“The Idea That Inflation Is Transitory Is Nonsense”: How One Hedge Fund Manager Plans To Profit From Fed Stupidity

“The Idea That Inflation Is Transitory Is Nonsense”: How One Hedge Fund Manager Plans To Profit From Fed Stupidity

Ahead of tomorrow’s FOMC decision, and in general, two clear camps are emerging when it comes to the increasingly acrimonious debate whether the current soaring inflation is “transitory” or not. In one camp we have the establishmentarians: those with little vision, limited imagination, and whose job precludes them from conceiving of any outcome but that accepted by the groupthink led by the Fed. As noted earlier, this now includes the vast majority of Wall Street…

… not to mention most central bankers and virtually every TV newscaster and reporter, desperate to hit that career pinnacle of asking the Fed chair a ridiculously boring and boneheaded question one day: a career goal that will never happen if one dares to think originally.

In the other camp we have a handful of contrarians, “divergents”, and the occasional brilliant trader such as Paul Tudor Jones ( “buy commodities, buy crypto, buy gold”), Kyle Bass (“real inflation is 10%…The Fed has got to really start thinking about food prices.”) and Michael Burry, people who took the opposite side to the consensus and won big.

They will likely end up winning again.

Today we can add one more to what will soon be the winning team: Wincrest Capital founder Barbara Ann Bernard was quite clear where she stands on the temporary/permanent inflation debate when in an idea with Bloomberg she said that “The idea that inflation is transitory is nonsense.”

Barbara Ann Bernard

Picking up on what BofA, Deutsche Bank, and increasingly more “serious” analysts have said, the chief investment officer of the Nassau, Bahamas-based Wincrest said that much of the Biden administration’s agenda, including reducing wealth inequality and promoting the ESG hypocrisy, support a structural lift to inflation.

Naturally, Fed officials, who have been always wrong about everything but can cover up all of their mistakes with ever more grotesque amounts of money printing, have been taking the opposite view, emphasizing that a recent surge in inflation won’t last. A lot is riding on this debate, and if money managers like Bernard or Paul Tudor Jones prove correct, it could mean that central bankers will have to move ahead with plans to begin normalizing their ultra-loose monetary policy.

Unlike many of her peers, Barnard has no problem with being outspoken: the money manager began her career in finance at 15, when she persuaded the iconic investor John Templeton – a fellow Bahamian resident – to take her on board for the first of what would become a series of summer jobs at Templeton Global Advisors. Her career also included stretches at Deutsche Bank AG in alternative investments and at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. as an investment banking analyst.

For Bernard, the U.S. administration’s focus on wealth distribution and the potential for higher minimum wages in some states could put more money in more pockets, adding to price pressures. Talk of a carbon tax and increased focus on environmental, social and governance initiatives also stand to add to companies’ costs.

“All of that plus changing supply chains is inflationary,” she said, making a point so obvious one can see why nobody at the Fed can grasp it.

Like PTJ she plans on making money when the “transitorists” are proven wrong, and like PTJ she is going long commodities, such as nickel and copper. On Monday, iconic trader Tudor Jones told in an interview with CNBC that inflation risk wasn’t transitory. If he were on the investment committee of a pension fund, he said he’d “have as many inflation hedges on as I possibly could.”

Yet despite growing warnings from some of the most erudite traders of their generation, the Treasury market appears unfazed by the inflation risk, and as we noted previously, yields in the world’s biggest bond market aren’t far above a three-month low set Friday. The rate is down from a March 30 peak of 1.774%. The bond market’s most-watched proxy for inflation expectations has also faded from recent highs.
Bernard’s take is that the market is ill-prepared for what’s ahead (we discussed this in “5 Reasons Why Treasury Yields Tumbled Even As Inflation Surges… And Isn’t Transitory“).

“There are ways to outrun inflation,” Bernard said. “But if you just sit there, you are going to get rolled over.”

Tyler Durden
Tue, 06/15/2021 – 20:25

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/3vooHJ3 Tyler Durden

No, The Second Amendment Was Not Primarily About Suppressing African Americans

No, The Second Amendment Was Not Primarily About Suppressing African Americans

Authored by Jonathan Turley,

The media has given highly favorable coverage to a new book by Dr. Carol Anderson, chair of Emory University’s Black Studies Department, that argues that “[the Second Amendment] was designed and has consistently been constructed to keep African Americans powerless and vulnerable.” 

In interviews with media outlets like CNN and NPR Anderson’s theory is not challenged on the history and purpose of the Second Amendment.

Like the contested claims of the “1619” project (which posited that slavery was the motivation for the establishment of the colonies), there might be a reluctance by academics to raise the countervailing historical sources out of fear of being labeled insensitive, defensive, or even racist. 

However, this is not a new theory and, while there were concerns at the time about slavery and uprisings, the roots of the Second Amendment can be traced largely to England and the fears of government oppression. The point is not to dismiss this consideration for some pro-slavery figures at the time but to put those statements in a more historically grounded and accurate context.

The book, “The Second: Race and Guns in a Fatally Unequal America,” is the latest work of Anderson who previously published “White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide.”  NPR bills its interview as “Historian Carol Anderson Uncovers The Racist Roots Of The Second Amendment.”

In truth, this is not a new theory and was long preceded by more detailed accounts by figures like Carl Bogus who wrote the 1998 work The Hidden History of the Second Amendment. Carl T. Bogus, The Hidden History of the Second Amendment31 U.C. DAVIS L. REV. 309 (1998); see also Carl T. Bogus, Race, Riots, and Guns66 S. CAL. L. REV. 1365 (1993). These works are worth reading as are the writings of my colleague Robert Cottrol (and my former colleague) Ray Diamond. See Robert J. Cottrol & Raymond T. Diamond, The Second Amendment: Toward an Afro-Americanist Reconsideration80 GEO. L.J. 309 (1991).

Bogus highlighted the quotes used later by Anderson, including a warning by Patrick Henry that the Constitution gave too much power to the federal government in the “common defense” and did not leave enough powers with the states to defend themselves. Bogus asked “What was Henry driving at? In 1788, Americans did not fear foreign invasion.  Nor did Americans still harbor the illusion that the militia could effectively contest trained military forces.” His answer was slavery and its preservation.

Slavery was a matter discussed both at the Declaration of Independence and during the Constitutional debates. There were those who were concerned about efforts to abolish slavery as well as slave uprisings. However, the Second Amendment does not appear the result in whole or in large part due to those fears. The right to bear arms was viewed as a bulwark against oppression of citizens by the government. In Northern states where slavery was not as popular, the Second Amendment was an important guarantee against that danger of tyranny. For example, the Pennsylvania Constitution (that preceded the Constitution) included these provisions:

That the people have a right to bear arms for the defense of themselves and their own state, or the United States, or for the purpose of killing game; and no law shall be passed for disarming the people or any of them, unless for crimes committed, or real danger of public injury from individuals; and as standing armies in the time of peace are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be kept up; and that the military shall be kept under strict subordination to and be governed by the civil power.

The inhabitants of the several states shall have liberty to fowl and hunt in seasonable times, on the lands they hold, and on all other lands in the United States not enclosed, and in like manner to fish in all navigable waters, and others not private property, without being restrained therein by any laws to be passed by the legislature of the United States.

New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island and other states had similar precursors to the Second Amendment.  The Framers had just overthrown a tyrant and the image of the militia and the famed “Minutemen” remained fixed in the minds of many at the time.

James Madison captured this purpose in in Federalist No. 46 when he noted that a small federal standing army would be opposed by “a militia amounting to near half a million of citizens with arms in their hands” which would be able to defeat a tyrannical standing army. He was highlighting “the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation”

Likewise, important contemporary writers at the time connected the Second Amendment to values heavily steeped in the shared history from England. There were also strong cultural and practical value placed on gun ownership, a right that was limited in England. This was still a young country where many lives along the frontier and relied on guns to sustain themselves and their families in terms of both security and sustenance. There was also a deep-seated mistrust of both a standing army and a centralized government.

That is evident in St. George Tucker’s American edition of Blackstone’s Commentaries (1803). In his publication of Blackstone, Tucker added two footnotes that reflected the thinking of many Framers:

[fn40] The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. Amendments to C. U. S. Art. 4, and this without any qualification as to their condition or degree, as is the case in the British government.

[fn41] Whoever examines the forest, and game laws in the British code, will readily perceive that the right of keeping arms is effectually taken away from the people of England.  The commentator himself informs us, Vol. II, p. 412, “that the prevention of popular insurrections and resistence to government by disarming the bulk of the people, is a reason oftener meant than avowed by the makers of the forest and game laws.”

Tucker later explained this point further:

“This may be considered as the true palladium of liberty . . . . The right of self defence is the first law of nature: in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest limits possible. Wherever standing armies are kept up, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any colour or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction. In England, the people have been disarmed, generally, under the specious pretext of preserving the game: a never failing lure to bring over the landed aristocracy to support any measure, under that mask, though calculated for very different purposes. True it is, their bill of rights seems at first view to counteract this policy: but the right of bearing arms is confined to protestants, and the words suitable to their condition and degree, have been interpreted to authorise the prohibition of keeping a gun or other engine for the destruction of game, to any farmer, or inferior tradesman, or other person not qualified to kill game. So that not one man in five hundred can keep a gun in his house without being subject to a penalty.”

There are a myriad of historical sources expounding on this rationale for the Second Amendment. The Supreme Court has itself highlighted that rationale in its discussions of the history and purpose of the Amendment.

The Anderson book effectively repeats the arguments of Bogus but she offers a far more fluid and casual treatment of the history, as is evident in a recent interview:

“…George Mason. Patrick Henry and George Mason really teamed up like tag team taking on the Federalists and the Constitution. What they argued, was that the Constitution put control of the militia under federal control. That meant that Virginia would be left defenseless, as they saw it, when there is an uprising. When there is a slave uprising, that they could not count on the North. They could not count on the federal government and those in Congress to deploy the militia to help out in the midst of a slave revolt.

And they were like, ‘you know, the North detests slavery and we will be left defenseless. I mean, can we really count on those folk?’ and Madison is arguing, ‘look, you got the Atlantic slave trade. Look, you got the three fifths clause. Look, you got the fugitive slave clause, you’re protected.’ And Patrick Henry’s like, ‘No, we are not.’ And so you started seeing the momentum for a new constitutional convention. And that was the last thing James Madison wanted, because he’s like, ‘if these folks get another bite at this, we’re gonna end up with the Articles of Confederation again’.”

This is the payoff to Patrick Henry and to George Mason. Look, the militia is here. And what it does is it says that the feds cannot interfere with the militia. You are safe to have your militia to defend against slave uprisings. So sitting here in the Bill of Rights, we have an amendment that is about denying Black people their rights.”

That is not, in my view, an accurate account of what was said by some of these figures and, more importantly, what was the primary motivation for the Second Amendment.

While I disagree with the analysis and conclusion, I value the discussion of how slavery may have impacted this and other amendments. Slave revolts were a concern in the South and that fear no doubt reinforced the desire to have a guaranteed right to bear arms, particularly for slave holders like Patrick Henry. I simply disagree with the sweeping generalizations and conclusions reached in the book. Moreover, this is not a new theory as suggested in these media accounts. Indeed, the case was made stronger by academics like Bogus and the general subject is presented with far greater depth and understanding by academics like Cottrol and Diamond.

Tyler Durden
Tue, 06/15/2021 – 20:05

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Non-Fungible Tokens Are “Changing The Lives” Of Many In Southeast Asia

Non-Fungible Tokens Are “Changing The Lives” Of Many In Southeast Asia

Just days after we noted that people in South Korea saw bitcoin as their “only chance of escape” from their social status, it looks as though non-fungible tokens are also catching on in Southeast Asia. 

At least that was the topic of a new report by Nikkei, which took at look at how skeptics and believers are clashing head-to-head about NFTs, whether they have any value and whether or not they could be the future of asset ownership and finance. 

“NFTs are indeed changing the lives of some Southeast Asians” the report notes, with some people using them to earn extra income. One such person is Gilbert Jalova, who has been buying and selling digital assets in a game called Axie Infinity. He can earn up to $550 a month doing so, the report notes, which is “more than he makes in his regular job”. 

Jalova said: “It’s a huge help to us and at the same time, it has become our family bonding.”

The report estimates that more than 80% of Axie Infinity’s player base comes from emerging economies where it is tough to find work or where inflation has run rampant. 

“People are turning to these games as a way to supplement their income or as an alternative means of employment,” one Filipino game developer said. 

Riky Candra, a 20-year-old university student in Pekanbaru, said: “I’ve managed to earn a total of around 10 million rupiah ($700) in the year that I have been playing. I’m able to spend that on daily campus needs, such as books or other equipment, and I tend to set aside some for deposit as future assets.”

Trung Nguyen, co-founder of the game’s developer said an NFT is a way “to represent objects that are unique in nature. So it’s a very good fit with game characters and game assets.”

Artists in Southeast Asia are also cashing in on NFTs. One artist, who goes by the name Monez, sold his first NFT artwork in March of this year for 0.8 ETH, or about $1200. “In the real world … people buy the first painting from the painter, which is usually very cheap, and can sell it for double the price, but the original artist is still poor because we get [only the first payment],” he said.

But there is still some skepticism about NFTs looming. Naohito Yoshida, founder and CEO of Digital Entertainment Asset, pointed out the lack of liquidity: “Liquidity in the NFT market could be a potential risk. If someone buys NFTs for purely collection purposes, there won’t be much of a problem. But if people are buying for investment purposes, then low market liquidity will be an issue, as it means you will not be able to sell it when you want.”

And there are already “signs that liquidity may be drying up, or that the NFT bubble is bursting,” Nikkei writes. While $101 million of NFTs sold on May 3, that number has dropped to about $2 million per day by the end of may. 

Poltak Hotradero, business development manager at the Indonesia Stock Exchange, concluded: “For the digital natives of the younger generations, it will be easy. But for older generations, I don’t think they can appreciate NFTs [on a] par with tactile arts which they can see and touch.”

Tyler Durden
Tue, 06/15/2021 – 19:45

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15 States Are Moving To Curb Public Health Agency Powers Following Lockdown Carnage

15 States Are Moving To Curb Public Health Agency Powers Following Lockdown Carnage

Authored by John Miltimore via The Foundation for Economic Education,

More than a dozen states have passed or advanced legislation to place new checks on the powers of public health agencies in the wake of the pandemic…

Mike Fratantuono grew up in a restaurant. Literally.

For decades, Sunset Restaurant in Glen Burnie, Maryland, was the family business. Over the years, he’d done seemingly every job imaginable: busboy, bartender, and butcher; prep cook and plumber; handyman and manager.

Fratantuono says that’s what made it so hard to watch the family’s legacy become a COVID casualty in 2020.

“It kills me. We were supposed to be getting ready to celebrate our 60th anniversary this year, and instead we’re packing up and closing at the end of this month,” Fratantuono told the Washington Post last year.

“I try not to get too sentimental about it, because it won’t change a damn thing, but sometimes the stress hits me and my heart starts going like crazy. I get frustrated. It makes me angry.”

Fratantuono is just one of the countless business owners across America who saw their dreams vanish before their eyes in the wake of government lockdowns that crushed their businesses. Now, in the wake of the pandemic, states across the country are advancing legislation to curb the powers of public health departments following one of the most destructive and contentious years in American history.

In May, the Network for Public Health Law published a report showing that in recent months no fewer than 15 state legislatures have passed or are considering passing measures that would restrict the legal authority of public health departments.

Among the provisions passed or considered are the following:

  • Prohibitions on requiring citizens to wear masks;

  • Prohibiting health agencies from closing businesses or schools;

  • Banning the use of quarantines for people who have not been shown to be sick;

  • Preventing state hospitals and universities from requiring vaccinations for employees and students;

  • Preventing local governments from exercising emergency powers that are inconsistent with state health department guidelines;

Earlier this year, for example, North Dakota passed legislation making it unlawful for state officials to force citizens to wear masks—just one of a growing number of states to place restrictions on mask orders. In March, Kansas’s legislature passed legislation that removes the governor’s ability to shut down businesses during a public health emergency.

Meanwhile, more than 40 states passed legislation that made it unlawful for health departments to mandate COVID-19 vaccination.

The report concludes that opposition to “reasonable” public health measures poses serious dangers to life and health.

“Legislation to stop expert public health agencies from leading the response to health emergencies creates unforeseen, serious risks to life and health,” the report states.

“These laws could make it harder to advance health equity during a pandemic that has disproportionately sickened and killed Black, Hispanic and Latino, and Indigenous Americans.”

Not mentioned in the report, however, are the unintended consequences of the actions taken by public health agencies across the country in 2020. The collateral damage of lockdowns included business closures, job losses, supply disruptions, mass protests, surging violence, increased mental health problems, unprecedented drug overdoses, and a collapse in cancer screenings.

Public health agencies, meanwhile, proved incapable of taming the coronavirus through the use of lockdowns. And these struggles were not confined to the United States.

“A new study by German scientists claims to have found evidence that lockdowns may have had little effect on controlling the coronavirus pandemic,” The Telegraph reported last week.

“Statisticians at Munich University found ‘no direct connection’ between the German lockdown and falling infection rates in the country.”

The devastating impact of lockdowns, combined with their failure to slow the spread of the virus, demonstrates why states are right to curb the powers of public health agencies.

If 2020 taught us anything, it’s the danger of unchecked executive power. Using emergency powers, governors and public health bureaucrats across the country took unilateral, sweeping, and indefinite measures that massively damaged livelihoods and infringed on the rights of millions of Americans. People were fined and arrested for simply gathering privately or exercising outside, walking a pet, paddling a boat on the water (alone), or taking a child to the park—even though most transmissions took place in homes and the coronavirus is rarely transmitted outdoors.

Americans may disagree on the precise role public health departments should play in society today. But the pandemic reminded us why checks and balances on concentrated power are so important.

The American constitutional system was deliberately designed to avoid concentrated power because the Framers feared it above all else.

“The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with power to endanger the public liberty,” wrote John Adams.

The authors of the Network for Public Health Law report express concern that public health agencies are being stripped of the power to act by dangerous radicals. The truth is that dangerously radical government agencies are being put in check.

Ohio, for example, passed a law in March that limits the length of a public health emergency order to 90 days unless it’s extended by the legislature. The same month, lawmakers in Utah passed legislation allowing the state legislature to override state health agency orders during public health emergencies. Missouri, meanwhile, has proposed a law that limits lockdowns to 15 days, after which extensions must be approved by legislative bodies.

These reforms are not radical. They are both reasonable and sensible. They do not represent an attack on science—which tells us what is, not what we ought to do—but are prudent checks on power from lawmakers acting within their rightful province.

“It is necessary to curb the power of government,” the economist Ludwig von Mises noted in Human Action.

“This is the task of all constitutions, bills of rights and laws. This is the meaning of all struggles which men have fought for liberty.”

The preservation of liberty, protected by separating and checking power, is the ideal on which the American system was founded. Following a year that saw Americans’ rights, dreams, and health trampled by central planners wielding vast power with little restraint and few checks, it’s a vision Americans are right to rekindle.

Just ask Mike Fratantuono and the millions of other Americans whose lives were derailed in 2020.

Tyler Durden
Tue, 06/15/2021 – 19:25

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/3xuV4aJ Tyler Durden

Ceasefire Over? Israeli Jets Attack After Incendiary Balloons Fired From Gaza

Ceasefire Over? Israeli Jets Attack After Incendiary Balloons Fired From Gaza

The Israeli military said its aircraft attacked Hamas armed compounds in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday in response to 20 fires sparked by incendiary balloons launched earlier in the day from the territory into southern Israel.

At least one explosive balloon was reported over southern Israel, with residents reporting that they saw and heard the balloon explode in the air, according to Israeli media.

In a statement, the military said that it was “ready for all scenarios, including renewed fighting in the face of continued terrorist acts emanating from Gaza”.

Israel’s new prime minister, Naftali Bennett, had said in the past that the Israeli government should not tolerate incendiary balloons, and must retaliate as if Hamas had fired rockets into Israel.

The escalation came after an Israeli nationalist march, as part of “Jerusalem Day” in East Jerusalem that angered Palestinians.


Crowds waving blue and white Israeli flags set off from Damascus Gate, the main entry to the Muslim Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City, dancing and chanting “This is our home” and “Jerusalem is ours.”

Iron Dome anti-missile defense units were also reinforced ahead of the march, amid threats by Hamas in recent days and weeks.

On Tuesday evening, Defense Minister Benny Gantz held a situation assessment with IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi, Shin Bet head Nadav Argaman, IDF Intelligence Directorate head Maj.-Gen. Tamir Heiman, IDF intelligence analysis chief Brig.-Gen. Amit Saar and Defense Ministry Policy and Political-Military Bureau head Zohar Palti.

Is the Egyptian-brokered cease-fire officially over?

Tyler Durden
Tue, 06/15/2021 – 19:07

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899 Patients Given Expired Jabs At Times Square Vaccination Site

899 Patients Given Expired Jabs At Times Square Vaccination Site

Authored by Jack Phillips via the Epoch Times

Hundreds of people were administered doses of expired COVID-19 vaccines during an event in New York City’s Times Square, city health officials authorities said.

The New York City Health Department confirmed that 899 individuals got Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine at the former NFL Experience building between June 5 and June 10.

A spokesperson for the department told news outlets on Tuesday that those people should schedule another vaccination session as soon as possible.

“We have communicated with Pfizer, which recommended that the patients receive another dose as soon as possible,” the spokesperson said in statements to the media outlets. “While there is no safety risk for the patients, the re-administration is being carried out to ensure that the individuals are fully protected.”

Other city health department officials, including spokesman Patrick Gallahue, said that patients “have received e-mails, phone calls, and are also being sent letters to make sure they are aware of this situation,” reported The Associated Press.

Patients who got the defective vaccines were informed by ATC Vaccination Services, which said in emails that they need to receive another shot because the firm can’t guarantee whether the shot is effective at preventing the spread of COVID-19, otherwise known as the illness caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.

“We are contacting you concerning the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine you received at Times Square–NFL Experience vaccination site on June 5 to June 10, 2021. It was recognized after the vaccine was administered, that it had been in the freezer beyond the approved time frame prior to it being administered,” ATC’s David Savitsky said in an email to patients, reported the New York Post.

The firm contacted the city’s Department of Health and New York City Vaccine Command Center, Savitsky added in the email before saying that “there should be no adverse health consequences from the vaccine already received.” Those who got the defective doses can get their “repeated dose” right away “in the opposite arm,” he added.

ATC Vaccination Services issued a statement following the incident and apologized.

“We apologize for the inconvenience to those receiving the vaccine batch in question and want people first and foremost to know that we have been advised that there is no danger from the vaccine they received,” the firm said, according to The Associated Press.

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for COVID-19 requires two shots to be administered about three weeks apart, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The Epoch Times has contacted the city’s Department of Health and ATC for comment.

Tyler Durden
Tue, 06/15/2021 – 18:45

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/3iLLhJ4 Tyler Durden

Copper Futures Plunge To Seven-Week Low As Base Metals Slip-On Fed, China Demand Woes

Copper Futures Plunge To Seven-Week Low As Base Metals Slip-On Fed, China Demand Woes

…time to ignore Dr.Copper once again!?

Copper prices plunged on Tuesday to their lowest levels in seven weeks over concerns about Federal Reserve’s monetary tightening and a pull-back in Chinese demand. 

From aluminum to copper to lead to nickel to tin to zinc, the entire base metal complex is down anywhere from 2-4%.

Focusing on copper, future prices on the London Metal Exchange are down 4% to their lowest levels in seven weeks. Three-month LME copper futures were trading around $6,563 per ton, down 11% in 25 trading sessions since topping at $10,747 in early May. 

Copper prices soared to a record in early May ($10,747 per ton) as stimuli, low-interest rates, and an economic recovery fueled a rally in base metals, along with most commodities. “Prices have since stumbled on concerns the Fed will pull back support, while China is looking to tap state reserves to accelerate its campaign to rein in surging raw material costs,” said Bloomberg

“Market participants are worried that the U.S. Federal Reserve will signal this week that it intends to tighten its ultra-loose monetary policy,” Daniel Briesemann, an analyst at Commerzbank AG, said in a note. “In addition, the high metals prices appear to be slowing demand in China.”

China’s state planner has also been curbing speculation in commodity markets as domestic producer inflation soars to a 12-year high. 

“The government knows that low material price and high manufactured good price are favorable to the Chinese economy,” said a China-based metals trader told Reuters

According to Bloomberg, the Yangshan copper premium, a gauge of China’s demand for imports, continues to tumble to levels not seen since 2017. This could indicate that ample supply is flooding markets. 

Readers may recall none of this should be surprising considering our ample coverage on China’s credit impulse (the 2nd derivative of the credit stock) turned negative in May. From peak to negative, it only took seven months this time, compared with 9-10 months in the past.

The slowdown in China’s credit has first reached assets driven primarily by the Chinese economy (Chinese bond yields and industrial metals). Next to be impacted are inflation breakevens and sovereign yields in Western economies. The peak correlation for other growth-sensitive assets such as eurozone banks and AUD/JPY arrives with bigger lag of around 4-5 quarters. This result, while logical, is quite significant, as it gives us a playbook for the ebb and flow in Chinese credit impulse.

The bottom line is China’s credit impulse has been in contraction for about a month which has coincided with the latest slump in base metal prices.

Tyler Durden
Tue, 06/15/2021 – 18:25

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/3zw2I6b Tyler Durden

The 1980s Called, And It Wants Its Industrial Paranoia Back

The 1980s Called, And It Wants Its Industrial Paranoia Back

Authored by John Tamny via RealClearMarkets.com,

How soon we forget…

It was 24 years ago this summer that Steve Jobs was coaxed back to Apple. The only thing was that investors weren’t interested. Titans of tech at the time like Michael Dell dismissed Apple’s long-term potential, and said the company’s assets should quite simply be sold off ahead of it folding altogether.

Apple nearly died, but for a $150 million investment care of Bill Gates.

Funnily enough Netflix opened its doors right around the time that Jobs returned to Apple. The reaction from investors was somewhat similar. The DVD-by-Mail company’s prospects were once so questionable that it tried twice to sell itself to Blockbuster. The video chain couldn’t be bothered. The future it saw was “Blockbuster Nights” that involved driving to a video store in the hope of leaving with the VHS or DVD you actually wanted. It seems government saw a similar future as evidenced by the FTC’s nixing of Blockbuster’s attempt to purchase Dothan, AL-based Movie Gallery. Too much market power was the excuse. A few years later both were bankrupt.

Back to Gates, a year after Jobs’s Apple return and the opening of Netfix, the DOJ filed suit against Microsoft for it allegedly violating the Sherman Antitrust Act. Something about MSFT bundling Internet Explorer – for free – in its software made it too powerful. A few weeks ago the Seattle software giant discontinued what the feds thought so nifty that the corporation would never again have competitors.

The stories are endless. More important, the lessons are timeless. The future is much more than opaque. To paraphrase some kind of wise mind from the past, “no one knows anything.” This is certainly true in business. We know this because the great commercial cemetery in the sky is filled to bursting point with formerly essential corporations.

The obvious message from this for the political class is that if business men and women in the proverbial arena can’t predict the future, why would any sane person expect politicians to have a clue?

Better yet, why would politicians think they possess some kind of hotline to tomorrow?

Read more.Except that they do.

The latest evidence is the passage in the Senate of a technology and manufacturing bill “that takes on China.” Congress will invest in science and technology, among other things. See above and try not to laugh. The lack of self-awareness within members of the political class never disappoints, but in this case it’s hard not to feel a little embarrassed for the proponents of that which vandalizes reason.

At which point it’s worth noting that trade is not war. Trade is mutual improvement. I’ve got bread, but what I really want is wine, so I’ll exchange my surplus for yours. Both sides win.

Except that the above doesn’t begin to explain the genius of trade. What makes it truly spectacular is that it allows the individuals who comprise what we call the “economy” to focus on what they do best. Translated for those who need it, free exchange among humans frees the math deficient from ever having to take Calculus again, and the athletically club-footed from ever having to take Phys-Ed again.

Yes, trade enables individual specialization. And when we’re able to specialize, our productivity soars.

What the truth about trade should remind those who are a bit confused is that if the Chinese really hate us, they sure have a funny way of showing it. Indeed, if they really wanted to harm us, they would close their borders in order to allow no foreign production in, and no Chinese production out. If so, American workers would be dividing up labor with millions fewer hands on the way to much lower wages in concert with much more expensive goods and services.

Yes, you read that right. The entrance of millions of Chinese workers into the workforce has not pushed down U.S. wages. And the entrance logically hasn’t. Work divided is always and everywhere the path to higher wages. Important about this is that the empirical marries the logical in this case. We know this from the Chinese once again. Really, why would they work so aggressively to export to the U.S. if the wages of its workers were in decline?

After which, any government “support” for U.S. business will by definition hurt U.S. businesses. Politicians are quite simply constrained by the known. When they call for competition between “countries” they’re invariably calling for competition on existing playing fields. Put another way, political support for business is all about bolstering the Blockbuster forms of doing business just as those ways of serving customers are about to be thoroughly discredited. $250 billion is a lot of money, and it’s money that will logically free U.S. businesses from market-driven pressure to evolve.

This matters, because it cannot be stressed enough that market signals are precious. They quite simply cannot be replicated by politicians.

Market signals tell businesses in rapid fashion what they’re doing right, and what they’re doing wrong. In the real world, successful businesses search endlessly for those signals, and yes, they rush to realize errors revealed in rough fashion by the marketplace. Government support harms businesses precisely because it deadens their sensitivity to the signals. When you know you have money coming in no matter what you do, and regardless of what investors think, you can necessarily be less reactive to what the market is telling you. Assuming competition with “China” is necessary, subsidies will logically weaken U.S. businesses in the fight.

Oh well, we’ve tried this before. So many forget that Japan used to be China. So many silly things said about Japan that are now being said about China. Sad about it all is that formerly free market conservatives have joined the echo chamber this time around, and turned the volume way up. A $250 billion industrial policy bill reminiscent of ‘80s paranoia is the result. Good work, conservatives.

Tyler Durden
Tue, 06/15/2021 – 18:05

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/35tG5S4 Tyler Durden

Daily Briefing: Tony Greer: What Should Investors Watch Out For At The Fed Meeting?

Daily Briefing: Tony Greer: What Should Investors Watch Out For At The Fed Meeting?

Real Vision senior editor Ash Bennington welcomes back Tony Greer of TG Macro to anticipate the Fed’s forecasts and policy moves and explore where Greer thinks markets are headed next. Greer provides a strategic update on commodities, equities, and the macro picture as well as his thoughts on inflation’s trajectory.

Tyler Durden
Tue, 06/15/2021 – 13:25

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/3guNWp8 Tyler Durden

Meanwhile… At A San Francisco Walgreens

Meanwhile… At A San Francisco Walgreens

One of California’s biggest blunders has been the passage of Proposition 47, which lowered penalties for thefts under $950 and sparked dramatic increases in shoplifting across the metro area over the last several years. Otherwise known as Prop. 47, it’s supported by social justice warriors and criminal justice reformers, and the liberal establishment, who have also managed to defund the local police. 

The effects of allowing chaos to prevail in liberal-run San Fransico have resulted in 17 Walgreens Pharmacy locations shuttering their doors in the past five years, and at least ten since 2019. 

When shoplifters can waltz right into a store with a large trash bag or a vessel of some sort, fill it up with anything they please, then calmly exit the store without penalty, this is just another example of the lawlessness that is transforming the once beautiful metro area into a crime-infested dump. 

In the video below, first tweeted by local news station KGO’s Lyanne Melendez, a person casually rides a bike into what appears to be a Walgreens Pharmacy and stuffs hundreds of dollars of items into a black plastic bag as bystanders watch in shock. According to Twitter account James Woods, If store security people retain a thief, they can be sued.” 

Even Michael ‘Big Short’ Burry quoted the appalling video and said, “LeavingCalifornia is tough. Grew up here/raised kids here. It was home. New hire this week lasted just one day before feeling so threatened by drugs/homelessness/lawlessness she is now on her way back to Indiana. Will join us @Nashville – WakeUpAmerica.” 

The penalty for shoplifting is a “nonviolent misdemeanor” that carries a maximum sentence of 6 months. But in most cases, for simple shoplifting, the criminal is simply released with conditions.

San Francisco is stuck in a dangerous cycle where liberal policies transform the city into a lawlessness, drug-invested town. The result is a metro area where big and small businesses are making an exit, headed elsewhere, and setting up shop in areas with law and order. 

Tyler Durden
Tue, 06/15/2021 – 17:45

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/3xiRdgC Tyler Durden