Earlier we reported that Jim O'Neill has finally capitulated on his China uberalles prediction. Not a few hours pass, and Goldman is already back to spinning the great illusory strawman of the next growth "dynamo" - enter the N-11, or the "the ‘next 11’ emerging economies that—after the BRICs—have the potential to rival the G7 as a source of global demand and sustained growth." Because Goldman knows all too well that two wrongs make a much bigger right. As to which bottom dwellers are supposed to pull America and the insolvent developed world, prepare to be regaled with the following brilliant selection of N-11 participants: Bangladesh, Vietnam, Egypt, Iran, Pakistan, Indonesia, Nigeria,Philippines , Mexico, Turkey, Korea. Good luck with that Jim: we cant wait for the Non-Ch 11 200 next, or all the countries in the world that don't have a debt/GDP ratio of over 100%. We are sure that the entire world, ex the developed and BRIC countries, will pretty soon serve as the economic dynamo to push the world forward, and beyond the bankruptcy of your heretofore favorites. We promise that the bears you so enjoy taunting are rolling in fear at the N-11 onslaught.
Update: After following up with the Mint, any shipments and deliveries of American Eagle 2010 edition both gold and silver are TBD and the mint has no idea on when these will be received if at all this year. A small shipment of American Buffalo gold coins will go on sale on June 3 at noon. The mint expects these to sell out promptly.
Earlier we reported that the US Mint has run out of American Eagle silver coins. It turns out the Mint is also out of gold American Eagles. Here is the US Mint page linking to various American Eagle subcategories. "Production of United States Mint American Eagle Gold Proof and Uncirculated Coins has been temporarily suspended because of unprecedented demand for American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins. Currently, all available 22-karat gold blanks are being allocated to the American Eagle Gold Bullion Coin Program, as the United States Mint is required by Public Law 99-185 to produce these coins “in quantities sufficient to meet public demand . . . .”
Skynet has realized that once again nobody is trading, and with ES volume at 1.18mm 30% lower than the average through this point in the day, the market is surging. No surprise there. The computers know too well that a crash from a higher position is much better than from a lower one, all else being equal. What is surprising is that the EURJPY to ES spread, which we pointed out yesterday blew out to unprecedented levels, is on its way to collapsing. If a trade as simple as this is what drives the market, then it is certain that not only computers, but really dumb computers are in charge. Although in retrospect, judging by Irene "Cash Cow" Aldridge's spirited defense of HFT earlier on CNBC (sorry, we are not going to give industry lobbyist more free air time), not even this fact should surprise us.
The US Treasury just auctioned off another $31 billion in 4 Week Bills. The auction closed at 0.13% high rate, with 93.14% allotted at the high. The high yield was the lowest seen since March 2010, and matched the April 27th auction. The Bid To Cover came in at a strong 4.51, compared to 3.87 previously. What was most notable was the explosion in Indirect Bidders in this auction compared to recent trends: Indirects came in at 39.8% after taking down a mere 8.8% in last week's auction. The Indirect take down is the highest since March 23, when Indirects took down 43.4%. Oddly enough, the spike in Indirects was not at the expense of Directs, which at 16.3% was a little lower than recent take downs but still a far greater than the long term average. Oddly enough the Primary Dealer take down was just 43.9% - this is the lowest since the very first auction in 2010. Whether this has to do with quarter start asset rotation, or due to the massive SOMA take down of $6 billion, is unknown, but is certainly notable.
And so the US joins the distinguished list of pretty much everyone else in the world in running out of silver and soon, gold. The US Mint has just announced it has run out of silver bullion blanks, and is suspending American Eagle Silver Proof coins, until further notice. "Production of United States Mint American Eagle Silver Proof and Uncirculated Coins has been temporarily suspended because of unprecedented demand for American Eagle Silver Bullion Coins. Currently, all available silver bullion blanks are being allocated to the American Eagle Silver Bullion Coin Program, as the United States Mint is required by Public Law 99-61 to produce these coins “in quantities sufficient to meet public demand . . . .”
According to the ECB, the June 1 usage of the Central Bank's Deposit Facility Usage has hit an all time high of €316.4 billion, an amount greater than seen any time before, including the days after the Lehman bankruptcy, and the March 2009 lows. This surge is an indication that European banks continue to perceive the continental liquidity situation as dire, as banks receive a submarket 0.25% on funds held with the ECB, as opposed to the 0.33% paid out by money markets. Is the European liquidity crisis now shifting aggressively into the shadow economy, with money market getting impaired under the radar? Should that be the case, it is likely that the European repo market is also in jeopardy, although don't expect to hear about this until it is too late, when there is no liquidity to be found at all. As we pointed out yesterday when comparing Euribor and EUR Libor, the sense of counterparty risk is now greater than it was in late 2008: this is likely another factor forcing banks to bypass any potentially insolvent counterparty altogether and store funds overnight with the safest entity of all, even if it means a haircut on returns.
Hopefully JPM's prop team managed to dump all their shares in time. Breakingnews.com reports that the "Coast Guard says saw has become stuck in riser pipe in the latest effort to contain the Gulf Oil spill." Of course, all those who expressed a bullish outlook on BP today certainly foresaw this, and all future unexpected events...
"If I stick with my principles, of using what you develop to keep you objective, it seems pretty clear to me that the cycle of Chinese momentum has peaked….there you go, I feel relief…from now on, I suspect we are going to see more and more evidence of this. It will scare many, please the China bubble blowers, but to those of you that think in sensible terms, this is actually good news. China over eased, they have “ over rebounded” and need to get back within a 8-12pct range as measured by our proprietary GDP indicator, the GSCA." Jim O'Neill
Following yesterday's announcement that the US has asked a federal judge in Houston to reject a bid by Transocean Ltd. to cap its liability in the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon and resulting spill at $27 million, Transocean is literally falling apart. Its CDS level has surged by over 100 bps today, with a market so wide at 500/550 it may need a few HFT quants to narrow it. As we commented yesterday, RIG CDS trading points up front is likely hours away should the news flow not improve. The IG9 name has caught many correlation traders with their pants down and underhedged, and is causing some serious intrinsic rumblings. The same is true for HAL and APC which also are getting punished. BP has temporarily stabilized after a few conflicted sellside analysts had some soothing words for their clients, just so respective prop desks can offload existing inventory into a last minute attempt to prop up the stock price before yet another wipeout.
CS Sees Total BP Oil Spill Cost Up To $37 Billion, To Eat Up 3 Years Of Free Cash Flow, Will Require 10% Rise In GearingSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 06/02/2010 - 09:14
Some more bad news to BP, and to all those chattering heads that due to BPs tens of billions in cash, any cleanup costs are just a drop in the bucket. Credit Suisse has just come out with a new estimate of total clean up costs and liabilities to BP: the Swiss firm sees BP paying between $15 and $23 billion in clean up costs plus $14 billion of claims. The punchline: "This would absorb 3 years of BP’s free cashflow after dividends and capex (at $80/bbl oil) and require a 10% rise in gearing; raising dividend risk." Maybe all those who are looking to jump into BP stock should consider waiting just a little longer...
The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission has started its hearing on the worthlessness of Rating Agencies. As was previously reported, Warren Buffett was subpoenaed to participate in this hearing after the refused to testify voluntarily. Interested readers can watch the full hearing live and commercial free at the following C-Span 2 site.
The fundamental gold story has not changed. In fact, it has only exacerbated in the last 24 hours.
China is taking more aggressive steps to deflate what many are regarding as a real estate bubble. Meanwhile in Euro Land, reality is setting in. No credit, and no currency strength is putting a crimp in the consumer's ability to continue to buy Chinese goods. Low demand of finished product from China leads to less demand from China for raw commodities. We may now be in the middle of a large disinflationary commodity bear market, at least for industrial commodities. For Gold, not so much.
- West moving toward deeper financial crisis (China Daily, h/t Ian)
- SEC seeks to bar union-puppet Steve Rattner from Wall Street (NYT)
- HFT - Fast, Loose and Out of Control (Newsweek)
- Deepening right hampers ECB public opinion battle (Reuters)
- Greece urged to give up euro (TimesOnline, h/t John)
- BP at risk as share plunge fuels takeover speculation (Bloomberg)
- Are the 180 M1 tanks rolling out of Fort Knox over the next year and a half carrying more than just MREs? (NYT, h/t Kyle)
Today, the SEC is convening a one-sided panel whose job is to provide a fair and balanced view of high frequency trading but in reality is just a industry-lobby group which will fight tooth and nail to prevent any changes in regulation to the cushy two-tiered market gambling structure that has developed courtesy of a bunch of math Ph.D. and astrophysicists determining just what market momentum is (or isn't as May 6 so amply demonstrated). In advance of this "panel", the NY Observer's Max Abelson provides an amusing report on HFT in his piece the "High-Frequency Talker" which portrays precisely the kind of people who churn AMZN billions of times of day while having no clue what it is the firm does, what its EBITDA is (or what EBITDA is period), or what its EPS prospects are. For a more serious perspective from one of the few who has consistently warned about the threats of HFT and broken market structure, we provide the following speech prepared by Senator Ted Kaufman. We can only hope that someone at the SEC has at least one tenth the knowledge required to understand just how critical the Senator's warning is. We can only hope that the events of May 6 have forced the SEC to redirect their attention from online pornography for at least 24 hours.
- Asian stock markets were mostly lower with the Japanese market somewhat volatile.
- Australia's economic growth slows in first quarter as businesses cut spending.
- Corn syrup producers acknowledge opponents are souring US market for common sweetener.
- EU antitrust regulators to probe Siemens and Areva nuclear non-compete deals.
- EU ministers affirming commitment to adding western Balkan countries to the Union.
- Japanese PM will quit in less than nine months after taking office, on US base row.
- Tobacco loophole in Obama's child health law costs US $250M as companies avoid huge tax hike.