Having noted yesterday that "asset prices pretend to be consumed with issues politic, but in fact trivialize everything," which means "we’ve lost an important regulator on the behavior of those with the ability to seriously mess with our lives," former fund manager Richard Breslow escalates his call for action today, raging that "indecision... can't be tolerated any more." His frustration is pointed at policy-makers and huis sympathies with traders trying to cope with the farce that we call 'markets' today. Simply put - shit, or get off the pot.
Whether you conclude that indecision has become a global pastime, or it’s merely obstructionism and hypocrisy masquerading as such, it can’t be tolerated any more.
The price is simply too high.
Yes, it’s a complicated world and, obviously, the gods are angry with us. But it’s time to fish. We can no longer afford being told to wait while they cut some more bait. Frankly, at this late date, citing global headwinds or the need to further study models that have been taken as gospel for decades is a symptom of this disease not a road to a prudent cure.
There comes a time when motion has to be embraced as progress and our “leaders” need to actually be willing to face the consequences of their decisions. One of the most enduring lies runs, “I take full responsibility.” Obviously this problem goes well beyond the narrow world of asset markets. Which, most of the time, is what I’m obliged to write about. It also needs to go further than the lower forty-eight. If we are incapable of showing leadership then a different generation needs to pick-up the baton. And we’ll have to pay the price for our depraved indifference.
It doesn’t have to begin with the hardest problems. How about racking up some tally of wins? Take the debt ceiling. Are we really going to have to listen to this bombastic nonsense of a debate for another month? Pass the increase now. Find something else to hold the country hostage to. This goes way beyond a sloppy bill auction. Frankly, failure to get this done should be seen as the equivalent of Congress begging for someone to fill out the commitment papers to Bellevue.
Want to get the Fed’s balance sheet under control? Stop talking about why we shouldn’t be scared and get going. “Don’t rush us” has become nonsensical as well as nonproductive. And recent Fed speakers have sounded more like they are auditioning for their next gig than engaging in rigorous debate.
The U.S. can repair itself after a hurricane. And, yes, there are potential solutions to the Korean debacle. But why must we perennially enter every battle already bruised and cut-up?
And now back to our regularly scheduled programming. Later today, the Bank of Canada meets with the jury still out. I keep hearing, it’s too soon, there’s no updated forecasts to hide behind. How will markets be able to handle a hike without a press conference where truth can be dispensed? The fact is, the numbers have been handily beating the last set of prognostications. Rates are low. The world won’t come to an end, if the foreign exchange market overreacts and we test 1.20 to the U.S. dollar. In many ways this has been a bold Canadian government. Why double-clutch now? Throwing some hawkish bone to the market and thinking that’s communicating is a waste of space. Does anyone credibly believe that Washington will be any different if the BOC waits a month? Well, we live in hope.
As for the ECB on Thursday, I’d plead for leaving the nuance and option keeping open at home. Give us a timetable or you’ve given us nothing. If things are so much better, sing its praises. If they’re just waiting for the next existential crisis, failure to admit it until after the German election serves no constructive purpose. And if the entire euro zone can’t survive an exchange rate of 1.25 to the dollar, then the current narrative needs to be rewritten. Which is all right, that’s done on a regular basis.
Finaly, Breslow turns back towards market participants,
I have a lot of sympathy for traders left with no idea what to do.
Just getting repeatedly stopped out of short-duration plays is not a valid investment thesis.
But they're not alone.