"The Fed doesn't have a clue!" - We allege that not only because the Fed appears to admit as much, but also because our own analysis leads to no other conclusion. With Fed communication in what we believe is disarray, we expect the market to continue to cascade lower - think what happened in 2000. To understand what's unfolding we need to understand how the Fed is looking at the markets, and how the markets are looking at the Fed.
“If you run out of chips, you are out of the game.”
What’s a Keynesian monetary quack to do when the economy and markets fail to remain “on message” within a few weeks of grandiose declarations that this time, printing truckloads of money has somehow “worked”, in defiance of centuries of experience, and in blatant violation of sound theory? In the weeks since the largely meaningless December rate hike, numerous armchair central planners, many of whom seem to be pining for even more monetary insanity than the actual planners, have begun to berate the Fed for inadvertently summoning that great bugaboo of modern-day money cranks, the “ghost of 1937”.
The financial engineering that has been made possible by zero percent interest rates is no longer available to paper over weak corporate results in the U.S. Our economy is addicted to QE and zero rates, and without those supports, we will spiral back into recession. This is the reality that the mainstream tried mightily to ignore the past several years. But the chickens are coming home to roost, and they have a great many eggs to lay. In the end, stimulus does not create actual growth, but merely the illusion of it.
These are the cheapest hedges in case central bank puts fail to deliver...
QE no longer works: "it is difficult to push the prices of these assets up and it is easy to have them fall. And when they fall, there is a negative impact on economic growth. When debt levels cannot be increased without reducing spending — stimulating demand is more difficult."
But do more QE anyway: "Since the dollar is the world’s most important currency, the Fed is the most important central bank for the world as well as the central bank for Americans, and as the risks are asymmetric on the downside, it is best for the world and for the US for the Fed not to tighten."
What is currently transpiring in the markets today is exactly what the "everything is awesome" crowd stated wouldn’t happen – and exactly what many others argued – was inevitable. And, suddenly it is they who are finding out the rarefied air of "brilliance" The Fed enabled them to breathe has indeed been shut off – and all that’s left to inhale is their own exhaust fumes.
The global economy has had its artificial boom and CapEx frenzy already and years of deflationary liquidation and correction lie ahead. Money printing has failed. Any effort by the central banks to double down on another $20 trillion of bond purchases would blow the world’s financial casinos sky high. Contemporary central bankers function like a team of monetary wranglers, herding the retail cattle toward the asset gathers. At the end of the day, the asset gathers will profoundly regret what they are clamoring for.
“Better to preserve capital on the downside rather than outperform on the upside”
Soros Reveals He Is Short The S&P 500: Warns China Will Have A Hard-Landing, Says "Fed Hike Was A Mistake"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 01/21/2016 21:16 -0500
There’s been no shortage of commentary from market heavyweights this week thanks to the World Economic Forum in Davos, but for anyone who hasn’t yet gotten their fill of billionaire talking heads, George Soros gave a sweeping interview to Bloomberg TV on Thursday, touching on everything from China to Fed policy to Vladimir Putin to Europe’s worsening refugee crisis. The most important point - for markets anyway - came when Soros revealed that he is short the S&P, and long TSYs.
"You get the sense that there is a broader market issue here...Complacency about the risks of contagion from the weakest segments of high yield is reminiscent of sentiment regarding subprime debt in mid-2007."
"I don't think China's economic slowdown is that severe to threaten the global economy."
"China has managed debt restructurings superbly."
Things are looking increasingly shaky for central planners around the globe.
CNBC’s Andrew Ross Sorkin and Becky Quick, donning their finest goose down bubble coats to remind viewers they’re reporting live from scenic Davos, generously took some time out of their busy schedules to chat with Ray Dalio on Wednesday and unsurprisingly, the “zen master” again predicted the Fed will reverse course and embark on more QE.
There’s more than a whiff of 2008 in the air. The sources of systemic financial sector risk are different this time (they always are), but China and the global industrial/commodity complex are even larger tectonic plates than the US housing market, and their shifts are no less destructive. There’s also more than a whiff of 1938 in the air, as we have a Fed that is apparently hell-bent on raising rates even as a Category 5 deflationary hurricane heads our way, even as the yield curve continues to flatten.