The Fed’s Frankenstein | Seeking Alpha


“Commentators keep asking why the Fed can’t raise rates if the economy is so strong? They still don’t realize that the economy was never strong. They confuse a bubble for strength. Without 0% rates and QE the bubble can’t survive. But a return to those policies kills the dollar”

– Peter Schiff on Twitter

I made that same argument about the Fed funds rate, the dollar and why the Fed has to keep “nudging” the Fed funds rate higher in a podcast conversation with James Anderson at SilverDoctors last week.

Wednesday’s 1000-point spike up in the Dow may have been the largest one-day point gain in the Dow, but it was far from the largest percentage point gain. The two largest percentage point gains occurred in October 2008: an 11.08% gain on October 13, 2008, and a 10.88% gain on October 28, 2008. Those two days took the Dow just above 9,000. A little more than four months later, it closed at 6,626. Wednesday’s market action was nothing more than evidence that the Fed’s Frankenstein has gone off the chain…

Despite official prevention efforts, two-way price discovery has been introduced to the stock market. The Establishment, lazy, entitled and fattened-up on the 10-year stock bubble, has gone into convulsions over the possibility that the stock market will do anything but move higher. The Wall Street Journal published an article blaming the Christmas Eve stock market massacre on the algos. Even well-seasoned market veterans like Leon Cooperman were whining about the two-way price action and the role of HFT-driven hedge fund algorithm trading. Where were these cries of distress when the market was driven relentlessly higher by QE-armed algos over the past 10 years?

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Some chart “experts” have labeled the market “extremely oversold.” But the stock market has been extremely overbought for the better part of the past 8 years. By what measure is the market “extremely oversold” in this context? Looking at a monthly chart of the SPX going back to 1999, the MACD was at its most extreme overbought by far at the beginning of 2018.

But the current sell-off has barely moved the needle on the monthly MACD. It’s nice to draw symmetrical geometric shapes and lines which are fit to charts ex post facto (i.e., Monday morning armchair QB). But the fundamentals beneath historically overvalued financial assets are cratering very rapidly.

The drop in stocks since early October has done little to correct the extreme condition of overvaluation – aka “the bubble.” Using real numbers to calculate preferred valuation ratios used by “analysts,” rather than manipulated government GDP/inflation and phony GAAP numbers used by these “analysts,” the overvalued condition of the stock market is the most extreme in history.

A coordinated Central Bank-engineered bounce is to be expected, and certainly, there’s extreme political pressure in the U.S. for this. But more intervention preventing true price discovery merely defers the inevitable rather than fixing the underlying systemic problems. Furthermore, as evidence of the market’s reaction on Monday after reports hit the tape that the Treasury Secretary (head of the Working Group Group on Financial Markets) was convening the CEOs of the six biggest banks to discuss the market sell-off, official intervention serves only to signal to the markets that something is profoundly wrong with the system, contrary to official propaganda.

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Wednesday’s 1000-point price spike reflects a completely dysfunctional stock market. Just like the big moves in October 2008, it also foreshadows a much steeper sell-off coming. The story did not end well for Shelley’s Frankenstein. Neither will it end well for the Fed’s creature. It’s going to get a lot more painful for those who have been conditioned to believe that stocks only rise in price.

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