Over the past several months (and years) we have been warning that the ongoing collapse in trading volumes, in part due to the lack of faith in capital markets that now have all the integrity of a rigged Vegas casino from the 1960s, in part due to investors' need to monetize assets in a world in which wages simply refuse to keep up with prices, will have not only irreversible implications on the shape of market structure, but also substantial consequences when it comes to the layout of modern banks, and associated up and downstream variables, such a jobs, real estate, support professions, municipal taxes and much more. Nowhere is this more evident (for now at least) than in the massive corporate reorganization taking place at Nomura's American division, which among many other things is about to lose its brand new $270 million trading floor even before a single trader set foot in it.
A world of ongoing global integration leads to rising global trade and to rising competition between companies from different countries and to some degree also between the countries themselves. Some countries have benefited from rising global trade and strengthened their positions, expressed by rising trade surplus; other countries have come under pressure, expressed by rising trade deficit. These global trade imbalances are a consequence of competitive differences. Deutsche Bank note that investors invest in companies and the countries are the platform of the companies. Therefore, an understanding of global competiveness of countries is key for investors. It is most helpful to look at the combination of competiveness and hourly wages. The more competitive a country is, the higher its wages can be justified. There is a clear relation between the two variables. Countries below the regression curve have a strong competiveness rank relative to their labour costs while countries above the curve have a lower competiveness rank relative to their labour costs. Greece is one of the most extreme outliers, but Italy, Spain, and Argentina are also above the curve. They have a long way to go to get close to competitive - but then again - why would they care?
While the fact that the stock market soared to new highs hours ahead of Obama's DNC speech may be a pure coincidence, we eagerly await to find out if while it is Bush's fault the economy is in the dumps 4 years after Obama took control, it will also be Bush's fault that the S&P just printed at 4 years highs. Something tells us that the answer is a resounding no. One thing we know for certain is that as of this moment the incumbent candidate knows precisely what seasonally adjusted nonfarm payroll number will be when it is announced tomorrow at 8:30 am. And since the TOTUS is very good at highlighting marginal moves in the economy, expect a leak or two during today's DNC speech. Then again, since the August number will not have to be discussed at the DNC, which ends this evening, there is a chance that the number of part-time workers added will be substantially below the 150,000 latest whisper number. Naturally, if whatever is reported tomorrow had any bearing in reality, the actual number would be negative. But there is an election to be won in two months, and naturally there are NFP reports after the election which can catch up with that trendline. In the meantime, here is why Obama knows precisely what only those select few other funds that are very, very close with the BLS, know.
Draghi spaketh and the bulls taketh. Risk assets re-correlated in a hurry as Draghi stopped speaking and the US day-session opened (and buoyed by better than expected - though implicitly QE-off - data) risk was on like Donkey Kong. We ripped through recent swing highs, up to the year's highs, and then on to 4-year highs in the S&P and 12-year highs in the NASDAQ. But it wasn't all faeries and unicorns; after the European close, CONTEXT (our proxy for risk-assets) diverged notably lower as stocks extending their trend for the day; Oil dropped hard on rumors of an imminent SPR release and Gold and Silver trod water (after a busy night admittedly). The S&P 500 e-mini futures (ES) stayed in a very narrow range just above early August highs for the rest of the day as Treasury yields also started to stabilize at last Friday's levels with the 30Y up around 12-13bps on the week (notably more than the front-end). JPY weakness (carry-driven) as Draghi spoke, faded in the afternoon and along with the drift lower in TSY 2s10s30s there was a much less ebullient feel to everything - even as stocks decided to close at their highs of the day (as VIX fell back below 16% in the last few minutes down around 2 vols on the day). Volume was mediocre, average trade size above average, as the vinegar-strokes at the cash close saw bigger blocks come through.
"Spain Requests Bailout On September 14" - Goldman's Definitive Post-Mortem On Europe's Third Bond Buying AttemptSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 09/06/2012 - 16:04
Yesterday, when Bloomberg leaked every single detail of today's ECB announcement, which thus means today's conference was not a surprise at all, yet the market sure would like to make itself believe it was, we noted that everything that was leaked, and today confirmed, came from a Goldman memorandum issued hours before. Simply said everything that happens at the ECB gets its marching orders somewhere within the tentacular empire headquartered at 200 West. Which is why when it comes to the definitive summary of what "happened" today, we go to the firm that pre-ordained today's events weeks ago. Goldman Sachs.Perhaps the most important part is this: "September 13-14: Spain to make formal request for EFSF support at the Eurogroup meeting. With a large (and uncovered) redemption looming at the end of October (and under pressure from other Euro area governments), we expect Spain to move towards seeking support." In other words, Rajoy has one more week before he is sacked and the Spanish festivities begin.
The monetary policy transmission mechanism is broken in Europe; we all know it and even ECB head Draghi has admitted it (and is trying to solve it). As Bloomberg economist David Powell noted though, Draghi may have to address the economic fragmentation of the euro area before undoing the financial fragmentation of the region. The latter may just be a symptom of the former. The Taylor Rule, a policy guideline that models a monetary authority’s interest rate response to the paths of inflation and economic activity, highlights the drastically different monetary policies required across the various EU nations as a result of their variegated domestic economic conditions. This variation creates concerns over sustainability and the rational (not irrational as Draghi would have us believe) act of transferring deposits to 'safer' nations for fear of redenomination. As Powell notes: Draghi will probably have to convince market participants of the economic sustainability of the monetary union before the financial fragmentation of the region is ended. The large-scale extension of central bank credit to potentially insolvent countries is unlikely to accomplish that - as economies remain hugely divergent.
The dividend theme has hardly run its course. As David Rosenberg of Gluskin Sheff illustrates in his latest note, the income-starved retiring boomers are being forced to garner income more and more via the equity market where dividends are up more than 8% over the past year. Because of ultra-low interest rates, interest income growth has vanished completely. And here is the great anomaly. Back in the early 1980s, investors bought equities for capital appreciation and they purchased Treasury securities for yield. Today it is the complete opposite.
Please sit down before reading the stunning list of new features that Amazon has unveiled this morning for the new Kindle Paperwhite:- (ready)...
Compelling stuff! No happy-ending? No buying of Spanish bonds, and (pseudo) sterilized money printing? No coffee-making attachment? Odd, it seems the news is being sold as AMZN slides from intraday highs...
The chart below by way of Grant Thornton shows something rather disturbing: in recent months, the number of IPOs that are trading "at or above their issue price 30 days after IPO pricing" has been collapsing in virtually a straight line since the early 1990s, and in 2012 was just shy of all time lows (which have been recorded during periods of great market crashes, not when the S&P is about to hit its yearly highs). As such the lack of success of such prominent recent names as FaceBook, Zynga, Groupon and many others, is not simply a function of valuation and investor sentiment, but related to the ongoing deteriorating in the underlying market structure for a variety of reason, many of which have been written about here in the past.
Today's announcement of the third-coming of the messiah-like Draghi's Bond-Buying program - even if under a different, more catchy, name - brings to mind a chart we offered by way of genuine concern the last time he mentioned this as an option. While he insists it's different this time (because they'll tell us the CUSIPs? we already knew when they were in; because its conditional? and revocable and who trusts their data; because its at the short-end? simply crushing up sovereign funding capabilities and leaving the roll/liquidity needs even greater; Unlimited? we don't remember a limit before?), it is clear that the immediate gaps tighter in bond yields (and spreads) on the announcement of the program was the best it ever was and bonds sold off through each of the previous two SMP efforts. Just saying...
While partying like its 1999 is still a way away, the NASDAQ has managed to get back to December 2000 levels as it has only dropped by more than 1% once in the last six weeks #yay Retirement-On!
While illiquid short-dated Spanish bond yields plunge and short-sale-banned Spanish stocks (IBEX) surge back above their 200DMA the most in 16 months, one could be forgiven for falling into the age-old CNBC-trap of "well the market is up so it must be good" belief. Rick Santelli and Mark Grant, in a brief few minutes attempt to get below the surface of the actual words and perception of today's Draghi statement and explain just how the conditionality and size/roll constraints make this supposed unlimited "we'll fix it all" scenario rather ridiculous in that "The ECB is never going to be allowed to do anything." Perhaps just as IBEX fell 17% in 3 weeks after rallying 5.6% on EUR Summit-day hope, we will see some sense of reality sink back in to the circularity of this support.
China and India have always been crazy for gold, and the yellow metal remains the choice store of value in those two countries, says Don Coxe, a strategic advisor to the BMO Financial Group. In an exclusive interview with The Gold Report, Coxe explains how demographic shifts are affecting the price of gold and delves into the logic of investing in gold as a long-term strategy. Coxe also draws an important lesson in economics from his reading of Lenin.