BlackRock, the infamous planetary mega-investor, says central banks are tightening monetary policy in the Anglosphere countries and China. It advises clients to be ready to pull out of global stock markets “at any sign of serious trouble.”
Well I don’t know about Blackrock, but I’ve been counting signs since last October – and they all say The Top Is Coming. But Blackrock is not really the home of the clearly-expressed bon mot: “2014 is the year to squeeze more juice out of risk assets. But investors should be ready to discard the fruit when it starts running dry,” said BR’s chief economist Ewen Cameron Watt. Yes, tightened money means squeezed assets. And – after a brief career spent hanging low – fruit running dry all over the place,
“Beware of traffic jams: easy to get into, hard to get out of,” BlackRock continued. OK folks, now hear this: tighten your belts and pull out the fruit. But for God’s sake don’t make any traffic jams from it. BR concludes that ‘the global system is still in the doldrums and far from achieving sustainable recovery. The eurozone, Japan and emerging markets are all trying to export their way out of trouble.’
You know, if there’s one thing I know about train wrecks looking for any port in a storm, having falling to earth after holding on to too many branches and eating the fruit, it’s that – once stuck in a pot of jam, and trapped in doldrums – deciding WTF I might as well just get juiced anyway is not such a great idea.
Nor am I calmed by the ECB deciding to Implement an EU Form of QE, as market guru Gordon T. Long called it yesterday. Listen, on the QT I hear the BBC thinks the BOE has gone AWOL on the RPI, and DEFCOM on the PDI. This could cause the kind of SNAFU that has every FDI going mental.
In English, what it all means is that if you accept the idea of German Bundesbank capitulation on the issue of the ECB printing money in the manner of a 1923 Memorial Weimar enthusiast, then Draghi has a G20 remit to get on with it. The logic of this escapes me entirely: everyone is nervous about the dilution and compromising of fiat currencies, so let’s bash out some more of the bog paper in a bid to show them that pumping another few zillion into the global economy will fix things. Get real people: Jens Weidmann still has Mutti’s ear when he needs it…and/or she thinks things might be going wrong.
The pumping of increasingly worthless bits of paper into the American, UK and Japanese economies has done rock-all except exacerbate the situation, get up China’s nose, hyperinflate the bourses, and come close to causing the biggest Sino-Japanese conflict since 1935. It clearly has no chance of working, but then this has never held them back before.
This is how I see it this Wednesday afternoon on my 66th birthday: Last Chance money is net selling non-sovereign securities, bonds and equities – especially when it comes to external buyers on the US stock market. They’re moving towards sovereign bonds in the varietal hope that Messrs Yellen, Osborne, Draghi and their Beijing oppo know what to do, and/or the default insurance in all these positions is sound. They’re also buying speculation-exploration commodity stuff in the emerging markets…despite the contagion issue contained in Ukraine and Greece.
There is now a loud voice in my ear saying “Topping stock markets + dodgy emerging markets + stagnating economies of sovereign bond havens = = =…”
And as if this conclusion needed any further signage, here is something of a clincher from today’s Daily Telegraph:
‘The FTSE 100 is within touching distance of a record high after rising to its best level in 14 years. London’s index of leading shares finished up 27.8 points, or 0.4pc, at 6,865.86, taking the blue-chips to their highest close since December 30, 1999 – when the FTSE 100 finished at a record 6,930.2 at the height of the dotcom bubble.’
Yes, correct: I do not see this as a good sign. I see it as pride before a fall. La chute viendra.
Hat-tips to Christo and Bret for helping with the inspiration part of this perspiration.