Pizzaflation is creeping through the nation. Inflation is slow, and subtle, and making our favorite things like Pizza unaffordable. Pizzaflation explains the deterioration of the US Dollar in something we all love; Pizza.
As we said two days ago when looking at the paltry recoveries on their total debt that bankrupt energy debtors are generating in liquidation and bankruptcy asset sales, "the energy bankruptcy party is only just starting." And sure enough, overnight we learned that another company is preparing to throw in the towel following a Reuters report that SandRidge Energy - a shale oil and gas producer in the Mid-Continent region of the U.S. - is exploring debt restructuring options, "as the heavily indebted U.S. oil and gas exploration and production company struggles with the fallout from plunging energy prices."
An unseen bubble at the heart of the financial system is deflating with unknown consequences. When bubbles deflate, and here we are talking about one in the hundreds of trillions, bad debts are usually exposed. Even though much of the reduction in outstanding OTC derivatives is due to consolidation of positions following the Frank Dodd Act, much of it is not. When free markets reassert themselves, and they always do, the disruption promises to be substantial. We appear to be in the early stages of this event. If so, demand for physical gold can be expected to escalate rapidly as a financial crisis unfolds.
Despite every effort by The Fed to convince the world that everything is awesome, it's not. From China growth risks to concerns about tightening financial conditions, Goldman warns so-called 'grey swan' fears are rising with Brexit, Trumpe elected, widening terrorist threats, and increased protectionism the most impactful.
... I found myself seeking refuge in the tiramisu staring back at me, a bit uncomfortable that I was only hearing the wah wahs of Charlie Brown’s adult voices. Until this, during the back and forth of Q&A: (Laughter around the room…) “We don’t remember how to raise interest rates. None of us worked here the last time we did it.”
This is a damn shame. You can't be upset if your banker calls you a muppet if you hand him the marrionette strings... The tools to cut the strings are just around the corner. Let's see if regulators do the right thing, or if will they stilfe innovation to protect status quo.
Everything is so wonderful that a rate hike would equate to saying the Fed has won. Seven years of ZIRP and a few selling periods when the Fed stopped POMO’s and QE injections, we can easily say with extreme confidence that the Fed won. And by won we mean didn’t ruin the system entirely. Except they did.
Call it the rigor mortis of the robo-machines. About 430 days ago the S&P 500 crossed the 1973 mark for the first time - the same point where it settled today. In between there has been endless reflexive thrashing in the trading range highlighted below. As is evident, the stock averages have not “climbed” the proverbial wall of worry; they have jerked and twitched to a series of short-lived new highs, which have now been abandoned. Surely most thinking investors have left the casino by now. So what remains is chart driven trading programs, racing madly up, then down, then back up again - rinsing and repeating with ever more furious intensity.
With every passing week that money markets rates remain pinned to the zero bound by the Fed, the magnitude of the financial catastrophe hurtling toward main street America intensifies. When the next financial bubble crashes it can only be hoped that this time the people will grab their torches and pitchforks. Stanley Fischer ought to be among the first tarred and feathered for the calamity that he has so arrogantly helped enable.