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qe (12)

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Remembering The Impetus Of Irrational Exuberance

In December of 1996, Greenspan was clearly beginning to worry about the economic fallout of a bursting asset bubble. Back then he had a front row seat and, in fact, a strong hand in creating the dotcom bubble, whether he admits it or not. He was so worried about the consequences of “irrational exuberance” that he declared these concerns “must be an integral part of the development of monetary policy.” And this was before he had even witnessed any of the actual economic consequences we have now lived with for two decades. Clearly, his worries were well founded but he wasn’t quite worried enough.

The financial well-being of entire generations has been permanently damaged. Think of the Baby Boomers whose retirement dreams turned to nightmares through two stock market crashes in less than a decade.…

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The chart above tracks the broad stock market against the spread of lowest-rated investment-grade corporate bond yields. They normally track each other very closely as they both reflect broad investor risk appetites.

When investors are hungry for risk stock prices move higher and corporate spreads get narrower. When risk aversion takes over, however, stock prices fall and spreads widen.

Another reason they closely track each other is corporations’ ability to access credit is very closely tied to the overall demand for equities. When it’s very cheap for companies to borrow, it’s very easy for them to fund stock buybacks and acquisitions of other companies.

Certainly, these two factors have been very important to the bull market of the past six years or so. Ray Dalio recently said he estimates that…

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Negative Growth. Thank You Deflation And QE

Investors may wade into unknown territory next month as the Federal Reserve readies the first rate hike in nearly a decade amid a corporate earnings recession.

S&P 500 earnings are on track to close their first reporting season of negative growth since the Great Recession and estimates call for sub-zero growth in the current quarter as well.

Even if the trend reverses next year, as expected, a Fed rate hike in December could mark an unprecedented conflict between a tightening cycle starting at the same time as earnings fall into recession.

"We can't think of any instances when the Fed was hiking during an (earnings) recession," said Joseph Zidle, portfolio strategist at Richard Bernstein Advisors in New…

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Remain Long China. The QE Continues

I see no reason why not to stick with Shanghai at this point.  They're behind us at in terms of supporting their economy and it's not an easy ride (as Ben Bernanke will attest). 

According to BusinessInsider, a bunch of data about the state of China's economy came out Tuesday night, and altogether it told us one thing — nothing the government has been doing to save its economy from falling deeper into a slowdown is working.

Since November, China has cut benchmark interest rates three times, including once Saturday. It has also loosened mortgage policies to prop up the housing market.

But none of it's enough. Especially when you look at the data from Tuesday night.

Lets walk through the scariest…

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Now Do You Believe? Sell In May Began Early

The majority of sector ETFs closed their week below their 50d with energy having filled the gap.....and found sellers waiting there.

SPX itself found sellers at $2100 (clearly we weren't the only ones selling) which is 17x earnings.  More and more are accepting reality that earnings have dropped the most in six years and the Fed (with no QE) will most likely begin to slowly raise interest rates in September.  Don't believe me, just ask Barclays.

  • US dollar found buyers at the 10week sma, prior support.  Yes, they're taking profits.  Will it continue?  It's nonetheless weighing on U.S. earnings.…

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The Bulls Push Back

Just when the (last few remaining) bears were enjoying some market wide liquidation, China apparently launched some stealth QE of their own reversing AUD/JPY and sending markets plowing over weak bears.  From Bloomberg:

  • CHINA’S PBOC STARTS 500B YUAN SLF TODAY, SINA.COM SAYS
  • PBOC PROVIDES 500B YUAN LIQUIDITY TO CHINA’S TOP 5 BANKS: SINA
  • PBOC PROVIDES 100B YUAN TO EACH BANK TODAY, TOMORROW WITH DURATION OF 3 MONTHS: SINA

According to Government Sachs

"This amount is roughly the same as a 50 bps cut to RRR for the whole banking system on a static basis.  Still, such an easing would be consistent with our expectation that…

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With market participants so concerned over the effects of if/when Bernanke takes his foot off of the QE gas pedal, here comes DB and BusinessInsider to remind us of historical market moves when rates were raised.  Based on monthly historical charts, you will notice a few 10-20% corrections however nothing earth shattering.  The markets found a floor based on true economic demand and continued their uptrend. 

As it stands, JPM believes the Fed will not being to taper until their December meeting unless labor improvements continue as they have the last six months; at which point then they look to the September meeting as the most obvious time…

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As it stands, JPM believes the Fed will not being to taper until their December meeting UNLESS labor improvements continue as they have the last six months; at which point then they look to the September meeting as the most obvious time (after Jackson Hole).

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The Cost of Robbing Peter To Pay Paul

The government now has a greater command over the nation’s resources. But it is equally obvious that no one can raise revenue without someone else bearing the cost. To deny it would imply revenues could be raised for free, which would imply that wealth could be created by printing more money........ So now we know we have a slightly better understanding of who pays: whoever is furthest away from the newly created money. And we have a better understanding of how they pay: through a reduction in their own spending power.

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When Will The Fed Raise Rates?

The following from CalculatedRisk with my notes added as an afterthought:

Short answer: it is very unlikely that the Fed will increase the Fed funds rate this year. There are a series of steps the Fed will most likely take before raising rates1: • First the Fed needs to complete the $600 billion “QE2” large-scale asset purchase program. This is currently scheduled to be completed at the end of June, however, to “promote a smooth transition in markets”, it is possible the Fed will decide to "gradually slow the pace" of the purchases like they did with QE1 (quoted text from QE1 related FOMC statements). If the program is extended and purchases tapered off (but the size remains at $600 billion), this will probably be announced at the conclusion of the two day FOMC meeting in late April and the program will probably then be completed in August. • Next the Fed will end the…

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