and never worked, thus another path was needed. But what alternative did they have, since rates were already ZERO? So maybe they changed course and took a strong dollar policy vs. a weak one to intentionally weaken the commodity sector and thus boost consumer spending. Throughout this down turn, that message has been repeated by Yellen herself many times, as a source of economic stimulus and for sure has been repeated over and over in the media and the talking heads of Wall Street.