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Minutes are the notes of the most prior Fed meeting, which is the bankster gathering that decides how global interest rates should move. The last time that the FOMC Minutes were released, the Fit Hit the Shan: market volatility SPIKED!

The most recent FOMC Minutes to be released happened Wednesday afternoon and was a letdown compared to the most recent statement. OK, let’s be honest; it’s just back to normal – zzzzzzz.

A few of the FOMC comments are below…

Most viewed the risks to the outlook for economic activity and the labor market as nearly balanced. However, a number of participants noted that economic growth over the medium term might be slower than they currently expected if the foreign economic or financial situation deteriorated significantly.

…It was observed that if foreign economic or financial conditions deteriorated further, U.S. economic growth over the medium term might be slower than currently expected. However, many participants saw the effects of recent developments on the domestic economy as likely to be quite limited. These participants suggested variously that the share of external trade in the U.S. economy is relatively small, that the effects of changes in the value of the dollar on net exports are modest, that shifts in the structure of U.S. trade and production over time may have reduced the effects on U.S. trade of developments like those seen of late, or that the slowdown in external demand would likely prove to be less severe than initially feared. Several participants judged that the decline in the prices of energy and other commodities as well as lower long-term interest rates would likely provide an offset to the higher dollar and weaker foreign growth, or that the domestic recovery remained on a firm footing.

…Inflation was continuing to run below the Committee’s longer-run objective. Market-based measures of inflation compensation declined somewhat, while survey-based measures of longer-term inflation expectations remained stable. Participants anticipated that inflation would be held down over the near term by the decline in energy prices and other factors, but would move toward the Committee’s 2 percent goal in coming years, although a few expressed concern that inflation might persist below the Committee’s objective for quite some time. Most viewed the risks to the outlook for economic activity and the labor market as nearly balanced. However, a number of participants noted that economic growth over the medium term might be slower than they currently expected if the foreign economic or financial situation deteriorated significantly

So the FOMC met and decided…uhhh, not much. Well, it did mention that it dislikes inflation below 2%. You see, the Fed is not happy unless it steals 2% per year, MINIMUM, from you and if it’s below that – it’s upset. And if that wasn’t enough, well ZERO percent paid to you on your savings ought to make it right.

After all, a banking thief has got to get his mistress a new diamond ring once in a while to keep her happy – right? Come on brother, pitch in a few % – wont’cha?

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I read an interesting op-ed that ran in the Wall Street Journal from Charles Schwab. I found it intriguing to read a Wall Street veteran that didn’t sound like one of the high-priests of the Keynesian religion of economics. I hope you enjoy it too.

For America’s 44 million senior citizens, plus tens of millions of others who are on the threshold of retirement, last month marked a watershed moment that is worth celebrating. At the end of October, the Federal Reserve announced the first step in returning to a more normal monetary policy. After nearly six years of near-zero interest rates and quantitative easing, the Fed is ending its bond-buying program and has signaled a plan to eventually begin raising the federal-funds rate, raising interest rates to more normal levels by 2017.

U.S. households lost billions in interest income during the Fed’s near-zero interest rate experiment. Because they are often reliant on income from savings, seniors were hit the hardest. Households headed by seniors 65-74 years old lost on average $1,900 in annual income over the past six years, according to a November 2013 McKinsey Global Institute report. For households headed by seniors 75 and older, the loss was $2,700 annually.

With a median income for senior households in the U.S. of roughly $25,000, these are significant losses. In total, according to my company’s calculations, approximately $58 billion in annual income has been lost by America’s seniors since 2008.

Retirees depend on income from their savings for basic living expenses. Without that income, many seniors have taken on greater risk to increase the potential yield on their savings, or simply spent down their nest eggs. After decades of playing by the rules, putting off spending and socking away money, seniors have taken it on the chin. This strikes a blow at the core American principles of self-reliance, individual responsibility and fairness.

Their lost income affects all Americans. Seniors make up 13% of the U.S. population and spend about $1.2 trillion annually—a big chunk of America’s $11.5 trillion consumer economy. In general, seniors spend more than their income, withdrawing each year from accumulated savings, and so their interest earnings get spent right back into the economy.

This makes for a potent multiplier effect. My company estimates that the $58 billion in annual interest income lost by seniors over the past six years would have boosted GDP by $115 billion a year during this period. In a $17 trillion economy that amounts to an additional 0.7% of GDP growth, by no means inconsequential—a 1% increase in GDP typically leads to an increase of more than a million jobs.

Normalized interest rates are also good for the economy broadly. Total short-term interest-bearing assets are today close to $11 trillion. Based on that, a 1% increase in interest rates will generate over $100 billion in increased income. And there is ample room to raise rates. Today the one-year return on a CD is just north of 1%. In a more normal environment, the annual return on a one-year CD has been about 6.15%. As interest rates begin to normalize, increased personal income will drive spending, economic growth and jobs.

Will more historically normal interest rates have negative impacts on others? The cost of home ownership may be higher and borrowing in general will be more expensive. But these costs are largely born by middle-class and higher-income families and they will see that impact lessened over time through inflation. But is it fair that seniors subsidize cheaper credit for others? Most people wouldn’t think so.

So celebration is in order. First, because the famine for savers and seniors over the past six years may soon be over. And second, because good news for savers is good news for the economy and job seekers. Savings are closely tied to investment and growth. The more savings people have, the more money there is to spend or invest, and the faster the economy grows.

Because it creates a direct shot of consumer income that in turn becomes consumer spending, the return of normal market-based interest rates will increase the velocity of money in ways that the policies of the past six years have not. That is a good reason to encourage the Fed to be even more aggressive and normalize monetary policy as quickly as possible. But today, let’s celebrate the Fed’s first steps in that direction and the monetary benefits they’ll have for seniors and savers.

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Yes, I have written about Goldman before but it’s hard to ignore these stories.

From Zero Hedge:

If only the $3.2 billion Goldman Sachs Global Opportunities hedge fund had listened to the firm’s equity strategists, life would have been great. However, as Bloomberg reports, the so-called ‘best-ideas’ fund dropped 5.6% in October leaving it down 2.6% for 2014 as interest-rate bets went pear-shaped amid the crash-and-dash that was October’s market manipulation. “We believe monetary policy needs to catch up with growth, and that interest rates in the US and UK are likely to rise by a significant amount,” the fund wrote. It seems Goldman ‘muppeted’ itself.Things aren’t working out… and as a gentle reminder, the fund lost 35% in 2008.

As Bloomberg reports,

A $3.2 billion Goldman Sachs Group Inc. hedge fund that pools some of the firm’s best ideas declined 5.6 percent last month as a bet on the direction of U.S. interest rates went wrong, two people with knowledge of the matter said.

Goldman Sachs Global Opportunities Fund, which invests based on the trade ideas from the money-management unit’s fixed-income team, took a position that interest rates would rise, only to see them decline, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private.

.”We believe monetary policy needs to catch up with growth, and that interest rates in the US and UK are likely to rise by a significant amount in the next one to two years,” according to a March paper written by the asset management arm.

The fund, which has counted former presidential contender Mitt Romney among its investors, is a relative value pool that takes positions on rising and falling prices in the global fixed-income and foreign exchange markets. The fund, which was started in 2001, had $3.2 billion in assets as of June, the people said.

Since inception, the fund has generated a net internal rate of return of 9.1 percent, said one of the people. It declined 2.6 percent in 2014 through October. If that performance holds, it would lead to the second calendar-year loss in the fund’s history. The fund declined 35 percent in 2008, according to the people.

The fund is overseen by Jonathan Beinner, co-head of global fixed income at Goldman Sachs Asset Management, and Samuel Finkelstein,head of macro strategies within the fixed-income team, according to a regulatory filing this year.

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Goldman “muppeted” itself..

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Ebola, ISIS, falling oil prices, recession…you name it, there’s something scary looming on the horizon. But the newest concern may be the one to finally send us all screaming in the streets – a potential chocolate shortage.

Candy and chocolate manufacturers, including Mars and Hershey, have been raising prices as the global consumption of cocoa has outpaced production.

Central Banks, can we please intervene. Is there some sort of Quantitative Eating program to save us from a life without sweets?

From the Fiscal Times.

The International Cocoa Organization (ICCO) said in June it sees a deficit of 30,000 tons in the current 2013-2014 time frame– about 100,000 tons lower than its forecast at the start of the season. It predicted that the deficit for next season (2014-2015) should also hover around 100,000 tons.

“Production will decline and demand will continue to increase,” said Laurent Pipitone, director of economics and statistics at the ICCO during the second World Cocoa Conference, held in Amsterdam.

Demand for cocoa has been on the rise, especially as North American consumers opt for the healthier dark chocolate, which has a higher cocoa content. Yet supply has been shrinking for several reasons:

• A growing taste for chocolate and therefore higher demand from China.

• Dry weather in West Africa, the main cocoa production region.

• A deadly fungus called frosty pod.

• And to a lesser extent, Ebola, as harvesting and shipping of cocoa in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone have been seriously curtailed because of the disease’s impact on the population there.

As a result, the price of cocoa has been risen this year, although it fell last month. In October, the ICCO daily price averaged $3,101 per ton, down by $120 compared to the average price in the previous month.

The rising price of cocoa has in turn prompted major chocolate manufacturers to increase their prices. Mars Inc., which makes M&M’s and Snickers, announced in July it would raise prices by an average of 7 percent to offset rising costs, for its first increase in three years.

Janet, Mario…send the central farmers! We need to be able to afford a Hershey bar.

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Overnight we found out that things have gotten even worse economically in Japan. It has just recorded a triple dip recession. A recession is usually defined by a period of economic decline, or negative GDP, for two consecutive quarters. Double dip recessions are two recessions separated by a brief period of positive GDP, usually a month or two. A triple dip recession is simply extended by one more positive GDP surge, then right back into “negative growth,” which is where Japan finds itself today.

Tradewithlarry

The Japanese government had said some time ago that it would once again raise sales taxes but hasn’t followed through. In fact, one might wonder if it was a bluff all along because over the last several weeks the government declared a stay of execution of sorts. With each announcement that the tax hike would be delayed, the Japanese markets significantly rallied, as well as our own.

Was Prime Minister Abe just attempting to boost the markets and hopefully the economy in order to goose final GDP and thus avoided the dreaded triple dip recession?

Clearly Abenomics is a complete failure; but when has failure ever.

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Short selling; do you remember that? It has been fraught with so much danger since the global central banks decided to rig the equity markets that it seems to have just gone away. Short selling individual stocks over short time horizons is still viable; however, short funds are always working on a longer time horizon, which makes it much more difficult.

Interesting comments from SocGen’s Andrew Lapthorne follow.

Aided and abetted by QE, the last three years has seen the MSCI World Index rise by 38% whilst reported profits have risen by just 3%.This complete disconnection with fundamentals has been painful for short-funds looking to generate returns out of companies with weak business models.

With the global equity markets up almost 150% since the 2009’s low, fueled by cheap money and central bank QE, it is little wonder investors have lost interest in shorting. Indeed, many dedicated short funds have simply closed up shop recently or have returned investor’s cash whilst awaiting richer pickings or at least some return to a market more focused on fundamentals, rather than central bank largesse.

Long/short equity strategies have struggled in this environment (see below) and dedicated short funds have suffered most. That short funds suffer during rising markets is not unusual, minimizing the pain in the good times and then delivering during a crisis is usually the objective. However the last few years have been particularly painful. For example during the bull market run in equities during 2003/07, whilst dedicated short funds underperformed, they held their ground in absolute terms. This allowed long/short equity to do well even despite the rapid market rise, i.e. the short side did not detract from the overall performance. The same cannot be said of more recent performance, where short strategies performance has been so painful that we suspect many have simply given up.

QE has helped kill off the dark arts.

Why have short-strategies suffered so much? We suspect QE may be part of the problem. As is now well recognized QE has helped drive up equities, but has done little to improve underlying earnings, as such it has pushed up share prices well in excess of what might be justified by fundamentals.

We are still amazed by the chart [below], but it summarizes the problem for those seeking to short stocks with fundamental weaknesses. In the last three years, the MSCI World Index has risen by 38% (11% per annum) whilst reported profits have risen by just 3% (that’s just 1% per annum!).

As the events of last month attest, central bank actions–not profits–are driving equities forward.

Tradewithlarry

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This morning regulators in the U.S., Britain and Switzerland ordered five banks to pay about $3.3 billion in the first wave of penalties since authorities began a global probe into the rigging of key foreign-exchange benchmarks last year.

While these sound like big scary numbers, we have to remember who is getting whacked. How could any entity survive these fines? Well, the banks have set aside about $5.3 billion in recent weeks for legal matters, including the currency investigations. The fact is that the balance sheets of the big banks can absorb this kind of hit. Not bad to have a spare couple of billion dollars in the rain day fund.

From Bloomberg we get the details:

Switzerland’s UBS AG (UBSN) was ordered to pay the most at $800 million, according to statements from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority and the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority. Citigroup Inc. (C) will pay $668 million, followed by JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) at $662 million. Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc was fined about $634 million and HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA) $618 million. Barclays Plc (BARC), which had been in settlement talks, said it wasn’t ready for a deal.

Banks and individuals could still face further penalties and litigation following the 13-month probe into allegations dealers at the biggest banks colluded with counterparts at other firms to rig benchmarks used by fund managers to determine what they pay for foreign currency. The U.S. Justice Department and Britain’s Serious Fraud Office are also leading criminal probes into the $5.3 trillion-a-day currency market.

“The traders put their own interest ahead of their customers, they manipulated the market — or attempted to manipulate the market — and abused the trust of the public,” FCA Chief Executive Officer Martin Wheatley told reporters at a briefing in London today. The regulator will press firms to review their bonus plans and claw back payments already made.

With these harsh words and stiff penalties the European banks stocks must have taken a hit overnight? Nope.

UBS rose 0.4 percent to 16.82 francs in Zurich, while RBS was also up 0.5 percent at 379.60 pence. Only Barclays fell 1.5 percent to 231.15 pence as of 10:36 a.m. in London trading. By delaying, Barclays won’t now receive the 30 percent reduction in its penalty the FCA awarded the other banks settling today.

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The stock market and stock index futures are open for trading today, however the bond markets are closed. With a complete lack of volume and volatility yesterday, and big shocker, new all time highs, there is really nothing new to say about these markets.

There are also no words to effectively acknowledge our veteran’s service and sacrifice. I decided to use this column to share an article about 5 ways we can honor our veterans besides celebrating this holiday.

From CNN:

Check your assumptions

“Veterans are very often stereotyped into two stock characters: the crying wounded or the guy who jumps the White House fence to get to the President,” said Paul Rieckhoff, the executive director of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, a national nonprofit with more than 200,000 members.

“Don’t treat us like victims,” said Rieckhoff, an Amherst College graduate and former Wall Street investment analyst who led an Army platoon in Iraq in 2003 and 2004. “We’re not broken. We’ve been through a lot, but we’re rising out of it.”

While national discussion and media coverage of post-traumatic stress disorder has chipped away at some of the generations-old entrenched stigma associated with mental illness, many of these stories involving PTSD make headlines because they involve violence, Rieckhoff said.

It’s critical for everyone to remember that having PTSD doesn’t mean a person will be violent, and not every veteran has PTSD.

Each veteran has a unique story. Their military service has probably shaped them in profound ways, but they are not the sum total of that time. Take the time get to know one of them. They have a lot of lessons to share.

Invest in veterans — it’s good business

One of the biggest hurdles service members face after leaving the military is finding a job. About 77% of veterans have struggled through unemployment and more than a quarter have searched for more than a year for a job, according to Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.

But there’s reason for hope, judging by recent figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate for post 9/11 veterans peaked in January 2011 at 15.2%, CNNMoney reported. In October 2013, there was 10% unemployment. Last month, the job picture for veterans improved as unemployment hovered around 7%. (The national unemployment rate is 5.8%.)

Many corporations have launched new hiring initiatives for veterans. In April 2013, Walmart pledged to give 100,000 veterans jobs within five years. In November 2013, Starbucks launched a nationwide initiative to hire 10,000 veterans and spouses by the end of 2018. Uber is driving programs to hire veterans.

Want to hire a veteran? The Returning Heroes Tax Credit should provide a financial incentive. For veterans who need jobs, the veterans job bank and resources on the VA website might help. Trouble traveling? The Veterans Recruiting Service will host a virtual career fair on Tuesday.

Help veterans’ families, too

While it’s well known that 22 veterans a day kill themselves, a CNN investigation revealed that many military family members also have attempted or contemplated suicide.

“The Uncounted” examined how war’s trauma can wrack entire families. Family members have endured unprecedented multiple deployments during two wars, in Afghanistan and Iraq, lasting more than a decade. That means financial and emotional stress for relatives. If a family member returns from war, it’s often the relatives who must care for them.

“If we can’t figure out a way to provide better support for families, the public will pay one way or another,” said Kristina Kaufmann, executive director of Code of Support Foundation, which tries to bridge the gap between military and civilian communities.

Every family member interviewed for “The Uncounted” expressed the same need to be understood by those whose lives had nothing to do with the military. They didn’t want to be thought of as “the other.”

“Don’t be afraid to approach us. This heartache I have — it makes other people uncomfortable. It hits them in a place that scares them,” said New Jersey parent Bill Koch, whose son Steven died in Afghanistan in 2008. His daughter committed suicide two years later, an act her parents believe was inextricably tied to losing Steven.

“It can hurt so much more when we feel like we’re making other people uncomfortable by talking about our kids,” Koch said. “Don’t push military family members away because you’re afraid you’ll say the wrong thing. Just asking us means you care, and that means everything.”

Volunteer with veterans’ programs

Whether it’s a simple conversation with a veteran or their family member or volunteering, get involved. Figure out what you do best and offer that skill. If you’re a mental health professional, donate your services to Give an Hour, which connects counselors to service members, veterans and their families.

Reach out to TAPS, Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, which connects family members who have lost service members and veterans in similar ways. For instance, if someone’s brother died of an IED attack in Iraq, TAPS links that person with a peer who has lost a sibling in Iraq.

The National Military Family Association and Blue Star Families also connects military families with leaders in the civilian community.

“The Uncounted” highlighted an innovative New York clinic that broke from the traditional approach by linking the VA and a private hospital system so both could operate in a single shared office space.

Patients, including one Iraq veteran and his wife, credit the clinic for saving their marriage. The RAND Corporation has recently secured funding for a yearlong study of the clinic’s efficacy to see if the program should be replicated across the country, said senior adviser to the project Terri Tanielian, whose career has been focused on veterans issues.

An overwhelming number of nonprofits and community groups have popped up over the past decade, making it harder to find a good one, she and others say. Tanielian recommended Welcome Back Veterans, which is intended to help people in the community link to veterans. The effort spans the country, and is based at medical and academic institutions in Boston, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Durham, North Carolina. Read an in-depth analysis of the program.

Pressure the Department of Veterans Affairs

The VA is the second largest agency in the U.S. government, rivaled in size only by the Department of Defense.

Since November 2013, CNN has been investigating and reporting about the department’s failures to adequately treat veterans. Records of dead veterans were changed or physically altered in an effort to hide how many people died waiting for treatment at a Phoenix VA hospital, CNN reported. Investigators issued a scathing report that outlined 24 recommendations for change, including a firm determination of how soon a veteran should be treated and a total overhaul of the VA’s appointment system.

Part of the shake-up spelled the end of Vietnam veteran and former Army chief of staff Eric Shinseki’s job as VA secretary. He was replaced by Robert McDonald, a West Point graduate who led Procter & Gamble to incredible success.

McDonald told “60 Minutes” on Sunday that he plans to make it much simpler for veterans to get care; they’ll have to search only one website, not dozens as they must now. Management will change and people who don’t share the VA’s core values won’t work there anymore.

Rieckhoff, the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans’ organization leader, told CNN that McDonald has shown himself to be far more active and aware of the VA’s problems and has showed an eagerness to work with veterans to change the agency. But he also urged people to write their members of Congress to make sure addressing the VA’s problems remains a priority.

“We feel like (McDonald) is different because he’s actually taken the time to meet veterans and ask them what they need,” said Rieckhoff. “But there has to be much more. Everyone in this country — beyond us, beyond veterans — must make sure that the people who can fix the VA stick to their promises and make it happen.”

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Just like the comedian who goes for the cheap laugh (say, making fun of an audience member), it’s hard not to write about the easy targets.

From the central banks to the fraud street banksters, their antics provide a never ending source of material. Take “The Goldman Sachs” (said in the voice of the bunny from the famous viral video).

Whenever a client of Goldman loses money, it’s apparently never Goldman’s fault, never a bad investment, never bad advice and never due to Goldman’s own conflicts of interest.

In the latest installment of “The Teflon Chronicles,” Goldman is alleged to have lost 98 percent of a Libyan sovereign investment fund’s $1.3 billion while charging $350 million in fees. Needless to say the injured party is suing the firm.

From Dennis M. Kelleher via he Huffington Post

In the lawsuit, the “clients” Goldman claims were sophisticated were described as “‘a team of clearly naïve and unqualified individuals…doing their best in the face of extremely intelligent, ambitious and experienced individuals.’” Goldman’s position that its clients (or counterparties or, for that matter, muppets) are sophisticated appears particularly questionable given that Goldman appears always to make money, but its really, really sophisticated clients, er, counterparties, er, muppets often don’t appear to. (Frankly, the massive losses inflicted on the buy side – including some of the supposedly most sophisticated investors — during the financial crash should have killed the myth of the sophisticated investor a long time ago, but it remains a potent legal defense and Goldman is pushing it hard.)

In addition to the issues raised directly in the lawsuit and in reporting about possible bribery, prostitution and other corruption, a couple of other interesting issues are suggested by the allegations. First, outside the lawsuit, Goldman has publicly claimed (at Levin’s hearing for example) that it began to protect itself and its balance sheet in 2007 and early 2008 as it saw a high risk of extreme volatility and a possible crash of the subprime mortgage bubble. Yet, it is alleged in the lawsuit that, “[b]etween January and June 2008, Goldman execs set up a $1.3 billion investment [for its client LIA] in option contracts on Citigroup, Italy’s UniCredit, Spain’s Banco Santander, German insurer Allianz…. The investment … worked on the thesis that the stocks would rise in value.”

Thus, it appears that Goldman was defensively protecting itself due to a concern about a possible crash from the subprime bubble at about the same time it was putting its client Libya into firms like Citigroup with huge exposure to that bubble. Was Goldman trading/positioning itself opposite the way it was advising its clients like the Libya at the same time? How many other clients did it position like Libya? How many clients did it position opposite Libya during this time?

Second, while Libya is alleged to have lost about $1.3 billion on the investments, who made the $1.3 billion? Put another way, who was on the other side of the trades? Was Goldman, directly or indirectly, on the other side?

Kelleher thinks it’s interesting that the lame stream media has given scant coverage to this lawsuit. I am not surprised. Hear no evil, see no evil when it comes to the Too Big Too Fail banks.

Trade With Larry

When the US stock market (S&P500 futures) was down exactly 10% we had the Bullard moment: he promised QE4 to come soon because a “free market” was breaking out of the clutches of the central planners. He created a kick-save envious of the best NHL goalies on the planet resulting in the desired “V” bottom. Japan stepped up next with QE9 (I guess QE1 thru 8 weren’t good enough) to keep the party going.

Today it was Draghi’s turn. In order to remind the global stock markets who’s in control, more central planning from the ECB is on the way. Praise Jesus!

From Bloomberg we read…

Having already cut interest rates to record lows and saying they can go no lower, Draghi is now focused on boosting the ECB’s balance sheet. He told reporters today that he expects to increase assets back toward March 2012 levels. That’s 3 trillion euros, or about 1 trillion euros [$1.2 trillion] more than the current level.

The ECB has issued long-term loans to banks and started buying covered bonds in the hope of flooding the economy with enough liquidity to ease credit constraints. Purchases of asset-backed securities are due to start this month.

“We are quite confident that the impact on our balance sheet size will be adequate, will be significant, will be sizable,” Draghi said. “The main message is that our balance sheet will keep expanding in the coming months and will continue expanding while the balance sheets of other central banks is bound to contract.”

Berenberg Bank economist Christian Schulz said he sees a 60 percent chance the ECB will enter the 1.4 trillion euro market for investment grade non-financial corporate bonds next month

Well this is great news for the already-wealthy people of the globe; in this case, especially those in Europe. I believe what Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher recently said “For those with access to capital, QE was a gift of free money to speculate with.”

Whether QE is done via the Fed, the BOE, the ECB, the BOJ, or the PBoC it clearly does not help the average person or the economy at large. Moreover, a rigged and rising stock market does not equate to a rising standard of living, or greater purchasing power for the average citizen.

Oh, but it sure does help the Warren Buffet’s and hedge fund managers of the world. Yup, we better keep the QE rolling along lest these titans of financial alchemy fall on hard times and need help from the Little Sisters of the Poor. We sure can’t have that!