Dear SEC: Show Us The Data

Recent speeches from the SEC indicate they plan to use Midas to look at the details behind quote stuffing, excessive order cancellations, the cause of mini flash crashes, and other nefarious activities. While these are all good uses for a market analysis tool (Midas), they pale in comparison to a data-feed delay analysis, because the former are governed by blanket, hard-to-prove manipulation laws, while the latter can be tied directly to a core rule that lies at the heart of Regulation NMS. An improper data-feed delay was the reason for the $5 million fine against an exchange in September 2012. Furthermore, millions of people are directly affected and disadvantaged by illegal data-feed delays. Therefore, it would be a great waste of public resources to not immediately pursue a data-feed delay analysis, because there exists ample evidence that an illegal speed advantage exists in direct feeds over the public quote.

Panic: 1 Month Bill Yield Explodes, Prices At 0.35% Highest Since Lehman

Moments ago, the just concluded 4 week Bill, with a Cusip which appropriately enough was BK, priced at a stunning 0.35%, blowing through the 0.295% When Issued, the highest yield since October 2009, the lowest Bid to Cover since March 2009, and the largest tail since March 25, 2008. The bond market panic is palpable, and just as we predicted would happen in a market gripped by sheer "Bernanke will kiss and make it all better" complacency.

Hold... That... Trendline...

As we warned last night, the S&P 500 has now broken its 50DMA, is testing down to its 100DMA, and is precariously close to the crucial 11-month trendline.

US Runs Out Of Cash As Soon As October 22 Revised BPC Forecast Shows

The BPC, whose initial analysis of the US default has become the staple "go-to" analysis for Treasury cash obligations and key events in the day surrounding and following the X-Date, has released a new update on when the US runs out of money. The latest: October 22 - November 1. Which means that if it so desires, the GOP can and probably will delay a debt ceiling bargain until the last possible moment which may well be, appropriately enough, Halloween. In the meantime, the US Treasury now has about $40 billion in total cash on hand and available extraordinary measures and declining fast.

Bonds Now Expecting Worse Debt Ceiling Confrontation Than August 2011, Stocks - Not So Much

Amid the bluster of yet another press conference, equity markets chopped around jerking up and down 5 points at a time for the S&P 500. But one market, the Treasury Market, went only one way. While it is all too easy to watch the tickers and listen to the glib bloviation of any and all talking head exclaiming that there is no-way, zero-chance, totally unlikely, impossible that the US government would technically default - the Treasury-Bill market is less confident (10/17s +8.5bps to 22.5bps, 10/31s +7.5bps to 23.5bps). In fact, the T-Bill yield has now spiked massively more than during the 2011 Debt-Ceiling debate (and stocks - for now - have not).

GOP Demands "Let's Talk"

It doesn't sound like the politicians are getting any closer...

  • BOEHNER SAYS IT'S TIME TO SIT DOWN, TALK, RESOLVE DIFFERENCES
  • BOEHNER SAYS ALL HE'S ASKING FOR IS NEGOTIATIONS
  • BOEHNER SAYS OBAMA, REID PUTTING U.S. ON `DANGEROUS PATH'

And the already proverbial Schrodinger table:

  • BOEHNER SAYS NOTHING IS ON THE TABLE, NOTHING IS OFF THE TABLE

The Greater Idiots Are Saved: TWTR(Q) Changes Its Ticker

While until today the only way to save the greater idiots from themselves was to halt the trading of Twitter-lookalike stock ticker TWTRQ, the decision has been made by the exchange (we assume in coordination with the company itself) to change the ticker symbol to THEGQ. There is no statement from either the exchange or the company to clarify the reasoning (for now) but given the "investing" public's interest in the company, we can only imagine the demand when the stock re-opens.

NSA's Utah Spy Supercenter Crippled By Power Surges

Long before Edward Snowden's whistleblowing revelations hit the world and the Obama administration's approval ratings like a ton of bricks, we ran a story in March 2012 which exposed the NSA's unprecedented domestic espionage project, codenamed Stellar Wind, and specifically the $1.4+ billion data center spy facility located in Bluffdale, Utah, which spans more than one million square feet, uses 65 megawatts of energy (enough to power a city of more than  20,000), and can store exabytes or even zettabytes of data (a zettabyte is 100 million times larger than all the printed material in the Library of Congress), consisting of every single electronic communication in the world, whether captured with a warrant or not. Yet despite all signs to the contrary, Uber-general Keith Alexander and his spy army are only human, and as the WSJ reports, the NSA's Bluffdale data center - whose interior may not be modeled for the bridge of the Starship Enterprise - has been hobbled by chronic electrical surges as a result of at least 10 electrical meltdowns in the past 13 months.

For The First Time On Record, The US Government Is 'Riskier' Than US Banks

During the European crisis, we saw sovereign debt yields rising way above their domestic banking sector's yields as investors feared systemic crisis and technical flows dominated the price action amid aggressive hedging. Now, with Washington looking increasingly likely to crash upon the shores of a US Treasury technical default, for the first time on record the yield on short-term Treasury-Bills is above the yield on US interbank loans. T-Bill yields (the US government's "risk") have surpassed short-term LIBOR (US Banks' "Risk")... must be a good reason to BTFATH...

JPY Jolts Stocks To Overnight Highs As T-Bill Yields Explode Higher

Confused as to why US equity futures are levitating once again this morning (aside from a pre-open lift to restore retail's confidence to buy some more all-time highs)? Have no fear, the JPY is here. A sudden (and entirely un-news-driven) ramp in JPY crosses has lifted the S&P to overnight highs, dragged Treasury yields higher, and pushed gold and silver prices lower as the correlated cross-asset-class algos play free in the pre-open. Only problem with all this exuberance, the 10/24/13 T-Bill yiled has exploded 6bps higher to 22.5bps this morning as it is clear short-term risk of a missed payment is rising fast.

Goldman Says Gold "Slam Dunk" Sell, Ready To Buy All Its Clients Have To Offer

Goldman, which is the hedge fund best known for originating prop order flow in the opposite direction of what its sellside "research" team tells its clients to do (see Tom Stolper), has never been clearer on gold: "Gold is slam dunk sell for next year because the U.S. economy will extend its recovery after lawmakers resolve stalemates over the nation’s budget and debt ceiling, Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s Jeffrey Currie said." How the economy will expand, especially with the Fed supposedly tapering (even though everyone saw what happened to markets and the economy at the mere mention of "tapering" the last time around) and eventually ending QE - the only driver of upside market momentum in the past 5 years - was not discussed. What was, however, clear is that Goldman will continue buying all the gold its clients have to sell until the bailed out hedge fund's price target of $1,050/ounce is hit.

Frontrunning: October 8

  • Hilsenrath: Tense Negotiations Inside the Fed Produced Muddled Signals to Markets (WSJ)
  • Biggest US Foreign Creditors Show Concern on Default Risk (BBG)
  • Shutdown Costs at $1.6 Billion With $160 Million Each Day (BBG)
  • What default? Republicans downplay impact of U.S. debt limit (Reuters)
  • Top Bankers Warn on U.S. Debt Proposal (WSJ)
  • India to stick with austerity despite looming election (Reuters)
  • Japan's Current-Account Surplus Plunges (WSJ)
  • Amazon Wins Ruling for $600 Million CIA Cloud Contract (BBG)
  • German Factory Orders Unexpectedly Fall on Weak Recovery (BBG)
  • Britain's Higgs, Belgium's Englert win 2013 physics Nobel prize (Reuters)
  • Supreme Owner Made a Billionaire Feeding U.S. War Machine (BBG)

Earnings Season Starts With Government Still Shut; 9 Days Till The Debt X-Date

Markets are so obsessed by developments with the US debt ceiling, that absolutely nobody noticed that the Japanese Current Account (JPY152Bn, Exp. JPY520bn), Industrial Outuput in Spain (-2.0%, Exp. -1.6%), Factory Orders in Germany (-0.3%, Exp. +1.2%), Trade Balance in Germany (€13.1bn, Exp. €15.0 bn) and that the Jan-Aug tax revenue in Greece below expectations by 5.7%, all missed horribly, and that for all the talk of a European recovery (which was merely driven by a brief surge in Chinese credit spending making its way into the European pipeline) is once again fully and entirely premature. But with Congress on everyone's mind, even increasingly China and Japan, who cares about fundamentals: after all there is a Federal Reserve to mask the fact that nothing but liquidity injections matters. Even if that means a complete collapse in the actual economy as those separated from the Fed by one or more layers of banks, crash and burn.

Paul Singer: The "Trapped, Harmful" Fed "Revels In The Role Of Atlas, Holding Up The World"

"You don't need me to tell you that the developed countries, the US, Europe, Japan, are insolvent.... I don't want to paint  a picture of clarity about the workout of this thing. Because once a society, a financial system gets in a position of the central bank being trapped, and being unwilling or frightened of stopping this merry go round, things get very dicey. They may move to stopping the money printing, markets collapse, then they panic, go the other way... We are in a period where confidence should be jostled and it could be lost at any time for a variety of reasons, how this works out nobody knows.... There is one right thing to do right now: after five years of 0% interest rates, after $3.5 trillion here and several trillion sprinkled around the globe, this Fed chairman, the next Fed chairman, should say: "We've done enough. It is up to the president and Congress to remove the impediments for growth and provide the catalysts for growth, and help this country grow. The country is capable of growing at a far faster rate than it has been. And I think that the Fed, which is the only central bank which has a dual mandate, has embraced this dual mandate in a very harmful way because they actually revel in the role of being Atlas, holding up the world by themselves."

Julian Robertson Warns "We Are In A Bubble Market" And Yellen Is "Way Too Easy Money"

"Steve Jobs was really a pretty terrible man... and I just don't believe bad guys do well in the long run," is the subtle way the billionaire fund managed describes the ex Apple CEO before shifting his view to the broader market. A spell-bound Maria Bartiromo was looking for any silver lining when Julian Robertson responded ominously, "we're in the middle of a kind of bubble market," and when they "prick the bubble, there will probably be a pretty bad reaction." With views on The Fed's easy-money, Twitter, and market frothiness, Robertson is a breath of truthy fresh air that we suspect will not be back on the money-honey's show anytime soon...

Will We Ever Learn? 36 Years Of Over-Optimistic Earnings Growth

Ever get that feeling of Deja Vu when year after year things don't go quite as well as expected in the beginning of the year. We are sure the Fed does, but the chart below should provide enough evidence of the "value" being added by a consensus of equity analyst extrapolators over the last 36 years. On average consensus EPS growth rates have performed the anti-Gartman - slumping from over-optimistic highs of the left to dismal reality check lows on the left. Of course, hope remains that this year will be different... but it doesn't appear to be heading that way.

Guest Post: Government Shutdowns, The Debt Ceiling And Gold

We strongly suspect that both government debt growth and money supply inflation will continue unabated – any pause will immediately bring about the kind of short term economic pain these policies have explicitly sought to prevent and will therefore be quickly reversed. It is not unlike the situation the revolutionary assembly of France found itself in during the late 18th century: when it issued new money, industry seemed to revive. As soon as it stopped, industry slumped again. And so it was decided to issue ever more money, until the entire scheme blew up. There can be little doubt that modern-day governments are on the road to a similar date with destiny – and lately the speed at which they travel toward it has increased markedly.

Buffett's Bailout Bonanza

In the past we have tried to show the growing divide between the haves and the have-nots in the US. Whether through this morning's "aggregate" Main Street vs Wall Street chart or various anecdotal indicators of diverging confidence. However, no one signifies the beneficiaries of the status-quo-sustaining government bailouts and stimulus better than Warren Buffett (who now, like Obama, sees stocks are full valued). The following chart shows just how well one can do with a few billion in your pocket and an ear for what the Government will do.