Overview of the technical conditions of the major markets.
In the first seven months of 2014, Goldman notes that equity, fixed income, and FX markets were most intently focused on the labor market with a number of the largest moves occurring due to employment reports and jobless claims. The equity market responded to a mix of economic, monetary policy, and geopolitical news. The fixed income market focused on employment reports, although other factors also resulted in large one-day moves. The dollar, although less volatile than usual, did move on both US economic developments and news out of Europe.
Dispassionate, non-conspiratorial rant , fact-based high level discussion of the sigificant drivers of the week ahead.
Before you jump on the Bull market bandwagon of "don't fight the Fed," perhaps you should take a look at the quality of the debt the Fed has enabled and the diminishing returns on all that debt.
Which appears more likely - a straight-line extension of the past two years' rise in stocks, or another "impossible" decline to complete the megaphone pattern?
An overview of the major events next week within the context of the capital markets, which could be at inflection points.
A look at the price action in the major currencies, US Treasuries and the S&P 500.
Beige Book summary:
- "Optimistic" or "Optimism": 24
- "Pessimism": 1
Dispassionate overview of the price action in the foreign exchange market in the context of the funamental developments.
Opinions about the U.S. economy boil down to two views: 1) the recovery is now self-sustaining, meaning that the Federal Reserve can taper and end its unprecedented interventions without hurting growth, or 2) the current uptick in auto sales, new jobs, housing sales, etc. is as good as it gets, and the weak recovery unravels from here. The reality is that nothing has been done to address the structural rot at the heart of the U.S. economy. You keep shoving in the same inputs, and you guarantee the same output: another crash of credit bubbles and all the malinvestments enabled by monetary heroin.
- Obama Decries Big Bonuses at Bank Trading Desks as Risky (BBG)
- India central bank seeks to swap gold to improve reserves quality (Reuters)
- There goes Q3 GDP: Arthur Strengthens to Become First Atlantic Hurricane (BBG)
- Airports Serving U.S. Tighten Checks on Stealth-Bomb Threat (BBG)
- Fear, cash shortages hinder fight against Ebola outbreak (Reuters)
- Brent Declines as Libya Rebels Say Ports Are Open (BBG)
- Shiites Train for Battle in Iraqi Holy City (WSJ)
- Dimon’s Cancer Has 90% Cure Rate With Demanding Therapy (BBG)
- Goldman says client data leaked, wants Google to delete email (Reuters)
- ECB Watchers in the Dark Look to Draghi for Illumination (BBG)
US auto makers just printed an annualized 16.98 million sales - dramatically beating expectations for the 2nd month in a row and the highest since July 2006. As we warned earlier, the reason is clear (massive extension of credit to the lowest credit quality sector of the market). With the government also taking major fleet sales and sponsoring the subprime purchasers, what more do you expect? We can only imagine the mal-investment boom that this unsustainable burst will create in the next few months - and right as the Fed's taper comes to an end.
A thumbnail sketch of the main events of during the week ahead.
One hundred years ago today the world was shook loose of its moorings. Every school boy knows that the assassination of the archduke of Austria at Sarajevo was the trigger that incited the bloody, destructive conflagration of the world’s nations known as the Great War. But this senseless eruption of unprecedented industrial state violence did not end with the armistice four years later. In fact, 1914 is the fulcrum of modern history. It is the year the Fed opened-up for business just as the carnage in northern France closed-down the prior magnificent half-century era of liberal internationalism and honest gold-backed money. So it was the Great War’s terrible aftermath - a century of drift toward statism, militarism and fiat money - that was actually triggered by the events at Sarajevo.
As individuals, it is entirely acceptable to be "optimistic" about the future. However, "optimism" and "pessimism" are emotional biases that tend to obfuscate the critical thinking required to effectively assess the "risks". The current "hope" that Q1 was simply a "weather related" anomaly is also an emotionally driven skew. The underlying data suggests that while "weather" did play a role in the sluggishness of the economy, it was also just a reflection of the continued "boom bust" cycle that has existed since the end of the financial crisis. The current downturn in real final sales suggests that the underlying strength in the economy remains extremely fragile. More importantly, with final sales below levels normally associated with the onset of recessions, it suggests that the current rebound in activity from the sharp decline in Q1 could be transient.