"Neither the Treasury Department nor the Federal Reserve believes that the law can or should be used to facilitate the production of platinum coins for the purpose of avoiding an increase in the debt limit" Anthony Coley, spokesman for the Treasury Department.
In an ominous supplication to the fact that a deal may not be coming President Obama admitted that his administration is "exploring all contingencies on the debt limit." We assume, given his dismissal of the 14th Amendment and the idiocy ("there are no magic bullets" to avoid default) of the trillion-dollar-coin and premium-bond issuance to the Fed, this implies - unlike the ECB - that they are conceding it is possible we cross the "X" date. His remarks were a perfect rehash of everything he has said before... unless the Republicans stop demanding 100% of what they want and give him 100% of what he wants, he will not negotiate. In Summary: no negotiation with extremists holding hostages
Given the statements this morning it is clear that President Obama is unwilling to negotiate on his unwillingness to negotiate. It would seem that he would do well to listen to the immortal words of Mike Tyson, "everyone has a plan, until they get punched in the face," and we suspect the market is about to deliver that upper cut... which in reflection is exactly what the President called for last week - though as we noted earlier - the polls are mixed as to who is to blame.
There has long been a quasi-magical belief in the U.S. that capitalism's intrinsic dynamic of creative destruction will always create more jobs than it destroys. The evidence is compelling that this belief is no longer reality-based. The U.S. has reached Peak Jobs - at least the sort that can support a household.
Following today's explosive 4 Week Bill auction which priced at the highest yield since October 2008, the subsequent $30 billion 3 Year auction was rather anticlimatic. While the WI had been rising modestly all day, the final high yield of 0.71% was through the When Issued 0.719%, which was also the lowest since August, following the pre-Taper fears blow out in short-term yields in September when it priced at 0.913%. Still, the Bid To Cover was hardly anything to write home about, which at 3.048 was the lowest since June and higher only than the 2.946 from June, going back all the way late 2010. The ongoing decline in Bids to Cover is very obvious in the chart below. The internals indicated a modest increase in Indirect Bidders, which took down 34.4% of the auction, compared to the 28% TTM average, leaving 19.7% to the Directs, in line with the trailing twelve month average, and 45.8% to Dealers, below the 52.7% TTM average. Overall, the fear in the bond market continues to be confined to the ultra-short term bonds, where fears of a technical default in the next month is all focused on the next month, but for now is confined solely there.
President Obama had no choice but to cancel his trip to the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation Summit in Indonesia because he was forced to stay in DC and not negotiate (perhaps Jakarta should invest some more capital in some world class golf courses) but John Kerry, happy to have put the Syria fiasco behind him and since boating season off Nantucket is over, was there an represented. Dressed appropriately.
Between IB's margin hike yesterday (crushing MOMO leverage), a rising JPY squeezing carry trades, and high-beta to a plunging market, the momentum-mavens are hurting. Of course, as CNBC just said - now is the time to BTFD to make your year when they all bounce... with the Russell back to its 50DMA -with its biggest 2-day drop in almost 4 months.
Recent speeches from the SEC indicate they plan to use Midas to look at the details behind quote stuffing, excessive order cancellations, the cause of mini flash crashes, and other nefarious activities. While these are all good uses for a market analysis tool (Midas), they pale in comparison to a data-feed delay analysis, because the former are governed by blanket, hard-to-prove manipulation laws, while the latter can be tied directly to a core rule that lies at the heart of Regulation NMS. An improper data-feed delay was the reason for the $5 million fine against an exchange in September 2012. Furthermore, millions of people are directly affected and disadvantaged by illegal data-feed delays. Therefore, it would be a great waste of public resources to not immediately pursue a data-feed delay analysis, because there exists ample evidence that an illegal speed advantage exists in direct feeds over the public quote.
"Escalating..." Whocouldanode that exploding T-Bill yields (which have been doing so for a week) would suggest more anxiety? Tempest in a teacup...
Moments ago, the just concluded 4 week Bill, with a Cusip which appropriately enough was BK, priced at a stunning 0.35%, blowing through the 0.295% When Issued, the highest yield since October 2009, the lowest Bid to Cover since March 2009, and the largest tail since March 25, 2008. The bond market panic is palpable, and just as we predicted would happen in a market gripped by sheer "Bernanke will kiss and make it all better" complacency.
The BPC, whose initial analysis of the US default has become the staple "go-to" analysis for Treasury cash obligations and key events in the day surrounding and following the X-Date, has released a new update on when the US runs out of money. The latest: October 22 - November 1. Which means that if it so desires, the GOP can and probably will delay a debt ceiling bargain until the last possible moment which may well be, appropriately enough, Halloween. In the meantime, the US Treasury now has about $40 billion in total cash on hand and available extraordinary measures and declining fast.
Amid the bluster of yet another press conference, equity markets chopped around jerking up and down 5 points at a time for the S&P 500. But one market, the Treasury Market, went only one way. While it is all too easy to watch the tickers and listen to the glib bloviation of any and all talking head exclaiming that there is no-way, zero-chance, totally unlikely, impossible that the US government would technically default - the Treasury-Bill market is less confident (10/17s +8.5bps to 22.5bps, 10/31s +7.5bps to 23.5bps). In fact, the T-Bill yield has now spiked massively more than during the 2011 Debt-Ceiling debate (and stocks - for now - have not).
It doesn't sound like the politicians are getting any closer...
- BOEHNER SAYS IT'S TIME TO SIT DOWN, TALK, RESOLVE DIFFERENCES
- BOEHNER SAYS ALL HE'S ASKING FOR IS NEGOTIATIONS
- BOEHNER SAYS OBAMA, REID PUTTING U.S. ON `DANGEROUS PATH'
And the already proverbial Schrodinger table:
- BOEHNER SAYS NOTHING IS ON THE TABLE, NOTHING IS OFF THE TABLE
The chart below, showing the historical change in the IMF's periodic revisions of world growth and revised for today's just released latest World Economic Outlook, shows that much taxpayer money can be saved if the monetary fund's staff was replaced with dart-throwing chimps.