It is cloudy out there as Sandy enters the mid-Atlantic region, although for all the pre-apocalypse preparations in New York, the Frankenstorm may just be yet another dud now that its landfall is expected to come sufficiently south of NYC to make the latest round of Zone 1 evacuations about overblown as last year's Irene hysteria (of course it will be a gift from god for each and every S&P company as it will provide a perfect excuse for everyone to miss revenues and earnings in Q4). That said, Wall Street is effectively closed today for carbon-based lifeforms if not for electron ones, and a quick look at the futures bottom line, which will be open until 9:15 am Eastern, shows a lot of red, with ES down nearly 10 ticks (Shanghai down again as the same old realization seeps day after day - no major easing from the PBOC means Bernanke and company is on their own) as the Friday overnight summary is back on again: Johnny 5 must defend 1400 in ES and 1.2900 in EURUSD at all costs for just two more hours.
UPDATE: *CBOE TO CLOSE EXCHANGES OCT. 29 BECAUSE OF HURRICANE SANDY
Late Updates - after a day of consultation and realization that if the algos were left alone to play then things could go a little pear-shaped - NYSE and NASDAQ will now be totally closed tomorrow:
*U.S. EQUITY MARKETS TO CLOSE ON OCT. 29 FOR STORM, SEC SAYS
UPDATE: 37ft waves in Bermuda (compared to 5 feet last week) and a side-by-side of Irene and Sandy
She's wet, windy, and bringing a world of hate to the Atlantic Seaboard - but where did she come from? NOAA offers the complete animated real-life of Hurricane Sandy...
Since it would appear that QEternity has ostensibly failed in its main goal of pushing the stock market higher (and mortgage rates lower), the White House seems to be scrambling. Obama administration officials have concluded that the economy, while improved (apparently), is still fragile enough to warrant another bout of stimulus. The same old kitchen sink is being thrown at the problem as they are now resorting to the same fiscal stimulus that has also failed time and time again (as we noted here). As WaPo strawmans reports the White House is discussing the idea of a tax cut that it believes will lift American's take-home pay and boost a still-struggling economy (citing people familiar with the administration's thinking). This is Keynesian-based Einsteinian madness at its very best.
This past Wednesday, nobody reported that a squadron of 8 Israeli F-15 jets dropped 4 two-ton bombs on the giant Yarmouk missile factory on the outskirts of Sudan's capital Khartoum. Which is just as Israel wanted it. Because what otherwise would be a provocative incursion tantamount to war (if only Sudan wasn't a complete basket case of a country), was really nothing short of a dry-run for an Israeli attack on Iran. At least according to the Sunday Times. "A long-range Israeli bombing raid last week that was seen as a dry run for a forthcoming attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities has destroyed an Iranian-run plant making rockets and ballistic missiles in Sudan.... The raid, in which two people died, triggered panic across the city. Witnesses said they heard a series of loud blasts followed by the sound of ammunition exploding. “It was a double impact — the explosion at the factory and then the ammunition flying into the neighbourhood,” said Abd-al Ghadir Mohammed, 31, a resident. "The ground shook. Some homes were badly damaged." And... nobody cares. Here we leave it up to readers to imagine the epic horror, deep revulsion that would greet news that Iran had conducted a pre-emptive strike against Israel by blowing up a missile factory in Turkey, killing two innocent people, just to make sure it can.
For two decades the rate of growth of world trade volumes considerably outstripped that of industrial production as credit-fueled globalization created huge imbalances in the world. As Diapason Commodities' Sean Corrigan indicates in these three simple charts, all that vendor-financed circular exuberance has come to an end. The bottom-line is that forced deleveraging (not least of which in Europe) is crushing the credit-fueled (and unsustainable) dream of endless growth as debt saturation has been reached (on private and now public balance sheets). To wit: Global Trade Volume growth is deep in the danger zone and about to turn negative; as the hopes of so many Sinomaniacs and Pollyannas is slowly peeled back to a righteous recognition of reality.
The NYSE has just released a statement clarifying its hours tomorrow - due to the storm:
*NYSE TRADING FLOOR TO CLOSE TOMORROW; ALL TRADING TO BE ON ARCA
So, hold tight as all those low-lying humans will have left the building in the calm thoughtful hands of Johnny-5 and his friends.
It seems like it was just yesterday that we were posting pictures of empty shelves at New York supermarkets ahead of the epic dud that was Hurricane Irene. It is now one year later, and it is time for the obligatory snapshots of empty shelves, such as this one showing the bread isle at the Food Emporium on 68th and Broadway. Many more coming as all local New York food stores and pharmacies finally sell out their expired and extended inventory.
Yesterday we posted the official statement of Bundesbank executive board member Carl-Ludwig Thiele, which in turn was a response to a recent surge in concerns about the safety and sanctity of German sovereign gold, held mostly abroad (if a major part of it held in London had been secretly repatriated), and demands by the general public - i.e., those who actually own the gold - for either an audit, or full repatriation, or both. There are, however, some problems with the official Bundesbank statement: the statistics cited in it, as well as the various explanations, are wrong, incorrect or misleading. Below we present some of the "facts" stated by Herr Thiele, and what the truth is.
First it was governor Cuomo, now it is Mike Bloomberg holding a press conference discussing advance preparations for Sandy, and just like last year, the first thing to be done, is the order of a mandatory evacuation of all low-lying areas, where some 375,000 New Yorkers live, contained in Zone A - those who don't voluntarily evacuate will not be arrested, but are being "selfish" according to Mayor Mike (it is unclear what happens if the non-evacuatees are also found to be in possession of a highly illegal 32 Oz coke container... that may be a felony offense). Depending on the storm surge, if any, it is likely that Zones B and C will also be evacuated. To find if you live in a zone to be evacuated, go to this website, alternatively the full hurricane evacuation preparedness map is presented below. And remember: if packing a go bag: no sugar... anything but sugar, or else Nurse Sam will be very angry.
What this data does not show are the reverse transfers via interest payments. There is no data (that I can find) on treasury interest payments received by income quintile, but assuming that the top quintile dominates income from interest (as they dominate ownership of financial assets, owning over 95% of all financial assets) this leaves the lower income quintiles benefiting from transfer payments, the top quintile benefiting from interest (as well as policies like bank bailouts, corporate subsidies, and quantitative easing, whose benefits overwhelmingly benefit the top quintile), and squeezing the taxpaying middle quintiles who receive neither the benefits of interest payments, nor significant welfare transfers. To misquote George Orwell, when it comes to the national debt and who takes its burden, some pigs are definitely more equal than others.
Looking back, it seems like only yesterday that the world's realized, "out of the blue" that Europe was, gasp, insovlent. Alas, as the following terrific "walk through memory lane" interactive infographic from the Guardian reveals, it has now been well over three years and counting, with everything starting with this October 2009 article in the FT, "Greece vows action to cut budget deficit" in which then-PM G-Pap revealed a massive hole in the Greek official economic data and that its budget deficit would be double what was previously forecast. The rest is history, and now Greece is a shell, with unemployment off the charts, its finances and economy in shambles, and the whole country serving as a passthru funding vehicle for Europe to keep its own banks, and the ECB, solvent.
In Advance Of Frankenstorm Sandy, NYC Suspending All Transit Services At 7:00 PM Sunday Through WednesdaySubmitted by Tyler Durden on 10/28/2012 - 09:17
It seems like it was only yesterday that the panic ahead of Hurricane Irene, which was a light breeze by the time it hit NYC, was being spread by various government agencies and every possible media. It is deja vu time, and moments ago, in order to be "fully prepared" ahead of Frankenstorm Sandy, NY governor Cuomo just announced that at 7:00 pm tonight, the New York Metropolitan Transit Authority, i..e., subways, buses and trains, is suspending all service at 7:00 pm (and 1,100 national guards are being activated) and will be halted until Wednesday at the earliest. This also means that tomorrow Wall Street will be a complete ghost town as everyone takes two days off, and the algos will be the only ones in charge (more or less as usual).
The 2008 elections were contested on the basis of rescuing the banks and financial markets while claiming that this was ESSENTIAL to save the economy. Four years later, the 2012 elections are being contested on the basis that the economy HAS been saved, but more needs to be done to ensure that it STAYS saved. Wall Street, as one of the first recipients of the new “money” cascading from both the Fed and the Treasury, has been happy to buy this. Main Street does NOT buy it. The result is an election campaign in the context of a comparative calm on financial markets and a seething discontent in the electorate.
This is no longer your "father's economy." The importance of this shift in the U.S. from away from being the epicenter of global production and manufacturing to a service and finance based economy should not be overlooked. This transition is responsible for the issues that are impeding economic growth in the U.S. today from structural unemployment, declining wage growth and lower economic prosperity. What does this have to do with GDP and exports? Well, just about everything. With exports declining which is impacting corporate profit margins, employment conditions deteriorating, and business spending contracting - these are all the necessary ingredients to spin out a negative economic growth rate at some point in the not so distant future.