Contributed by Lee Adler, of The Wall Street Examiner. The Fed, ECB, BoJ, and BoE all deal with the same banks. Of the Fed’s 21 Primary Dealers, its sole counterparties, only seven are US domiciled. Three are Canadian, eight are European, including three British banks, and three are Japanese. All of them are major players in Europe and Japan.
“The market had been taken over by white-collar financial hoodlums who needed a trading fix every day,” writes David Stockman, Director of the OMB under President Reagan. “These punters and speculators were asserting an entitlement to any and all government policy actions which might be needed to keep the casino running at full tilt.”
In theory, the Fed could continue to print money and buy Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities, even pure junk, until the bitter end. But the bitter end would be unpleasant for those that the Fed represents – and now they’re speaking up publicly. They’re worried that their system might break down. It would threaten their empires. It would be the bitter end.
“We’ve intentionally blown the biggest government bond bubble in history,” confessed Andy Haldane, Director of Financial Stability at the Bank of England. The bursting of that bubble was a risk he felt “acutely.” He saw “a disorderly reversion” as the “biggest risk to global financial stability.” Seatbelts are being fastened; the clicks can be heard around the world.
Spanish banks pushed investment products called preferentes on unsuspecting clients.
Junk bonds had a phenomenal run. With each truckload of money that the Fed delivered to the markets, valuations soared and yields plunged. Desperate investors, mauled by the Fed’s zero-interest-rate policy, took on risks no questions asked. But suddenly the feeding frenzy turned into a brutal rout – a harbinger of things to come in other markets.
This is so bad, it’s almost funny. It happened May 31, at the end of the month, Friday afternoon, when no one was supposed to pay attention, minutes before the close of the stock market, when volume had died down to a trickle, and when the move was guaranteed to produce huge results.
The good old days are back. Those days when money grew on trees: home prices jumped 10.9% year over year, based on data through March 2013. The usual suspects: Phoenix soared 22.5%, San Francisco 22.2%, Las Vegas 20.6%. You can’t lose money in real estate. I’m already hearing it again.
No one accused Apple of having violated US tax laws. The Senate hearings merely exposed how Apple is dodging income taxes by doing what multinationals do: taking advantage of handouts and loopholes that Congress hands them. Now it turns out that much of the discussion was based on a fairytale.
During their second term, Presidents become obsessed with “legacy.” One of the yardsticks to measure success is the stock market. Many people can relate to it. Retirement depends on it. It’s mentioned even on NPR several times a day. Outside of a few shorts, everyone wants it to go up. But President Obama must now be biting his fingernails down to the quick.