Editor's Note: Apologies are in order for the tardiness of the extended post, but the publisher has been trying to cope with an unfair labor situation and other troublesome issues. Those are now past. This blog shall forge ahead.
The week ended on a down note, as stocks fell across the board on the US indices.
While the Dow was the only one of the three major averages to close out the week with a gain, it still did not manage a close above the now-legendary 18,000 mark. Likewise, the S&P closed below 2100 and the NASDAQ slid further into sub-5000 numbers.
More institutional voices added to the chorus of caution as the week wore on, including Bill Gross, George Soros and Stan Drunkenmiller. Global condition stubbornly refuse to improve, despite vain attempts at stimulation by central banks, governments and the financial media.
US bond yields fell across the spectrum, with the curve flattening. The 10-year is at levels not seen in months, while globally, sub-zero percent returns have expanded to over $10 trillion in the aggregate.
Clearly, what the markets need is a cleansing of excessive and misplaced debt, something the authorities have managed to avoid for the past seven years and counting. The latest bailout comes via the US House of Representatives, putting US taxpayers on the hook for a significant portion of Puerto Rico's unpayable obligations.
The House overwhelmingly passed a package that would establish a financial control board made up of more bureaucrats, those indirectly responsible for the various aspects of the global malaise. The measure is nothing more than further can-kicking, pushing the debt and problems further out rather than addressing the underlying problems.
None of what governments do, in terms of rescue packages or stimulus measures, has made or will make any difference whatsoever. They simply borrow more, adding to the national debt, which, closing in on $20 trillion in the US, will never be repaid.
The sooner the farce of ZIRP, NIRP, QE, debt spending, and global free trade are foreclosed upon, the sooner the global economies can begin functioning as centers of capitalism.
Hoping for change will not bring change. Usually, change requires more radical measures. Globally, politicians all appear to be built from the same model, caring only to keep their positions of power and persuasion. That has to change, though real change begins at the micro-level, not the macro.
For now, heading into Northern Hemispheric summer, the course has not changes, despite storm clouds on the horizon.
The coming week offers four central bank meetings and pronouncements, in Switzerland, the UK, Japan and the US, where the FOMC is expected to keep rates unchanged on Wednesday, June 15.
For the Week:
Dow: +58.28 (+0.33%)
S&P 500: -3.08 (-0.15%)
NASDAQ: -47.97 (-0.97%)
Seriously? Again? Friday's Figures:
S&P 500: 2,096.07, -19.41 (0.92%)
Dow: 17,865.34, -119.85 (0.67%)
NASDAQ: 4,894.55, -64.07 (1.29%)
Crude Oil 48.88 -3.32% Gold 1,276.30 +0.28% EUR/USD 1.1253 +0.01% 10-Yr Bond 1.64 -2.44% Corn 422.25 -1.00% Copper 2.03 -0.61% Silver 17.33 +0.36% Natural Gas 2.92 -1.65% Russell 2000 1,163.93 -1.46% VIX 17.03 +16.33% BATS 1000 20,677.17 0.00% GBP/USD 1.4255 -0.04% USD/JPY 106.9400 0.00%