If the Fed thought it could boldly go where hundreds of millions have gone before (in a vain attempt to be cool, hip and relevant - Twitter of course - with the @FederalReserve handle naturally), all in a quest for faux transparency and openness, which nobody who is even remotely familiar with the Fed's actions is buying, without getting a few heckles in the process, it was wrong. Unfortunately, as the currency debasement race has simply taken a short breather ahead of a presidential election and a possible regional war with wide-ranging commodity price implications, before it resumes into the frantic final lap, the below sample is merely a modest appetizer of what is yet to come.
Dear muppets: Goldman wants you to short TYM2 (reminder: a key axis? check; elephant hunting? check; three letter acronym? check). Translation: every bond you sell, Goldman buys.
UPDATE: The UK outlook change has had little reaction so far: TSY yield down 1-2bps, gold/silver bounced up a little, and a small drop in GBP.
While most of the talk will be about the drop in precious metals today, the sell-off in Treasuries is of a much larger relative magnitude and yet equities broadly ignored this re-risking 'signal'. At almost 2.5 standard deviations, today's 10Y rate jump (closing it above the 200DMA for the first time in eight months) trumps the 1.3 standard deviation drop in Gold prices - taking prices back to mid-January levels. According to our data (h/t JL) for only the 14th time in the last five years (and not seen for 16 months) Treasury yields rose significantly and stocks fell as the broad gains in yesterday's financials (on the JPM rip) were held on to at the ETF level but not for Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, or Citigroup (who gave all the knee-jerk reaction back). Tech led the way as AAPL surged once again (though faltered a few times intraday) having now completed back-to-back unfilled gap-up-openings. Credit and equity were generally in sync until mid afternoon when the up-in-quality rotation took over and stocks and high-yield sold off (notably HYG - the high-yield bond ETF underperformed all day long) while investment grade credit rallied to multi-month tights. VIX bounced higher (notably more than the S&P would have implied) recovering to Monday's closing levels and back above 15%. The Treasury sell-off was 'balanced' in terms of risk-on/-off by the strength in the USD (and modest weakness in FX carry pairs as JPY's weakness was largely in sync with the rest of the majors - hinting its was a USD story). Oil and Copper both lost ground (as did Silver - the most on the day) though they tracked more in line with USD strength than the PMs.
In keeping with the tradition of waking up to reality with a several month delay on downgrades (if being the first to upgrade insolvent Eurozone members), here comes Fitch, to boldly go where Moody's went long ago.
- UNITED KINGDOM L-T IDR OUTLOOK TO NEGATIVE FROM STABLE BY FITCH
- FITCH AFFS UNITED KINGDOM AT 'AAA'; REVISES OUTLOOK TO NEGATIVE
As a reminder, UK consolidated debt/GDP is... oh... ~1000%
While WTI hovers around $105.5 (slightly underperforming USD strength), Brent has notably outperformed with the Brent-WTI spread now edging towards $20 (from under $15 two weeks ago). Given the increasing tension, we thought it useful to get a grasp of just what an oil-supply shock means. BNP points out that in all but one of the historical oil price shocks of the last 40 years, equities have notably underperformed oil (understandably) but the higher the oil price rise, the higher the chance of negative absolute returns for stocks. We also note that oil prices tend to rise in anticipation of the crisis and then explode (so arguing that we are discounting an event is proved moot) and the impact (in lost supply) from closing the Straits of Hormuz is an order of magnitude larger than the next five largest events. Regionally, positioning favors the middle-eastern oil producers obviously with Asian EM nations set to suffer dramatically worse than DMs.
Smith’s sentiments are appreciated, but actually he is wrong about a fundamental point, at least in today’s business environment. Goldman doesn’t have to give a damn about its clients because the vampire squid has found a much more lucrative way of insuring their bottom line: government largesse.
Presented with little comment except to remind all those newly refreshed consumers that for every penny rise in pump prices, more than $1bn is added to the hoousehold spending bill (assuming driving habits are unaffected - which brings its own set of unintended consequential events). And in the past month alone, gas prices have increased by precisely 30 cents.
This is neither here nor there: we just wanted to toss our name in the Linnovative hat:
- KNICKS COACH D'ANTONI QUITS, YAHOO SPORTS SAYS, CITING SOURCES
Linemployment benefits next: looking forward to next week's record warm weather seasonally adjusted BLS data to interpret this as one less jobless claim.
The general dogma seems to be that the recent Treasury weakness reflects either a) risk-averse bondholders rotating to stocks because everything is fixed and it seems better to buy something at its highs than its lows? or b) China is punishing us for the rare-metals challenge. We posit an alternative, less conspiracy-theory, less-conventional-wisdom (who is buying the Treasuries you are selling and who is selling the stocks you are buying reprise) perspective on the recent Treasury weakness. Its supply-and-demand stupid. The last few weeks have seen massive, record-breaking amounts of investment grade USD-based corporate bond issuance, at the same time dealer inventories for corporate bonds are at multi-year lows and Treasury holdings at all-time-highs. In general to underwrite the massive corporate bond issuance, dealers will place rate-locks (or short Treasuries/Swaps in various ways) to control the yield and sell the idea of the 'spread' to clients (which is where most real-money buyers will be focused on value. We suggest that the almost unprecedented corporate issuance and therefore need for rate-locks has provided a significant offer for Treasuries that the dealers (who are loaded) and the Fed (who is only minimally involved) was unable to suppress. The key question, going forward, is whether the expectations of a much lower issuance calendar will relieve this marginal offer in Treasuries and allow rates to revert back down?
Only in a debt-based money system could debt be curiously cast as an asset. We’ve made “extend and pretend” a quaint phrase for a burgeoning market for financial lying and profiteering aimed toward preventing the collapse of a debt- (or lack-) based system that was already doomed by its initial design to collapse. This primer will detail the major components and basic evolution of fake wealth creation, accelerating debt expansion, hollowing out of the economy, and inevitable financial implosion.
As has been noted all this week, starting with Monday's 3 Year auction which printed at the highest yield in 5 months, the $12 billion 30 Year Bond did not surprise, and at a yield of 3.381%, just inside of the When Issued 3.385%, it priced at the highest yield since August 2011, or just days after the US downgrade. The Bid To Cover was 2.70, on top of the TTM average of 2.68. Take downs were a carbon copy of February, coming at 14.7%, 29.0% and 56.3% for Directs, Indirect and, of course, Dealers. Does the yield have a ways to go? Oh yes - back in February 2011 the 30 Year priced at 4.75%, and then the slow steady decline commenced. What happens next? Will the US need another downgrade for yields to paradoxically slide? Or will the Fed truly leave the UST curve untouched by phasing out its market subsidization? Hardly: as a reminder, here is where we stand: $1 trillion in bond issuance in the next 10 months, and $100 billion in bond sales by China in December (with the latest TIC data pending). Forget stocks, and keep your eyes glued to the bond market. Things are starting to get interesting, especially for the Fed whose DV01 of $2Bn means that every basis point rise in yields means less P and more L. But the scariest implication: recall why the Fed wanted low rates - to spur mortgages and refis. It seems that Bernanke has finally given up on this. The only mandate left now is to blow the NASDAPPLE bubble to 2000 levels. At which point everyone can retire with paper profits. Until the cash profit taking begins of course. Then... it will be someone else' problem.
Official Memo From Lloyd And Gary To Employees: "89% Of You Provide Exceptional Services To Clients"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 03/14/2012 - 13:08
The Greg Smith drama refuses to go away (probably for a reason). Earlier, we presented a spoof response from a spoof Goldman CEO. Now, courtesy of the WSJ, here is the real memo sent out from Lloyd and Gary to employees in which we learn that "89% of Goldman employees self reported they provide exceptional services to their clients." But what about the remaining 11%? Because out of 10 employees, just one is required to rob a client, whatever that means these days anyway, blind. Oddly enough, didn't CFA Magazine just find that 10% of all Wall Streeters are psychopaths? That more or less explains it all.