Monday, February 10, 2014

Financial Sarcasm Roundup for 02/10/14

It's time once again for sarcasm but I think I'll leave out the LOLcats.  Putting those images together is a lot of work and it may not be worth my time if it prevents me from writing more articles.  I may revisit the concept in the future.

Here comes another empty threat of a US Treasury default.  We've all heard this alarmism before.  A default isn't going to happen as long as the US can roll its short term debt to pay interest, and it can do so as long as the Fed is buying Treasuries.  The only threat to this dysfunctional status quo is a spike in real interest rates that crashes the assets on the Fed's balance sheet.  Lawmakers' decreased willingness to risk brinksmanship reveal the precariousness of this untenable situation.

The PBOC is telling us to get used to volatility in the yuan money market interest rate.  Really?  Gee, ya don't say.  My last few sarcasm roundups have dealt with the likelihood that the PBOC is losing control of China's own yield curve.  The first possible WMP default deadline came and went without incident, but future problems are unavoidable.  This is a preview of what will happen in the US when our own central bank is unable to contain interest rates.

Wages are not moving up, and neither is hiring.  The macroeconomic reason is simple but largely unreported.   Real unemployment is much higher than the official BLS figure.  This slack labor market is known to hiring managers who receive thousands of resumes for a handful of job vacancies.   High-income earners are doing just fine while health care mandates are about to hollow out middle class employment.  Everyone below the top 1% should prepare to get a lot poorer.

The SEC is cracking down on financial advisers who make bold claims in social media.  I'm not an adviser, so any claims I make at Alfidi Capital about my tremendous genius or charisma fall outside the SEC's jurisdiction.  I do not guarantee or promise anything at all, although I try my very best to ridicule stupidity.  I do not sell any products or do anything for clients.  Advisers who claim they can guarantee any investment result deserve scrutiny, and a lot of advisers don't deserve to be in business at all.

If you miss the LOLcats, I don't ever want to hear about it.