Archive for August 9th, 2011
He’s certainly right on the money, but he’s wrong about Obama. Obama no more wants to fix this than any of the other elites in government. Saving the system is the only way they can keep their elite status. If the looting stops, then they don’t get to keep their wealth and power. See how this works?
At any rate, this is a powerful rant and long overdue. Now it’s time to hear Americans saying the same thing! Stop the looting and start prosecuting!
The bond market figured it out immediately, pricing it in.
That’s the 10 year Treasury on a weekly chart. It is now back to effectively where it was in the depths of the crash.
The 5-year yield is below that of the crash.
And the 2-year has basically been turned into a T-bill.
The bond market is telling you that there will be no material economic growth for the next two years and that a deflationary depression is the economic path that will be followed.
This is effectively what happened in Japan, although the worst of the economic impacts have been muted as they had tremendous internal surpluses to expend (those, incidentally, are now pretty-much “used up” – two decades later.) We do not have those internal surpluses – to the contrary.
The stock market has been doing plenty of “up and down” and it will probably rally for a bit yet, as stock traders tend to be the short bus riders. But make no mistake – the bond market’s response to the FOMC announcement is entirely rational and consistent with only one outcome – a sustained economic slowdown coupled with deflation, not inflation.
What will cause this? The debt bubble collapsing. Maybe kicked off by Congress failing to reach agreement or doing a “nothing” with the so-called “commission.” Maybe kicked off by collapsing net interest spreads for the banks and then their collapse from the weight of their bad loans and inability to earn their way out of the box they’ve painted themselves into. Or maybe Unicredit blows up and the tsunami comes from Europe. There are plenty of things ticking out there, and it only takes one big one that goes off to set the next move in motion.
The bottom line is that either the bond market is wrong or stocks are wrong. Given that Bernanke just provided you his pronouncement and expectations, I wouldn’t bet against the bond market, and if the bond market is right then the modest “mini-crash” we just saw is a warning and not a buying opportunity, just as Pompeii’s Vesuvius rumbled many times before it blew its stack.
When this is priced into the equity markets – and others – it is likely to be in the form of a nasty dislocation. This also fits with the technical picture; assuming the low today of 1103 holds for the moment and is a localized low then the most-likely retrace is up around 1220, all in the S&P 500.
The next move down, unfortunately, should comprise almost four hundred S&P points and close to four thousand DOW points, and is likely to be more violent than what we just experienced. It could be worse too – it’s possible that we see an S&P decline of more than six hundred points, basically cutting the indices in half, more-or-less “all at once.”
Enjoy the rally today (and likely for a bit yet on a forward basis) but beware – if I have to choose between the stock market and bond market as to who’s right the bond market is almost always both the leader and the correct choice.
A 634 Point Stock Market Crash And 8 More Reasons Why You Should Be Deeply Concerned That The U.S. Government Has Lost Its AAA Credit Rating
Are you ready for part two of the global financial collapse? Many now fear that we may be on the verge of a repeat of 2008 after the events of the last several days. On Friday, Standard & Poor’s stripped the U.S. government of its AAA credit rating for the first time in history. World financial markets had been anticipating a potential downgrade, but that still didn’t stop panic from ensuing as this week began. On Monday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 634.76 points, which represented a 5.5 percent plunge. It was the largest one day point decline and the largest one day percentage decline since December 1, 2008. Overall, stocks have fallen by about 15 percent over the past two weeks. When Standard & Poor’s downgraded long-term U.S. government debt from AAA to AA+, it was just one more indication that faith in the U.S. financial system is faltering. Previously, U.S. government debt had a AAA rating from S&P continuously since 1941, but now that streak is over. Nobody is quite sure what comes next. We truly are in unprecedented territory. But one thing is for sure – there is a lot of fear in the air right now.
So exactly what caused S&P to downgrade U.S. government debt?
Well, it was the debt ceiling deal that broke the camel’s back.
According to S&P, the debt ceiling deal “falls short of what, in our view, would be necessary to stabilize the government’s medium-term debt dynamics.”
As I have written about previously, the debt ceiling deal was a complete and total joke, and S&P realized this.
Forget all of the huge figures that the mainstream media has been throwing at you concerning this debt ceiling deal. The only numbers that matter are for what happens before the next election.
The only way that the current debt ceiling deal will last beyond the 2012 election is if Obama is still president, the Democrats still control the Senate and the Republicans still control the House. If any of those things change, this deal ceiling deal is dead as soon as the election is over.
Even if all of those things remain the same, there is still a very good chance that we would see dramatic changes to the deal after the next election.
So in evaluating this “deal”, the important thing is to look at what is going to happen prior to the 2012 election.
When we examine this “deal” that way, what does it look like?
Well, Barack Obama and the Democrats get the debt ceiling raised by over 2 trillion dollars and will not have to worry about it again until after the 2012 election.
The Republicans get 25 billion dollars in “savings” from spending increases that will be cancelled.
The “Super Congress” that is supposed to be coming up with the second phase of the plan may propose some additional “spending cuts” that would go into effect before the 2012 election, but that seems unlikely.
So in the final analysis, the Democrats won the debt ceiling battle by a landslide.
25 billion dollars is not even 1 percent of the federal budget. The U.S. national debt continues to spiral wildly out of control, and our politicians could not even cut the budget by one percent.
Somehow our politicians believed that the rest of the world would be convinced that they were serious about cutting the budget, but it turns out that global financial markets are tired of getting fooled.
It has gotten to the point where now even the big credit rating agencies are being forced to do something. Not that they really have much credibility left. Everyone still remembers all of those AAA-rated mortgage-backed securities that imploded during the last financial crisis. The reality is that the big credit rating agencies are a bad joke at this point.
Several smaller credit rating agencies have already significantly slashed the credit rating of the U.S. government. But a lot of pressure had been put on the “big three” to keep them in line.
But now things have gotten so ridiculous that S&P felt forced to make a move.
Sadly, our politicians are still trying to maintain the charade that everything is okay. Barack Obama says that financial markets “still believe our credit is AAA and the world’s investors agree”.
Once again, Barack Obama is dead wrong.
The truth is that the credit rating for the U.S. government should have been slashed significantly a long time ago. This move by S&P was way, way overdue.
Moody’s might be the next one to issue a downgrade. At the moment, Moody’s says that it will not be downgrading U.S. debt for now, but Moody’s also says that it has serious doubts about the enforceability of the “budget cuts” in the debt ceiling deal.
This crisis is just beginning. It is going to play out over time, and it is going to be very messy.
The following are 8 more reasons why you should be deeply concerned that the U.S. government has lost its AAA credit rating….
#1 The U.S. dollar and U.S. government debt are at the very heart of the global financial system. This credit rating downgrade just doesn’t affect the United States – it literally shakes the financial foundations of the entire world.
#2 As the stock market crashes, investors are flocking to U.S. Treasuries right now. However, once the current panic is over the U.S. could be faced with increased borrowing costs. The credit rating downgrade is a signal to investors that they should be receiving a higher rate of return for
investing in U.S. government debt. If interest rates on U.S. government debt do end up going up, that is going to make it more expensive for the U.S. government to borrow money. The higher interest on the national debt goes, the more difficult it is going to become to balance the budget.
#3 We could literally see hundreds of other credit rating downgrades now that long-term U.S. government debt has been downgraded. For example, S&P has already slashed the credit ratings of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from AAA to AA+. S&P has also already begun to downgrade the credit ratings of states and municipalities. Nobody is quite sure when we are going to see the dominoes stop falling, and this is not going to be a good thing for the U.S. economy.
#4 10-year U.S. Treasuries are the basis for a whole lot of other interest rates throughout our economy. If we see the rate for 10-year U.S. Treasuries go up significantly, it will suddenly become a lot more expensive to get a car loan or a home loan.
#5 The current financial panic caused by this downgrade is hitting financial stocks really hard. The big banks led the decline back in 2008, and it looks like it might be happening again. Just check out what CNN says happened to financial stocks on Monday….
Financial stocks were among the hardest hit, with Bank of America (BAC,
Fortune 500) plunging 20%, and Citigroup (C, Fortune 500) and Morgan Stanley
(MS, Fortune 500) dropped roughly 15%.
#6 China is freaking out. China’s official news agency says that China “has every right now to demand the United States to address its structural debt problems and ensure the safety of China’s dollar assets”. If China starts dumping U.S. government debt that would make things a lot worse.
#7 There are already calls for the Federal Reserve to step in and do something. If the U.S. economy drops into another recession, will we see more quantitative easing? It seems like we have reached a point where the Fed is constantly in “emergency mode”.
“If you add up all the promises that have been made for spending
obligations, including defense expenditures, and you subtract all the taxes that
we expect to collect, the difference is $211 trillion. That’s the fiscal
Dick Cheney once said that “deficits don’t matter”, but the truth is that all of the debt we have been piling up for decades is now catching up with us.
The United States is in such a huge amount of financial trouble that it is hard to put into words. The days of easy borrowing for the U.S government are starting to come to an end. We have been living in the greatest debt bubble in the history of the world, and it has fueled a tremendous amount of “prosperity”, but now the party is ending.
A whole lot of financial pain is on the horizon. Please prepare for the hard times that are coming.
Release Date: August 9, 2011
For immediate release
Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in June indicates that economic growth so far this year has been considerably slower than the Committee had expected. Indicators suggest a deterioration in overall labor market conditions in recent months, and the unemployment rate has moved up. Household spending has flattened out, investment in nonresidential structures is still weak, and the housing sector remains depressed. However, business investment in equipment and software continues to expand. Temporary factors, including the damping effect of higher food and energy prices on consumer purchasing power and spending as well as supply chain disruptions associated with the tragic events in Japan, appear to account for only some of the recent weakness in economic activity. Inflation picked up earlier in the year, mainly reflecting higher prices for some commodities and imported goods, as well as the supply chain disruptions. More recently, inflation has moderated as prices of energy and some commodities have declined from their earlier peaks. Longer-term inflation expectations have remained stable.
The economy is going to hell.
Consistent with its statutory mandate, the Committee seeks to foster maximum employment and price stability. The Committee now expects a somewhat slower pace of recovery over coming quarters than it did at the time of the previous meeting and anticipates that the unemployment rate will decline only gradually toward levels that the Committee judges to be consistent with its dual mandate. Moreover, downside risks to the economic outlook have increased. The Committee also anticipates that inflation will settle, over coming quarters, at levels at or below those consistent with the Committee’s dual mandate as the effects of past energy and other commodity price increases dissipate further. However, the Committee will continue to pay close attention to the evolution of inflation and inflation expectations.
In other words, we’re back in recession.
To promote the ongoing economic recovery and to help ensure that inflation, over time, is at levels consistent with its mandate, the Committee decided today to keep the target range for the federal funds rate at 0 to 1/4 percent. The Committee currently anticipates that economic conditions–including low rates of resource utilization and a subdued outlook for inflation over the medium run–are likely to warrant exceptionally low levels for the federal funds rate at least through mid-2013. The Committee also will maintain its existing policy of reinvesting principal payments from its securities holdings. The Committee will regularly review the size and composition of its securities holdings and is prepared to adjust those holdings as appropriate.
ZIRP for at least two more years. Therefore:
- If you’re a saver, you’re screwed. Buy stocks and lose half or more of your money or accept nothing (less, of course, any actual inflation.) Senior citizens should be literally in the streets on this announcement.
- The economy is going to suck. That’s The Fed’s projection. If you’re long the market, you’re in the wrong place. Oh sure, we might get more bounce for a while, but if the economic outlook really justifies zero interest rates then profits have peaked – period.
- The banks are dead. NIM is going to get destroyed. The start of ZIRP looks good for banks but the numerical spread, not the percentage spread, collapses as it goes on. Look at Japan and their JGBs! Now about that profit you think banks are going to earn….. exactly how are they going to earn it lending money with no spread?
The Committee discussed the range of policy tools available to promote a stronger economic recovery in a context of price stability. It will continue to assess the economic outlook in light of incoming information and is prepared to employ these tools as appropriate.
Voting for the FOMC monetary policy action were: Ben S. Bernanke, Chairman; William C. Dudley, Vice Chairman; Elizabeth A. Duke; Charles L. Evans; Sarah Bloom Raskin; Daniel K. Tarullo; and Janet L. Yellen.
Voting against the action were: Richard W. Fisher, Narayana Kocherlakota, and Charles I. Plosser, who would have preferred to continue to describe economic conditions as likely to warrant exceptionally low levels for the federal funds rate for an extended period.
This is REAL dissent – three, not one.
The market is trying to figure out whether to crap or go blind, but the bottom line here is that not only does The Fed expect a short term slowdown in the economy they have basically said that their expectation is that the economy is going to suck for at least the next two years.
“The 5-year Treasury has become the new 2-year; the 2 year note has become an overnight T-Bill and the 1-year note has become….hell, I dunno.”