Unfortunately for IBM, it better resume its financial engineering fast because this is where the bang (not the whimper) comes into play: in Q4, IBM's revenue was a modest $24.11 billion, far below the Wall Street estimate of $24.8 billion, and a whopping 12% less than what IBM generated a year ago. In fact, as the following chart shows, the annual plunge in IBM Q4 revenue was the worst since Lehman.
The "Deflationary Vortex": Global Dollar Economy Suffers Biggest Plunge Since Lehman, Down $4 TrillionSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 01/20/2015 - 16:28
One of the macroeconomic observations that has gotten absolutely no mention in recent months is the curious fact that while global economic growth has not imploded in recent quarters, it is because GDP has been represented, as is customary, in local currency terms. Of course, this comes as a time when local currencies (at least those which are not the USD) have been plunging against the greenback on the back of the expectations that the Fed will hike rates some time in the summer or later in 2015. Which also means that in "dollar economy" terms, i.e., converted in USD, things are not nearly as good. In fact, as the chart below shows, the global dollar economy is not only shrinking fast, but it is doing so at the fastest pace since the Lehman collapse, having lost a whopping $4 trillion, or a whopping 5% drop, in just the last 6 months!
NFLX Beats Q4 EPS On Tax Gain, Misses Revenues, Guides Lower, Cash Burn Soars, Reports $9.5Bn In Off-Balance Sheet ObligationsSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 01/20/2015 - 16:17
All algos that were short NFLX into earnings were just brutalized and stampeded into an epic short-covering squeeze when the company announced Q4 EPS of $1.35, nearly double the $0.72 expected. However, as usual, there is more here than meets the eye, epsecially when considering that NFLX Q4 revenue actually missed expectations of $1.49Bn, printing $1.48Bn. So how did NFLX smash EPS? Because as anyone who actually read the release before trading the stock would find, NFLX "Q4'14 Net Income/EPS includes a $39m / $0.63 benefit from a tax accrual release related to resolution of tax audit." Subtract that from the reported EPS and one gets $0.72. Right on top of expectations.
Remember when S&P forgot for a second that it lives in a world of pretend free speech, and where telling the truth would promptly result in a lawsuit by the US government after it downgraded the US from AAA to AA+ in the summer of 2011? A downgrade which as Bloomberg previously reported led to this exchange with then Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner: "S&P’s conduct would be looked at very carefully," Geithner told McGraw according to the filing. "Such behavior would not occur, he said, without a response from the government." Well, S&P will never make the same mistake again, because according to Reuters, it will cost it $1.5 billion to settle with the government and put the whole "downgrade" episode in the past.
Extended-term loans are "stupid not just for us, but for the industry," exclaimed Honda's US sales chief John Mendel, adding that competitors are doing "stupid thing" to boost auto sales. With delinquency rates surging, it appears he is right to worry, as Bloomberg reports, more than one in four new-car loans in October and November had terms of 73 to 84 months long (more than double that of the previous 08 peak). Honda has said it will avoid longer-term loans even if competitors do note as one economist ranted, "we've seen this movie before, we know how it ends, and it’s not pretty."
“Quite frankly, a lot of us thought that by buying politicians, rewriting tax laws, and hiding money overseas, we were getting it done,” said Dorrinson, who owns the hedge fund Garrote Capital. “If, at the end of the day, all we control is a measly half of the world’s wealth, clearly we need to do more - much more.”
Having saved the world markets from a 10% correction fate worse than death (or recession) in October with 'hints' of reigniting QE4, The Fed's Jim Bullard is back to his jawboning best. Blaming The ECB's looming unconventional policy move for the global bond market rally (as opposed to collapsing growth and disinflation), Bullard proclaims the domestic US economy is doing well with tailwinds from low rates and oil prices (just don't tell the 7,000 Baker Hughes workers this morning) and tells WSJ's Jon Hilsenrath that he wants to “get going” with rate increases warning that the funds rate is 400bps below normal.
Whether you agree or disagree with our points below, or the President's "wealth redistribution agenda" in tonight's SOTU address, is of little matter. With both houses of Congress controlled by conservatives, the likelihood of any of these proposals actually passing into law nears "zero." This will leave the President with his nuclear option of "excutive orders" to move his agenda down the field, but even that is likely to be viciously contested in the months ahead.
After reportedly rejecting Vladimir Putin's peace proposal and continuing heavy shelling in the pro-Russian-held regions of Donetsk, Ukraine's military spokesman Lysenko is reporting the Russian army is directly attacking Ukraine forces in the north conflict zone. The fight over what is now a destroyed Donetsk airport continues with Lysenko claiming to have stalled Russian forces adding that three Russian battallions are approaching the Ukraine border. CNN reports that the Russian Defense Ministry says, "Ukraine's allegations that Russian troops are in Ukraine are complete rubbish."
Even more disturbing than China's growth forecast, is what the IMF sees global growth doing, which nobody will be shocked to learn, has once again been drastically slashed lower. Why is this disturbing? Because as the world is slowly learning, it is all about trade, and central banks can't print trade.
Total Gold ETF physical holdings rose 0.85% on Friday (following Thursday's 0.78% rise) combining for the biggest 2-day rise since Nov 2011 (adding 843,000 ounces of gold in 2 days). Of course these moves came right after the SNB decision ands are the largest since the peg was announced in 2011. GLD - the largest gold ETF - saw holdings surge 1.9% on Friday, the biggest single-day surge in almost 5 years. Of course, once again this shows that only paper gold matters for price determination... physical is irrelevant (until of course, physical is all that matters).
It seems like an eternity ago when Obama delivered the following extensively choreographed "Statement by the President on ISIL", in which he praised US anti-terrorist tactics, giving Yemen and its "partners" as an example of "successful" US foreign intervention. To wit: "This counterterrorism campaign will be waged through a steady, relentless effort to take out ISIL wherever they exist, using our air power and our support for partner forces on the ground. This strategy of taking out terrorists who threaten us, while supporting partners on the front lines, is one that we have successfully pursued in Yemen and Somalia for years." He may want to scrub that statement because just 4 months after reading that from the Teleprompter, America's "partners on the Yemen front lines" have officially fled quietly into that good night, abandoning the control of the nation to local Shiite militiamen.