The Mess That Greenspan Made - Part 5

Bread and Circuses: Powerball Edition

noun
1. something, as extravagant entertainment, offered as an expedient means of pacifying discontent or diverting attention from a source of grievance.

Obviously, what we’ll see next are even more rule changes to make the chances of winning go even lower and the payouts even higher. One youth outside a 7-11 the other night was heard to say, “If you don’t play, you can’t win”. Well put.

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Thursday Morning Links

MUST READS
Global markets tumble after U.S. plunge – CNN/Money
Crude Oil Falls Below $30, Goldman Says End Game Is Near – Barron’s
Emerging Stocks Extend Rout as China Concern Persists, Won Drops – Bloomberg
Nikkei heads for 1-year low on Wall St losses, global economic concern – Reuters
A Towering Chinese Debt Mountain Looms Behind Market Gyrations – Bloomberg
This Chart Says U.S. Interest Rates Are Heading Much Lower – All Star Charts
GoPro shares tumble after company says it will make cuts – NY Post
Obama Maintains Hope as Threat of Trump Looms – Real Clear Politics
Cruz’s Unreported $1 Million in Bank Loans Won’t Help His Bid for President – Fiscal Times
Democrats for Sanders/Republicans for Trump/Elites Freak Out: It Could Happen – HuffPost
The Clinton/Sanders war over single-payer health care, explained – Vox
The Nation magazine endorses Sanders – CNN/Money

MARKETS/INVESTING
Stocks: 5 things to know before the open – CNN/Money
Why Doom and Gloom Has Taken Over Wall Street – Fortune
Stocks and commodity currencies floored by new oil plunge – Reuters
China Bear Market Looms as PBOC Fails to Stop Flight to Safety – Bloomberg
Probably Everything You Need To Know About Bear Markets – Irrelevant Investor
‘No normal’ is the new normal as markets toss  traditional playbook – National Post
Are Commodities a Necessary Portfolio Component? – Reformed Broker
Gold steadies, underpinned by weakness in stocks, dollar – Reuters
“Buy Gold” As Equities “Rolling Over” Warns UBS – Gold Core
Jeff Gundlach: Gold prices will spike 30% – CNBC

ECONOMY/WORLD/HOUSING/BANKING
Beige Book portrays Jekyll & Hyde economy – MorningStar
Why People Say They Aren’t In the Labor Force – Conversable Economist
China Trade Now Following China Finance – Alhambra Partners
Canadians Go Loonie About Skyrocketing Grocery Bills – Bloomberg
Japan machinery orders fall most in 18 months, add to outlook worries – Reuters
German Economy Defied 2015 Global Slowdown as Growth Accelerated – Bloomberg
France’s Jewish Community Torn Over Religious Leader’s Call To Avoid Skullcap – Vice News
US to crack down on high-end real estate purchased with ‘dirty money’ – Guardian
Time to Get “Radical” for Emerging Market Central Banks – Wolf Street
So You Think A Recession Is Imminent, Employment Edition – Fed Watch

 

Why China Matters

After the worst start to a new year on record for stocks, news this morning that China’s exports were not nearly as bad as many feared sent stock markets surging higher for reasons that should be clear in the Voronoi diagram below from HowMuch.net.

Wednesday Morning Links

MUST READS
The Global Slowdown Hits the U.S. – WSJ
China trade surprise brings relief – Reuters
China’s December Trade Data May Mean Worst Is Over – WSJ
Is RBS right to forecast doom and gloom for the global economy? – Guardian
Young People Are Poorer, Jobless, and Believe the American Dream Is Dead – Vice News
Poll: Obama’s SOTU address receives deeply positive reviews – The Week
Haley swipes at Trump in State of the Union response – Politico
Obama’s claim that Middle East conflicts “date back millennia” – Vox
Obama’s Final SOTU Is a Dud, Like His Presidency – reason.com
“The Big Short” and Bernie’s Plan to Bust Up Wall Street – Robert Reich
Why Is Bernie Sanders Overtaking Hillary? – The Atlantic
GOP voters are refusing to fall in line – LA Times
The Obama Boom – Krugman, NY Times

MARKETS/INVESTING
Stocks: 4 things to know before the open – CNN/Money
Gundlach Paints Bearish Outlook for 2016 Investing, Economy – Bloomberg
The Dubious Logic of Stock-Market Circuit Breakers – New Yorker
China’s markets are perilously close to falling past even last year’s low point – Quartz
ALBERT EDWARDS: If I’m right, the US stock market will fall 75% – Business Insider
Canadian Stocks in Bear Market, Loonie Swoons, Crude Crashes… – Wolf Street
Gold drops for fourth straight day on stronger dollar, rising shares – Reuters
How to Make Gold and Silver the Currency of the 21st Century – GoldSilverWorlds
Platinum, palladium bear brunt of brutal 2016 – Mining.com

ECONOMY/WORLD/HOUSING/BANKING
3 Ways to Help the Working Class – Fiscal Times
The State of the Economy in Eight Charts – WSJ
Russia announces new budget cuts amid oil slide – AFP
Nigeria State Oil Company Holds First IPO by 2018: Minister – Bloomberg
An Attack on Democracy? Worries over Poland Mount in Brussels and Berlin – Spiegel
Raghuram Rajan’s no-bullshit letter on how India’s central bank must get in shape – Quartz
Zillow says Denver will be ‘hottest’ housing market of 2016 – Denver Channel
“Audit the Fed” is not about auditing the Fed – Bernanke’s Blog
Long-Run Monetary Policy and Inequality – Quantitative Ease

 

Oppenheimer & Co. senior oil and gas analyst Fadel Gheit neatly summarizes what’s currently going on in energy markets at about the 1:40 mark below:

I believe there is an agenda here that Saudi Arabia will not allow oil prices to recover until they take care of marginal producers in shale plays in the U.S. … also, to settle their score with the Iranians and Russians.

Of course, it doesn’t help that the price of money has been distorted for so long that it’s become nearly impossible to determine what the price of anything else should be.

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