With the Fed decision just one day away, followed the very next day by the increasingly more irrational BOJ, stocks had no desire to make significant moves and overnight's boring session was the result, as European stocks and U.S. index futures rose modestly but mostly hugged the flatline while Asian declined 0.2% for a third day as raw-material shares declined and Tokyo equities slumped before central bank meetings in the U.S. and Japan this week. China’s stocks rose the most in almost two weeks, up 0.6% but failed to rise above 3000 on the Shanghai Composite, in thin trading.
An economic and financial system premised on perpetual growth was bound to run into trouble. What happens as population growth turns to population decline is honestly and literally a complete and total game changer. A flat to declining number of buyers and consumers opposite ramping elderly sellers plus their unfunded liabilities is a problem with no happy resolutions. Currencies (what will constitute "money"), "free-markets", and perhaps the basis of civilization hang in the balance of the transition from high population growth to potential outright depopulation.
If nobody is working in one out of every five U.S. families, then how in the world can the unemployment rate be close to 5 percent as the Obama administration keeps insisting? The truth, of course, is that the U.S. economy is in far worse condition than we are being told.
To gauge the degree and duration of the manufacturing slowdown, turn to semiconductors, which are the primary and early component in all things manufactured. That, plus other factors, make semiconductors an excellent leading indicator.
"For traders, just when they were promised an end was in sight, policy divergences would become tradable and correlations would weaken, the nightmares keep coming. The problem is, that despite all of the emphatically reasoned analysis, no one really believes anything. And it may not pay to. The distortions are just too great.... Think it was a big deal to be threatened with a Treasury portfolio sell-off? Wait until it’s the S&P 500."
Yields on $7.8 trillion of government bonds have been driven below zero by worries over global growth, forcing investors looking for income to flood into debt with maturities of as long as 100 years. Worse still, as Bloomberg reports, central banks’ policy is exacerbating matters, as the unprecedented debt purchases to spur their economies have soaked up supply and left would-be buyers with few options. This has driven the 'duration' - or risk sensitivity - of the bond market to a record high, meaning, as one CIO exclaimed, even with a small increase in rates "the positions are so huge that the damage can be massive... People are complacent."
That the status quo--the current pyramid of wealth and power dominated by the few at the top - has failed is self-evident, but we can't bear to talk about it. This is not just the result of a corporate media that serves up a steady spew of pro-status quo propaganda--it is also the result of self-censorship and denial. The truth is the usual menu of reforms can’t stop this failure, so we have to prepare ourselves for the radical transformations ahead.
The latest shocking example of just how intertwined central banks have become in all capital markets, comes courtesy of the Bank of Japan which days ahead of a move which may see it double its ETF purchases from the current run rate of JPY3.3 trillion to JPY7 trillion or more (if Goldman is correct), is revealed to be a top 10 holder in about 90% of all Japanese stocks. Crazier still, if as Goldman predicts the BOJ doubles its purchases of ETFs, the central bank could become the No. 1 shareholder in about 40 of the Nikkei 225’s companies by the end of 2017,
RANSQUAWK WEEK AHEAD VIDEO NOW AVAILABLE - April 25th: Highlights this week include Fed and BoJ rate decisionsSubmitted by RANSquawk Video on 04/25/2016 09:12 -0400
Just 24 hours after Goldman Sachs suggests a looming collapse in the Yen (USDJPY to 130), the Japanese currency is rallying by the most in 3 weeks against the USDollar. Having been hammered on Friday, Yen has rallied back over 100 pips this morning (pushing USDJPY back to a 110 handle) as a potential short-USDollar squeeze begins (with hedge funds net short the greenback for the first time since July 2014).
The April FOMC gathering headlines a crowded economic events calendar this week. The post-meeting statement, released Wednesday afternoon, should continue to strike a cautious tone. There will be no press conference and updated economic and financial forecasts will not be released. Few expect the FOMC to add the “balance of risks” sentence back into its communiqué at this point. Doing so would be quite bearish for risk assets as it would definitely open the door for a June rate hike.
Futures are currently unchanged, but the E-mini was down as much as 12 points less than two hours earlier after the European open when this time it was up to the PBOC to intervene in global markets by pushing the Yuan higher (selling USDCNY via intermediary banks) sending global stocks sharply higher off session lows and leaving the S&P futures virtually unchanged. As Bloomberg reported, there has been increasing USD/CNY selling in afternoon session as Dollar Index edged lower. This is the PBOC entering the building and levitating stocks.
True believers want to think China will continue to grow at breakneck speed and the IMF is feeding them what they want to hear to lift animal spirits accordingly. When the house of credit-cards comes crumbling down the IMF will once again be proven to have completely missed an obvious structural shift as the Chinese economy will linger on like Japan has done over the last three decades.
"We expect $/JPY to move higher again in the near term and continue to forecast $/JPY at 130 a year from now.... by making the fiscal expansion permanent and funded through money creation (a politically correct phrase for a form of 'helicopter money'), expectations of future inflation should increase and real rates fall"
The fact is, Simple Janet has already proven the end game. Money printing central bankers can’t stop. Were they to allow financial prices to normalize and trillions of bad credit to be liquidated, the whole financial house of cards they have built around the planet would blow sky high. The "soft landing" case is a null set.