John Williams: “The Fed Will Crash Markets & The Dollar”

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Economist John Williams warns the Federal Reserve has painted itself into a very tight no-win corner.

No matter what the Fed does with rates it’s going to be a disaster. Williams explains, “You had some very heavy selling towards the end of the year and when you saw the big declines in the stock market you also saw that accompanied by a falling dollar and rising gold prices.” Continue reading

Ray Dalio: Losing ‘Reserve Status’ Would Lead To 30% Drop In The Dollar

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During a live interview with Barry Ritholtz for his “Masters In Business” podcast on Monday, Bridgewater Associates CEO – who has been on a seemingly never-ending media tour to promote his new free e-book “A Template For Understanding Big Debt Crises” – once again expounded upon his “1937” markets thesis: That is, his theory that the US economy increasingly resembles the late-cycle dynamic from the 1930s where equity prices topped out as the Federal Reserve tightened monetary policy. Like the 1930s, the global economy is awash and debt, and populist politicians gaining power and influence in the West.

But more interesting than Dalio’s retread of his calls for a recession to begin some time during the next two years, he also repeated a claim he first made back in September, which has been getting more attention since BlackRock CEO Larry Fink said something similar earlier this month: That the US dollar’s days as the dominant global reserve currency are numbered. Continue reading

Rickards: The Fed Is “Triple Tightening” Into Crisis

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If you have defective and obsolete models, you will produce incorrect analysis and bad policy every time. There’s no better example of this than the Federal Reserve.

The Fed uses equilibrium models to understand an economy that is not an equilibrium system; it’s a complex dynamic system.

The Fed uses the Phillips curve to understand the relationship between unemployment and inflation when 50 years of data say there is no fixed relationship.

The Fed uses “value at risk” modeling based on normally distributed events when the evidence is clear that the degree distribution of risk events is a power curve, not a normal or bell curve. Continue reading

The American dream shatters: The death of the middle class

Middle-class families, which used to be the backbone of the United States economy are becoming poorer. Despite the constant bombardment of news of a “healthy economy,” 62% of middle-class families struggle to afford a basic middle-class lifestyle.

Even though the unemployment rate that has reached a 50-year low of 3.7 percent, most jobs across the U.S. don’t support a middle-class or better lifestyle, leaving many Americans struggling, according to a new study. When factoring in both wages and the cost of living in the metro area where the job is located, 62% struggle to provide a middle-class lifestyle according to the study by Third Way, a think tank that leans center-left on the political spectrum. Continue reading

The Fed Is on a Collision Course

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U.S. Federal Reserve Eccles Building, 1937

 

Is the Trump economic boom a mirage? The data say yes, but the Fed models say no. The Fed has a long track record of sticking to its model-based approach and missing major turns in the U.S. economy.

Current Fed policy will push the U.S. economy to the brink of recession later this year. When that happens, the Fed will have to reverse course and ease monetary policy. This will send the dollar crashing while gold and the euro soar.

At first, the claim that the Trump economic boom is nothing special seems contrary to the happy-talk headlines coming from CNBC, Fox Business, Bloomberg and other mainstream business media outlets. Continue reading

Recession Alert: World Headed for Cyclical Slowdown

Note: Please see the source for the rest of the charts.

 

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Despite the U.S. leading economic indicators appearing healthy, the global economy appears to be headed for a slowdown, with only 34% of the 40 countries we track having leading economic indicators (LEI’s) signalling growth ahead, and the actual GDP-weighted Global LEI growth now below zero (click any image to enlarge): Continue reading

A Recession Is Coming… And the Fed Can’t Stop It

A Recession Is Coming... And the Fed Can't Stop It

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Is the Fed ready for the next recession?

The answer is no.

Extensive research shows that it takes between 300 and 500 basis points of interest rate cuts by the Fed to pull the U.S. economy out of a recession. (One basis point is 1/100th of 1 percentage point, so 500 basis points of rate reduction means the Fed would have to cut rates 5 percentage points.)

Right now the Fed’s target rate for fed funds, the so-called “policy rate,” is 1.75%. How do you cut rates 3–5% when you’re starting at 1.75%? You can’t. Continue reading

Jim Rickards: We’re Heading for War with North Korea

Click on the picture for the Bloomberg video interview.

 

Speaking with Bloomberg’s Betty Liu on gold, the geopolitical threat of North Korea and what to expect from the Federal Reserve financial expert Jim Rickards provided what his outlook shows for the months ahead.

The Bloomberg host began by asking Rickards why, with no current inflationary problems seen by most investors, he believed that gold was due for a major boom. The Strategic Intelligence editor started, “The reason in the first half [of the year] about 7.8% against enormous headwinds. The Fed has raised rates in December, March and again in June. [Now] we’re seeing disinflation, a slowing economy, a declining labor force. Everything looks like a recession and yet gold went up almost 8% in that environment. As we go forward, the Fed will always be the last to know.Continue reading

U.S. Weeks Away From A Recession According To Latest Loan Data

 

While many “conventional” indicators of US economic vibrancy and strength have lost their informational and predictive value over the past decade (GDP fluctuates erratically especially in Q1, employment is the lowest this century yet real wage growth is non-existent, inflation remains under the Fed’s target despite its $4.5 trillion balance sheet and so on), one indicator has remained a stubbornly fail-safe marker of economic contraction: since the 1960, every time Commercial & Industrial loan balances have declined (or simply stopped growing), whether due to tighter loan supply or declining demand, a recession was already either in progress or would start soon. Continue reading

Next recession will hit during Trump’s first two years

 

When the U.S. sneezes, the world catches cold

A recession in the United States is likely to come within the next two years. It is difficult to determine when a recession will occur based solely on economic activity. Economists argue about the precursors to a recession as a matter of course. I am not making the case that one will happen because I believe I am competent to enter that debate. Rather, I am making the case that a recession is increasingly likely simply by looking at the frequency with which they occur.

The last recession started in 2007 and ended in 2009. The one before that started and ended in 2001. The two previous recessions ran from 1990 to 1991 and from 1981 to 1982. In these cases, the time between the end of one recession and the start of another was about eight years on average. Between 1945 and 1981, recessions were much more frequent, but obviously something has happened to extend the time between them. Continue reading

Time Bomb In Oil Markets: Goldman Sachs Issues Warning

 

While energy traders remain focused on weekly changes in crude supply and demand, manifesting in shifts in inventory of which yesterday’s API data and today’s EIA data was a breathtaking example, a much more troubling data point was revealed by the Energy Information Administration last week when it reported implied gasoline demand.

To be sure, surging gasoline supply and inventories are hardly surprising or new: they remain a byproduct of the unprecedented global crude inventories leftover from two years of failed OPEC policy which resulted in a historic glut. Last January, overall crude runs were up 500,000 bpd as refiners shifted away from diesel and other products to gasoline to chase more attractive margins amid a mild winter and sluggish diesel demand. The move led to an overbuild of gasoline stocks that lingered into the summer, punishing margins when they should have been at their strongest. This January, crude runs are at historic levels, up by roughly 300,000 bpd over last year. Continue reading

Deutsche Bank: The US May Now Be In A Recession

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Three months ago, we presented an analysis which showed something disturbing: according to Deutsche, the “current business cycle is already the fourth longest in the post- WWII period, and the corporate debt-to-GDP ratio suggests that imbalances are building”, and that worse, as a result of soaring corporate debt and rolling-over profit margins, “a recession could hit as soon as the second half.” Continue reading

CREDIT CRUNCH TWO? Fears for US economy grow as credit card lending reaches 9-year high

The US economy grew far less than expected in the second quarter of 2016 taking the annualised rate to just 1.2 per cent – below expectations of 2.5 per cent.

At the same time, credit card and overdraft lending has soared to its highest level since 2007. Continue reading

Italy MUST act NOW: IMF’s URGENT warning to EU as Italian debt hits ‘ALARMING’ levels

Italy is on the brink of financial and political meltdown and leader Matteo Renzi may be abut to push t over the edge by calling a referendum on constitutional reform in October, potentially plunging the already beleaguered European Union into fresh chaos.

Juan Toro of the International Monetary Fund (Fmi), said: “It is necessary to take significant measures in the recovery of credit.”  Continue reading

Recession May Loom for Next U.S. President No Matter Who That Is

As mentioned four times already (here, here, here and here) before anyone picked up on it, the next President will be in over his or her head. In reality, it’s the need to reverse a U.S. decline in power.

 

Talk about a poisoned chalice. No matter who is elected to the White House in November, the next president will probably face a recession.

The 83-month-old expansion is already the fourth-longest in more than 150 years and starting to show some signs of aging as corporate profits peak and wage pressures build. It also remains vulnerable to a shock because growth has been so feeble, averaging just about 2 percent since the last downturn ended in June 2009.

If the next president is not going to have a recession, it will be a U.S. record,” said Gad Levanon, chief economist for North America at the Conference Board in New York. “The longest expansion we ever had was 10 years,” beginning in 1991. Continue reading