When "whatever it takes" is not enough... Despite Draghi's promises and EU leaders' exuberance, European Investor Confidence tumbled to its lowest since January as the Q€ bounce has now well and truly died. While volatility has picked up over the last month and reassuring tones have been uttered by every central banker in the world, it is the real economy that appears to be weighing on confidence as Eurozone Composite PMI prints at 53.6 - its lowest since February.
Former US army colonel and Chief of Staff for Colin Powell, Lawrence Wilkerson unleashed a most prescient speech on the demise of the United States Empire. Wilkerson describes the path of empires in decline, shows how the US is following the classic trajectory, and needs to make a transition to being one of many powers and focus more on strategies of international cooperation... "History tells us we’re probably finished... The rest of of the world is awakening to the fact that the United States is 1) strategically inept and 2) not the power it used to be. And that the trend is to increase that."
"The impotence of monetary policy in boosting growth and staving off deflationary pressures has become painfully apparent, especially when it is acting in isolation and when a large number of countries are resorting to the same limited playbook."
Bernanke: Yeah, yeah I think so. It would have been my preference to have more investigation of individual actions as obviously everything that went wrong, or was illegal, was done by some individial not by an abstract firm.
"The Russian intervention is a massive setback for those states backing the opposition, particularly within the region – Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey – and is likely to elicit a strong response in terms of a counter-escalation."
Never have markets carried so much risk. And never have markets been as vulnerable to an abrupt change in perceptions with regard to central banker competence, effectiveness and capabilities. At the minimum, global markets will function poorly, but risk is now high for a disorderly – Party Crashing - "run" on financial markets, as faith in central banking begins to wane.
"A bunker-busting BETAB-500 air bomb dropped from a Sukhoi Su-34 bomber near Raqqa has eliminated the command post of one of the terror groups, together with an underground storage facility for explosives and munitions. Panic and desertion have begun. 600 fighters have left positions."
Chinese President Xi Jinping recently confirmed the practice of moving the People’s Bank of China’s reserve assets to other entities in China: “some assets in foreign exchanges were transferred from the central bank to domestic banks, enterprises and individuals” This might explain where some of China’s gold hoard, that many suspect they posses but have not reported as reserves, may be located.
“I think some of this stuff in the presidential race is orchestrated by the major media - and it’s entertainment. ... Donald Trump is an authoritarian and he brags about it...An authoritarian is the opposite of a libertarian."
The markets are beginning to show just how tall and flimsy this house of cards built on QE quicksand has grown. Entrepreneurs and ideas thrive in that type of environment. Exactly what we so desperately need. Yet, instead, all we have is this crony styled, unicorn imagined monstrosity of all that’s unholy to true business principles. "Markets right themselves with pain... That’s Capitalism. Back room manipulation to avoid that pain only increases the severity of it down the road."
As the German refugee crisis has now dragged down not only Merkel, whose popularity rating just tumbled to a four year low "reflecting growing concern over the influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees into Germany, a poll showed on Thursday", but has exposed "free speech" advocate Facebook as merely another government propaganda pawn, Germany has been scrambling to find some silver lining on this scandal. It did just that on Friday, when the bank with the greatest amount of notional derivatives in Europe and the world, Deutsche Bank, raised its German 2016 GDP forecast "because the heavy influx of migrants would increase consumption as much as half a percentage point."
Japan has a nigh endless supply of insane Keynesians doing the same thing over and over and over again. But support is now growing around the world for the next round ofspending to be funded by “People’s QE.” The idea behind “People’s QE” is that central banks would directly fund government spending... and even inject money directly into household bank accounts, if need be. And the idea is catching on. That’s the monster coming to towns and villages near you! Call it “overt monetary financing.” Call it “money from helicopters.” Call in “insane.”But it won’t be unpopular.Who will protest when the feds begin handing our money to “mid- and low-income households”?
The poker game continues as markets finished the week right back in range. Bulls got a magic save on Friday following bad news as both NFP and factory orders came in far below expectations, but the risks to charts are mounting and frankly markets are hanging by a thread and need a major technical rescue soon.
The results from Portugal's elections are beginning to trickle in and according to exit polls, Coelho's coalition has prevailed. According to Bloomberg, the ruling coalition of Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho has won 38%-43% of vote and 108-116 seats.
From time to time, the data (from economic activity, inflationary pressure, risk appetite and asset valuations) points unambiguously in a single direction and experience tells us that such confluences are worth watching. We are today at such a point, and the worry is that each indicator is flashing red.
Late last week, after looking at Valeant soaring default risk as measured by the price of its blowing out CDS, soaring to over 30% even as its stock prices was surging, we wondered - does someone know something? It appears someone may have known that this weekend, the same Andrew Pollack whose NYT article exposing Turing's 5000% price increase resulted in Hillary Clinton promising to cap specialty biotech prices if elected, has come back for round two and after taking aim at Shkreli and Turing, much to the chagrin of Bill Ackman, Pollack is now taking aim at the biggest culprit: Valeant Pharmaceutcals.