On Sept. 15, the last operational nuclear reactor in Japan was shut down for routine maintenance, which may leave Japan without nuclear power for the remainder of 2013. In all likelihood, restarting nuclear power will be a long, gradual process that will have only limited, regionalized impacts at first. In the meantime, Tokyo will continue to rely heavily on more expensive thermal power. The difference has meant that several utility companies have been forced to increase rates over the past several months, which are certainly impacting Abe's ability to hike taxes any further.
Speaking at Georgetown University's Business School alongside his best-bailed-out buddy BofA's CEO Brian Moynihan, Warren Buffett has some rules (or goals) for the "wealthy" that are summed up perfectly in this quote:
- *BUFFETT: RICH MUST LEARN TO LIVE ON $500 MILLION, DONATE REST
- *BUFFETT SAYS WE HAVEN'T LEARNED WELL ENOUGH HOW TO SHARE WEALTH
- *BUFFETT SAYS PEOPLE WILL CONTINUE TO MAKE MISTAKE OF GREED
- *BUFFETT: SOCIETY MUST ENSURE PEOPLE DON'T FALL TOO FAR BEHIND
We suspect more than a few of the "rich" will be calling for Mr. Bernanke to get back to work (which ironically is exactly what Buffett himself just did - calling for another term for the printer-in-chief) so they can 'share the wealth' from the poor just a little longer.
If you start at 4.2% and end at 2.1%, is that a 100% error, or "only" 50%?
Are you ready for Janet Yellen? Wall Street wants her, the mainstream media wants her and it appears that her confirmation would be a slam dunk. She would be the first woman ever to chair the Federal Reserve, and her philosophy is that a little bit of inflation is actually good for an economy. She was reportedly the architect for many of the unprecedented monetary decisions that Ben Bernanke made during his tenure, and that has many on Wall Street and in the media very excited. Noting that we "already know that Yellen is on board with Bernanke's easy money policies", CNN recently even went so far as to publish a rabidly pro-Yellen article with this stunning headline: "Dear Mr. President: Name Yellen now!" But after watching what a disaster Bernanke has been, do we really want more of the same? It doesn't really matter whether she is a woman, a man, a giant lizard or a robot, the question is whether or not she is going to continue to take us down the path to ruin that Bernanke has taken us.
Yesterday's epic short squeeze in bonds (belly-specs were most short in years) and stocks ("most shorted" were heading notably lower into the statement) seems to have flushed out any and all the marginal buyers (for now) on the basis that the Fed will not be Tapering any time soon. Simply put, the best performers from yesterday were the worst performers today with 5Y and 7Y Treasury yields underperforming (+6bps or so) and the long-end retraced more than half its yield move yesterday. In stocks it was the same story, builders and utilities were the biggest losers today after being the best yesterday. The USD retraced higher with JPY weakness (Abe was not happy) as a major driver (testing up to 99.50). WTI Crude unwound all its Fed gains and then some, trading back to around $106 by the close. Gold, silver, and copper were the winners on the day - extending gains modestly. Stocks tracked oil and bonds today (not FX carry), AAPL slid into the close on disappointing UK pre-order rumors, and HY credit underperformed stocks.
In a world in which when the numbers don't comply with the propaganda, the only recourse is to change the rules, and if that fails, change the numbers themselves (see Fukushima radiation count, US GDP, Employment numbers, anything out of Europe, etc.) it was only a matter of time before that last sticking point of the grand made up narrative, the lack of economic improvement in the European despite evil, evil austerity (which somehow has resulted in record debt which is rising faster than expected virtually everywhere in Europe) resulting in unpalatable deficits, was magically "fixed." This was resolved moments ago when as the AP reports, "European Union finance officials have reached a preliminary agreement to change the way the bloc determines some deficit figures, which might lessen the pressure for austerity measures in crisis-hit economies." In other words, Europe's "recovery" will now be based on even more made up numbers. One wonders: since Europe is finally admitting that the numbers are fake, i.e., lying, are things finally getting truly serious again?
“Truth. noun. The quality of state of being in accordance with fact or reality.” This is how the dictionary defines truth: it can be ‘fact’. But it can also mean ‘reality’. The people who control the system have figured this out - if they can change someone’s reality, they control the truth. This is also the case in finance and economics. For example, I heard the following statements just in the last 48-hours while visiting the Land of the Free: “America will never default on its debt.” , “The debt doesn’t matter because we owe it to ourselves.” Again, these statements are totally unsupported by the facts. The notion that the US government won’t default on its debt is simply historically inaccurate. Such close-mindedness is dangerous, especially in economics. People’s lives and livelihoods depend on an objective understanding of the facts, not this altered reality.
Putin hits the NY Times, Assad FOX and YouTube, McCain Pravda, and Putin making headlines this morning with all kinds of double-negatives:
*PUTIN: TOO EARLY TO THINK SYRIA MAY NOT FULFILL CHEM. ARMS PLAN
*PUTIN SAYS NOT 100% SURE SYRIA CHEMICAL ARMS PLAN WILL SUCCEED
So it only makes sense that John Kerry feels unloved by the media... cue a 1500ET press conference to explain how things are going...
Three weeks ago we explained the importance of the looming cliff - in the government's reserves of helium. With a never-ending pun-trail related to "hot-air" or markets "blowing up", we stick to the facts. With the threat of a glonal helium shortage potentially weighing on fibre-optic cables and flat-screen TVs, the always-reaady-to-negotiate members at the Senate have agreed to support an amendment that prevents the October 7th termination of the helium storage program. So thanks to political "hot air" (we couldn't resist), the helium cliff is resolved... why so easy you wonder? Perhaps this is why "...Helium is also used in national defense applications such as rocket engine testing and purging, surveillance devices, air-to-air missiles and scientific balloons."
Yesterday, when in the aftermath of the Fed's "shocking" announcement bond yields plunged, the bond kings, both old and new couldn't get to a media outlet fast enough to express their euphoria over the end of the selloff. Gross tweeted immediately that he was "not bragging but what did we tell you" while Gundlach added that he "sees a change in Psychology with the 10 Year below 2.7%." It is unclear just what psychological change he was referring to, because looking at the market it was one of resumed selling: as of moments ago, the 10 Year has retraced over a third of its plunge and is back to 2.75% and rising once again; and the 30Y has retraced over 50% of its gains at 3.80%. We are going to need another un-Taper soon.
Earlier we noted the European economic 'recovery' is rolling over rapidly, and now - confirmed by Adidas - it seems the impact of weakening JPY and weakenig USD are starting to weigh on European companies:
- *ADIDAS CUTS 2013 NET INCOME FORECAST TO EU820M-850M RANGE (from EU890-920m)
- *ADIDAS CITES FURTHER WEAKENING OF SEVERAL CURRENCIES VS EURO
With EURJPY at four-year highs and EURUSD back at 2013 highs, it seems the reality of currency wars are coming home to Draghi - when's the next ECB meeting?
JAPAN EARTHQUAKE LEVEL 5+ ON JAPANESE SCALE OF 7 IN FUKUSHIMA
EARTHQUAKE REPORTED TO HAVE HIT AT 02:25:09 JAPAN TIME: JMA
JAPAN EARTHQUAKE MAGNITUDE 5.8, AGENCY SAYS
Of course, we are sure Abe will just rebuild it all, ringfence it with another ice-wall, and welcome athletes from all around the world to his 'stable' nation.
The "market is in a state of shock" after the Fed's decision to postpone taper, noted Credit Agricole's David Keeble adding that "Fed credibility and its communication strategy are in tatters." This, as others have noted, will make it many times more difficult to manipulate yields lower in the future as the "Fed is moving to a new way of looking at asset purchases." As we explained in detail 15 months ago, Keeble notes the Fed appears to have clearly signaled that the degree of accomodation is not linked to size of the Fed balance sheet, but that the flow of Fed buying is "very important."
So, it's the flow, not the stock; and that means, as we noted here, that unless The Fed is actively engaged in monetization at every given moment, the impact from easing diminishes progressively; ultimately approaching zero and subsequently becoming negative.
When the absolutely useless reign of the "captured" SEC head Mary Schapiro came to an end, only to be replaced with former Wall Street darling, former Debevoise lawyer Mary Jo White whose prior Wall Street clients were virtually all financial firms, many said her appointment was an epic blunder, since she would have no choice but to recuse herself out of the majority of SEC enforcement actions. And if not many, then certainly Zero Hedge. Recall from April: "Think the revolving door for Morgan Stanley's diaspora of clutch interests goes only from the private sector outward, with the recent appointment of MS' darling Mary Jo White (who will promptly recuse herself in virtually all major cases involved her former clients at Debevoise for years to come) to head the SEC? Think again. Sure enough moments ago, as part of the SEC's perhaps most important action in history, in which the agency managed to get a confirmation of securities law violation from none other than the largest US bank, JP Morgan, where was Mary Jo White? Why quietly drinking her coffee in some quiet corner of course, for one simple reason: she had to recuse herself as JPM was, you guessed it, a former client.