Until recently, the consensus assumed a strengthening of the global economy in 2016. It won’t happen. If the global economic growth manages to reach 3.1% next year, as forecast by the IMF, it will be a miracle. We are close to the end of the current economic cycle. The outbreak of a new global crisis in the coming years is inevitable. The Fed and other central banks are in a dead-end having fallen in the same trap as the Bank of Japan. If they increase rates too much, they will precipitate another financial crisis. It is impossible to stop the accommodative monetary policy.
Almost all serious analysts see a Terminal problem developing - "We will go from deflation to hyperinflation without seeing inflation." But hyperinflation is a political phenomenon. It is caused by those same authorities the masses think they can trust. When they are threatened, they will protect themselves by printing money on a scale we haven’t seen since the War Between the States (consumer prices in Richmond, Virginia, had risen 6,700% by the end of the war).
Seeing the market crash from a few weeks ago, it is clear how quickly the market can ferociously hurdle in front of one's risk models. Risk models that failed to safeguard against risk when it mattered the most. Models that left many large hedge funds hemorrhaging - top funds which by definition were supposed to protect their investors in the August tumult. Instead when markets broke bad, a lot of things "went wrong"; and stayed that way.
When it comes to soliciting opinions, the NY Fed in general, and former Goldmanite Bill Dudley in particular, care about just one group of "advisors" - the Investor Advisory Committee on Financial Markets (a group created in July 2009 after the 2008 market crash) also known as the billionaires who run the country's biggest hedge funds, prop desks and PE firms, including JPM, Credit Suisse, Apollo, Blackrock, Blue Mountain, Brevan Howard, Tudor, Fortress, and lo and behold, David "Balls to the Wall" Tepper.
You can't say Nassim Taleb didn't warn you: the outspoken academic-philosopher, best known for his prediction that six sigma "fat tail", or black swan, events happen much more frequently than they should statistically (perhaps a main reason why there is no longer a market but a centrally-planned cesspool of academic intervention) just had a black swan land smack in the middle of the Universa hedge fund founded by ardent Ron Paul supporter Mark Spitznagel, and affiliated with Nassim Taleb. The result: a $1 billion payday, translating into a 20% YTD return, in a week when the VIX exploded from the teens to over 50, and which most other hedge funds would love to forget.
The US and world economies are frauds that are coming unraveled. The Greek bailout is the most recent example of “kick the can down the road” solutions. The US housing bubble was an attempt to cover up/recover from the dot-com bust. Now the US is in a financial bubble engineered to recover from the housing bubble debacle. Soon this bubble will burst. Only the date is unknown.
The Dow's volatility is dead... long live The Dow's volatility.
Uncertainty should not bother you. We may not be able to forecast when a bridge will break, but we can identify which ones are faulty and poorly built. We can assess vulnerability. And today the financial bridges across the world are very vulnerable. Politicians prescribe ever larger doses of pain killer in the form of financial bailouts, which consists in curing debt with debt, like curing an addiction with an addiction, that is to say it is not a cure. This cycle will end, like it always does, spectacularly.
"...rising asset prices provide investors confirming evidence that their strategy is good and everything is fine. This induction problem lulls investors into a sense of confidence, and sets the stage for the shock when events turn down. That nonlinearity causes sudden change only adds to the confusion."
Western countries are increasingly displaying symptoms of instability as described by Nassim Taleb, the author of the The Black Swan, ever since the publication of an essay written with Gregory Treverton entitled “The Calm Before the Storm.” The wider public and the press seem unjustifiably complacent at this time. It seems likely that the seemingly unending “recovery” is simply the calm before the storm.
The time of deflationary confiscation is coming closer for the remaining Greek bank depositors. Those who kept their cash in safe deposit boxes at banks are out of luck too: the government has decreed they may not take it out. This is something one needs to keep in mind – if one wants to keep cash outside the banking system, one cannot leave it in a bank safe deposit box either. The government will confiscate it when push comes to shove and the banks need to be rescued.
After the carnage of the 2008 crash, former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker proposed a rule that would prevent banks from making short-term proprietary trades with financial instruments. In other words, no gambling allowed. This rule would become known as The Volcker Rule, and it went into partial effect on April 1, 2014. Full compliance is required by July 21, 2015. Of course, the bank lobbyists were hard at work, and numerous exceptions and loopholes were created.
"...the 'Ice Age' of low rates and low growth for a long time – as predicted by many analysts and economists – won’t happen. Instead, a crisis will cause a crash on Wall Street. The banks will go broke. The credit system will seize up. People will line up at ATMs to get cash and the cash will quickly run out. This will provoke the authorities to go full central bank retard. They will flood the system with “money” of all sorts. The ice will melt into a tidal wave of hyperinflation."
Has the DNA of the global economy been gradually altered by endless injections of quantitative easing, morphing it into a freakish mutant? Are things that are not supposed to happen for centuries on end going to become common occurrences? The collapse of oil prices and jump in the Swiss franc have forced us to puzzle over these weighty questions. In isolation, these events and the direction of their moves did not worry us, but their magnitude, velocity and proximity to each other sent me on an intellectual quest.
TINA and the complacent belief in free lunches strip the resiliency from a system and leave it vulnerable to collapse...