One of these charts represents the equity market of an over-levered, recovery-hoping, money-printing nation that shows no signs of removing its training-wheels-efforts to devalue its currency and reflate its economy... the other is Japan.
Ripped from the pages of Marvel Comics, Japanese Anime, or Game of Thrones; the latest cunning solution to what the Japanese admit is an ongoing emergency in Fukushima is, well, creative... Now that TEPCO has been shown to be inept, Abe and his government have sanctioned the funding of a 1.4km wall of ice to surround the building that holds Reactors 1 to 4. No this is not Pacific Rim; as Kyodo reports, chemical refrigerants will keep the underground wall frozen to stop the 400 tons of ground water being pumped into the reactors to cool them from leaking further into the sea water surrounding the catastrophe. This must be a positive for GDP, if 'broken windows' can help the Keynesians (and digging and refilling holes) then why not build a giant ice wall that will require unending energy to refrigerate what is a constantly melting-down core of nuclear awfulness. We wish them luck.
The country which over the past decade is most synonymous with "financial innovation" of the less than desirable kind, such as hyperinflation, complete currency and economic collapse and wholesale property confiscation, has just taken financial central-planning brilliance to the next level and following dictator Robert Mugabe's "reelection" has announced plans to open a new and "racially exclusive" stock exchange, allowing blacks alone to trade. And not trade just anything, but shares of recently nationalized foreign companies, most of which are South African-owned miners. Or rather were, because following the most recent nationalization round, Zimbabwe would take a 51% stake in all major foreign-owned companies valued at over $7 billion. No compensation will be paid.
Obama cancels meeting with Putin in Moscow amid tensions over NSA leaker Edward Snowden. http://t.co/Wdy2SYXvSt
— WSJ Breaking News (@WSJbreakingnews) August 7, 2013
Two weeks ago, Larry Summers was a long-shot 4/1 odds of becoming the next Fed Chair while Janet Yellen (at 1/3) was a 75% probable shoe-in. What a difference an onslaught of PR makes... According to PaddyPower's now re-started odds for the next chair(wo)man, the 'smart' money has piled into Larry Summers shifting his odds to a remarkable 7/4 (or triple the probability of 2 weeks ago at 60%). Yellen has dropped to a 36% probability (halving her likelihood) and Roger Ferguson has dropped off the front-runners sheet. Is the market jittery as the 'conscientious objecter to QE' rises in certainty.
This 4 year Bull market has been registering new all-time highs on a nearly daily basis. Days like today’s 57 basis point drop in the S&P 500 are being mocked as a correction or large sell off for the current environment. It appears that after so many years of the “Great Rotation” being hyped, the public has (to an extent) been trained to take their Bond fund proceeds and roll them into equity ETFs. While it is unlikely that baby boomer money will come back to equities and sustain the rotation, there is money flowing in. While we are no fans of the bond market, we are still stunned that there are people selling “safe” assets and rolling the proceeds into “risky” assets at all-time highs. There are three cornerstones to our current view that risk far outweighs opportunity...
If destruction is nothing but a boost to the economy as the global Keynesian brotherhood of voodoo priests believes, than Kenyan (not to be confused with Keynesian of course) GDP is about to go vertical.
- Libor Settlements Said to Ease CFTC’s Path in Rate-Swaps Probe (BBG)
- Manhattan Homes Under $3 Million Never Harder to Buy (BBG)
- Just two years late: Abe Pledges Government Help to Stem Fukushima Water Leaks (BBG)
- Chesapeake drops energy leases in fracking-shy New York (Reuters)
- Hedge Fund Magnetar Won't Face Charges Tied to Mortgages (WSJ)
- U.S. envoy leaves Cairo after talks declared over (Reuters)
- Credit-Crisis Oracle Rajan to Head India’s Central Bank (BBG)
- Bank of England Changes Policy Tack (WSJ)
While there was little macro news to report overnight, the most notable development was yet another USDJPY-driven crash in the Nikkei 225 which plunged by a whopping 576 points, or 4%, to 13825, while the Yen soared to under 96.80 in the longest series of gains since mid-June before recouping some of the losses on pre-US open program trading. The reason attributed for the move were reports that Japan would adhere to pledge to cut its deficit which is the last thing the market wanted to hear, as it realizes that boundless QE is only possible in a context of near-infinite deficit spending. The index, which has now become a volatility joke and woe to anyone whose "wealth effect" is linked to its stability, pushed not only China's Shanghai composite lower by 0.7% but led to losses across the board and as of this moment is seen dragging US equity futures lower for the third day in a row.
Moments ago the Bank of England's Mark Carney, very much as expected and warned previously, announced for the first time as part of the BOE quarterly Inflation Report press conference (the full August inflation report can be found here) the official linkage of monetary policy outlook to unemployment and pledged to expand stimulus if needed as he tried to quell investor bets on higher interest rates. Specifically as part of the BOE's forward guidance, Carney linked interest rates to a 7% unemployment threshold while forecasting that unemployment would be higher than 7% until at least Q3 2016, or in other words, no threat of an end of extraordinary monetary policy any time soon. However, while the market enjoyed the announcement initially and sent cable 100 pips lower to 1.5200, the initial dovish mood was quickly reversed after the market observed that Carney's statement carried with it three "knock out clauses" which made the forward guidance far less explicit and put doubts into the market about the credibility of this latest monetary experiment as a result unwinding an initial 100 pip drop in cable and sending it over 200 pips higher from the lows.
How al Qaeda broke hundreds of bad guys out of the world’s most notorious jail -- and what it means for America.
"More than 50 gunmen wearing tribal robes then entered the grounds, wielding pistols, AK-47s, and hand grenades. They had been on the road and in nearby villages, waiting to storm the facility. The power was cut, and the detainees broke out in cries of "God is great."
The Abu Ghraib prison break was not only a counterterrorism disaster, it laid bare Iraq's political dysfunction.
For many years, we have been extremely focused on shadow banking and most specifically the repo markets (recently here and here). Most market participants will go through their trading life ignorant of the fact that the leverage in this market is what drives their assets up or down in most cases (because understanding something new is so 'old normal' even if it remains a major potential catalyst for problems ahead). The regulators get it though (kinda). As Barclays notes, changes to the risk-weightings of low-risk assets in the repo markets means US banks will need to deleverage by raising $30bn of fresh capital or reducing their (mostly low-risk) assets by $598bn - not chump change in a market dominated by the Fed (and one that some have already raised default and liquidity concerns about).
The USA is veering into a psychological space not unlike the wilderness-of-mind that Germany found itself in back in the early 20th century: the deep woods of paranoia where our own failures will be projected onto the motives of others who mean to do us harm. The USA cannot come to terms with the salient facts staring us in the face: that we can’t run things as we’ve set them up to run. We refuse to take the obvious actions to set things up differently. That disorder has infected our currency and the infection is spreading to all currencies. The roar you hear in the distance this September will be the sound of banks crashing, followed by the silence of business-as-usual grinding to a halt. After that, the crackle of gunfire.