Though we needed it not, once again we were treated to the turmoil caused by the very central banks who exist supposedly to "stabilize" economies. Right, like putting a heroin addict in charge of the drug room to "stabilize" the narcotics supply.
The turmoil began even as Head European Central Bank Criminal Mario Draghi was speaking -- or so I am told. I was not there. I was out in our barn helping build a new chicken brooder. Anyhow, while the words were still drooling off his lips, the euro tanked, the dollar shot up, and stocks rallied -- for a minute. Then they all reversed, and the dollar suffered its worst one day fall this year.
What did he say? That the ECB would
1. CUT INTEREST RATES. ECB cut it benchmark lending rate to zero from 0.05%, and lower the rate it pays on bank reserves deposits with it from negative 0.3% to negative 0.4%. He also said that would be the last rate cut for a long time.
2. INCREASED QUANTITATIVE EASING. ECB had been buying bonds at rate of €60 billion a month & will ramp that up to €80 bn. And will now include corporate bonds.
3. WILL PAY BANKS TO LEND. Through 4 year Targeted Longer-Term Refinancing Operations or TLTROS the ECB will loan banks money a 0% and pay them up to 0.4% -- yes, yes, I said ECB will PAY the banks to borrow -- if their loan book gets big enough. So on one hand they are charging banks interest to hold their reserves, but paying them interest to loan.
Today's turmoil clearly shows that central bank credibility has evaporated. Logicking that if the ECB lowers rates the Fed can be the only central bank on the planet to raise rates, traders dumped dollars as if they showed active symptoms of Black death AND cholera. On a colossal range of 251 basis points, the dollar first slammed itself unconscious against 98.50, then fell down the stairs to 95.99. Limp & barely awake, it closed at 96.12, down 104 bps or 1.07%.
On the other side of that trade the euro ranged from $1.0822 to $1.1217, and rose 1.63% to $1.1179, and broke into a rally. The Yen added 0.18% to 88.37. Euro chart's here, http://schrts.co/HcRUv0
Thrice now since December we have watched the US dollar skinned in a single day by its fellow central banks. On 3 December 2015 it was the ECB, then on 3 February the Japanese with negative rates, & now today the ECB again. Here's a 4 month chart to show what I mean. Does this look to y'all like a market advancing, or that wants to advance? If it closed below 95.28, it will sink all the way to the critical 92.50. We keep getting these very loud messages -- look like Exclamation Points on a chart -- screaming that all those analysts who expect a higher dollar and the Fed to raise rates are wrong.
Colossal slides are not usual in markets, & show massive fear and indecision sending money shooting from one direction to another.
I repeat: central bank credibility is evaporating. The ECB has tried everything, & availed nothing. The Fed has tried everything, & accomplished nothing. Statistical tricks aside, the central bank's nakedness is showing. The king is buck naked -- no clothes. If you can't trust central banks, who can you trust? Only silver & gold. Well, in this world, I mean.
Stocks spent 2/3 of the day falling, then rallied back enough to end the day down only pennies. S&P500 actually rose 0.31 point to 1,989.57. Dow industrials lost 5.23 to 16,995.13.
Charts I am inclined to be led by the most, the Dow in Gold & Dow in Silver, both point to lower stocks and higher metals. Even the Dow in Silver, which in the upward correction that began 11 February rose almost to its 200 day moving average (1,136 oz against about 1,149 oz), has dropped. Chart looks as if the correction might have ended, http://schrts.co/ohwLZP
In its correction the Dow in Gold barely stuck a toe over its 20 DMA. Today it fell again, to 13.35 oz. Longing to fall down, http://schrts.co/8Sv0tc
Well, I ain't fool enough to insist I'm right when the rain is pouring down my face & I've got two flats and an empty gas tank. I'm a pretty big durn nat'ral born fool from Tennessee, but not fool enough for that. Maybe.
Gold refused to accommodate my expectations and fall. Instead, after a two day drop, it cam back to chalk down its highest closed since this year's rally began, $1,272, up $15.40. That flirt silver rose 19.1¢ to 1554.6¢, not near its 1599¢ highest close.
Well, maybe I am that big a fool after all. I just hate to make a decision on a day central bank lunacy has been distorting markets. Still, if gold closes up here for the week, what can I do but throw in the durned towel? Or drown in my own cold sweat.
Silver's trading today agrees with a cup-and-handle formation on its chart. By that I mean it broke out of the handle, then touched back to the handle boundary, and shot up. Handle boundary happens to coincide almost with the 20 dma. Look at it here, http://schrts.co/pw1BLC
I've been whomped by silver & gold so many times in the last 4-1/2 years that I'm a little whomp-shy now. I'd like silver to close above 1600¢, and not a little, before I say say, yes, both metals are moving higher. I jes' wanna see what they'll do tomorrow. Ain't no doubt today they were stronger than a garlic milkshake.
Lawsy Mercy, If I could take my shirt off and show y'all my back you'd think I'd been wrestlin' with a weedeater. Nope, it's the stripes from those tongue lashings I got for doubting Mr. Trump's genuineness. I got lashed, but my doubts remain. Don't I wish they'd fly away1
As Patrick Buchanan observes, the Insiders are foaming at the mouth because Trump has dared to name the garbage can stinking in the middle of the room, namely, all their policies that have been destroying the US since WWII ended. Immigration is denaturing and displacing the American population & culture, crony capitalism has shipped the US economy overseas through all those wonderful trade pacts, and young US lives have been squandered all over the world in pointless wars like Iraq & Afghanistan. Not a single politician will meaningfully deal with these hot potatoes, because they all belong to the Insiders & want to hold on to their jobs. Along comes Trump and voices what every middle class American knows, the country is falling apart at seams and beams. The smell of death hangs over us all.
I wish Mr. Trump well, but if y'all think electing one fellow with an excruciatingly bad haircut is going to change anything, you're in for a nasty surprise. Regeneration don't work that way. EVERYbody has to work on it.
Argentum et aurum comparanda sunt —
Silver and gold must be bought.
— Franklin Sanders, The Moneychanger