“For the first time since October 2012, HSBC’s China PMI (Flash) printed at a sub-50 level (49.6) missing expectations (50.4) quite notably. This is the worst two-month drop in 17 months. This is problematic for the PBoC who are being arbitraged left, right, and center and know that any stimulus will merely serve to exacerbate the problems they face (as we noted here that China simply cannot function with ‘moderate’ growth). Every one of the main index’s 11 sub-indices is signaling ‘problems’ – from slower rates of output, slower new orders, employment dropping at a faster rate, stocks rising, and output prices falling. As HSBC notes, “The cooling manufacturing activities in May reflected slower domestic demand and ongoing external headwinds. A sequential slowdown is likely in the middle of 2Q, casting downside risk to China’s fragile growth recovery.” Of course, none of this should come as any surprise to ZH readers – as we noted here, Chinese power consumption grew at its slowest rate since May 2009.”
Via Zero Hedge
“UPDATE 1: They are panicking… BOJ injected 2 trillion yen ($19.4 billion) into the financial system to stem volatility following a circuit breaker in JGB futures trading.
UPDATE 2: Nikkei 225 is now down 1500 points from its highs and down 1150 (over 7%) from yesterday’s close
All the time it is just the quadrillion JPY second-largest bond market in the world that is experiencing volatility on an unprecedented scale, the BoJ and her partners in crime are more than willing to ‘officially’ say “please do not worry.” But when the equity market – that barometer of everything good and holy about Abenomics starts to crater, you can bet the excuses will come fast and furious. Today’s drop of over 1500 points (over 9%) from the earlier highs is the largest drop for the Nikkei 225 since March 2011. The Nikkei 225 just lost the all-powerful 15,000 level and is suffering another VaR shock with a 6-sigma move today. In fact given the price levels this drop is on par with the post-Lehman moves in 2008. The question now (with US equity futures also fading fast -20 points and JPY crosses getting hammered) is how will the Japanese risk appetite for peripheral European crap hold up with this crimping in their plan as Japanese bonds and stocks dump?”
Via Zero Hedge
“Is the coming financial collapse going to be inflationary or deflationary? Are we headed for rampant inflation or crippling deflation? This is a subject that is hotly debated by economists all over the country. Some insist that the wild money printing that the Federal Reserve is doing combined with out of control government spending will eventually result in hyperinflation. Others point to all of the deflationary factors in our economy and argue that we will experience tremendous deflation when the bubble economy that we are currently living in bursts. So what is the truth? Well, for the reasons listed below, I believe that we will see both. The next major financial panic will cause a substantial deflationary wave first, and after that we will see unprecedented inflation as the central bankers and our politicians respond to the financial crisis. This will happen so quickly that many will get “financial whiplash” as they try to figure out what to do with their money. We are moving toward a time of extreme financial instability, and different strategies will be called for at different times.”
“Two years ago, Zero Hedge first made the observation that the bulk of Fed reserves (also known simply as “cash created out of thin air” because money is first and foremost fungible no matter what textbook theoreticians may claim, and the only cash allocation preference is the capital allocation IRR analysis) had been parked not with US banks, but with foreign banks with US-based operations. We followed that with more analyses, showing explicitly how the Fed was providing a constant cash injection to foreign banks courtesy of the rate on overnight reserves which is the amount Fed pays to banks that hold reserves with it, as the bulk of reserves continued to end up with foreign banks – a situation set to become a huge political storm some time in 2014-2015 when the IOER has to rise and the Fed is “found” to have injected tens of billions of “interest” not into US banks but in foreign banks operating in the US, and which then can upstream the “profits” to insolvent offshore domiciled holding companies.”
Via Zero Hedge
“The theory of Petrodollar Warfare can be attributed to US analyst and author William R Clarke, and his 2005 book of that title which interpreted the US-UK decision to invade Iraq in 2003. He called this an “oil currency war”, but the concept of the petrodollar system and petrodollar recyling dates back to the eve of the first Oil Shock in 1973-1974. The role of the petrodollar system as a driving force of US foreign policy is explained by analysts and historians as basic to maintaining the dollar’s status as the world’s dominant reserve currency – and the currency in which oil is priced.
The term “petrodollar warfare” as used by William R. Clark says that major international war, legal or not, was seen as justified to protect the petrodollar system. Over and above the loss of human life, the combined costs of the Afghan and Iraq wars for the US are controversial like the interpretation of these wars as “oil wars”, but analysts like Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes put the total combined war cost at above $4 trillion. This can be compared with – and totally dwarfs – the annual cost of US oil imports, which are now sharply declining on a year-in year-out basis as domestic shale oil output ramps up, and US oil demand stagnates.
Clarke’s theory, like the explanation of the role and power of the “petrodollar system” depends on two basic drivers. Most major developed countries rely on oil imports, which are purchased using dollars, so they are forced to hold large stockpiles of dollars in order to continue importing oil. In turn this also creates consistent demand for dollars, and prevents the dollar from losing its relative international monetary value, regardless of what happens to the US economy.”
Via Zero Hedge
“Despite the 6.5% stock market rally over the last three months, a handful of billionaires are quietly dumping their American stocks . . . and fast.
Warren Buffett, who has been a cheerleader for U.S. stocks for quite some time, is dumping shares at an alarming rate. He recently complained of “disappointing performance” in dyed-in-the-wool American companies like Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble, and Kraft Foods.
In the latest filing for Buffett’s holding company Berkshire Hathaway, Buffett has been drastically reducing his exposure to stocks that depend on consumer purchasing habits. Berkshire sold roughly 19 million shares of Johnson & Johnson, and reduced his overall stake in “consumer product stocks” by 21%. Berkshire Hathaway also sold its entire stake in California-based computer parts supplier Intel.
With 70% of the U.S. economy dependent on consumer spending, Buffett’s apparent lack of faith in these companies’ future prospects is worrisome.
Unfortunately Buffett isn’t alone.”
Via Alt Market
“The middle class American worker is in danger of becoming an endangered species. The politicians are not telling you the truth, and the mainstream media is certainly not telling you the truth, but the reality is that there is nothing but bad news on the horizon for workers in the United States. In the old days, when the big corporations that dominate our society did well, that also meant good things for American workers since those corporations would need more of us to work for them. But in the emerging one world economic system that our economy is being merged into, those corporations have other choices now. For instance, the big corporations can now choose to limit the number of “expensive” American workers that they employ by shipping millions of jobs to the other side of the world. And from their perspective, it makes perfect sense. They can make much bigger profits by hiring people on the other side of the planet to work for them for less than a dollar an hour. If they can get good production out of those people, then why should they hire Americans for ten to twenty times as much, plus have to give those Americans health insurance and other benefits? Another major factor in the slow, agonizing death of the American worker is technology. We live during a period when technology is advancing at a pace that is almost unimaginable at the same time that it is steadily becoming cheaper and cheaper. “
Philly Fed Misses, Key Indicators Negative Across The Board: Employment Index Lowest Since September 2009
“It’s just getting plain stupid out there. Just as stocks were exploding into the green (perhaps on expectations of an epic Philly Fed miss), the Philly Fed did not disappoint, printing at -5.2, down from 1.3, and crushing expectations of an increase to +2.0 (coming below the lowest forecast), the biggest miss since February and confirming that the Empire Fed index plunge was not a fluke. Virtually every components in the Philly Fed was red except for Inventories (up to 4.1 from -22.2 in March) and Prices Paid (up to 6.9 from 3.1 in March). Among the plungers, the key New Orders tumbled from -1.0 to -7.9, Shipments crashed from 9.1 to -8.5, Average Workweek slide from -2.1 to -12.4, and the Number of Employees imploded from -6.8 to -8.7, the lowest print since September 2009. And if all of this doesn’t send the Stalingrad & Poor 500 to new historic highs, we don’t know what will. All one can do now is just laugh at this “market.” “
Via Zero Hedge
“New orders and shipments are both negative, along with unfilled orders and delivery times. Inventories remain negative. The prices paid/received gap has narrowed this month and while employee count softened a bit it remains positive.
What isn’t is hours — it went negative. Obamacare my friends.
This amplifies and ratifies what was evident in the employment report last month. We’ll see if it continues through the other regional surveys.
If it does (and I expect it will) The Fed will have an interesting conundrum on its hands — faced with increasing evidence that “QE” doesn’t work and the impending crack-up that is happening now in Japan, what’s their next move?
My guess is that Bernanke has tipped his hand given that he’s already started blaming Congress.
Via Market Ticker
“As more and more countries within the European Union struggle economically, the euro – the union’s common currency – becomes more embattled, with its founder now even predicting its demise.
German Finance Minister Oskar Lafontaine, who was responsible the euro’s development and launch, is now calling for the end of the single currency in order to let southern Europe recover. He says if not, the current fiscal course is “leading to disaster.”
“The economic situation is worsening from month to month, and unemployment has reached a level that puts democratic structures ever more in doubt,” he said, according to the Telegraph, one of Britain’s largest dailies.
“The Germans have not yet realized that southern Europe, including France, will be forced by their current misery to fight back against German hegemony sooner or later,” he said, adding that much of the current fiscal crisis has come in large part from Germany’s squeeze on wages, in order to gain export share.”
Via Natural News