A Good Story with Minor Imperfections

If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there,” is a quote that’s oft misattributed to Lewis Carrol. The fact that there is ambiguity about who is behind this quote on ambiguity seems fitting. For our purposes today, the spirit of the quote is what we are after. We think it may help elucidate the strange and confusing world of fake money in which we all travel.

 

Consumer price index, y/y rate of change – the Fed is not satisfied with the speed at which monetary debasement raises everybody’s cost of living lately. And no, they don’t think said speed should be lowered. [PT]

 

For example, the monetary policy outlook immediately following last month’s FOMC meeting was as clear as a flawless (FL grade) diamond. The principal message, if you recall, was that inflation was muted and the Fed, after suffering an overt beating from President Trump, would soon be shaving basis points off the federal funds rate. You could darn near take it to the bank.

Wall Street took the news and acted upon it with conviction.  Investors piled into stocks and bonds without pausing to take a closer look for imperfections.  Why worry when fortune favors the bold?

From June 19 through Wednesday July 3, everything held up according to plan.  The S&P 500 rallied 2.5 percent to close at a new all-time high of 2,995. The yield on the 10-Year Treasury note, over this period, dropped 13 basis points, as mindless buyers positioned to front run the Fed.

But then, in the form of Friday’s job’s report, several feathers of imperfection were identified.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. economy added 224,000 jobs in June. This far exceeded the consensus estimates of 160,000 new jobs.  As this week began, doubt and hesitation crept into the market.  What to make of it?

 

Powell Stays on Point

To begin, in today’s fake money world, clear thinking and honest appraisal are handicaps for investors.  What is really important is the inverse relationship between the economy and the stock market.  Good economic reports are bad for stocks.  Conversely, bad economic reports are good for stocks.

 

S&P 500 Index performance vs. US macroeconomic data surprises – this is the biggest disconnect ever observed. [PT]

 

According to the prevailing logic, with unemployment below 4 percent, real GDP growth at an annual rate of 3.1 percent, and stocks at all-time highs, the Fed shouldn’t be cutting rates.  Instead, it should be raising rates.  But if the Fed raises rates, there will be less cheap credit to speculate on stocks with.  Therefore, stocks will go down.

So how can the Fed possibly cut rates later this month when the economy’s headline numbers appear so doggone good?  This question, and many others, greeted Fed Chairman Jay Powell this week during his two-day semiannual testimony on monetary policy to the House Financial Services Committee and the Senate Banking Committee.

Powell – that is, the post pivot dovish Powell – stayed on point. Specifically, he did what he needed to do to propel stocks to what Irving Fisher once called a “permanently high plateau.”  He told Chairman Crapo and other committee members that the economy is soft, but not too soft.  And that the Fed will use its policy tools to, somehow, boost the economy.

Of course, Wall Street was tickled pink.  First, the S&P 500 hit a new all-time high over 3,000.  Then, the Dow Jones Industrial Average eclipsed 27,000 for the first time ever. These milestones were toppled in such rapid succession that Art Cashin hardly had a chance to change hats.

 

Cashin did find time to don an SPX 3,000 hat – coincident with Powell’s first day of testimony. Powell reassured everyone that the rate cut was still on, regardless of the stronger than expected payrolls report. [PT]

 

The Four Dimensions of the Fake Money Order

The stock market is no longer about pricing anticipated future earnings or business profits.  It is merely about front running the Fed’s applications of cheap credit. That is why weak economic reports, which provide cover for more monetary stimulus, are bullish.

Fake money has taken us to this strange and confusing place.  By fake money, we mean legal tender that is conjured at will by central planners. Fake money includes the dollar, euro, yen, yuan, pound, peso, loonie, toonie, and practically all other world currencies.

Remember, if you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.  Alas, the fake money order has taken us to the four dimensions of debasement, distortion, disfiguration, and destruction. How each dimension progresses to the next is somewhat ambiguous.  Though it generally advances as follows…

The dollar is debased through centrally planned and coordinated applications of monetary and fiscal stimulus. These stimulus applications distort financial markets to where the S&P 500 is at 3,000, the DJIA is at 27,000, there is $13 trillion in subzero yielding debt, and shacks sell for a million bucks.

 

Going “parabolic” – in a stunning display of collective insanity, the amount of outstanding government debt with negative yields to maturity hits a new record high of $13 trillion in what appears to be an unseemly hurry. Buying debt securities with a negative yield is a trade that relies  100% on the greater fool theory to be profitable. So far there is evidently no shortage of greater fools, so the theory works – for now. Our wild guess is that this absurdity is not destined for a happy end. [PT]

 

They disfigure the economy through mass applications of concrete to the landscape, unwarranted building booms, glass skyscrapers with polished concrete floors and urban industrial pendant lighting, demolition of cars that aren’t really clunkers, and other disfigurements undertaken to support a cheap credit induced false demand.

Lastly, is the fourth dimension of destruction. This is when the books are reckoned via hyperinflation, debt deflation, wide-ranging bankruptcy, or any combination thereof.

The fourth dimension is also when government’s become extremely intolerable as they try anything and everything to hold onto their power. This week, no doubt, advanced us further toward this unpleasant end.

 

Charts by: St. Louis Fed, Nordea, Bloomberg

 

Chart and image captions by PT

 

MN Gordon is President and Founder of Direct Expressions LLC, an independent publishing company. He is the Editorial Director and Publisher of the Economic Prism – an E-Newsletter that tries to bring clarity to the muddy waters of economic policy and discusses interesting investment opportunities.

 

 

 

Emigrate While You Can... Learn More

 


 

 
 

Dear Readers!

You may have noticed that our so-called “semiannual” funding drive, which started sometime in the summer if memory serves, has seamlessly segued into the winter. In fact, the year is almost over! We assure you this is not merely evidence of our chutzpa; rather, it is indicative of the fact that ad income still needs to be supplemented in order to support upkeep of the site. Naturally, the traditional benefits that can be spontaneously triggered by donations to this site remain operative regardless of the season - ranging from a boost to general well-being/happiness (inter alia featuring improved sleep & appetite), children including you in their songs, up to the likely allotment of privileges in the afterlife, etc., etc., but the Christmas season is probably an especially propitious time to cross our palms with silver. A special thank you to all readers who have already chipped in, your generosity is greatly appreciated. Regardless of that, we are honored by everybody's readership and hope we have managed to add a little value to your life.

   

Bitcoin address: 12vB2LeWQNjWh59tyfWw23ySqJ9kTfJifA

   
 

One Response to “The Four Dimensions of the Fake Money Order”

  • utopiacowboy:

    I hear the Venezuelan stock market is up huge which is where we are eventually headed. It’s going to take a while so enjoy the ride!

Your comment:

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Most read in the last 20 days:

  • Gold, the Safe Haven - Precious Metals Supply and Demand
      Investments vs. Money Last week the price of gold went up another $11, but the price of silver dropped 4 cents. The gold-silver ratio hit another new high, up another point, though down from Tuesday’s high water mark. This obviously was not the week that wage-earners increased their money holdings or that institutions expressed a preference for the bargain of silver.   Prosperity is just around the corner... and so is the trade deal. [PT]   This coming week...
  • Independence Day in America Circa 2019
      Freedom and Apple Pie The days are long and hot in the Northern Hemisphere when real American patriots raise the stars and stripes. Today the free and brave, with duty and self-sacrifice, begrudgingly accept federal holiday pay to stand tall upon their own two feet. Rugged individualism and uncompromising independence are essential to their character.   Independence day festivities...   With purpose and intent, they assemble as merry mobs along the shoreline to...
  • The Calm Before the Storm
      Intra-Market Divergences Galore  US big cap stocks have rallied to new highs in recent months, but just as in the rally from the low of the February 2018 mini-panic to the September/October 2018 peak, sizable divergences between different indexes have emerged in the process. New highs in the big cap indexes (DJIA, SPX, NDX) are once again not confirmed by small caps (RUT), the broad market (NYA) and a number of sub-sectors (such as the DJTA which is included in the chart below;...
  • The Strange Behavior of the US Dollar in the Wake of Fed Rate Cuts
      A Change in Interest Rate Expectations In the last issue of Seasonal Insights I discussed the typical pattern of stock prices when the Federal Reserve cuts interest rates.  As one would expect, the stock market tends to stabilize after cuts in the federal funds rate. The issue is topical, as many investors and analysts expect rate cuts to be implemented soon given that signs of an economic slowdown are beginning to proliferate.   Market expectations about the direction of...
  • The Four Dimensions of the Fake Money Order
      A Good Story with Minor Imperfections “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there,” is a quote that’s oft misattributed to Lewis Carrol. The fact that there is ambiguity about who is behind this quote on ambiguity seems fitting. For our purposes today, the spirit of the quote is what we are after. We think it may help elucidate the strange and confusing world of fake money in which we all travel.   Consumer price index, y/y rate of change...
  • Wall of Worry M.I.A. -  Precious Metals Supply and Demand
      Too Much Excitement? The prices of the metals fell last week, with that of gold -$9 and silver -$0.32. Of course, it was a week of stock market exuberance. Why would anyone want to own money, or seek safety when the Fed can seemingly push interest down / assets up indefinitely? As the old TV ad for Lotto proclaimed “you gotta be in it, to win it!”   “Stablecoin” Tether is used as a dollar stand-in on cryptocurrency exchanges that offer no fiat currency pairs. There has...
  • Resistance Created by Long-Suffering “Hodlers” - Precious Metals Supply and Demand
      Gold vs Other Assets The prices of the metals went up +$15 and +$0.23. We will be brief this week, as Keith just got off a 17-hour flight from Perth to London. Stocks continue their march upwards. And hence the gold price seems stalled—or is it? It may seem like gold goes up, when stocks go down and vice versa. That’s been the recent pattern. Why should people own money without return, when stocks are where the action is?   Gold-SPX ratio: in long-term gold bull markets,...

Support Acting Man

Austrian Theory and Investment

j9TJzzN

The Review Insider

Archive

Dog Blow

THE GOLD CARTEL: Government Intervention on Gold, the Mega Bubble in Paper and What This Means for Your Future

Realtime Charts

 

Gold in USD:

[Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com]

 


 

Gold in EUR:

[Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com]

 


 

Silver in USD:

[Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com]

 


 

Platinum in USD:

[Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com]

 


 

USD - Index:

[Most Recent USD from www.kitco.com]

 

Mish Talk

 
Buy Silver Now!
 
Buy Gold Now!