Look for a speech on Friday August 22nd by Janet Yellen where she officially signals financial markets that they better start finding their respective chairs.
Waiting to sell is akin to ignoring the smoke and flames in the crowded theater and hesitating until somebody yells "fire!" to rush for the now-jammed exit.
During the last 64 months “buying the dips” has been a fabulously successful proposition. So yesterday’s 2% dip will undoubtedly be construed as still another buying opportunity by the well-trained seals and computerized algos which populate the Wall Street casino. But that could be a fatal mistake for one overpowering reason: The radical monetary policy experiment behind this parabolic graph is in the final stages of its appointed path toward self-destruction.
Quietly, and without the drama associated with The Fed and ECB, China unveiled what looks like QE recently (as we discussed in detail here). Whether this is a stealth creation of a 'fannie-mae' structure to support housing or merely another channel for the PBOC to shovel out hole-filling liquidity is unclear. However, one thing is very clear, demand for CNY is surging (even as the PBOC weakens its fixing) and the Shanghai Composite is surging as hot money chases free money once again...
To demonstrate it hasn't failed, the Fed must taper/withdraw its monetary heroin. If the stock market tanks as a result, and the Fed rushes to the rescue with more free money for financiers, that will also prove the Fed has failed: if the economy and financial system is as robust as the Fed claims, why does it need to be rescued yet again after six long years of unprecedented injections of monetary heroin? It's a double-bind with no escape. No matter what the Fed chooses to do, the failure of its policies to help households and Main Street while enriching wall Street and the banks will be revealed to all.
Before you jump on the Bull market bandwagon of "don't fight the Fed," perhaps you should take a look at the quality of the debt the Fed has enabled and the diminishing returns on all that debt.
Amazon is Exhibit A of how the Fed’s free money for Wall Street and corporate mastodons is destructive to the rest of the economy.
For almost three years there has been one recurring simple strategy to outperforming the market - find the worst company you can, and buy its stock with both hands and feet... As we have discussed numerous times, the massive outperformance of "weak balance sheet" companies over "strong balance sheet" companies - the absolute sign of a massive mal-investment boom - has been a straight line to profits with hardly a hiccup since the Fed unleashed QE2. However, the last week or so, as geopolitical risks rise and it appears ever more likely that the Fed's free money pipe will dry up, the dash-for-trash has reversed. The last 5 days saw "strong" companies outperform "weak" companies by the most in 3 years... something is changing.
Fed Chair Janet Yellen will provide Congress with an update on the state of the economy, how rosy the future is, why she needs to keep rates lower for longer, and that there are no bubbles (oh apart from in bonds which everyone should sell because we need the collateral). These are her first comments since the FOMC press conference in mid-June and stocks have soared since then (as bond yields have tumbled) and she will have to tread a fine line between exuberant over headline job improvements and the need to keep over-inflated bubbles pumped full of cheap/free money for longer...
Market participants are far too levered up, all on the same side, and well behind the monetary normalization curve of when the first rate hike is actually going to occur.
Maybe its time for a new version of the old regime at the Fed. That is, for the Eccles Building to eschew interest rate-pegging and ZIRP entirely, and thereby allow financial markets to once again engage in honest price discovery and two-way trading; and to allow the natural business cycle to meander along its own capitalist path as determined not by the 12 members of the monetary politburo, but the 317 million consumers, producers, investors, entrepreneurs and even speculators who comprise the real main street economy.
Those who own the resources and influence the political control of those resources are the New Nobility in a pernicious Neofeudalism enforced by the very government that claims to serve the debt-serfs and tax donkeys.
The overpowering and incessant statist economic management of the American economy, as reflected in the Ex-Im extension mobilization now underway, is causing the engines of capitalist prosperity to shutdown. The main culprit, of course, is our monetary central planners in the Eccles Building. But they are only the leading edge - the exemplar that tells Washington day in and day out that without constant ministrations by agencies of the state, our capitalist economy would continuously under-preform and tumble into the ditch. So what is at stake in the Ex-Im battle is the future of market capitalism itself. If Washington lacks the capacity to say no to the shareholders of a few big US corporations that can be counted on one hand, then the statist predicate will triumph finally and for ever more.
History suggests that previously sound assumptions about financial security and recession-proof sectors may not apply in the next recession.
Poor algos: after they got no love on Monday from the overnight USDJPY selling team which took the all important pair back to the 200 DMA, today, inexplicably (it is a Tuesday after all, and if one can't frontrun a rigged market surging higher on Turbo Tuesday may as well throw in the towel on free money and learn about fundamental analysis) the same overnight USDJPY selling team has pushed the key carry pair to below the 200 DMA, and has dragged US equity futures lower with it for the second day in a row.