Global Capitalism is trapped in its own Prisoner’s Dilemma; fourty four years after the end of the Bretton Woods System global central banks have manipulated the cost of risk in a competition of devaluation leading to a dangerous build up in debt and leverage, lower risk premiums, income disparity, and greater probability of tail events on both sides of the return distribution. Truth is being suppressed by the tools of money. Market behavior has now fully adapted to the expectation of pre-emptive central bank action to crisis creating a dangerous self-reflexivity and moral hazard. Volatility markets are warped in this new reality routinely exhibiting schizophrenic behavior. The tremendous growth of the short volatility complex across all assets, combined with self-reflexive investment strategies, are creating a dangerous ‘shadow convexity’ that will fuel the next hyper-crash.
Moments ago IBM reported what can be defined simply as abysmal results.
Now that it is election season, we have all sorts of politicians running around proclaiming that America is the greatest nation on the entire planet. And just this week, Warren Buffett stated that “America’s great now — it’s never been greater“. But is it actually true? Is the United States still a great nation?
No professional or successful investor every bought and held for the long-term without regard, or respect, for the risks that are undertaken. If the professionals are looking at "risk" and planning on how to protect their capital from losses when things go wrong - then why aren't you? Exactly how many warnings do you need?
This has infuriated the Fed and is forcing it to take more and more aggressive measures to trash cash.
Austerity: Also known as “sado-fiscalism”. A forlorn attempt to stave off government bankruptcy.
Keynesians: Economists “who hear voices in the air (and) are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back” (John Maynard Keynes).
The market is prone to temporary fits of shared enthusiasm – for emerging-market debt, for Internet stocks, for residential mortgage-backed securities, for Greek government debt. Traders need not wait to see when or whether the profits materialize. IBGYBG, they say – I’ll be gone, you’ll be gone. There are numerous routes to bezzle and febezzle... traders borrowed money from the future. And then the future came, as it always does, turning the bezzle into a bummer.
Our freedom and prosperity ends when we adopt the counterparty theft of central bank’s monopoly money.
That’s what yesterday’s Bullard Rip was all about - it amounted to the bell at the top. In time it will become evident that the market is unable to break-out of the bubble finance channel it has established between 2075 and 2125 over the past year. When December comes around and the Fed has to explain the growing signs of global and domestic recession, the robo-machines will have grown themselves an altogether new set of programs. Namely, an algorithm that says any day the Eccles Building is open for business is a good day to sell.
Not to be outdone by his partner Charlie Munger (who offended many with his comments that "gold is a great thing to sew onto your garments if you're a Jewish family in Vienna in 1939,"), Berkshire Hathaway's Warren Buffett - having already taken on Europe, comparing Greece to a "dog peeing on the carpet" of Europe, suggesting Germany stop "rewarding behavior you want to get rid of" - takes aim at the military. Speaking on Bloomberg TV, the octagenerian oracle of offense just unfriended every American veteran...
"August Sucks," concludes MIT Quant guru Andrew Lo, reflecting on the systematic-trading strategy effects on markets, and it's not going to get better any time soon. As he explains to Bloomberg, "algorithmic trading is speeding up the reaction times of these participants, so that’s the choppiness of the market. Everybody can move to the left side of the boat and the right side of the boat now within minutes as opposed to hours or days." As we have noted many time, Lo explains how "crowded trades have got to the point of alpha becoming beta," warning that volatility-targeting strategies (such as Risk-Parity) are not only "exaggerating the moves," but he cautions omniously reminiscent of the August 2007 quant crash, "I think they are creating volatility of volatility."
Billionaires like Warren Buffett make fun of Gold, while ignoring the fact it has outperformed stocks ever since it was de-pegged from major currencies in 1967. This is part of a larger War on Cash implemented by the Central Banks.
We can look at official statistics to get a sense of inflation, but these numbers are totally meaningless. When I was a kid, my father earned enough money to support his family with a single salary. We had a house, a car, an occasional vacation, and we never missed a meal. All on one income. But those days are long gone. Now it’s almost obligatory to live in a dual-income household just to make ends meet. The official statistics never paint this picture.
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.