Every day there is more confirmation that the casino is an exceedingly dangerous place and that exposure to the stock, bond and related markets is to be avoided at all hazards. In essence the whole shebang is based on institutionalized lying, meaning that prouncements of central bankers, Wall Street brokers and big company executives are a tissue of misdirection, obfuscation and outright deceit. And they are self-reinforcing, too.
The evidence that Yellen is clueless or a blatant liar is endless. The casino gamblers keep dancing on the edge of a live volcano in the belief that Yellen has their back. In fact, her statements this week prove once again that she is right there on the edge with them - jabbering incoherently. One of these days, even the silicon units in the casino will take notice. The dancing will then turn into diving for the doors.
In a quiet start to the week following last week's surprisingly strong rebound which followed a stronger than expected jobs report (perhaps to demonstrate that good news is once again good news), Japan stocks continued to sink as the USDJPY dropped to fresh lows, while commodities declined for a fifth day as the supply glut from crude to copper weighed on prices, dragging down commodity currencies. European equities rose, rebounding from a one-month low.
As of this moment, the forward P/E of the Energy sector is no longer "an absolutely ridiculous and mindblowing 23x".... it is, in fact, more than double that at 58.7x, which also happens to be more than four times higher than the 15 year average. There is no longer a word to describe the lunacy where the forward P/E multiple was literally "off the chart" until the Y-axis was doubled.
Simple Janet should have the decency to resign. The Fed’s craven decision last week to punt on interest rate normalization is not merely a reminder that she is clueless and gutless; we already knew that much. Given the overwhelming facts on the ground - 4.9% unemployment, 2.3% core CPI and a 23.7X PE multiple on the S&P 500 - her decision to “pause” after 87 months of ZIRP actually proves she is a blindfolded monetary arsonist - armed, dangerous and lost.
If it sounds like history repeating itself, it most surely is. The coming recession will again obliterate the sell side hockey sticks, which this time started last spring at $135 per share for 2016 and are already being reduced at a lickety-split rate not seen since the fall of 2008. But this time there is one thing that decisively different, and it will make all the difference in the world. As will be reinforced once again by the post-meeting contretemps on Wednesday, the Fed has painted itself into a deathly corner and is utterly out of dry powder. It has nothing left but to hint at the prospect of negative interest rates. And that will be usher in its thundering demise.
Indeed, what party other than the BOJ could be buying negative coupon debt? The answer is exactly why the coming financial crash will be so severe and long-lasting. To wit, it is front-runners expecting to cop a capital gain, and then get out before the house of cards collapses. That’s what might otherwise be called an ambush. The trillions of speculator dollars crowded into trades of this type throughout the global financial markets will never get through the narrow door of liquidity that remains in the casinos. The dotcom and the post-Lehman meltdowns were only the rehearsal.
Eventually the prospect of recession that can’t be cured by the central bank printing presses will ignite sheer panic in the casino. Then the monetary fools running them will be reviled to the ends of the earth. But not before the lunatic 100X valuations of the FANGs implode like those of all the high flyers which have gone before. For the third time this century it is time to sell the bubble. Yes, do back up the trucks!
Not only is the specter of recession growing more visible, but it is also attached to a truth that cannot be gainsaid. Namely, having stranded itself at the zero bound for an entire business cycle, the Fed is bereft of dry powder.
"... after four long years without any profits growth, the risk is that MSCI World mean-reverts to its original 2011 PE multiple, which would imply a further 50% decline from here. Even decline back to average would imply a 15% drop."
In March 2014 Wall Street’s ex-items S&P 500 earnings forecast for 2015 was about $133 per share; it ended up 20% lower at $106. Yet here they go again - the consensus for 2016 started out at $137 per share last spring, and is just now beginning to make its way back toward the high $120s. It is a barometer of the abject complacency and intellectual sloth that has descended on the casino owing to two decades of Fed coddling and seven year of free money for the carry trades. In the case of Chipotle, it was always just a burrito. In the case of the US and world economy and financial markets, it’s not even that.
At the end of the day, the current preposterous $325 billion market cap has nothing to do with the business prospects of this firm or the considerable entrepreneurial prowess of its leader and his army of disrupters. It is more in the nature of financial rigor mortis - the final spasm of the robo-traders and the fast money crowd chasing one of the greatest bubbles still standing in the casino.
The S&P 500 closed at 2052 on November 18,2014. That was 405 days ago, and despite the rips and dips in the interim the broad market average has gone nowhere.
At this week’s close, the FANG stocks were valued at just under $1.2 trillion, meaning they have gained $450 billion of market cap or 60% during the last 11 months - even as their combined earnings for the September LTM period were up by only 13%. In a word, the gamblers are piling on to the last train out of the station. And that means look out below!
The current stock market melt-up hardly qualifies as limp. Even the robo-machines and hyper-ventilating day traders apparently recognize that their job is to tag the May 2015 highs and then get out of the way. So when and as they complete their pointless mission, the question recurs as to why the posse of fools in the Eccles Building can’t see that they are inflating one hellacious financial bubble; and that when it blows it will deconstruct their entire 7-year project of make-pretend recovery.