Curious how to trade those Goldman recommendations, such as today's uberbullish "strategic" call seeing nothing but blue skies all the way through 2015? Here is a quick reminder courtesy of your friendly FX wizard, Goldman's Tom Stolper. "On April 18 we recommended going long EUR/HUF. Our view has been that higher US yields would hurt a number of EM currencies (including the HUF). We also thought that ongoing monetary easing in Hungary would further compress interest rate differentials, leading to a gradual weakening in the currency. Although both macro drivers materialized, the HUF strengthened, contrary to our expectation.... we recommend closing the position with a potential 2.86% loss (including negative carry of about 32bp in total)."
Concentrated power and wealth are intrinsically sociopathological by their very nature. We have long spoken of the dangers inherent to centralization of power and the extreme concentrations of wealth centralization inevitably creates. There is another danger of centralization: sociopaths/psychopaths excel in organizations that centralize power, and their ability to flatter, browbeat and manipulate others greases their climb to the top. In effect, centralization is tailor-made for sociopaths gaining power. Nothing infuriates a sociopath or a sociopathological organization more than the exposure of their sociopathology, and so those in power will stop at nothing to silence, discredit, criminalize or eliminate the heroic whistleblower.
Following the dismissal of KPMG over insider trading 'issues', Herbalife has just announced it will be hiring PricewaterhouseCoopers as their new auditor:
- *HERBALIFE HIRES PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS :HLF US
- *HERBALIFE SAYS PWC TO RE-AUDIT FY10, FY11, FY12 :HLF US
Indications point to a modest rise from the pre-halt close of $49.87. Full PR below:
It was our expectation that while if not slowing down its rate of money-creation (i.e., reserve-production) - something that won't happen for a long time as it would crash the stock market - the Fed's reserves would at least revert to being accumulated at US-based banks. No such luck. In fact as the latest H.8 report demonstrates, as of the most recently weekly data, the Fed's policies have led to foreign banks operating in the US holding an all time high amount of reserves, surpassing $1 trillion for the first time, or $1,033 billion to be precise.
In general when equity prices are rising and credit spreads are tightening, the ratio of gold-to-silver prices falls as 'fear' ebbs away and confidence in a real economy returns as exemplified by the rise of risk assets. Twice before we have seen the anti-correlation of stocks and gold/silver flip to a highly correlated regime, and as Bloomberg's Chart of the Day notes, each time it suggested "stocks were due to snap". It seems a concerted push above and a 50x ratio (for gold-to-silver) tends to exhibit notably risk-off behavior. Currently, the S&P 500 and Gold-to-Silver ratio have been highly correlated since this last rally began in stocks and as HSBC's Charles Morris notes, this suggests a 'snap' in risk assets within six months.
Yesterday we opined on the deteriorating situation surrounding the much anticipated government scramble to collect perfectly legal offshored capital, initially focusing on Apple (which having now entered the focus of the US government will be nothing but an "negative externality" free utility going forward or as long as Uncle Sam wishes it to be) but soon to turn to virtually every other multinational corporation with a hugh cash hoard and a low effective US tax rate. Today, it is Tim Cook's turn to explain why the firm is merely following clearly laid out rules and tax regulations as encoded by none other than the same people who are bringing you today's particular episode of "distract them with witchhunts."
Whether it is algos looking for a better entry point for the inevitable green close, a market reacting to Saks disappointment, or a realization (ahead of Bernanke tomorrow) that the hawkish jawboning recently is an attempt at a soft-landing is unclear. One thing is becoming clear: the Dow Jones track record of being up 19 out of 19 consecutive weekly Tuesdays is suddenly in jeopardy...
We are now used to the daily dispensation of deep twitsight by Pimco's head. Today's installment does not disappoint: in under 140 characters, the bond kind breaks down the now thoroughly dis-proven Efficient Market Hypothesis for the "new normal" in which both alpha and beta are purely functions of virtual central bank printers. However, his view on what happens when said virtual ink runs out (or rather if) is well-known by all at this point. The only question is when.
Gross:Alpha is gr8ly a function of beta &the levered structurs that domin8 credit mkts. No beta? Skinnier alpha ahed 4 unsuspecting investrs
— PIMCO (@PIMCO) May 21, 2013
He's back to reprise his role as stoic 'I know nuffin' scapegoat. Former IRS boss Steve Miller faces a second round of truth-seeking, grand-standing, and extended questioning at today's Senate hearing on the IRS debacle. Scheduled to start at 10ET, Miller will be joined by Russell George (the IRS IG - full report here) and former IRS commissioner Doug Shulman. Grab the popcorn...
Back in December, when HLF was trading in the mid-$20s, and long before Icahn's involvement in the situation was even remotely public, we laid out the case for what we thought would be a major short squeeze in the name upon Ackman's public announcement that he had shorted 20 million share of HLF stock. Well, judging by the 20% jump in the stock in the past two days, which has manifested in a nearly $200 million paper loss for Ackman, and which has sent the stock some 100% higher from our base level, has the time finally come for the massive 40% of the float that is short, to start to panic? Judging by the rapid move, we may be approaching that imminent moment when none other than Bill Ackman gets the infamous tap on the shoulder around 3 pm with a polite but firm request that the time to cover has come, leading to yet another crushing victory for the Icahnator.
Reuters reports that following news that the South African gold mining union demands a wage hike up to 60%, "ten striking South African miners were taken to hospital on Tuesday after being hit by rubber bullets, police said, as labor strife swells in mines and factories ahead of mid-year pay negotiations."
Since the BoJ enunciated its actions on April 4th, the world has decided that consuming risk assets (the riskier the better) is the path to salvation. While it makes perfect sense that some level of inspiration for a global recovery makes sense (though hardly) given Japan's actions, it beggars belief that the most broke of broke peripheral European nations would see equity moves of such magnitude. On the 50th anniversary of Chaos Theory (more on this later today), it is perhaps worth remembering its central lesson – that complex interrelated systems create unexpected outcomes from seemingly benign inputs. It appears the complex inter-related world in which we live is becoming more and more chaotically unstable at the margin and this current euphoria does not approximately determine the future. There are more than enough variables out there – the butterflies flapping away – which can change outcomes in an instant.
A reversal will come. The odds on this are 100%. You cannot have every asset class on the planet in a bubble forever. The world does not operate this way. The disconnect between economic fundamentals and the markets continues but the odds on it continuing forever is Zero. The creation of all of this money also has another effect. It causes stupidity. It is quite true that we do not know the "what and the when" of it but a prediction that lacks any "If" will prove to be true. There is no longer an "If." The disparity now is just too great. Play the game as long as you can. It has gone on to date right in line with the increase in the money and in the lies. Play the game. However if you are smart you will have an exit strategy and a defense lined up well in advance before the man with the scythe shows up and takes a swipe at you. We stand on a precipice. There is an avalanche of lies, distortions and currency that has been created and is tumbling all around us. It cannot be dodged forever.