It would appear the news that the housing 'recovery' may not be as strong as every asset-gethering talking-head exclaimed it will be in the face of soaring mortgage rates has driven investors to the safety of precious metals in a soon-to-be-re-stimulated economy as moar free money is clearly needed... (bonds are bid too on the Un-Taper inspiring news - and USD dumping - but stocks appear to have been side-tracked for now as the 'wedge' between fundamental reality and monetary-policy perceptions is shown even more egregiously).
This insane world was created through decades of bad decisions, believing in false prophets, choosing current consumption over sustainable long-term savings based growth, electing corruptible men who promised voters entitlements that were mathematically impossible to deliver, the disintegration of a sense of civic and community obligation and a gradual degradation of the national intelligence and character. There is a common denominator in all the bubbles created over the last century – Wall Street bankers and their puppets at the Federal Reserve. Fractional reserve banking, control of a fiat currency by a privately owned central bank, and an economy dependent upon ever increasing levels of debt are nothing more than ingredients of a Ponzi scheme that will ultimately implode and destroy the worldwide financial system. Since 1913 we have been enduring the largest fraud and embezzlement scheme in world history, but the law of diminishing returns is revealing the plot and illuminating the culprits. Bernanke and his cronies have proven themselves to be highly educated one trick pony protectors of the status quo. Bernanke will eventually roll craps. When he does, the collapse will be epic and 2008 will seem like a walk in the park.
The ancient question: how do you extract some moolah while you still can?
Those who follow the mainstream media’s “all Federal Reserve, all the time” coverage of financial news naturally conclude that Senator Chuck Schumer neatly summarized reality last year when he declared that the Federal Reserve “is the only game in town.” This lemming-like belief in the power of the Federal Reserve generates its own psychological force field, of course; the actual power of the Fed is superseded by the belief in its power. The widespread belief in the Fed’s omnipotence is the source of the Fed’s power to move markets. We can thus anticipate widespread disbelief at the discovery that the Fed is either irrelevant or an impediment to the non-asset-bubble parts of the economy. There is much we, as individuals, can do to ignore the Emperor's clothes (or lack thereof) and focus on how to pursue our own prosperity and happiness irrespective of the meddling of central planners. The real power is in our hands, should we choose to believe it.
Something is rotten in the state of Abenomics. The last three days have seen the biggest surge in JPY in over six weeks (now well under 98 and at its strongest again the USD in over a month) and the biggest drop in the Nikkei 225 in almost two months. It seems with Fed Taper talk off the table (in investors' minds), hotter than expected inflation in Japan (what they wanted but brings the 'endgame' closer for expectations of moar QQE), and a miss for retail sales in Japan tonight (no matter what they do, consumption disappoints - unsurprising given the demographic hurdle, even with free money oozing out of every crack) that global investors (who have once again piled lemming-like back into the long-Nikkei-short-JPY trades) have found better places (for now) to put their 'easily-earned' money. Or is this the Japanese markets' cry for help ahead of Kuroda's speech this evening?
With euphoria returning to equity markets, it's worth remembering that stocks are unlikely to make you really rich. We have some ideas what might though.
Lately, Fedspeak has plummeted to new depths of indecipherability as frantic Fed governors, terrified by the extent of the reaction to the slightest hint that the Free Money Express is pulling into the station, have scrambled to fine-tune the effects their hieroglyphics have had on markets. Dovish! No, hawkish! No, Dovish! Wait... what was the question again? As Bill Fleckenstein noted, "...when I contemplate the amount of damage that will be done by four years (and counting) of QE, I really just shudder in wonder at how big the disaster might be, though there is no doubt it will be a disaster... Either it is going to continue to buy bonds forever, which is impossible, or there is going to be a massive dislocation at some moment in time because someone else is going to have to buy that debt when the Fed ultimately stops." The important point is that, ultimately, it won't be the Fed that decides where interest rates are, but rather the market.
In every era, there are certain people and institutions that are held in the highest public regard as they embody the prevailing values of society. Not that long ago, Albert Einstein was a major public figure and was widely revered. Can you name a scientist that commands a similar presence today? Today, some of the most celebrated individuals and institutions are ensconced within the financial industry; in banks, hedge funds, and private equity firms. Which is odd because none of these firms or individuals actually make anything, which society might point to as additive to our living standards. Instead, these financial magicians harvest value from the rest of society that has to work hard to produce real things of real value. Money is power. And history has shown that power is never ceded spontaneously or willingly. But the stability of this parasitical system begins to weaken quickly when the lifeblood it depends on begins to dry up. And that's when things can begin to go south in a hurry
Facts are treasonous and dangerous in an empire of lies, fraud and propaganda. It is maddening to watch the country spiral downward, driven to ruin by a psychotic predator class, while the plebs choose to remain willfully ignorant of reality and distracted by their lust for cheap Chinese crap and addicted to the cult of techno-narcissism. We are a country running on heaping doses of cognitive dissonance and normalcy bias, an irrational belief in our national exceptionalism, an absurd trust in the same banking class that destroyed the finances of the country, and a delusionary belief that with just another trillion dollars of debt we’ll be back on the exponential growth track. The American empire has been built on a foundation of cheap easily accessible oil, cheap easily accessible credit, the most powerful military machine in human history, and the purposeful transformation of citizens into consumers through the use of relentless media propaganda and a persistent decades long dumbing down of the masses through the government education system. This national insanity is not a new phenomenon. Friedrich Nietzsche observed the same spectacle in the 19th century: “In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule.”
The secret is the world is more indebted now than it was at the height of the financial bubble in 2007. And big changes are needed to avoid further trouble.
Presented with little comment aside to note that no matter how much free money is mis-allocated to a problem, the can-kicking eventually runs out of road and reality bites.
Last week: “A culture of dangerous greed and excessive risk-taking has taken root in the banking world.” Now: a quixotic moment for those senators from both sides of the aisle
Last year, Senator Schumer (Democrat, N.Y.) famously told Fed chairman Ben Bernanke "You are the only game in town." Really, Senator? What about the real economy? Bernanke and the Fed's machinations are indeed the only game in town for the parasitic financiers, but unnoticed by the Senator, America's real economy is innovating away from the dead hand of the Fed and its toxic spew of free money to the predatory class. There's actually three games in town: the financier game the Fed is playing that will end in collapse, the Federal government's borrow-and-blow trillions of dollars game that will also end badly, and the real economy, where millions of people don't give a rat's rear-end about Bernanke's latest attempt to placate the financial Monster Id he has created.
In the years 2006 and 2007, the underlying stability of the global economy and the U.S. credit base in particular was experiencing intense scrutiny by alternative economic analysts. A crash was coming, it was coming soon, and most of our society was either too stupid to recognize the problem or too frightened to accept the reality they knew was just over the horizon. Why did 2008 creep up on so many people? Weren’t there plenty of economists out there “preaching to the choir” at that time? Weren’t there plenty of signals? Weren’t there plenty of practical conclusions being made about the future? And yet, the world was left stunned. The truth is, human beings have a nasty habit of ignoring the cold hard facts of the present in the hopes of using apathy as a magical elixir for future prosperity. They want to believe that disaster is a mindset, that it is a boogeyman under their bed that can be defeated through blind optimism. Collapse, from a historical perspective, seems to occur when the searchlights of the individual mind are dimmest, when the threat is the greatest, and when we are most comfortable in our ignorance.
No, last week’s jobs report was not “strong”. It was just another edition of the “born again” jobs scam that has been fueling the illusion of recovery during the entire post-crisis Bernanke Bubble. In short, the US economy is failing and the welfare state safety net is exploding. And that means that the true headwind in front of the allegedly “cheap” stock market is an insuperable fiscal crisis that will bring steadily higher taxes, lower spending and a gale-force of permanent anti-Keynesian austerity in the GDP accounts. And for that reason, the Fed’s strategy of printing money until the jobs market has returned to effective “full employment” is completely lunatic. The bottom-line is that Bernanke is printing money so that Uncle Sam can keep massively borrowing, and thereby fund a simulacrum of job growth in the HES Complex. Call it the Bed Pan Economy. When it finally crashes, Ben Bernanke will be more reviled than Herbert Hoover. And deservedly so.