(For those who say I just don’t get it…get this!)
For those who’ve been with me for a while you know the FTWSIJDGIGT section came into being when things I was being criticized for “having no clue” over the years came back around showing maybe I knew a little bit more than some were giving me credit for. It was my way of tongue in cheek as to not use the old “I told you so” analogy.
I’m say this for the benefit of those who may be new reading here for the first time (and there are a great many of you and thank you too all). I never want to seem like I was doing the “Nah, nah, nah, nah, nah” type of response to my detractors. I’d rather let the chips fall, good or bad – and let readers decide the credibility of either side. Occasionally there are times however they do need to be pointed out. (i.e., something of significance per se that may have a direct impact on one’s business etc., etc.)
So with that all said I thought today I would muse about a few things I believe are terribly important, for there seems a shift showing itself in dramatic fashion unseen since the 2008 financial melt dowm. Not only are some key players, or institutions beginning to notice some troubling signs; but rather; those very signs that everyone was told won’t or shouldn’t happen. Not only are, they’re starting to rear their ugly heads in much greater frequency. Just today alone served up a near bonanza of “wait…what?” statements or revelations from many of the most fervent “everything is awesome” cheerleaders over the years.
Something is amiss within the “cheer-leading” cartel. I believe they themselves are beginning to realize what people like myself and a few others have been saying: “Once the residual effects since the ending of QE are no longer present, the realization and picture of what truly is the fundamental economy will become ever and ever clearer.”
And just 6 months later, that picture is not looking pretty. Especially to those that told (and sold) the illusion to clients and media audiences. The real issue is that the image is developing far quicker than they themselves had anticipated, and seem to be scurrying around like chickens with their heads cut off trying to find an exit ramp to some form of credibility saving grace. Much like a pollster that wants to shape a narrative will or might do. e.g., Will push the issue that their guy or gal seems to be winning certain demographics whether they are or not. Only to then push the reality closer to the “truth” whether bad or horrendous in an effort to save face (and the illusion of credibility as to stay in business) once they get closer to the real election and results are returned.
A hypothetical example goes something like this: Six months ago ____________ (fill in the blank) was ahead by 60%. Then within 2 weeks of election, with no obvious mistakes, scandals, or what ever, suddenly – it’s reported (by that pollster) it’s now neck and neck. At the day of election it seems suddenly there’s been a shift (as expressed by the pollster and called out right before) there’s a possible upset brewing that a “new poll” shows (again done by the same) _________ may lose by double digits.Then you read later something like __________ wound up losing by 30%, 40% or even more percentage points.
Some will shrug and say “Oh, well. That’s the way it goes.” However, the informed (both on the sidelines as well as those that actually play the game) will garner: ____________ never had a 60% lead. It was all a show for optics. The issue or candidate may lose, but what’s more important is that the pollster look like they actually had a credible call somewhere. Otherwise – who’s going to hire them next time if the call is they’re leading by 60% and the swing is to a loss of 100%?
It’s an old trick of the trade and it’s been around for a long time, and will probably be around even longer for one reason: It works. And the big money gets paid to those that know this and use it to their advantage. But now you have an insight into something maybe you didn’t realize was taking place near daily. I also used the above specifically because in kind – I believe you are starting to see this very pretense play out within the financial media. You’ll see more of what I’m implying as I move along I’m sure.
I’m not one for links or linking unless I feel it gives context or possible clarity. So with that said I’m going to post far more links than I think I’ve ever done. However, whether you read them or not isn’t the issue. What i also want to project is just how quickly and by whom narratives, or sticking points are no longer “sticking” for them; but rather, past statements are sticking to them. And it’s quite obvious they are trying to don as much Teflon® as possible. To wit:
(The links are all to Zero Hedge™ articles because I believe they put the issues into context better than where the original story may have come from. How much further you would like to dig is of course up to you, and doing so I believe would be prudent.)
Suddenly one of the greatest “cheer-leading” houses with their very own rotation of “everything is awesome” faces seen across the financial media out of the blue makes this call: “The Fed Has Been Terribly Wrong” Deutsche Bank admits
It’s one thing for a bank. It’s quite another when what everyone considers the Fed’s “house organ” or “house favorite” reporter pens a piece in none other than the Wall Street Journal™ blaming you and I for not spending enough? “A Letter To Stingy Consumers”
I completely agree with ZH’s assessment of this tirade: If they hadn’t told me I would have thought it was satire. This reeks or sounds of desperation as to try to spin the message as: See….It’s you – not us! I’m still shaking my head on the voracity as well as condescension spewing from what should be at the least something resembling high brow reporting. To me, this alone is very telling.
Over the years one thing I’ve always stressed is: if you truly want to look for clues – Watch the forex or FX markets. Here’s an example when I explaining possible progressions to a crisis scenario:
“Then we move to crisis.
Just how does the Federal Reserve handle such a dilemma of this scale? I use the word “scale” for good reason. As many may know the Forex markets dwarf what the lovingly referred to as “mom and pop investor” believe it to be.
The saving of the “stock market” (aka the Equity Markets) in 2008 vs a Forex market crisis is the equivalent of bailing out a local bingo hall as compared to dealing with such a crisis on the scale of Las Vegas casino.
If the Forex market suddenly gets rocked with a clear fundamental breakdown and breakup of everything now known as the E.U. Along with all the tentacle entangled carry trades? Crisis might be an understatement.
Contagion across the Forex exchanges will not only wreak havoc from within it will also spread directly to the Bond markets. (which many don’t realize is also considerably larger themselves than the equity markets)
Such sweeping turmoil will most assuredly plunge the equity markets themselves into complete and utter chaos as money managers, market makers, margin executives and more decree: “Sell Everything, Close Everything, Now!”
What chaos might also be unleashed as the High Frequency Trading (HFT) algos are set loose selling anything and everything into a market where it’s suddenly revealed via news reading computers that the jig is up?”
And here is what has been transpiring within the last 24 and 48 hours or so.
And as if that’s not enough here’s more: “EUR USD cross up 300 pips in last 24hrs, Dollars Biggest Drop In 2 Years”
But as they say on TV “But wait! There’s more!!!
Suddenly none other than Goldman Sachs™ themselves is warning: “By Almost Every Measure Stocks Are Overvalued”
And even Robert Shiller: “Unlike 1929 This Time Everything….”
Let me remind you, In the last 24 to 48 hours or so the above suddenly began appearing. (rapidly in both volume as well as frequency) They are far from the only one’s but they show a change in the air that was near unheard of just 6 months ago – let alone the last few years. Take from it what you will however, what you shouldn’t do is ignore it .This is (in my opinion) a sea change from what has been the meme of the financial media, as well as world since the early part of the recession in 2009.
For a little more light or clarity let me expand with this:
Back in November of last year I was taken to task by some when I penned the article “Why Tony Robbins Is Asking The Wrong Questions”
This was when Tony (I’m using the personal only for ease) just released his first book in twenty years and it was aimed squarely at investing. And being in the motivation industry myself as well as enough intellectual property out on the web to back up my thoughts on the matter, I believed then as I do now, I had the standing and took some of the suppositions made to task. Many of the overarching themes were pointing to Index investing, diversification, and others. Here’s what I said in relation to these:
“The true myth is that what is actually in the index as a business, its economic makeup, its validity as a true business, or anything else that we once understood as what a business “is.” Is – no longer and doesn’t mean squat.
The only “is” that now matters is this : Is – the index one that has a bulls-eye that the Central Banks deem important? i.e., they will buy it directly or fund its purchase via their proxies. Period.”
“The idea of “diversification” is a great sounding idea in principle and theory. However, it is one of the greatest myths when it comes to protecting one’s assets in today’s financial market place aka Wall Street.
During the financial crisis of 2008 when the markets were in a free-fall and panic was ensuing “a diversified portfolio” did little if anything to help stem the tide. As a matter of fact, many found the “diversification” side of their portfolio which was to help “protect” not only fell just as far in value, but the ability of many to even remain solvent going forward was questioned.”
On – and more:
“The markets for all intents and purposes are no longer for the “average” person looking to make gains in any form today. What is needed now more than ever is a direct understanding that safety – safety above all else – is paramount. And exactly how one can achieve it. Or get as close to the proverbial “cash in the mattress” understanding of it as humanly possible.”
Since then the market which was at the time of his release on fire, and just throwing darts blindfolded to pick an index to “invest” in was yielding double-digit gains per year. And sometimes per month! It’s been a straight up rocket ship since 2010 and the implementation of QE. Unseen in tenacity as well as the sheer absence of even a mild pullback of over 5%. A stock market that has tripled and hasn’t had a correction of note once in years! Absolutely stunning. Until – (maybe you guessed it) November of last year. The same time the book came out QE ended. And guess what? I’m guessing you did, but here’s a chart for some clarity with notations I made. I think they’re crucial to the narrative.
Just for some context: It took approximately only 14 days to drop that 5%, and was so discerning to the Federal Reserve, St.Louis Fed. President James Bullard took to the airwaves quelling the “panic attack” with the soothing words that QE4 wouldn’t be a bad idea.
In comparison: It has now taken a good 6 months to move only 2% higher than those November prints. And we’re faltering more routinely with drops and pops serving only to bring many 200 or 300 point swings in the Dow or the same in relativity in the S&P to end the roller-coaster days – to near unchanged.
The only difference since then? Outright QE has since been shelved. (just to be clear, they ended in that November) Before the ending of QE? We were doing comparable 2% up moves with no fall backs for nearly 4 years continuous. But now? _____________________(insert crickets here) And so is the same for those that were touting this market was rising on fundamentals. They too are now saying the same as the crickets when it comes to fundamentals.
Now all the so-called “smart crowd are hoping for is that the narrative of “bad is good, and worse is fantastic!” still applies. However, if you watch or read a lot of what they’re expressing today – even they no longer feel confident which way the Fed. will interpret the data. For the Fed. itself has muddied their supposed “clarifying” policy intentions so much – bad can go from good, to whatever faster than the blink or wink of a Fed. officials eye. Not only thoroughly confusing the financial press, but even more so – the High Frequency Trading machines. Just better hope your index (or 401K holdings) are on the right side of what the HFT vacuum tubes interprets what the FOMC thinks the meaning of “is” Is. Just saying.
But there’s no need to take my word for it. None other than Carl Icahn himself is now expressing outright warnings and concerns.
And if all the above isn’t enough to draw attention that there is some real concern to watch for I’ll leave you with this last headline and link that puts it all in prospective in my opinion…
None other than Jeremy Siegel felt the need to explain: “No Way There’s A Bubble, No Signs of Recession”
As I said earlier. All this in the last 24 to 48 hours. I believe even though many of us may see the bigger picture, it might also be prudent to not only pay even closer attention, but possibly get the binoculars and microscopes out. After all I didn’t even mention Greece, the EU, China or Russia. But the week is young…No?
© 2015 Mark St.Cyr