Is the biggest driver to GDP growth (aside from the government's transfer payments of course) starting to ebb? November wholesale inventories printed at -0.2%, the first decline since 2009, a miss of expectations of 1.0%, and a drop from October's revised 1.7%.
If you were worried about the Portuguese auction tomorrow fear not! Japan decided to be proactive fighting this latest break-out of European sovereign CDS rates and extend a very unselfish hand. Indeed how could one doubt their good intentions? All they want is to make sure their currency stops appreciating in order to keep the youth unenployment rate in Italy around 29%. Following China's lead Japan announced they would buy European bonds. With only 200% debt to GDP ratio it makes sense for them to go ahead and chip in to help Portugal throw bad money after an even worse structural issue. China gets relatively little bad press for supporting European markets as conventional wisdom assumes their official 20% debt to GDP ratio is accurate. Other analysts much better informed on the subject than I am, in fact some even created a fund dedicated to benefit from when China's economic miracle is exposed for the ponzi scheme it is, claim actual numbers are much closer to 120% but the people's republic uses all sorts of accounting trickery and local government vehicles to disguise the true extent of its indebtedness. Japan however shall not benefit from the general public's stupidity with debt levels well publicized. Indeed as we discussed many times before, Japan's public debt is astronomical...Obviously Japan's announcement had not so much to do with their desire to rescue Portuguese finances, but instead is aimed in my opinion to the obvious secondary effect of weakening the JPY. That will work to temporarily slow down the fall of EURJPY, but when it comes to USDJPY it is exclusively driven by the 2Y UST/JGB rate spread. So if Japan really wants to weaken the Yen they might as well start dumping their 2Y treasuries. With the time interval between solvency crises shrinking exponentially as the eventual end game approaches, I have my doubts as to how much good will come from this touching display of Eurasian brotherly love. Perhaps is this why the Dollar index refuses to trade South this morning... - Nic Lenoir
Since the New York Fed's 20-some year olds who are in charge of the Open Market Operation desk have made it clear it is everyone's patriotic duty to frontrun the Fed, courtesy of their "complex" algorithms, below we present the full frontrunning cheat sheet for today's last for the current schedule $7-9 billion POMO focusing on bond due 2016-2017. Those who wish to take no risk whatsoever should merely buy the 10 Cheapest bonds as predicted by Morgan Stanley's treasury spline. Note that the November CUSIP is now cheapest to deliver and should therefore be on the Exclusions list. Also, not surprisingly the December 7 year auction is sufficiently underwater on a relative cheapness to sector basis, that if any PDs actually offer it for sale, then we know for a fact that the spreads on the bid/ask offered by the Fed are so large they more than offset capital losses on actual exit trades and should be sufficient for Ron Paul to demand a congressional inquiry into just how much the Fed pays the PDs in commission spreads in each and every POMO.
For nearly two years Zero Hedge (and others) have badgered Goldman Sachs for being purposefully opaque in its reporting structure to not allow any transparency in the split between flow and prop trading revenues, instead lumping everything into the ubiquitous "Trading and Principal Investments" segment of which FICC (fixed income, currency, commodity) has always been the dominant vertical for the taxpayer sponsored hedge fund. This is about to change. In a just released 67 page report titled Report of the Business Standards Committee, Goldman announces that going forward this key trading group will now be split into two separate segments: "Institutional Client Services" and "Investing & Lending" which will provide much more detail on how the firm determines its trading revenue, and will allow objective, third party analysts to determine just how much risk the firm takes on from both a principal (taxpayer funded) and agent (dumb mutual fund money) capacity, something which should have been the case long ago, and which we railed about for two years now. We are happy that our railing on this most important topic has been met with success.
It took just three months (and a 50% spike in price) for UBS to do a 180 on silver. In the firm's most recent Silver update from Dominic Schnider of Wealth Management Research, the author now says "Silver prices remain well supported and have been able to trade repeatedly above USD 30/oz." More importantly for those who are concerned that the recent all time high just north of $31 was a one time fluke, fear not: "Temporarily, prices could even hit USD 35/oz on physical interest in the metal due to firm economic activity." Bottom line: "Investors should make use of silver volatility for yield enhancement strategies At levels close to USD 25/oz, we are willing to pick up the metal." Then again, none of this should come as a surprise or even lead one to make investment decisions: after all it was just in September that the same person, in a report titled: "Price strength not on firm ground" said "We expect industrial demand to show some weakness and advise investors to avoid the metal" and concluded "We therefore prefer to be sellers at present levels and would reopen a position at or below 17.5/oz." Merely another confirmation that virtually every sellsider on Wall Street is merely a momentum riding, backward looking, chart monkey, and all those who seek original, contrarian thought are advised to stay very, very far from Wall Street "analysis."
These guys are like gang members, once an academic, always an academic, until the day your policies are adopted by the leading political party and they quickly lead to mass social upheaval and economic turmoil. But even then, only if you belong to the "Right" will you be so disgraced and your academic street cred withdrawn. Lefties are free to rep themselves as hardcore academics all they want, no matter how bad they screw things up. Unless you're Ben Bernanke, or Hank Paulson. Then you just spook dissenters with end-of-the-world rhetoric if you don't get your way. Or baseball bats...The son of two statisticians... I almost feel sorry for him, the poor boy never had a chance.
- NFIB Small Business Optimism comes at 92.6, misses expectations of 94.5 (NFIB)
- Short the Rumor Pays 14% on Takeovers That Don't Happen (Bloomberg)
- Could the U.S. central bank go broke? (Reuters)
- Goldman Sachs Said to Plan Disclosing More Detail on Revenue (Bloomberg)
- Fed's Fisher: Expects Fed Bond Buying Effort To Be Completed (WSJ)
- Fed's Lockhart Sees `Headwinds' for Economy as Growth Accelerates in 2011 (Bloomberg)
- China's FX Reserves Rise By Record $199 Bln to $2.85 Trln Q4 (Market News)
- Chinese Citizens Spent $48 Billion Overseas In 2010 (China Daily)
- Portuguese Bond Sale May Make Bailout `Inevitable' (Bloomberg)
- ECB Intervenes As Debt Crisis Deepens (FT)
Small business sentiment (which misses badly), wholesale inventories, JOLTS, and weakly [sic] lack of confidence…Last POMO of current schedule ends at 11 am, and new schedule is released by several 20 year olds at 2 pm.
All the news that refuses to matter when bad, and causes manic surges in the EURUSD when not bad, continues to come out of Europe. All the other global news just refuses to matter period, unless it has to do with the Fed's linen printing habits.
For all cowards who did not put their life savings in the Banlgadesh stock market after yesterday's record plunge and subsequent halt, and obviously have no clue how modern markets work, we have one acronym for you: BTFD. To everyone else, who made 15% in one day and can now close the books for 2011, congratulations. A day after Brian Sack was rumored to be seen tweaking the Bangladesh stock exchange's 3 16 MHz 286 High Frequency Trading machines, which can execute a whopping 0.5 transactions per second, and lifting all 2 offers in Level 2 when put in Designated Market Maker mode, the Bangladesh stock exchange is surging, and 1,000% margin debt-laden speculator protesters who were rioting as recently as 24 hours ago, are basking in their newly rediscovered wealth effect.
All you wanted to know about why the world is bankrupt in many pretty charts.
Europe is now literally living day to day. After last night it was announced that Japan is joining China in purchasing a substantial portion of European debt, using its FX reserves to buy up to 20% of European issuance and thus becoming simply the latest selfish trade surplus country doing all it can to keep its key export partner afloat (to the detriment of USD bond purchasing, confirming the Fed's monetization of debt will never end), today that ultimate backstop, the ECB, has for the second day in a row been purchasing Portuguese bonds to make sure there is no collapse in the sovereign debt market. The good news: Greece managed to place €1.95 billion in 6 month Bills... at the ridiculous rate of 4.9% and 3.4 Bid to Cover, which nonetheless happened to be an deterioration in both rate from the previous November 9 Bill auction, printing at 4.82%, and had a much higher 5.15 bid to cover.
Over one year after Zero Hedge made POMO, and the Fed's open market operations group a household name, and Brian Sack a household curse, the NYT has finally decided to write an expose on the people who are charged with enforcing America's transition to central planning. And they just happen to be the grizzled 40 year old Mr. Sack, a 34 year old supervisor, two 29-year olds and a 26 year old ... who goes to NYU. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, these are the people who are gifting billions in commissions to the Primary Dealers on a daily basis. You see, the FRBNY whiz-kids have a "computer algorithm that works out which [offers] to [lift]. The computer compares the offers from Wall Street against market prices and the Fed’s own calculation of what constitutes a “fair value” price." In other words, taxpayers are getting raped during each and every single POMO but that's ok - the Fed's algorithm, probably created by yet another ex-Goldmanite, determines that said raping is "fair" and with absolutely no transparency anywhere in the process, except of course the Fed telegraphing in advance what bonds will be monetized, there is no way to ever check... Because that kind of mutually assured destructive disclosure would mean the financial world would promptly implode in a case study of total protonic reversal. After all, only smart people (and we are talking Wall Street smart) can handle the responsible truth... of daily Primary Dealer Subsidies.
Virginia Creates Subcommittee To Study Monetary Alternatives In Case Of Terminal Fed "Breakdown", Considers Gold As OptionSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 01/10/2011 - 20:29
In what may one day be heralded as the formal proposal that proverbially started it all, the Commonwealth of Virginia introduced House Resolution No. 557 to establish a joint subcommittee to "to study whether the Commonwealth should adopt a currency to serve as an alternative to the currency distributed by the Federal Reserve System in the event of a major breakdown of the Federal Reserve System." In other words, Virginia will study the fallback plan of a "timely adoption of an alternative sound currency that the Commonwealth's government and citizens may employ without delay in the event of the destruction of the Federal Reserve System's currency" and avoid or "at least mitigate many of the economic, social, and political shocks to be expected to arise from hyperinflation, depression, or other economic calamity related to the breakdown of the Federal Reserve System." Most importantly as pertain to the currency in question, "Americans may employ whatever currency they choose to stipulate as the medium for payment of their private debts, including gold or silver, or both, to the exclusion of a currency not redeemable in gold or silver that Congress may have designated 'legal tender'." Whether this resolution will ever get off the ground, and actually find that the world is at great risk should gold not be instituted as a backstop currency, is irrelevant. The mere fact that it is out there, should provide sufficient impetus to other states to consider the ultimate Plan B.
We urge all legislators to carefully read this resolution.
Loughner's expression was impassive as he walked in [court], looked straight at the crowd at the back of the room packed with reporters, then turned around to speak to his attorney, Judy Clarke. He responded "yes" when asked if he understood his rights.