28 August 2015

SP 500 and NDX Futures Daily Charts - Fly Me To the Moon

Qualis dominus talis est servus.
As is the master, so is the servant.

Titus Petronius

Stocks came in weakly, but managed to rally in the last hour to closely largely unchanged.

The GDP revision for 2Q yesterday was a bit much.

The conversation on financial tv today was replete with interviews from that moveable feast of finance, from the rarified world at Jackson Hole, where the black swans of monetary policy return every so often to molt old forecasts and acquire new ones that are certain to work better than the last seven years of the same old thing.

Mostly it is just the usual nonsense. Alan Blinder had some interesting and surprisingly realistic things to say. Most of the others were just mouth breathing the talking points about our exceptional and improving economy which will allow the Fed to raise interest rates.

The research paper from the Fed asserting that the US is relatively immune (ok they said insulated) from global currency and economic shocks because of the position of the dollar as the settling currency of choice for international invoices was-- interesting.  Why is it that so many economic, and especially monetary, theories feel so comfortable inhabiting an alternate universe where trees are blue and pigs can fly?

And as a particularly astute reader observed, if this is actually true, is there any wonder why the rest of the world would resent the dollar hegemony if it grants that sort of power to the single nation that controls it?  That they are able to wreak havoc on the rest of the world, exporting malinvestment and willfully fraudulent financial instruments, without having to endure any consequences?

Well it doesn't work so nicely as that, but yes they do resent it for other reasons, and they have been doing more than resenting it for some time now.  And that is the basis for the 'currency war' that these jokers still do not understand. They think it is only 'currency devaluations' which, along with tariffs, was the tactic of choice in the last currency war in the 1930's.

But the one that left me gaping was the tendentious conversation this afternoon on Bloomberg about how fragile China and its markets are. And as evidence they cited the 'obvious interventions' in their stock market this week, wherein the Chinese markets slump, but then miraculously recover in the last hours of trading. They are obviously doing this so the leadership will not be embarrassed for their 70th commemoration of the end of WWII next week. Which by the way, the US is gracelessly boycotting.

Knock, knock, hello? Is self-awareness or unintentional irony at home?

Is there any doubt that we have been seeing the exact types of intervention by a powerful unseen hand in our own stock markets this week, on steroids, after the Monday flash crash? Does that mean that our economy is fragile and doomed as well?

Do these people actually believe what they are saying, or is this just some clumsy attempt to try to reassure our public that if their public gets into trouble there is no need to panic because, wait for it, we are so much better, more wisely and so much more virtuously blessed to be led by those archangels of benevolent wisdom in Washington and New York.

One can only wonder.

Have a pleasant weekend.