Debt is good, dollar is gold, and stocks only go up—things are getting curiouser and curiouser.
The phrase “mad as a hatter” refers to the 19th-century use of mercuric-nitrate in the making of felt hats. Long-term exposure to mercury caused hatmakers to experience mood swings, tremors and emotional imbalances that made them appear mad.
We live in a world gone mad. Money printing—today’s mercury—has poisoned the whole financial system.
Trusted relationships have broken down. Fundamental truths appear suspect, and economic laws no longer seem to hold true. In America especially, it’s as if the whole economic system fell down a rabbit hole into a world where up is down, debt is good, and people exuberantly celebrate unbirthday parties every day of the year but one.
It was almost three years ago to the day when Zero Hedge first explained the biggest problem facing Europe when it comes to unconventional monetary policy: the lack, not scarcity, but outright shortage of collateral.
Initially, our focus was on private-sector collateral, and if one had to summarize the key difference between the US and Europe in one chart, it would be this one, showing that while in the US the split between secured and unsecured funding was roughly even, in Europe, some 90% of corporate funding was on bank loan books, with only 10% in the form of (unsecured) corporate bonds (which also explains why in Europe NPLs, aka bad bank debt is by far the biggest problem facing the financial industry). Continue reading