Free Money

Why Is Wealth/Income Inequality Soaring?

Why is wealth/income inequality soaring? The easy answer is of course the infinite greed of Wall Street fat-cats and the politicos they buy/own. If conventional labor and finance capital have lost their scarcity value, then the era in which financialization reaped big profits is ending.

Did Paul Volcker 'Save' A System That Was Simply Not Worth Saving?

Paul Volcker announced his intention to squeeze inflation out of the system soon after he became Fed chairman. Too bad he didn’t save a better system. Not many men can resist the appeal of free money. Americans proved they were no better at it than others. Falling interest rates and the paper dollar gave them a way to impoverish themselves – by spending money they hadn’t earned. They took the opportunity offered to them. They borrowed and spent... and drove the entire world forward at a furious pace. But now that stage is over.

Ignorance Is Not Bliss

You’re doing yourself a disservice if you don't have a basic working knowledge of what, say, a volatility surface means. We're not saying that we all have to become volatility traders to survive in the market jungle today, any more than we all have to become game theorists to avoid being the sucker at the Fed’s communication policy table. And if you want to remove yourself as much as possible from the machines, then find a niche in the public markets where dark strategies have little sway. Muni bonds, say, or MLPs. The machines will find you eventually, but for now you’re safe. But if you’re a traditional investor whose sandbox includes big markets like the S&P 500, then you’re only disadvantaging yourself by ignoring this stuff. Ignorance is not bliss...

Ignore The Media Bullsh!t - Retail Implosion Proves We Are In Recession

The fact of the matter is that year over year retail sales at these levels only happen during recessions. It’s really that simple. Without the crutch of subprime auto loans and student loan debt being spent by pretend University of Phoenix students on iGadgets, fitbits, hookers and blow, this economy would already be in free fall. Look no further than what happened to Wal-Mart today for confirmation we are in the midst of a worldwide recession, if not depression. The only people who refuse to acknowledge recession reality are the Wall Street hucksters, looking to fleece a few more muppets before their party is over. Propaganda and lies can’t stop this recession.

"Crying Towels": Silicon Valley's Next Big Investment Op

Nothing focuses the mind more than either the lure of riches or, the loss of them. And there has been no other group caught up more in the lure for riches than: the disruption class. Disrupting is what it’s been all about over these last few years. However, there’s another disruption on the technological horizon heading right towards Silicon Valley itself, and that brewing storm is – disruption of the disrupt-ers. Now might be the perfect time to take a position in any solid company with the ability to manufacture quality “crying towels” and get them quickly to market. After all: Unicorn tears we’ve all been told are far different from most others.

The Failure To Act Responsibly Will Be The Addendum To Bernanke's Memoirs

Long gone is the illusion of: an elected body by the citizenry. Today, it’s become demonstrably self-evident the economy is run by an elected body – by the elected. And the consequences of this change is only now beginning to openly reverberate both in amplitude and frequency with every passing day.

Bernanke's Balderdash

The US and world economies are drifting inexorably into the next recession owing to the deflationary collapse of commodities, capital spending and world trade. These are the inevitable “morning after” consequence of the 20-year global credit binge which has now reached its apogee. The apparent global boom during that period was actually a central bank driven excursion into the false economics of household borrowing to inflate consumption in the DM economies; and frenzied, uneconomic investing to inflate GDP in China and the EM. The common denominator was falsification of financial prices. By destroying honest price discovery in the financial markets, the world’s convoy of money-printing central banks led by the Fed elicited a huge excess of financialization relative to economic output.

It's The Entrepreneur That Saves An Economy – Not The Fed

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."

The Clock Is Ticking On The U.S. Dollar As World's Reserve Currency

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?

Fed Facade Fails: Everything Suddenly Questioned

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.

Game Over

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.

Fed To Main Street: Screw You - Wall Street Matters More

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.

"Blood In The Casino Like Never Before" - Riding ZIRP Into Monetary Central Planning's Dead End

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.