"In light of weaker-than-expected payrolls and recent Fed communication, we no longer expect a rate increase at the June FOMC meeting. We now forecast the next rate hike will come in September."
Less than one week after the BOJ floated a trial balloon using Bloomberg, that it would reduce the rate it charged some banks which set off the biggest USDJPY rally since October 2014, we are back where we started following last night's "completely unexpected" (for everyone else: we wrote "What If The BOJ Disappoints Tonight: How To Trade It" hours before said "shock") shocking announcement out of the BOJ which did absolutely... nothing. "It’s a total shock,” Nader Naeimi, Sydney- based head of dynamic markets at AMP Capital Investors told Bloomberg. "From currencies to equities to everything -- you can see the reaction in the markets. I can’t believe this. It’s very disappointing."
It is always hard to buck the crowd, to be a bear when the market is up this much, this fast. Stocks are rallying and being underweight gets harder to maintain every day. The bulls are out there yapping about how this was just another correction, another dip to buy and that we better get back in, yada, yada, yada. What makes being bearish so hard is the noise of the perpetually bullish street, the lure of easy money in a market you know is overvalued but keeps going higher. Like JM Keynes "I change my mind when the facts change." Despite the rally, the facts – at least for now – still favor the bears.
It’s sad that “we the people” continue to allow deranged captured academics, under the complete command of the banking cabal, to control the destiny of our country. They have failed for 103 years, but we continue to bow down to these central bankers as if they knew what they were doing. They do know how to debase the currency, obfuscate true inflation, prop up financial markets through monetary manipulation, and generate prodigious amounts of propaganda and misinformation to coverup their true purposes. The people will sit idly by until these deranged rats destroy the world.
Today, Reuters finally peels away the first layer of just how bad China's mass layoff wave will be when it reports that China aims to lay off 5-6 million state workers over the next two to three years as part of efforts to curb industrial overcapacity and pollution. As Reuters adds, "China's leadership, obsessed with maintaining stability and making sure redundancies do not lead to unrest, will spend nearly 150 billion yuan ($23 billion) to cover layoffs in just the coal and steel sectors in the next 2-3 years."
Gold is 3.6% higher this week and is now over 9% higher year to date. The dollar saw sharp falls this week on growing doubts that the Federal Reserve will be able to raise interest rates. The gains this week were due to increasing concerns about the U.S. and global economy.
Following years of QE-inspired excess returns, investors in 2016 suddenly find themselves embroiled in a broad and brutal bear market. The 10-year rolling return loss from commodities (-5.1%) is currently the worst since 1938, and equal-weighted US stock index down 25% from recent highs. However, in BofAML's view, the pertinent question for investors is whether the current bear market represents a healthy "reset" of both profit expectations and equity and credit valuations, or more ominously, the onset of a broader economic malaise that will require a major policy intervention in coming months to reverse.
If the Wall Street Journal meant to reach for reassuring comfort, they fell far short. After spending late summer last year and into the fall proclaiming that manufacturing didn’t matter (12%), the newest round of talking points are “false positives.” In other words, manufacturing and industry does matter, after all, but just “not enough” to tip into full recession. Last year was supposed to be “the” year because of faith in only the BLS’ numbers. It was advertised as full deliverance of the promises of QE and ZIRP, but instead 2015 delivered only recessionary impressions.
Investors are too complacent (the Minsky-Moment). Too many are still trying to profit from the Fed subsidy of past stimulus. Investors remain loaded in risk assets, incentivized by the need to beat peers and benchmarks and comforted into complacency by the Fed ‘put’. The true level of risk is being ignored. The pervasive mentality of seeking maximum risk has become a terrible risk/reward trade for two main reasons...
In addition to the Fed's credibility, one other privately-controlled organization that has seen its credibility completely crushed in recent months is the Goldman economic forecasting team (if not the team that "forecasts" Fed monetary policy, simply because Goldman controls the Fed and tells it what to do; as such what Goldman "thinks" the Fed will do is usually ironclad) whose Jan Hatzius "for what it's worth" forecast above trend growth for the US economy in 2014. So, "for what it's worth", here is Goldman jobs report post-mortem (in a parallel report Goldman just cut its Q3 GDP forecast from 2.0% to 1.9%), in which the bank admits that the report was a disaster, and that as a result "we now see action at the December meeting as a close call."
From a financial market psychology standpoint it is however very important that central bankers don’t appear clueless. A majority of market participants needs to be able to suspend disbelief to an sufficient extent, i.e., they must be able to share in the collective hallucination that central bankers actually do know what they are doing. When it is no longer possible to maintain this facade, many things are likely to be suddenly questioned – and among these is the question whether it makes sense to remain exposed to yet another gargantuan asset bubble.
While we have exposed the ugly under-belly of today's jobs data, mainstream media is spinning it as a 'Goldilocks' report with enough hits-and-misses for every hawk or dove. The market's initial reaction signals rising expectations of a September rate hike but, as Goldman's Jan Hatzius explains, they continue to expect the FOMC to keep policy rates unchanged at the September 16-17 meeting.
And it's far from over.
It is absolutely normal for employers to completely miss the signs of impending doom. The 2007 extreme occurred just before the carnage of mass layoffs that was to begin a couple of months later. Employers were still clueless that the end of the housing bubble would have devastating effects. If they were clueless then, they are in an advanced state of delirium and delusion now. The devastating 1973-74 bear market, which cut the value of stocks by 50%, was in its early stages. This was an early example of employers being late to the funeral. Similar employer hoarding of workers has been associated with bubbles in the more recent past and has led to massive retrenchment, usually within 18 months or so.
Peering into the froth of a cappuccino, we noticed various sized bubbles. There is a fine line between froth and bubbles. As we continued our gaze, both eventually disappeared. Stirring made the frothy bubbles disappear more quickly. Markets are beginning to stir (more later). Unsustainable states ultimately end.