The Mess That Greenspan Made - Part 2

A Dovish Fed? The Same, Just Different

I’m still catching up on what happened today at the Fed meeting that resulted in stocks turning in their best day of the year. Apparently, stock traders liked what they said.

After looking at the photo above from this Marketwatch story, clearly, a lot of people have placed a lot of trust in a lot of white-haired economists at the Fed.

UPDATE: OK, I’ve read a bit about what went on today and this WSJ item does a good job of detailing the tortured semantics that necessitated a title change above.

Wednesday Morning Links

MUST READS
Russia Is So Screwed – Slate
Russia’s rouble crisis: Going over the edge – Economist
Ruble rebounds on report Russia is selling foreign currency – MarketWatch
Rouble turmoil leads to Apple halting online sales in Russia – Bloomberg
Wrecking Russia’s economy could be a disaster for the west – Guardian
Putin vs. FOREX Markets: What to Know About the Ruble’s Collapse – Washington Post
Fed likely to signal rate hike on track despite global woes – Reuters
Hilsenrath: A ‘Strong Possibility’ Fed Will Drop ‘Considerable Time’ – WSJ
Great Unwind of Oil-and-Gas Junk Bonds to Defund Fracking? – Wolf Street
Humans May Be Causing the Sixth Great Extinction in Half a Billion Years – Vice News
New York Mag says ‘we were duped’ by $72 million teen trader – CNN/Money
How We Got Here – Alhambra Partners

MARKETS/INVESTING
Stock futures higher; focus on inflation, Fed – MarketWatch
Oil holds below $60 as OPEC, Russia keep pumping – Reuters
Eight Things I Wish for Wall Street – Lewis, Bloomberg
What Wall Street’s big-money managers predict for 2015 – MarketWatch
Treasuries Decline Before Inflation Data as Fed’s Decision Looms – Bloomberg
Gold edges back above $1,200 ahead of Fed statement – Reuters
Traders Betting Russia’s Next Move Will Be to Sell Gold – Bloomberg
Opposing Forces At Play In The Precious Metals Complex – GoldSilverWorlds
Europeans want their gold back, and why that’s bad for the euro – MarketWatch
This Is What Gold Does In a Currency Crisis – Dollar Collapse

ECONOMY/WORLD/HOUSING/BANKING
Yes, Japan Lost a Decade. So Did U.S. – Bloomberg
Oil, Employment, and Growth – Mauldin Economics
Saving America’s malls from the brink of death – CNN/Money
As China’s Economy Slows, So Too Does Growth in Workers’ Wages – WSJ
Mortgage Rates Back to Pre-Taper-Tantrum Levels – Mortgage News Daily
Bay Area housing market throttles back but San Francisco still red-hot – LA Times
Yellen’s Fed Cavalry Low on Ammo as Global Concerns Spread – Bloomberg
Now it’s the Fed’s turn to pour grease on the market fire – Marketwatch
Fed’s Forward Guidance Amounts to a “Considerable (Waste of) Time” – e21
What is China’s Banking System Telling Us? – Capitalist Exploits

 

Wither Russia? Oo-Yeh!

John McCain’s quip that Russia is “a gas station masquerading as a country” appears to be more true every day as a failed attempt to prop up the ruble with a rate hike from 10.5 percent to 17 percent is now seen by FOREX markets as sign of desperation rather than strength, leading to more selling of the ruble as the oil price continues to move lower.

This Washington Post story put the two side-by-side as shown below (does anyone care about Ukraine anymore?) as they detailed how doomed the Russian economy is.

According to this Moscow Times report, the Russian people may already be adapting to the new currency realities – as they did in the 1990s – via the reintroduction of:

the u.e. — which stands for the Russian words “uslovnaya yedinitsa,” or “conditional unit” and is pronounced “oo-yeh”

This is a currency unit pegged to the dollar aimed at keeping retailers from having to replace price tags on a daily (if not hourly) basis. About the only thing that seems certain at this point is that this will probably get worse before it gets better.

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Tuesday Morning Links

MUST READS
China’s Manufacturing Shrinks. Stimulus, Please! – Barron’s
Rouble dives to fresh low despite shock 17% rate rise – BBC
Sorry, Putin. Russia’s economy is doomed – Washington Post
Putin vs Currency Markets: What to know about the rouble’s collapse – Economic Times
There’s No Saving Russia’s Imploding Economy from the World’s Hurt Feelings – Vice News
Fed’s Big Decision: World Markets Hang on The Words ‘Considerable Time’ – Bloomberg
Oil slumps near $59 for first time since 2009 on oversupply – Reuters
Big trouble for the Bakken: Has The Bust Begun? – SRSrocco Report
Icahn: Oil’s woes may be proof of junk-bond bubble – MarketWatch
Ambrose Evans-Pritchard: Why Paul Krugman is wrong – Telegraph
Watch Out for Your Eyeballs! – Capitalist Exploits
Pigmen win again – Burning Platform

MARKETS/INVESTING
World stocks slip, China surges on stimulus hopes – AP
A Lesson in Market Crashes – A Wealth of Common Sense
Dearth of Airline ETFs Sends Investors to Transport Funds – ETF Trends
Japan stocks slide to six-week low as yen advances – MarketWatch
Treasuries Climb as Russia Rate Increase Spurs Demand for Safety – Bloomberg
Gold up on weak dollar after worst day in a year, Fed eyed – Reuters
Indian gold imports in November close to 150 tns – BullionDest
UK company sells gold, silver refineries after 162 years – Mining.com
France and the Gold Standard – voxeu
Signs of Optimism in Gold – Barron’s

ECONOMY/WORLD/HOUSING/BANKING
Economic Recovery Spreads to the Middle Class – NY Times
How Fiscal Policy Failed During the Great Recession – Fiscal Times
This Is Why the Oil-Price Crash Will Maul the US Economy – Wolf Street
Spain’s Brief Flirtation with Democracy Comes to Brutal End – Raging Bull
UK inflation slumps to 12-year low as oil prices crash – Telegraph
What can home buyers learn from stock market jitters? The 10-year rule – Globe & Mail
US Real Estate Market Is Edging Closer To Full Recovery – NuWire Investor
Dick Bove: Fed ‘Forcing Bank Transactions Into Shadow Market’ – MoneyNews
Peter Boockvar: Dear Federal Reserve… – Reformed Broker
Industrial Production, Russia – Fed Watch

 
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