Gross PIMCO Exit Sparks Record Liquidations In Short-End Of Yield Curve

It appears wherever one looks in the markets there are the skidmarks of PIMCO adjusting to life after Bill Gross. First it was MBS (and related derivatives), then CDS indices adjusted as redemption expectations raised risk premia, and now it is the short-end of the Treasury curve. As The FT notes, 3-month Eurodollar futures (instruments enabling traders to bet on the front-end of the yield curve and thus more accurately pinpoint their bets on Fed actions) saw asset managers (cough PIMCO cough) liquidate a record 868,853 contracts in the week to September 30 – the largest one-week change on record (each contract has a notional value of $1m). This dramatic shift suggests both a disagreement with Gross' "new normal" view of rates lower for longer (since liquidation is concentrated around the 2-year maturities) and a need to meet liquidity requirements from redemption requests.

Spanish Ebola-Infected Nurse Is First Case Of Contagion Out Of Africa; Salzburg Activates Ebola Emergency Response

By now it should be clear to everyone that any myth that the Ebola epidemic, which has clearly gone global, is contained is about as real as the S&P 500 at 2000. And if it isn't, the latest confirmation came moments ago from BBC which reports that a Spanish nurse who treated an Ebola victim in Madrid has contracted the virus herself in the first case of contagion outside Africa, health officials say.  What is different about this case is that the nurse contracted the virus in Madrid while she was part of the team that treated Spanish priest Manuel Garcia Viejo, who died of Ebola on 25 September, despite being treated with the same drug regiment that previous is said to have worked on US Ebola patients.  

Large Explosion At Iran Nuclear Site Kills Two Amid Speculation Of Another Israeli Sabotage

large explosion took place near a suspected nuclear site in Iran has reportedly killed two people and according to the Washington Free Beacon, prompted speculation of sabotage at a military site long suspected of housing Tehran’s clandestine nuclear activities, according to Iran’s Defense Industries Organization (DIO), which operates under the country’s Ministry of Defense. The Free Beacon, citing Fars New Agency, reports that one explosion rocked a production plant late Sunday night in east Tehran, near the Parchin nuclear site.  The explosion at a facility referred to as a “production plant” caused a fire that killed two workers, according to Fars, which cited information provided by Iran’s DIO. Fars first reported news of the explosion, claiming that it took place at an “explosive material factory” near Parchin. According to Iran opposition sources, the blast killed at least four military personnel.

"There Has Never Been A Crazier Moment In History"

Who can feel confident about the tending of things just now? The diminishing returns of the Information Age are about to bite our collective asses. The sum of all that digital magic is a nation completely incapable of telling itself the truth or acting honorably. Unemployment is down without employment being up. Candy Crush is making the world safe for democracy. We have the finest health care system in the world. ISIS is trying to compete with our homegrown videogame industry for supremacy in porno-violence (actually, I thought we already won that) but now we will obliterate all the bad guys in the world by remote control from the drone bunkers of Las Vegas, and that will show them. Thank goodness the long holiday season is almost upon us to juice the so-called economy ever-higher. There has never been a crazier moment in history.

Obama Threatens More Sanctions Against Zimbabwe Over Russian-Platinum Deal

As Martin Armstrong exclaims, Obama is out of control. According to NewZimbabwe.com, Washington has said it will accelerate sanctions imposed against Harare in 2003, due to the Robert Mugabe-led government's closer ties with Russia over the US$3 billion Darwendale platinum project. Herald columnist Nathaniel Manheru (who is thought to be Mugabe's spokesman), reported, Washington explained its expectations on Zimbabwe, namely that Zimbabwe was expected (read required) to support those sanctions by avoiding any association with companies sanctioned by the Americans and their Western allies, or their subsidiaries or affiliates. Manheru said "it was ridiculous for the US to refuse to lift sanctions against Harare and then demand support for its measures against Moscow... This is where I am tempted to tell the American government to go and hang, hang on a banana tree, bums up."

The USPS Cost-Saving Plan: The Postman Always Rings Never

Having lost billions of dollars for quarter after quarter, The US Postal Service has a cunning plan to cut costs - end door-to-door postal delivery. More than 30 million American homes get door-to-door delivery and another 50 million get their mail dropped at their curbside mailboxes, but as Reuters reports, with the 'entity' buckling under massive financial losses, it sees savings in centralized mail delivery. This is good news for the customer though - apparently - as Postal Service spokeswoman Sue Brennan explains "converting delivery away from door delivery to either curb line or centralized delivery would enable the Postal Service to provide service to more customers in less time."

Picturing Venezuela's Surreal Prices

Venezuela's economic crisis has led to some shocking and surreal price distortions that hit people's buying power dramatically. While the government of President Nicolas Maduro calls the country's minimum wage of Bs. 4,252 the highest in the region when converted to $675 using the official exchange rate, the galloping black market for currency considers it as just $42.50 when converted at the street rate of Bs. 100 per US dollar, the rate which many importers and retail outlets must use to acquire hard currency. From Coke to crayons and carrots and from Tires to TVs, Venezuelan prices offer a glimpse of a modern-day hyperinflation.

Is This The Usual Reason Why Stocks Are Plunging?

The world-renowned newsletter-writer is at it again: "Prices are headed higher and we’ve no choice but to reduce our exposure on the short side via derivatives that shall therefore increase our long exposure... One may wish to join the bearish camp, but one would be wrong."

Unleashed Algos Go Batshit In Bankrupt GTAT

The algos are loose as GTAT is halted 5 6 7 8   9 times post-Chapter 11 (5 up, 4 Down)... this is how price discovery occurs in a massively overvalued company, with no cash flows, and a record short interest...

What Bubble? Record $924 Billion In 65 Million Auto Loans: 31% Of All New Loans Are Subprime

  • The total balance of auto loans outstanding in August is $924.2 billion, an all-time high and an increase of 10.8% from same time a year ago
  • The total number of auto loans outstanding stands at more than 65 million, a record high and an increase of more than 6% from the same time last year;
  • The total number of new loans originated year-to-date through June for subprime borrowers, defined as consumers with Equifax Risk Scores of 640 or lower, is 3.9 million, representing 31.2% of all auto loans originated this year.
  • Similarly, the total balance of newly originated subprime auto loans is $70.7 billion, an eight-year high and representing 27.8% of the total balance of new auto loans

$1.5 Billion Market Cap Supplier Of Apple Sapphire Glass Just Filed For Bankruptcy

But...but...but... it's an AAPL-derivative play, what could go wrong? The supplier of Apple's oh-so-magnificent Sapphire Glass, GT Advanced Technologies, just filed for bankruptcy...

*GT ADVANCED TECHNOLOGIES & UNITS FILE  CHAPTER 11, LISTS DEBT OF MORE THAN $1 BLN

Do not worry though, the CEO seems very pleased, noting "GT has a strong and fundamentally sound underlying business." Perhaps the reason for his optimism is the massive insider-selling that has occurred in the last few months... For once the shorts (45.7% of float) were right.

Holy Trinity Caption Contest: Bernanke, Paulson, Geithner

If anyone's bucket list includes hearing, and seeing, the unholy trinity of Bernanke, Paulson and Geithner whose actions have pretty much doomed America, today is your lucky day, because as part of the lawsuit brought on by former AIG CEO Hank Greenberg, the three legendary statists will field questions from prominent, and very flamboyant, lawyer David Boies. As has been reported previously, Maurice “Hank” Greenberg is challenging the terms of the 2008 bailout for the company he built into a global financial-services powerhouse before being pushed out in 2005. He is not challenging the bailout which prevented AIG from liquidating as a result of selling billions of default protection on worthless companies, and which avoided the all out, and much needed, purge of trillions in bad debt and just as worthless equity.

ISIS, Obama, And Why Everbody Loves The Drone War

"Right now we have the executive branch making a claim that it has the right to kill anyone, anywhere on Earth, at any time, for secret reasons based on secret evidence, in a secret process undertaken by unidentified officials. That frightens me."

SWIFT Announces It "Regrets The Pressure" To Disconnect Russia

With ever louder chatter that the west will force Russia to exit the global currency messaging and interchange service that is SWIFT - essentially locking it out of transacting in "developed" currencies - and with correspondingly louder retorts by Russia that it is prepared and would welcome such a move as it would merely force it to abandon the petrodollar and allign even closer with China, there was one entity whose take on the matter had been largely ignnored. SWIFT itself. Surprisingly, in a press release issued this morning,the member-owned cooperative, reveals that not only has it received "calls to disconnect institutions and entire countries from its network – most recently Israel and Russia", but that it regrets "the pressure" as the "surrounding media speculation, both of which risk undermining the systemic character of the services that SWIFT provides its customers around the world."

Spot The Odd "Market" Out

Its deja vu all over again from a week ago... stocks (up) and bonds (yields down) and USDJPY (lower) have drastically diverged this morning (just as they did last Friday over the weekend into Monday)... will it be different this time?

Why Stocks Just Won't Drop: "Companies Spend Almost All Profits On Buybacks"

Back in May we revealed that the "Mystery, And Completely Indiscriminate, Buyer Of Stocks", obviously a key player in a time when the Fed's own indirect monetization of stocks was fading, was none other than corporations themselves, gorging on cheap debt and using the proceeds to buy back their own stock.  And while we explained that the vast majority of companies are using up as much leverage as they can to fund said buybacks, with both total and net corporate debt levels having risen to new all time highs refuting misperceptions that corporate debt is actually declining, something even more disturbing was revealed today, when Bloomberg reported that companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, are "poised to spend $914 billion on share buybacks and dividends this year, or about 95 percent of earnings!"

Brazilian Stocks Explode Higher On Neves "Change" Hope

After collapsing on the heels of a poll a week ago suggesting Dilma Rousseff was leading in Brazil's Presidential election (and thus bad for business, more of the same lack of reform), the weekend's vote - while confirming Rousseff's lead - did not give her a majority and pro-business candidate Aecio Neves had a strong showing. Brazil's stock market IBOVESPA index exploded 8% higher on hope that this may mean 'change' as Brazilians clearly signaled disenchantment with current policies... even as Rousseff is still the strong favorite.

Barclays Warns "King Dollar" Could Crush Earnings

The US Dollar has risen for 12 straight weeks - gaining over 8% against major worlde currencies since June - and while talking heads proclaim the cleanest-dirty-shirt belief in "king dollar," as Reuters notes, it could pose a triple threat to US companies' earnings: driving up the costs of doing business overseas, suppressing the value of non-US sales and, perhaps most worryingly, signaling weak international demand. While the historical relationship between the dollar and the S&P 500 has been inconsistent (though some sectors are highly correlated), Barclays fears translation effects could reduce revenues and cause estimates for Q3 to be missed (even as they are marked down dramatically). Crucially, Barclays warns dollar strength is important because it is a symptom of decelerating international economic growth and they reiterate their unchanged 1975 year-end target for the S&P.

Dancing Without A Floor - "Sooner Or Later A Crash Is Coming... And It May Be Terrific"

There’s really no point in trying to convert anyone to our viewpoint. Somebody will have to hold stocks over the completion of the present cycle, and encouraging one investor to reduce risk simply means that someone else will have to bear it instead... In any event, be careful in believing that a market advance “proves” concerns about valuations wrong. What further advances actually do is simply extend the scope of the potential losses that are likely to follow.  That lesson has been repeated across history.