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 - 12:08
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.
Seemingly hidden from the mainstream media's attention, we note that the last six weeks has seen the second largest devaluation in the JPY since Sakakibara's days in the mid-90s. As Sean Corrigan (of Diapason Commodities) notes, this has to be putting pressure on Japan's Asian neighbors - not least the engine of the world China. Furthermore, JPY on a trade-weighted basis has cracked through all the major moving averages and sits critically at its post-crisis up-trendline. As we noted last night, perhaps Japan really is toppling over the Keynesian endpoint event horizon. JPY weakness and the carry trade may not be quite as hand in hand if rates start to reflect any behavioral biases, inflation (or more critically hyperinflation) concerns any time soon.
The storm clouds gathering behind Charles Biderman, CEO of TrimTabs, are a perfect analogy for his fascinating treatise on the key to long term bull markets and why the Dow could get cut in half. Bringing together the critical fundamental driver of P/E multiples - income growth in his view - and the historically most critical secular shift of this fundamental driver - communications breakthroughs, Biderman remains calm (for once) in his explanation for why the current low levels of income growth mean that should a new reality of less Fed exuberance (or a belief in less Fed exuberance) occur, the Dow will go to 6000 as he sees little evidence of technological innovations of the scale needed to lead the next 25 years secular bull market.
Earlier today, in the very appropriate context of Greg Smith, we lamented the resent disappearance of everyone's favorite FX strategist, Thomas "9 out of 9" Stolper. Speak of the squid - here he is, this time advising clients they just got Stolpered out on short GBP/NOK with a 2.2% loss in 3 weeks.
In one of his most vociferous speeches (which is saying something for the eloquent Englishman), UKIP's Nigel Farage takes his peers in the European Parliament to task on their "determined yet delusional" attempt to keep the Euro propped up (as they desperately avoid using the 'D'-word - default). Citing many of the shocking statistics we have ever-so-quietly posted (such as 50% youth unemployment in Greece, the sovereign bond litigation against the Greek government, and the German FINMIN saying a third bailout for Greece is possible), he conjures images of the stuff-upper-lip English ignoring the carnage around them as they enjoy dinner. Striking at the heart of the problem, Farage notes that what is being done is not to save Greece (in fact it will 'crucify' them - as is already evident in their GGB2 pricing) but to save the "failing Euro project" and he ends with a critical lesson for the outspoken political leaders that surround him and their unequivocal statements
Andy Borowitz provides the one retort to Greg Smith that only free taxpayer money and trillions in bailouts can buy. In other news, we fully expect Mr. Smith to enact a voluntary refund of the 12 years worth of compensation and bonuses earned while working at Goldman any minute now. Or maybe epiphanies on Goldman "culture" following more than a decade of employment comes without compensation clawbacks?
By now everyone and their dog knows Treasuries are on the move. The move, however, is sizable as 10Y yields break above their 200DMA for the first time in almost five months. This is the second largest two-day jump in yields in 16 months as the market wonders whether this is the breakout where 's##t gets real' or a test of resistance at the October 2011 spike highs. Only AAPL time will tell.