Behavioral economics suggests that a little QE can change human behavior at the margins, but no amount of QE is enough to change human nature at its core. The High Priests of the IMF, the Fed, and the ECB are blind to this because all of modern economic theory – ALL of it – is based on a single bedrock assumption: humans are economic maximizers. Yes, we are maximizers of reward. But we are also minimizers of regret. We seem destined to learn the hard way... once again... that you can’t change human nature by government fiat. But individual investors and allocators can listen and learn from these old good ideas, and that’s how you survive the Golden Age of the Central Banker.
The last thing Janet Yellen needs to be doing right now is cheer-leading more risk taking on behalf of financial market participants!
Just in case there wasn't enough on the calendar, between Yellen, Greece, consumer confidence, housing data, Richmond Fed, and of course stocks at another all time high, the latest news out of California is that a Matrolink commuter train struck at least two trucks between Oxnard and Camarilo, in a repeat of a similar tragic accident that took place in New York two weeks ago.
This will increase the official gold import numbers...
Euro Soars After Greek Official Says Eurogroup Reaches Accord, Denied 8 Minutes Later, Then ReconfirmedSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 02/20/2015 13:38 -0400
Update: according to Capital.gr, the agreement will cove a 4 not 6-month extension, is not considered a completion of current program, there will be no new austerity measures, and no new unilateral actions by Greece.
Just minutes after convening - following a few hours of backroom shuttle diplomacy, Bloomberg reports:
1235ET GREEK OFFICIAL SAYS IT APPEARS EUROGROUP HAS REACHED AN ACCORD; 1243ET GREEK GOVT SPOKESMAN SAYS NOT INFORMED OF ANY EUROGROUP DEAL
US equity and EURUSD markets kneejerked higher but refuse to fade the denial.
** Greek Bank Runs Accelerate as Possible ‘Grexit’ Looms
** Fatigue with Greek Crisis Breeding Massive Complacency
** Ukraine a Significant Setback for NATO
** India Demand To Rise To 35 - 40 Tonnes This Month
** Gold Oversold - Fundamental and Technical Position Good
It may be hard to believe, but either one of the two status quo choices for U.S. President currently being force-fed down the American public’s throat will be almost unquestionably more imperial and warlike than Barack Obama. The reason is simple. Any society that apathetically stands by as one President after the other tramples on the Constitution will be subject to a litany of increasingly tyrannical, and even insane, leaders. If you still had any doubt, today we learn that Jeb Bush is actively surrounding himself with the exact same people who under the George W. Bush administration, masterminded the terrible tragedy known as the Iraq war.
Three hours ago, when the NY Fed trading desk was patting itself on the back for another day without hitches or major glitches in the "market" (except for that HFT-snafu in the USDCAD of course), one person was live-tweeting his arrest. The person is Antonio Ledezma, who is not only the mayor of Caracas but the leader of Venezuela's, and around 5:20 pm local time, he was taken to the intelligence service’s headquarters in Caracas after the local police broke into his office and arrested him. The moment of the arrest was captured on video.
While one of the robbers distracted the 69-year old with paper work the other stole his gold - 13 bars, each weighing 1 kilogram or 32.15 ounces each with a total value of US$500,000.
Earlier today, we got a glimpse of precisely how HFTs are now making a mockery of FX "price discovery" when completely independent of any newsflow, Canadian Dollar futures cratered on what is merely the latest of many flash crashes now coming to an FX market near you.
When even The Fed is unable to keep its story straight on the impact of low oil prices, the entire facade of 'household spending' enhancement must collapse (as the data shows). After six months of lower prices, retail spending is still tumbling... and it appears The Fed is finally fessing up... "persistently low energy prices... could damp the overall expansion of economic activity for a period, especially if the slowing took place after most of the positive effects of lower energy prices on growth in household spending had occurred." Wait what!?
It's not been a good week for oil safety in America. Following the derailment earlier in the week, CBS now reports an explosion at Exxon Mobil's Torrance, California refinery (processes an average of 155,000 barrels of crude oil per day) occured at 850amPT...
*EXXON SAYS EMERGENCY PROCEDURES ACTIVATED AT TORRANCE REFINERY
*EXXON TORRANCE SAID TO HAVE EXPLOSION IN FCC
While dismissed as 'normal flaring' to begin with, Exxon has confirmed it is not and "shelter in place" has been ordered as ash is falling up to 3 miles away.
None of us are perfect. All of us bend the rules occasionally. Indeed, there was a time when most Americans thought nothing of driving a few miles over the speed limit, pausing (rather than coming to a full stop) at a red light when making a right-hand turn if no one was around, or jaywalking across the street. My, how times have changed. Today, there’s little room for indiscretions, imperfections, or acts of independence. In such an environment, you’re either a paragon of virtue, or you’re a criminal. If you haven’t figured it out yet, we’re all criminals. This is the creepy, calculating yet diabolical genius of the American police state: the very technology we hailed as revolutionary and liberating has become our prison, jailer, probation officer, Big Brother and Father Knows Best all rolled into one.