Europe is, supposedly, fixed: between the upcoming one year anniversary of the 3 year LTRO, which has flooded the continent in excess €1 trillion of liquidity, and the OMP, which has supposedly backstopped sovereigns in perpetuity (even though the market has fully frontrun what now appears to be a massively unpopular political decision, as Spain has been demonstrating for the past 2 months), European bank liquidity needs are supposed to be fully taken care of. Yet something went bump on Halloween. As the ECB reports, borrowing on the prohibitive, and largely "last resort" ECB "Marginal Lending Facility" (whose rate is an usurious 1.50%), one or more banks saw their need for EUR explode in the last day of the month, sending overall usage on this credit line to €7.8 billion, the most since mid-March, and a surge of over €7 billion overnight. What spooked European banks so much (whose liquidity needs are not month or quarter-end window dressing driven) that the ECB had to step in on top of everything else it has already done? We will surely find out soon.
As we enter the North American session, equity markets are seen marginally higher, as concerns over the never-ending Greek debt drama are offset by the release of an encouraging data from China. Chinese HSBC Manufacturing PMI printed a fresh 8-month high, while the official Chinese Manufacturing PMI came in line with expectations. In addition to that, a state researcher has said that the countries economy has bottomed and is stabilizing. Meanwhile in Greece, the fact that debt is now seen climbing to 192% in 2014 and an agreement on how to defuse the situation has yet to be found may lead to another speculative attack not only on Greek paper, but also other southern states. As a result, GR/GE 10s spread is seen wider by 30bps, however other peripheral bond yield spreads with respect to the German Bund are tighter. The second half of the session sees the release of the latest weekly jobs report, consumer confidence and the weekly DoE from the US.
- Millions still lack power (WSJ); New York Region Transit Tracker (WSJ), Blackouts Remain for 6.1 Million as Power Repairs Begin (Bloomberg)
- U.S. regulator seeks $470 million from Barclays (Reuters)
- J.P. Morgan Sues Whale's Ex-Boss (WSJ)
- London Frets Future as Financial Hub Outside Bank Union (Bloomberg)
- SNB now selling EUR: Swiss Central Bank Pulls Off Euro Sleight of Hand (WSJ)
- United Said to Study Biggest Airbus A350 to Replace Jumbos (Bloomberg)
- Draghi expands role in fight to save euro (FT)
- Panasonic Plunges by Daily Limit on Loss Forecast, CDS Soars (BusinessWeek)
- Italy risks economic ‘vicious circle’ (FT)
- Starbucks's European tax bill disappears down $100 million hole (Reuters)
- Bernanke Depression Guru Seeks Roosevelt Well-Being (Bloomberg)
"Obama/Romney, Romney/Obama – the most important election of our lifetime? Fact is they’re all the same – bought and paid for with the same money. Ours is a country of the SuperPAC, by the SuperPAC, and for the SuperPAC. The “people” are merely election-day pawns, pulling a Democratic or Republican lever that will deliver the same results every four years. “Change you can believe in?” I bought that one hook, line and sinker in 2008 during the last vestige of my disappearing middle age optimism. We got a more intelligent President, but we hardly got change. Healthcare dominated by corporate interests – what’s new? Financial regulation dominated by Wall Street – what’s new? Continuing pointless foreign wars – what’s new? I’ll tell you what isn’t new. Our two-party system continues to play ping pong with the American people, and the electorate is that white little ball going back and forth over the net. This side’s better – no, that one looks best. Elephants/Donkeys, Donkeys/Elephants. Perhaps the most farcical aspect of it all is that the choice between the two seems to occupy most of our time. Instead of digging in and digging out of this mess on a community level, we sit in front of our flat screens and watch endless debates about red and blue state theologies or listen to demagogues like Rush Limbaugh or his ex-cable counterpart Keith Olbermann."
It was a week ago when we first observed that the defense of 1400 in the ES at all costs must go on, or else the only thing that is keeping the market propped up - psychology (now with the AAPL euphoria long gone), would be gone as would all support. But once again, the overnight session has proven that, with a little help from its central banking friends, 1400 (and 1.2900 in the EURUSD) can be defended. This was in danger of being breached until China reported two PMI numbers: an official one which printed at 50.2, or modest expansion, and up from 49.8, magically right on top of expectations of 50.2, and the HSBC PMI, which also rose to 49.5, from 47.9: the 12th straight contraction print, but the highest number in 8 months. The market spin is naturally that this is an indication of a rebounding China. Sadly, just like in the US, this is merely pre-party congress data manipulation. The only thing that does matter out of China: whether or not the country will actually ease as opposed to doing day to day reverse repo injections. Without the former, the Chinese economy will not rebound, and will not lead to an improvement in corporate outlook for US tech stocks, period, the end.
The public relations propaganda campaign to convince the ignorant masses that Sandy’s impact on our economy will be minor and ultimately positive, as rebuilding boosts GDP, has begun. I’ve been hearing it on the corporate radio, seeing it on corporate TV and reading it in the corporate newspapers. There are stories in the press that this storm won’t hurt the earnings of insurers. The only way this can be true is if the insurance companies figure out a way to not pay claims. They wouldn’t do that. Would they? It seems all the stories use unnamed economists as the background experts for their contention that this storm will not cause any big problems for the country. These are the same economists who never see a recession coming, never see a housing collapse, and are indoctrinated in Keynesian claptrap theory.
When it comes to international bondholder process, work out and restructuring (and litigation), on the one hand there is Europe, and specifically the ongoing Greek reorganization into an ever tinier balance sheet by way of cramming down weak-covenant, local-law bondholders (who are "encouraged" to participate in ever more coercive principal recovery events, as defection would result in wipeouts of recoveries in other cross-held bonds of the impaired class should a Grexit-type event occur, which then would lead to massive losses on all European bond holdings for the same creditors: a true Mutually-Assured Destruction scenario, as the IIF's Jacques Dallara understood quite well), and on the other hand there is Argentina. But whereas the European fiasco is still (relatively) structured (at least until Spain et al join the cram down fray, something none other than Lee Buchheit predicted would happen courtesy of the prevalence of local-law bonds in PIIGS outstanding inventory), if getting more complicated with incremental subordination of various junior classes of sovereign debt either due to legal reasons - i.e., local-law vs international-law bonds, structural reasons: the presence of Collective Action Clauses in consent solicitations and "indenture-stripping" thresholds for a holdout class (think perpetual fly-in-the-ointment Elliott), or due to the far more abstract "unimpairability" and primacy of the bondholder - i.e. the IMF, the ECB, or another Official Sector entity (all of which was previously explained here), in Argentina it is a totally chaotic free-for-all, where a distressed creditor holdout is now unilaterally pursuing "incremental recovery" of par in local and international courts of law.
Well, the Chinese aviation industry sure isn’t wasting any time: From the first glimpse of the tarp-covered fuselage being hauled in the first official pictures released by Shenyang Aircraft Corp (SAC) in September, China’s second fifth-generation stealth aircraft, the J-31, has now taken its maiden flight. Interesting timing given we are all focused on Sandy and the election... one thing is sure: Defense analysts have underestimated China’s ability to overcome technological hurdles before. While the sky isn’t falling in East Asia, the skies over China are well worth paying close attention to.
European corporates continue to report considerably more negative surprises in production than expectations a mere three months ago - with the divide now at extreme levels. As Morgan Stanley notes though, there remains a 'hope' for green shoots in the euro area on the back of the ECB's OMT announcement and an apparently more robust China. Unfortunately, as these ywo simple charts indicate, the reality is that business surveys are pointing to a continued slide and that recent resilience is unlikely to last. In fact, in Morgan Stanley's view, incoming data and anecdotal evidence would suggest Q4 could be even worse than had been expected and the recessionary envionment will drag well into next year.
Every Halloween people are engaging in free-market anarchism whether they like it or not. To the economist, it’s clear that the child values receiving candy, even if it means dressing up in a funny or scary costume and going door-to-door, sometimes for hours, saying “trick or treat”. It’s clear that for the adults, joining in for the festive evening is valued more-so than the monetary value of the candy, or else they wouldn’t be giving it away. And some don’t. Some people, adults and children alike, shy away from Halloween night neither tricking nor treating nor allowing their homes to be used as candy repositories. To the free-market anarchist, Halloween is a perfect example of a non-coercive display of voluntary goodwill. Here is a spontaneous order of people partaking in a festive holiday without any expectation of monetary gain.
While real consumer spending growth remains perilously close to recessionary levels for another year, one of our favorite indicators of real consumer sentiment (as opposed to the anchoring bias-driven surveys we are force-fed a few times per month) is the growth in spending on eating meals out. As Bloomberg Briefs notes, spending on dining out has fallen from 4.5% growth at the beginning of the year to under 1.8% growth currently (the lowest since May 2010). Add to this the slowdown in jewelry spending and the drag on discretionary spending likely from Sandy and we suspect the modicum of estimate revisions that have started to be published by sell-side analysts will need a little more adjustment.
Scanning the world, France ranks at or near the top in government transfers to households, vacation times and labor market rigidity, and at or near the bottom in hours worked per week, labor force participation rates and retirement age as a % of life expectancy. As JPMorgan's Michael Cembalest notes, France is a workers's utopia - which is expensive to maintain - and sure enough four out of four of its main economic indicators are accelerating lower since Hollande's 'Deluge' began.
- ECUADOR WANTS BANKS TO REPATRIATE ONE THIRD OF FOREIGN HOLDINGS
- ECUADOR TAX CHIEF CARRASCO SPEAKS TO CONGRESS IN QUITO