"We’re seeing a new era of currency wars," Neil Mellor, a foreign-exchange strategist at Bank of New York Mellon in London. This is what Bloomberg reported today in a piece titled "Race to Bottom Resumes as Central Bankers Ease Anew." For the most part Bloomberg's account is accurate, although it has one fundamental flaw: currency wars never left, but were merely put on hiatus as the liquidity tsunami resulting from the BOJ's mega easing lifted all boats for a few months. And now that the world has habituated to nearly $200 billion in new flow every month (and much more when adding China's monthly new loan creation), the time to extract marginal gains from a world in which global trade continues to contract despite the ongoing surge in global liquidity, central banks are back to doing the one thing they can - printing more. So what should one watch for now that even the MSM admits the currency wars are "back"? Goldman lists the 5 key areas to watch as central banks resume beggar thy neighbor policies with never before seen vigor.
While the noise and seasonality of the various measures of employment (or lack thereof) in the US make interpretation nigh on impossible (for all but the most linear extrapolators), many strategists recognize that their is a correlated (if not causative) relationship between the rate of unemployment and the S&P 500. However, as Bloomberg's Chase Van Der Rhoer notes, using the unemployment rate to predict the S&P 500 Index may be an oversimplification, but doing so yields surprisingly robust results and suggests the index is overvalued to the tune of 150 points.
Asian economic growth (or lack thereof) is often seen as the bellwether to global growth. While the following heatmap (covering 10 Asian economies across 8 measures of macro-economic health) has its fair share of red (growth upswing) indications, as Bloomberg's Rob Subbaramam notes, a closer inspection reveals a theme on extremely uneven economic performance - and is expected to become more prominent. However, based on a GDP-weighted perspective the heatmap would signal cooling in aggregate for Asian growth.
Still think houses are extremely affordable? Still think rents, especially for rental stream-securitized offerings by Blackstone et al to widows and orphans , will continue rising in perpetuity? Think again. As the following chart from Bloomberg Brief shows, mortgage payments as a % of average consumer incomes has risen to 40%, up from the higher 20% as recently as a year ago, is still rising, and is now back to levels last seen in 2008.
With better US labor market data, the key event in the upcoming week could well be the Yellen nomination hearing in the Senate Banking Committee. Yellen will likely deliver brief prepared remarks followed by questions from members of the committee. Yellen is expected to be relatively circumspect in discussing potential future Federal Reserve policy decisions in the hearings. Nonetheless, the testimony may help clarify her views on monetary policy and the current state of the economy. Yellen has not spoken publicly on either of these topics since the spring of this year. In addition to the nomination hearing, there will be a series of Fed speeches again, including one by Chairman Bernanke.
- Philippines Left Reeling in Wake of Storm (WSJ)
- Khamenei controls massive financial empire built on property seizures (RTRS)
- Race to Bottom Resumes as Central Bankers Ease Anew (BBG)
- U.S. Postal Service to deliver Amazon packages on Sundays (LA Times)
- Obama Stocks Among Best After Re-Election as Rally Tested (BBG)
- Health-Law Rollout Weighs on Obama's Ratings, Agenda (WSJ)
- Twitter in Celebrity Spat With Facebook as Rivalry Builds (BBG)
- Iran deputy industry minister shot dead (AFP)
- Financier of Taliban-linked group shot dead in Pakistan (RTRS)
- Obama: The Lonely Guy (Vanity Fair)
Bond markets may be closed today for Veterans' Day, but equities and far more importantly, FX, are certainly open and thanks to yet another overnight ramp in the ES leading EURJPY, we have seen one more levitation session to start off the week, and an implied stock market open which will be another record high. There was little overnight developed market data to digest, with just Italian Industrial Production coming in line with expectations at 0.2%, while the bulk of the attention fell on China which over the weekend reported stronger Industrial Production and retail sales, while CPI was just below expectations and additionally China new loans of CNY 506 billion (below est. of CNY 580bn) even as M2 in line, should give the Chinese government the all clear to reform absolutely nothing. That all this goldilocks and goalseeked data is taking place just as the Third Plenum picks up pace was not lost on anyone.
This week an article in Euromoney points out that liquidity in bond markets is drying up. The blame is laid at the door of regulations designed to increase banks' capital relative to their balance sheets. Furthermore, the article informs us, new regulations restricting the gearing on repo transactions are likely to make things worse, not only reducing bond market liquidity further, but also affecting credit markets. The reason this will be so is that in a repurchase agreement a bank supplies credit to non-banks for the period of the repo. One could take another equally valid point of view: the reason for deteriorating liquidity in bond markets is due in part to yields being unnaturally low.
As we remember the fallen this weekend... Prussia: Oh, f##k you France.
For almost two years (most recently this week), we have been vociferously explaining the dismal fact that "quantity" of jobs in this recovery is no match for dreadful "quality" of jobs as the "born-again jobs scam" contonues to roll on. Bloomberg's Matthew Klein has decided that nine pictures are better than a thousand words as he explains (in short sentences and simple charts) what the jobs report really means...
The MSM did their usual spin job on the consumer credit data released earlier this week. They reported a 5.4% increase in consumer debt outstanding to an all-time high of $3.051 trillion. In the Orwellian doublethink world we currently inhabit, the consumer taking on more debt is seen as a constructive sign. The storyline being sold by the corporate MSM propaganda machine, serving the establishment, is that consumers’ taking on debt is a sure sign of economic recovery. They must be confident about the future and rolling in dough from their new part-time jobs as Pizza Hut delivery men. Plus, they are now eligible for free healthcare, compliments of Obama, once they can log-on. Of course, buried at the bottom of the Federal Reserve press release and never mentioned on CNBC or the other dying legacy media outlets is the facts and details behind the all-time high in consumer credit. They count on the high probability the average math challenged American has no clue regarding the distinction between revolving and non-revolving credit or who controls the distribution of such credit. A shocking fact (to historically challenged government educated drones) revealed by the Federal Reserve data is that credit card debt did not exist prior to 1968. How could people live their lives without credit cards? 1968 marked a turning point for America...
As Bitcoin Plunges 25% On Government Scrutiny, The First BTC "Fair Value" Reco Has A Stunning Price TargetSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 11/10/2013 - 12:39
Let’s use a broad guesstimate. One Bitcoin should theoretically be worth 700 ounces of gold or pretty close to $1,000,000, if we adjust existing supply of both to equal eachother. One BTC is currently worth 0.14 ounces of gold. That gives BTC an upside of 5000 times to equal the current price of gold, supply adjusted. Clearly, I and everyone else believes that Gold may well be much higher than here in the next 5 to 10 years, thus versus the US Dollar the upside for BTC could be multiples of that. Now, before you shake your head, simply go back to the chart of Gold versus the US Dollar and just recognise that it has risen 8750% since the 1920s. And just remember that Microsoft rose 61,000% from its IPO to it’s peak. Considering what we know about the world, I personally believe that Bitcoin may well explode in value as more and more people begin to use it. If you stuck $5,000 into Bitcoins and each Bitcoin did go up to a gold equivalent of let’s say, only 100 ounces of gold (not the potential fair value of 700), then at current prices your Bitcoin stash would be worth $3.3m.