Introducing The "Overseas Contingency Operations Account" – Washington's Crony Capitalist War Slush FundSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 03/28/2015 14:45 -0400
The imperial spiral into the stratosphere of stupidity is well underway. With zero accountability for those in power, there’s no way to realistically stop it before crash and burn. The best we can hope is to bring the responsible to justice afterward and pick up the pieces by going back to the Constitution.
So what has transpired is another day and another play in the casino. This ketchup and mac merger could not be more emblematic of how the Fed’s destruction of honest financial markets has fatally deformed American capitalism. Warren and Jorge are understandably singing Janet’s praise. Everyone else should be getting out the torches and pitchforks.
Janet’s Yellen’s pettifogging today about her patient lack of impatience was downright pathetic. Her verbal hair-splitting is starting to make medieval ritual incantations sound coherent by comparison. But unlike the financial media’s dopey dithering about “dot plots”, Yellen at least has something to hide behind all the gibberish. Namely, she and her merry band of money printers are becoming more petrified each month that they will trigger a thundering Wall Street hissy fit if they move to “normalize” interest rates - even as they are slowly beginning to realize that continuance of ZIRP much longer will only intensify the market’s addiction to rampant speculation, free money carry trades and the associated risks to financial stability.
A wicked web of deceit, with just a good measure of theft and forgery thrown in for old time’s sake!
Borrowing in USD was risk-on; buying USD is risk-off. As the real global economy slips into recession, risk-on trades in USD-denominated debt are blowing up and those seeking risk-off liquidity and safe yields are scrambling for USD-denominated assets. Add all this up and we have to conclude that, in terms of demand for USD--you ain't seen nuthin' yet.
Currently, a new form of danger arises. The Keynesian pettifoggers at the Fed have painted themselves into an epochal corner. After 78 months of ZIRP they have no idea about how and why they got here; and now, mired deep in the lunacy of free money, they are clueless about where they are going next. There is not a chance the US economy has decoupled from the rest of the world. The great credit-driven boom was universal and fueled by out of control central banks. Now comes the bust phase, and these same money printing central bankers have no clue what to do about it.
Suddenly the narrative that “everything is awesome” is showing to not be as “awesome” as it was first proclaimed. Merely a few months have passed since the ending of QE and praises of awesomeness everywhere are morphing into questions more akin to “Oh no: not again!” And with that we are now watching those who pushed, pulled, and levitated that narrative scramble desperately to push another narrative back onto the stage that worked so many times before: “Every sell off over the last 6 years has shown to be a profitable buying opportunity.” i.e., Just buy the dip (JBTFD). Yet it would seem these dips; are far different.
Next week is all about the Fed, and the positioning or should I say De-Positioning will be taking place right up until the last minute of this all-important Fed Meeting.
Suddenly everywhere you look, one after another, a story is making its way into the main stream press (albeit a trickle but that’s a tidal wave in comparison) that we may be, in fact; experiencing a “bubble” in stock prices. Even those who still believe in unicorns and rainbows (cue CNBC) are finding it harder and harder to hold onto the magic. Anyone with just a smidgen of common sense knows what’s being presented as “a miracle of economic intervention” has been nothing more than a grand escapade only made possible through the use of monetary smoke and mirrors.
"Give Everyone A Check For $10 Million, It Will Create Inflation": Albert Edwards First TV Interview In 20 YearsSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 03/07/2015 20:20 -0400
In his first TV interview in 20 years, SocGen's Albert Edwards unleashes his brutal honesty on Raoul Pal in this excellent RealVisionTV discussion. From "what Japan is doing is absolutely off the scale," warnings about money-printing to the awkward reality that "policy makers cannot eliminate the business cycle," warnings instead that "they will make the eventual downturn far worse than it otherwise would be..." Edwards' discussion ranges from the UK and US "choosing lunatic policies" to describing Alan Greenspan as "a prospective economic war criminal," the SocGen strategist concludes, rather ominously, if policy-makers keep handing out free money, it will create massive problems, "there is a trigger point where you can create inflation. I don't know where that is. The central banks don't know where that is."
Chris Mayer: No Big Theme in US Stocks, Just “Special Situations and Quirky Opportunities” (Sprott’s Thoughts)Submitted by Sprott Money on 03/07/2015 07:16 -0400
There’s a big macro theme playing out in Europe – a once soft economic environment that allowed lots of inefficiency is becoming tougher and forcing companies to restructure, says Chris Mayer, author of Capital & Crisis and Mayer’s Special Situations.
Perhaps echoing two entire nations' frustration, one reporter loses his cool when Mario Draghi explains how everyone else in Europe gets free money except Greece and Cyprus...
Once upon a time businesses borrowed long term money - if they borrowed at all - in order to fund plant, equipment and other long-lived productive assets. Today American businesses are borrowing like never before - to fund financial engineering maneuvers such as stock buybacks, M&A and LBOs, not the acquisition of productive assets that can actually fuel future output and productivity.
Let’s see. The Eccles Building has grown its balance sheet by 9X since the turn of the century, but real net investment in the business sector has plunged by 33%!