The Mess That Greenspan Made - Part 19

Nothing to see here … move along

The graphic below from cross-currents.net (currently unavailable, but hopefully back soon) has been popping up all over the place in the last 24 hours or so and for good reason – for those not sitting on the edge of their seat waiting to BTFD, it adds to the growing suspicion that something is terribly wrong in our current QE-fueled financial markets.

Any BTFD devotees who may have been distracted by recent market action and resulting analysis such as the above  may want to peruse this offering from the San Francisco Chronicle to get back on track Sometimes talk of a tech bubble is mostly babble and they should certainly steer clear of Bill Gross’ latest offering Ides!.

Wednesday Morning Links

MUST READS
Brent crude dips below $50 a barrel – BBC
How $50 Oil Changes Everything – Bloomberg
Europe sinks back into deflation – CNN/Money
ECB considering three approaches to QE: Dutch paper – Reuters
Operation Helicopter: Could Free Money Help the Euro Zone? – Spiegel
Three reasons investors can stop worrying about Greece – Yahoo!
Germany prepares for possible Greek exit from euro zone – Reuters
The NYPD “slowdown” that’s cut arrests in New York by half, explained – Vox
ESPN Is Finally Killing Cable. But Don’t Celebrate Yet – New Republic
What 2000, 2008 and 2015 May Have In Common – Jesse’s Cafe
Sometimes talk of a tech bubble is mostly babble – SF Gate
“Ides” – Gross, Janus Capital

MARKETS/INVESTING
Global stocks end two days of losses – AP
Markets: A fine way to start the year – Economist
Bonds Continue To Outperform Stocks – All Star Charts
Stock market sell-off: Investors run to bonds – CNN/Money
Days of Market Vertigo Giving VIX Calls Air of Prescience – Bloomberg
Beating the stock market has become even harder – MarketWatch
Treasuries Drop Ends Seven-Day Gain Before Fed Minutes – Bloomberg
Gold slips on strong dollar, holds above $1,200/oz – Reuters
‘Grexit’ Risk Sees Euro Gold at 1,020 Per Ounce – GoldCore
Using Sprott’s PM funds to get physical at spot – Gold Chat

ECONOMY/WORLD/HOUSING/BANKING
The Record of Austerity – Krugman, NY Times
Paul Krugman and the Obama Recovery – Sachs, Project Syndicate
One million expected to lose food stamps as economy improves – CNN/Money
World Economy: Unhealthy Patients Treated By Incompetent Doctors – Forbes
China’s economy won’t be riding to the rescue for oil producers any time soon – Quartz
The global crisis and the renminbi’s international role – voxeu
House prices: Has luxury London bubble finally burst? – Telegraph
Bank of England was unaware of impending financial crisis – BBC
Current ‘Hawkish’ May Be Nothing More Than Future ‘Dovish’ – Alhambra Partners
Kocherlakota takes on the hottest controversy in monetary policy – WSJ

 

Confidence is (Relatively) High

The latest Gallup data released just this morning showed that, after moving into positive territory for the first time since prior to the Great Recession, Americans’ confidence in the U.S. economy remained positive for a second straight week.

Actually, the index fell last week, from +2 to +1, but let’s not quibble about that.

An improving job market (albeit without the wage gains), falling energy prices, and U.S. stock indexes that remain near all-time highs were key factors behind the improved outlook as more than half of the poll’s respondents commented “everything is awesome”.

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Tuesday Morning Links

MUST READS
Brent crude oil falls to new five-year low – BBC
Brent falls more, Saudi Arabian king issues speech – Reuters
Global stocks fall for second day amid oil, Greece worries – AP
Gold Advances as Flight to Safety Spurs Run – Bloomberg
Greece vs Europe: who will blink first? – Telegraph
Euro Countries Take Tough Line Toward Greece – NY Times
Oilfield Writedowns Loom as Crude Slump Guts Drilling Values – Bloomberg
The showdown between Canadian and Saudi oil producers on the Gulf Coast – FP
Plummeting oil price casts shadow over fracking’s future – Guardian
Bitstamp exchange hacked, $5M worth of bitcoin stolen – ZDNet
Whining Harvard Professors Discover Obamacare – Bloomberg
Twelve Lessons for 2015 – Cassidy, New Yorker

MARKETS/INVESTING
Oil falls further, but stocks stabilize after Asia losses – AP
A bear market in stocks just became more likely – MarketWatch
RBC’s Golub: Stocks Will Rise for 2-3 Years, Despite Fed Tightening – Money News
One-Way Dollar Wagers Losing Allure for Strategists – Bloomberg
Citigroup: ‘Peak Pessimism’ at Hand for Oil Services Stocks – Barron’s
Bonds Rally Around World With Global Yields at Record-Low 1.28% – Bloomberg
Gold climbs to 3-week high as investors seek safety – Reuters
Where will gold end 2015 – $1,000, $1,325 or maybe $2,500? – Mineweb
Baby Steps for Gold: Two Days of Gains After Two Years of Declines -Barron’s
Barclays: Gold To Come ‘Under Significant Pressure’ In 2015 – Kitco

ECONOMY/WORLD/HOUSING/BANKING
American consumers are more upbeat – Washington Post
What a Stronger Dollar Means for the Economy – NY Times
U.S. small-business borrowing fell in November: PayNet – Reuters
Eurozone’s big economies increasingly drag on the region – AP
Euro Area Menaced by Relapse Risk as ECB Weighs Action – Bloomberg
Canadians Are Turning Sour On The Housing Market – Huffington Post Canada
Plunging oil could chip away at million-dollar housing market – Houston Chronicle
San Francisco’s Housing Market to Remain Steadfastly Bonkers in 2015 – Curbed
Goldman Thinks JPMorgan Is Too Big, But Not Too Big to Fail – Bloomberg
Rank and Vile – Slate

 
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