The credit markets are signaling that the debt fueled expansion that began in 2010 is turning to bust. This is the most precarious moment in financial market history because as the world slides into recession global central banks have no ability to soften the oncoming recession with debt creation. The world economy is on the precipice of another Great Depression.
- Roller-coaster first quarter ends with shares, dollar under pressure (Reuters)
- Oil prices slide as U.S. crude stocks hit record (Reuters)
- GE Files to End Fed Oversight After Shrinking GE Capital (WSJ)
- FDA Eases Rules for Abortion Pill, Making Access Simpler (BBG)
- Kremlin denies report of Russia-U.S. deal on Assad's future (Reuters)
- Thirst for Gasoline Fuels Oil Rally (WSJ)
- Landlords in last-minute rush to beat stamp duty rises (BBG)
On the last day of an extremely volatile first quarter, following the latest torrid push higher in risk assets over the past two days following Yellen's dovish Tuesday comments, today has seen a modest pull back in risk, whether because the market is massively overbought, because someone finally looked at what record multiple expansion that has taken place in Q1 as earnings are set to collapse by nearly 10%, or simply due to fears that tomorrow's payrolls number will show an abnormal amount of minimum wage waiters and bartenders added.
On Tuesday, Janet Yellen delivered what some observers called her finest “performance” since ascending to the monetary throne in February of 2014. The message the vaunted Fed chair sought to drive home was simple: it wouldn’t matter if the unemployment rate dropped to 1% and inflation expectations spiked above the FOMC’s target overnight - it’s simply too dangerous out there for the Fed to lean hawkish.
If we continue to put garbage in, we are going to continue to get garbage out, and that is the cold, hard reality of the matter.
After years of QE (quantitative easing), ZIRP (zero-interest-rate policy), NIRP (negative-interest-rate policy), and Abenomics (Japanese prime minister Shinz? Abe’s stimulus-focused economic policies) – which is to say, all the standard deviations of modern central banking – older Japanese people must now break the law... to get “free board and lodging behind bars.” Is this what is coming to the U.S.? “Yes,” is the safe answer. Japan has been ahead of us on this entire trip.
Amid secular stagnation, the Eurozone's old fiscal, monetary and banking challenges are escalating, along with new threats, including the Brexit, demise of Schengen, anti-EU opposition and geopolitical friction. Brussels can no longer avoid hard political decisions for or against an integrated Europe, with or without the euro.
"The reality is this. Central bank polices consisting of QE’s and negative/artificially low interest rates must successfully reflate global economies or else. They are running out of time. Or else what? Or else markets and the capitalistic business models based upon them and priced for them will begin to go south. Capital gains and the expectations for future gains will become Giant Pandas – very rare and sort of inefficient at reproduction."
"We are still going to err bearishly of stocks and certainly we shall not err bullishly of them. We are, in our retirement account here at TGL long of gold in EUR and Yen related terms."
At the end of the day, it was all about the dollar and the reason for this morning's stock surge around the globe, as we noted last night, is absurdly delightful: Yellen signaled "weakening world growth" and "less confidence in the renormalization process." In other words, the "bad news is good news" mantra is back front and center.
We have the power and the weaponry to change every community, every state and the entire nation without ever firing a single bullet. How is this possible?
If you thought negative interest rates were as bad as it could get with central banks, you might be in for a surprise. Central banks have been so spectacularly unsuccessful with their accommodative monetary policies that they are discussing pulling out all the stops to get the results they want. Either you support free markets and freedom of pricing or you support central bank price-fixing and creeping socialism. There is no third way or middle road — socialism and the free market are mutually incompatible.
While we are sure this will not deter Japanese officialdom from declaring that QQE and NIRP is working and that the deflation-mindset is being beaten, the fact is that when February's 6.2% collapse in Japanese industrial production is compared to the devastatingly poor plunge aftwer March 2011's quake, tsusnami, and nuclear 'event', something has gone disastrously wrong in Japan.
- Headline of the day: Oil prices fall as investors' faith in rally wanes (Reuters)
- Europe shares, dollar gain as investors look to Yellen (Reuters)
- Chinese Bidder for Starwood Has Mysterious Ownership Structure (WSJ)
- Germany wants refugees to integrate or lose residency rights (Reuters)
- BlackRock Joins Pimco Warning Investors to Seek Inflation Hedge (BBG)
- Goldman Sachs and Bear Stearns: A Financial-Crisis Mystery Is Solved (WSJ)
With Europe back from Easter break, we are seeing a modest continuation of the dollar strength witnessed every day last week, which in turn is pressuring oil and the commodity complex, and leading to some selling in US equity futures (down 0.2% to 2024) ahead of today's main event which is Janet Yellen's speech as the Economic Club of New York at 12:20pm, an event which judging by risk assets so far is expected to be far more hawkish than dovish: after all the S&P 500 is north of 2,000 for now.