The centrally-planned house of cards is finally starting to shake uncontrollably.
Should the Fed decide to raise interest rates, it will be the first Fed hike since June 29th 2006. In the 110 months that have since past, global central banks have cut interest rates 697 times, central banks have bought $15 trillion of financial assets, zero interest rates policies have been adopted in the US, Europe & Japan. And, following the Great Financial Crisis of 2008, both stocks and corporate bonds have soared to all-time highs thanks in great part to this extraordinary monetary regime. A rate hike with a stroke ends this era.
The can is no longer rolling along. Instead, it has come to a near halt, with central bankers and government policymakers desperate to give it another boot. Watch out!
On the heels of the unprecedented proximity of 5 Chinese naval ships in the Bering Sea, U.S. military satellites have been tracking a Russian spy ship - capable of cutting undersea communications cables and other sensors - since it was spotted in the north Atlantic last month off the coast of Kings Bay, Ga., home to the U.S. Navy’s East Coast ballistic missile submarine fleet. As FOX News reports, The Pentagon says the ship is transiting toward its next destination - Cuba.
Moments ago, US equity futures tumbled to their lowest level in the overnight session, down 22 points or 1.1% to 1924, following both Europe (Eurostoxx 600 -1.8%, giving up more than half of yesterday's gains, led by the banking sector) and Japan (Nikkei -2.2%), and pretty much across the board as DM bonds are bid, EM assets are all weaker, oil and commodities are lower in what is shaping up to be another EM driven "risk off" day. Only this time one can't blame the usual scapegoat China whose market is shut for the long weekend.
The narrative of the omnipotent central banker continues to be questioned with China's inability to save its own market the latest incarnation of investors losing faith. Nowhere has the religious zealotry been more fervent than in trading Japanese stocks where Abe and Kuroda have broken every independent rule in their manipulation of wealth-giving stocks. However - it appears their time is up, as Bloomberg reports, foreigners dumped 1.43 trillion yen of Japanese equities in the three weeks through Aug. 28, Tokyo Stock Exchange data updated Thursday show. That’s the most for any three-week span on record, overtaking the period when Bear Stearns Cos. collapsed in 2008.
Just as the machines had learned the "Buy when Japan opens" signal, Japanese leaders unleash their usual stream of utter tripe and break the bid. Tonight's chosen member was Japanese Economy Minister Amari who said "it is important for markets to act calmly, not move in a volatile manner," adding "stock markets are not reflecting fundamentals," reflecting on the fact that G-20 ministers had discussed China and "monetary tightening was likely in some advanced countries." This sparked a plunge in USDJPY and an instant 100-point plunge in Dow futures.
News That Matters
The US economy was not “decoupled” in the slightest during the expansion of the great global monetary boom that has now crested. Nor will it uncouple during the deflationary bust that must necessarily ensue. The ultimate worldwide hit to US exports is evident in the 20% drop in shipments to Brazil, and that’s just for starters because its economic depression is just getting underway. Likewise, the panicked flight of hot dollars from Brazil now besetting the global financial markets is only indicative of the turmoil to come as the massive “dollar short” unwinds on a global basis. So this is not a retest. We are in the midst of an unprecedented global deflation. A real live bear market is once again at hand.
If so, then any entity or investor who is using aggressive leverage in US Dollars will be at risk of imploding.
By monetizing more than the entire Japanese budget deficit, the BOJ is running of out willing sellers. Without those, Japan's QE, just like that of the ECB, will grind to a halt. Better yet, this creates a vicious loop, because with every passing month, the inevitable D-Day when the BOJ has no more TSYs on the offer gets closer, which in turn will force those who bought stocks to sell in anticipation of the end of QE, and to seek the safety of bonds themsleves, in effect precipitating the next inevitable Japanese stock market crash.
- U.S. Treasury's Lew says China will be held accountable on currency (Reuters) ... but not Japan
- Bank of Japan Not Convinced of Need for Further Easing (WSJ)
- Stocks Advance With Commodities on Signs of European Revival (BBG)
- IMF Says China Slowdown, Other Risks Threaten Global Outlook (WSJ)
- Xi Says China No Threat, Announces Military Cuts at Parade (BBG)
- China holds massive military parade, to cut troop levels by 300,000 (Reuters)
- Migrants leave Budapest for Austrian frontier; pressure builds for EU action (Reuters)
All eyes will be on Mario Draghi on Thursday as expectations for something big from the former Goldmanite have grown over the past two weeks. More specifically, some now think the odds of QE expansion have increased considerably in light of collapsing eurozone inflation expectations, the incipient threat of some $1 trillion in QE-offsetting EM FX reserve draw downs, turmoil in China's financial markets, heightened volatility across the globe, and chaos in emerging markets from LatAm to AsiaPac.