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Turning Chinese?

Much has been made of the leveraged speculative frenzy by undereducated Chinese day traders halfway around the world but, based on this update on NYSE margin debt from Doug Short late last week, U.S. lenders (and markets) are quickly catching up.

Of course, this comes at a time when money continues to flow out of stock funds, at least according to this Marketwatch story from Friday. Not to worry though, confidence remains high as the price of just about everything is going up again today…

Another Stunning Long-Term Chart

From a recent presentation(.pdf) by Agustín Carstens, Bank of Mexico governor and chairman of the IMF’s International Monetary and Financial Committee, via this item at Wolf Street comes the chart below that, once again, reminds us all how far removed the global financial system is from anything that could be considered “normal”.

Carstens doesn’t oppose recent interest rate and QE policies by central banks, but he is quite concerned about how it all turns out, summing things up rather nicely by noting:

The crux of the matter is that financial risk-taking has been far more responsive to unconventional monetary policies than real risk-taking has been.

This would be less troubling (well, at least a little less troubling) if not for the fact that the world’s most important central bankers in general (and former Fed Chief Bernanke in particular) have never acknowledged that “the reach for yield” even exists.

China Stocks: What Could Go Wrong?

Bloomberg reports that China equity markets have become even bubblier after a wave of new irrationally exuberant “investors” that harken back to the U.S. in the 1920s when Joseph Kennedy purportedly began selling stocks after receiving a hot tip from a shoe-shine boy.

On a positive note, they now appear to have their real estate bubble under control…

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Easing is Easy, Hiking is Hard

The recent weakness in major U.S. equity indexes (that now appears ready to continue for the fifth straight day) has surely not escaped the attention of Federal Reserve officials who have been attempting to “prepare markets” for the eventual end of super-accommodative monetary policy but, as shown below via this item at The Fiscal Times the other day, we’ve been down this road many times before since the 2008 financial crisis.

On a completely unrelated note, see this Friday Funny at reason.com that weighs in on the Ted Cruz presidential campaign announcement in The Next Political Messiah.

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