"God of Crude Oil Trading" Goes All In On Crude At $150 Bet

Andy Hall - known as the God of Crude Oil Trading to some of his peers - has, according to Bloomberg, built his success on a simple creed: Everyone who disagrees with him is wrong. He was one of the few traders who anticipated both the run-up in and the eventual crash of oil prices in 2008. Hall has made billions for the companies for which he’s traded by placing one aggressive bet after another; and now, he is all-in again. Hall is going all in on a bet that the shale-oil boom will play out far sooner than many analysts expect, resulting in a steady increase in prices to as much as $150 a barrel in five years or less. As one industry CEO warned, "anybody who bets against Andy Hall might be making a poor bet."

145 Years Of Japanese "Growth" And Inflation

Well into the second year of Abenomics, doubts have risen about the effectiveness of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s approach of boosting economic growth and overcoming deflation via “three arrows” of monetary, fiscal, and structural policy. Yet another set of disappointing data recently released for July has reinforced these doubts. As several key turning points approach before year-end, whether Abenomics will succeed or stumble is at the forefront of most traders' minds (whether they understand that or not). In the interest of some context for just how far Japan has fallen, we present 145 years of growth and XX-flation for the Japanese economy... one might argue that 'lost decade' or two is generous...

Is This Why Obama Is Rushing To This Week's NATO Summit?

As is well-known, tomorrow, September 4, a NATO summit begins in Wales to discuss and coordinate the western response to ongoing "Russian intervention" in Ukraine (not to be confused by US intervention in Ukraine meant to remove an standing, democratically-elected president), a summit for which Barack Obama has demonstrated impressive enthusiasm following his blitz tour of Europe, a continent reeling on the edge of a recessionary abyss courtesy of the "costs" Obama has imposed on Germany Russia in the aftermath of the Victoria Nuland-instituted local Kiev government. Perhaps it has something to do with this...

"A Printer And A Prayer" - The Three Problems With The Fed "Liquidity Coverage Ratio" Plan

Today we learned that as part of the domestic "macroprudential" effort to ensure firms don't run out of cash in a crisis, the so-called Liquidity Coverage Ratio, US regulators said banks likely will have to raise an additional $100 billion to satisfy the new requirement, the WSJ reported. The disclosure is part of the final draft of the so-called Liquidity Coverage Ratio, released by the Fed earlier today, and which was promptly passed on a 5-0 vote Wednesday that will subject big U.S. banks for the first time to so-called "liquidity" requirements. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the Treasury Department's Office of the Comptroller of the Currency adopted the rules later in the day.  On the surface, this is all great macroprudential news: forcing banks to hold even more "high quality collateral" is a great idea, to minimize the amount of money taxpayers will have to fork over when the system crashes once again as it certainly will thanks to the unprecedented Fed micromanaging interventions over the past6 years. There are just three problems...

The "Other" Immigration Problem

When Americans talk about immigration, they picture those they want to keep out: undocumented people sneaking across the southern border. But, as Bloomberg's Kathleen Hunter reports, when U.S. businesses talk about immigration, they picture people they’d like to bring in: ones with science, math or technology skills, notable artists or those willing to pick tomatoes. The U.S. wants these immigrants. The 'other' immigration problem, then, is in deciding who and how many should be admitted.

Scotiabank Expects A Dovish Draghi, But Markets Will Be Disappointed

Draghi is a savvy political operator. He is fully aware of the limitations and consequences of a sovereign debt QE program. He knows that a central bank’s willingness to purchase a country’s debt (in ‘whatever –it-takes’ quantities), basically places an implicit cap on the price of a country’s funding. Such a program rids a government of fiscal discipline, while simultaneously eliminating the spikes in yields that would normally result. Complacency or fiscal stalemate ensues; enabled specifically by monetary actions. We expect Draghi to be dovish on Thursday, but it likely too presumptuous to expect any new measures.

Home Sweet Drone - Apple's New Global HQ Unveiled

Thanks to the ingenious combination of a camera and a drone, also known as a GoPro Camera-on-a-drone, we have the first aerial footage of Apple's new $5bn spaceship-shaped global headquarters in Cupertino, known imaginatively as Apple Campus 2...

Presenting The Worst-Capitalized Central Bank In The West (Hint: Not The Fed)

Canada is seen as the new banking safe haven and an “island of safety and stability” because of its perceived sound fiscal position, commodity wealth and solid economic performance. Now, anytime we see central bankers slapping each other on the back, we're going to be skeptical. As it turns out, Banque du Canada is actually the most pitifully capitalized central bank in the western world. They’re in such bad shape they actually make the Fed look healthy. Hong Kong’s Monetary Authority Exchange Fund is a good example of a strong balance sheet; their latest figures as of 30 June show a whopping capital reserve equal to nearly 22% of total assets. This is a massive margin of safety for the central bank. The US Federal Reserve, on the other hand, shows a capital reserve of just 1.27%. And Canada? A tiny 0.47%... as in less than one half of one percent. This isn’t safety and stability. It’s a rounding error.

"Deflation In Europe Is Just Beginning"... And How To Trade It

Zero inflation is like death penalty to debt-laden countries. It has been estimated that Italy would need a primary surplus of ~8% if it wanted to stabilize its debt/GDP at zero inflation, which means just stopping it from moving even higher. Spain would need a primary surplus of 2%+, instead of current negative 1.44%. Which means more austerity and more contractionary policies, to cause more internal devaluation than it is currently the case, more declines in unit labor costs, more salary cuts, more unemployment, less consumer spending, less corporate investments.... Incidentally, we have for European assets and the ECB the same feeling we have for Japan and the BoJ. Abenomics has a high chance of failure, in the long term. Nevertheless, on the road to perdition, chances are that efforts will be stepped up and more bullets shot in an attempt to avert the end game. As stakes are raised, financial assets will be supported and melt-up in bubble territory, doing so at the expenses of a more turbulent end-game in the years ahead.

AAPL's Worst Dump In 7 Months Sparks Nasdaq Slump

Treasuries closed practically unchanged today after yields spiked higher on 'ceasefire' news then rallied lower all day long (30Y -2bps 2Y unch). Credit markets surged tighter on the news then collapsed wider to the lows of the week by the close (diverging from stocks). The USDollar slipped lower on the day, led by EUR strength. Gold ($1,270) and silver limped higher all day but WTI crude took off, gaining back all the flush losses from yesterday (above $95). In stock-land, the cease-fire sparked exuberance to new record-highs. That strength began to fade as soon as the US opened with notable selling in the holiest-of-holies - AAPL. This wesighed on Nasdaq heavily (to red on the week) and Russell high-beta stocks tumbled. Despite the standard late-day VWAP ramp, stocks were unable to recover as USDJPY was no help after breaking back below 105.00 and ended with the worst day in 5 weeks. And finally, of course, the S&P 500 closed with a 2,000 handle - so crucial to maintain the dream.

Central Bank Monetary Policy Enables Us To Put Off Real Reforms

The dismaying reality: the only purpose of central bank monetary policy is to keep the bloated, corrupt, inefficient and self-liquidating vested interests of the state-cartel crony capitalism from having to suffer the consequences of real reforms. Japan ably serves as Exhibit #1 of this core dynamic.

In Bankrupt Argentina CDS Auction, Barclays Buys Whatever JPM Has To Sell; Citi Goes For The Hail Mary

It has been a while since Creditex ran a CDS settlement auction of any note for two reasons: CDS no longer is a credible or legitimate method to hedge against default risk (see Greece, Banco Espirito Santo), thus making the stated purpose of CDS irrelevant, and when the default carries with it systematic risk ISDA will simply screw over CDS-holders and change terms whenever it sees fit following a few politically-connected phone calls, at which point good luck collecting on your "insurance." Which is why the just concluded Argentina CDS settlement auction following its bankruptcy last month, was a welcome reminder of what markets looked like in the BC (Before Central-planning) era.

Citi Warns Every FX Trade Is The Same Carry Trade Now

In Citi's Steven Englander's latest note, he notes that every major FX trade in place right now is a carry trade in one form or another, differing only in their scope and in the risk they entail. This has 5 significant implications...

Caption Contest: Just Six More Days...

With Samsung stealing the limelight today, and Apple's stock taking a tumble; the decision was made to roll-out the all-new iPhone6 line-of-desperate-consumers, six days (and nights) before product launch...

BofA Stopped Out Of Bullish 10 Year Treasury Trade: Time To Go Long Again

Last Thursday, as bond yields were cratering and the price on the TYZ4 soaring soaring, we made an explicit cautious observation in "A Bearish Sign For Treasurys?" that the latest incarnation of the immortal muppet-slayer, Tom Stolper, manifesting himself this time as Bank of America's technician MacNeill Curry, decided to go from bearish on the 10 Year as he has been on and off since the start of the year, to bullish. We said that "with the 10Y yield  plunging, BofA's chief technician, which as is widely known is another words for "momentum chaser" who has over the past year been branded as the new coming of the legendary Tom Stolper thanks to the inverse-accuracy of his calls, has changed his tune, to wit: "the trend in yield is lower." If there was something that could make us nervous about being long TSYs, this is it." And almost as if on demand, the 10 Year proceeded to tumble like a downhill rolling bag of bricks in the hours, not days, following this all too obvious top-tick. But even more amusing, moments ago the same MacNeill Curry has flip flopped yet again and in a note, has just announced that BofA has been stopped out of its "long"

France Folds; Suspends Shipment Of Russian Warship - NATO Allies Pleased

France is suspending the delivery of the 1st of 2 hulking Mistral warships to Russia amid security concerns about Moscow's actions in neighboring Ukraine, AP reports President Francois Hollande's office said Wednesday. Hollande's change of mind - as he begs Draghi to devalue the EUR and Schaeuble to lift the deficit limits in Europe - comes at a time when the French economy can hardly cope with losing a few billion (which he previously said was too costly to cancel) but as he explains, Russia's recent actions harm "the foundations of security in Europe." We will see what Hollande got for this... or how he was blackmailed - but for now NATO allies have commented that they "welcome the French Mistral sale suspension."

Best And Worst Performing Hedge Funds In August And Year-To-Date 2014

Superficially, there are two amusing observations to make about a New Normal in which the S&P, courtesy of its Chief Risk Officers Yellen, Draghi and Kuroda, continues to vastly outperform virtually all hedge funds for a 6th year running: the first is that one of the very few funds in our universe which is doing better than the broader market is named Tulip Trend Fund, which in itself speaks volumes, while the other fund that is creating outsized "alpha" is Bill Ackman's Pershing Square, which has made the bulk of its gains on the back of the Allergan deal where he frontran the investing public, knowing full well Valeant would make a hostile bid, a transaction which the SEC better strike as illegal or else the farce of a market will get even more farcical.

NATO Vs Russia (In 99 Seconds)

NATO has often seemed to lack purpose, and now, as The Guardian explains in this excellent 99-second primer on how we got here; at its summit in Wales this month NATO faces one of its biggest challenges in years – the defense of Europe against Russia...