Canadian household debt as a percentage of income by now vastly exceeds the peak that was seen at the height of the US real estate bubble. CIBC thinks the huge amount of household debt in Canada and the beginning cracks in the housing bubble are nothing to worry about. The main reason for this benign assessment seems to be that there have been a few other credit and real estate bubbles in the world that have grown even bigger than the US one before it burst. What a relief. It is generally held that Canada's banking system is in ruddy health and not in danger from the extended credit and real estate bubble, mainly because a government-owned organization, Canadian Mortgage Housing Corp. This kind of thinking has things exactly the wrong way around. It is precisely because such a state-owned guarantor of mortgages exists that the vaunted lending standards of Canada's banks have increasingly gone out of the window as the bubble has grown.
Friday's afternoon avalanche was unevenly distributed across asset classes with Gold and Oil leading the move lower, the USD limped higher, and until late in the day, stocks and Bonds meandered along together. Equities' late-day plunge saw it catch down to Gold's move and this morning we see the USD and US Treasuries rallying and resyncing to the rest of the asset classes. Volume is leaching away now that Europe is closed and correlation across asset-classes is on the rise as they now seem range-bound. The most notable 'divergences' are among the various ETFs as VXX (volatility) is rising notably, HYG (credit) is losing ground, and TLT (rates) are rallying while SPY (stocks) are unchanged (for now)...
The center cannot hold because it has failed the nation by defending the Status Quo kleptocracy. As a case study, let's look at Greece, a nation that is the leading-edge of Status Quo delegitimization and destabilization. As the Status Quo fails to protect the national interests and the citizenry from the neofeudal kleptocracy, faith in the political center fades. What happens when people lose faith in the financial institutions and their coercive "fixes"? They move their capital to less-risky, more productive climes. In other words, capital flight is another positive feedback: as people move their capital out of the country, then there is less available per capita for productive investment. The same holds true for every nation ruled by kleptocratic Elites that has attempted to "grow our way out of debt" by piling debt on debt. Doesn't that include Spain, Italy, China, the U.S. and a host of other nations?
For the tenth day in a row, Portugal's bond spreads widened - now the biggest two-week move since January as its absolute spread is back well above 700bps once again. Spain and Italy have been leaking wider consistently in the last few weeks (+15-25bps from the tights on Friday) and Spanish and Italian equity markets are tumbling back off their post-Draghi euhporia highs (down 2% from Friday's highs alone). Critically, safe-havens are seeing heavy flow; Germany 2Y is back below zero for the first time in two months and Swiss 2Y is below -20bps again. EURUSD is reverting back down to its swap-spread-model implied fair-value as 'hope' fades of OMT's ability to do anything 'real'. Europe's VIX jumped its most in over two weeks to 22.2%.
As so often happens, the conventional wisdom said to buy every day ahead of the election day because the S&P would surge and peak with the election. Conventional wisdom was wrong. Which is to be expected: in the New Normal one should take any technical signal or old trader wives tale, and do the opposite. Needless to say, the market now is unchanged from where it was two months ago, and from the day Barrons' came out with its latest top tick cover (as we said "here comes that patron saint of all contrarian indicators") page praising the "Teflon Market." So now that the "buy the election" meme is over and done with, what is there to look forward to for the rest of the year? According to Goldman, here comes the "sell ahead of the coming dividend and capital gains tax hike."
As normal, what takes pundits 1000s of words to pontificate upon, UBS' ever-ready Art Cashin succinctly summarizes in one paragraph. Critically, as we have noted previously (here, here, and here), he hopes that the election is not close...
The saga of Rochdale, or the firm that is now officially Too Little To Fail, following its hilarious screw up in Apple trading as reported previously, when it got the size if not direction of AAPL stock post earnings wrong, and as a result the guy who otherwise would have had a massive X-mas bonus has been outed as a "rogue trader", is nearing its logical conclusion.
- ROCHDALE SAID TO BE IN ADVANCED RESCUE TALKS AFTER APPLE TRADES
- ROCHDALE SAID TO POTENTIALLY ANNOUNCE DEAL AS EARLY AS TODAY
What happens next? DBRS buys them for their strong integrity and work ethic? The NYT gets a licensing deal and makes Dick Bove into a political forecaster taking advantage of his infallible predictive Black Box (see his Bank of America reco rating below)? Inquiring minds want to know.
Moments ago the Non-manufacturing ISM came out, and in keeping with the theme of Baffle with BS, started last night when the China HSBC services PMI dropped even as the Manufacturing PMI from last week signaled the start of a "new recovery" or something (just don't look at the Baltic Dry, and definitely don't look at the endless barrage of reverse repos proving the PBOC will not engage in wholesale easing), it printed the first miss and decline in three month, coming at 54.2 on expectations of a 54.5 print and down from 55.1 previously. What is troubling is that while otherwise an economic miss such as this one would have been sufficient to ramp the bizarro marke, today it has merely sent ES to fresh intraday lows. Perhaps the reason is that unlike last week's Manufacturing ISM, whose headline was good but internals were not, this time it is the other way around with New Orders down but Employment rising from 51.1 to 54.9, the highest since March. Does this meant the Fed will prematurely end QEternity? Of course not, but the market appears to be shooting first, as usual, and asking questions later.
Egan Jones may be a registered NRSRO, but that doesn't matter to the global status quo perpetuation syndicate ("SQPS" or "the syndicate"). Why? Because the small rating agency misplaced a comma when it was filing its NRSRO application with the SEC and has infuriated the same clueless and corrupt SEC, which 2 years after the flash crash still allows the high freqs to make a total mockery of the market (as seen here). Another reason: it recently downgraded Spain to a CC rating, the lowest and thus most accurate of all rating agencies, with a C rating projected, which means if its rating were to be taken into account by the ECB, the result would be massive margin calls amount to 10% or higher of all the Spanish bonds repoed at the ECB. Instead, the SQPS is delighted to have Canadian-based DBRS on its side. Why? Because the tiny firm's A-rating obviates all others' sub-A ratings, this includes Moodys, S&P and Fitch, at least in the eyes of the ECB and thus Mario Draghi has an alibi to not demand an additional €17 billion collateral call from Spain, which would send its banking system on full tilt (this is money neither Spain, nor its banks has to spare). Which is why we wish to present to our readers the man behind the Spanish A-rated myth: Fergus McCormick (Reed College; BA, with honors, French), formerly of Spanish bank BBVA (surely BBVA is not calling in any favors from its former employee currently head of sovereign ratings at DBRS; none at all).
There is one thing that is certain come Wednesday morning; there will be just as many losers as winners and as ConvergEx's Nick Colas notes, while the main-event remains too close to call, the psychology of 'losing' will become a critical part of the domestic political process from November 7th onwards. We suggest the Post-Election Stress Syndrome (PESS) will follow the Kubler-Ross model - which means initially 'Denial' and 'Anger' will dominate people's deeds and words. None of this is good news for an efficient resolution to the political Gordian Knot know as the 'fiscal cliff' or to the stability of capital markets going into year-end as politicians and plebeians alike will be PESS'd off - and as a sad reminder, a loss in a sporting contest doesn’t just sting the losing players – it lowers the testosterone levels of male fans that back the unhappy team.
As reported over the weekend, the German press did some work and discovered that despite Spain being rated practically junk across the board, its bonds pledged as collateral with the ECB had virtually no haircuts, despite as we said back in April, them needing to be haircut by a solid 5% or more an amount which would force the Spanish banko-sovereign system to scramble to procure the critical €17 billion margin call. Well, moments ago the Bank of Spain (not the ECB) came out and said that the ECB had applied collateral rules correctly. However, by that they meant not that the ECB had demanded the needed 5% haircut due upon a downgrade into sub A-range, but that the rating agency which absolutely nobody has every heard of, Canadian DBRS, has a "rating that needs to be taken into account." In other words, Spain's collateral call is now dependent not so much on Moody's downgrading the country to junk, which likely will happen soon if Rajoy does not demand the bailout which has been priced in for about 3 months now, but on what a tiny Canadian ratings firm, which has most certainly not gotten any quid pro quo from Europe to keep Spain at is A-low level (for long-term debt, not so much short-term) says is the Spanish rating quality.
So Much For "Sell Bonds, Buy Stocks": Net Long Positions In 10 Year Treasury Highest Since March 2008Submitted by Tyler Durden on 11/05/2012 - 08:35
Remember when back in March Goldman presented the "Long good buy: the case for equities", when they, and everyone else of course, said the once in a generation opportunity to short bonds and buy stocks is here (and when BlackRock chimed along, saying the time to go all in... BlackRock ETFs.... is here)... Or when in September, right after QEternity, Goldman, having blown up previously on said trade, reiterated its call to go long stocks and short bonds (and when BlackRock chimed along again, saying the time to go all in... BlackRock ETFs.... is here). Well, so much for that. Or rather, those. As of last week, the speculative long exposure in the 10-year Treasury more than doubled in the past week, soaring from 79,296 to 169,456 net contracts, the highest position since March 2008. Looks like Uncle Ben will need to come up with more creative and counterintuitive ways to get traders to stop frontrunning him in purchasing every bond in the open market, and herd them into buying stocks...
Gold And Silver Worth $1.4 Billion Carried In Baggage From Turkey To Iran, UAE And Middle East in SeptemberSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 11/05/2012 - 08:08
Turkey’s trade deficit has been shrinking and the country has enjoyed the best bond rally in the emerging markets this year due in part to the contributions of airline passengers transporting gold in their baggage. Statistics from Istanbul’s 2 main airports show $1.4 billion of precious metals were registered for export in September. Iran is Turkey’s largest oil supplier and Turkey has been paying for the oil not only with liras but also with gold bullion. Turkey exported $11.7 billion of gold and precious metals since March, when Iran was barred from the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, (Swift) making it nearly impossible for Iran to complete large international fund transfers. Of the $11.7 billion, $10.2 billion or 90% was to Iran and the United Arab Emirates, according to data on Turkey’s state statistics agency’s website. Turkey’s current account deficit is second in the world at $77.1 billion or 10% of GDP while the US currently holds the top spot. The problem with Turkey switching from a net importer to a net exporter of gold bullion this year is that the foreign trade data is misrepresented. Turkey’s use of precious metals is a key factor to help turn around its nation’s current junk bond rating status.
Equity markets kick started the week on a negative footing, with the troubled Iberian giant back in focus after it was reported that the ECB is checking whether it may have contravened its own strict rules by lending to Spanish banks on overly generous terms, an ECB spokesman said on Sunday. According to press reports, Spanish banks had borrowed funds from the ECB at a preferential interest rate of 0.5% even though the creditworthiness of the T-bills they provide as collateral should have required them to pay 5.5%. The never-ending Greek drama is another factor for the risk-averse sentiment, with only weeks before the country runs out of cash and still no evidence that lawmakers will find a solution to diffuse the situation, there is a risk of another speculative attack on weaker EU states. As a result, credit and bond yield spreads widened, led by Italian and Spanish bonds, both wider by around 9bps in 10s. Despite the evident distress in credit markets, EUR/GBP is essentially flat, with GBP underperforming following the lacklustre PMI report from the UK.