The recent quietude in the markets has our attention. Quietude in markets nearly always leads to unexpected increases in volatility. We use the term volatility not necessarily only in the sense of “must go down”, but rather in the sense that the quiet period will soon end. It could just as well result in a blow-off move (in the case of stocks) as in a sharp decline – at least from a purely technical perspective. The currency markets seem a bit more unsettled and have been making big moves for quite some time, which curiously haven’t altered the trajectory of “risk assets” much.
The 99% need to wake up. It ain’t the 1% – It is those who pretend to be on your side who deprive you of your real right to economic freedom.
Wall Streeters are not happy. According to the latest Bloomberg poll, 48% believe they are paid less (or much less) than they had hoped for. With the biggest banks cutting costs as new regulations force derisking and deleveraging (in theory), pay is taking a hit (although not so much for the CEOs). As one headhunter noted, "they're still making decent money, but it’s nothing like 2007," but ironically, a massive 71% of Wall Street bankers admit that their banks are still Too Big To Fail.
After an unprecedented 9 months in a row of gains, for a greater-than-27% gain, The US Dollar slumped in April. Down 3.5%, this is the biggest monthly drop for the greenback since April 2011 (near the end of QE2). The Great Unwind begins...
During the heyday of post-war prosperity between 1953 and 1971, real final sales - a better measure of economic growth than GDP because it filters out inventory fluctuations - grew at a 3.6% annual rate. That is exactly double the 1.8% CAGR recorded for 2000-2014. The long and short of it, therefore, is that there has been a dramatic downshift in the trend rate of economic growth during an era in which central bank intervention and stimulus has been immeasurably enlarged. How exactly is the Fed helping when the trend rate of real growth has withered dramatically?
One of the biggest stories of the week has been the great German Bund route as everyone’s new favorite short has sold-off hard on what HSBC calls a “cascade of small events [which has] created a large splash in a structurally ever-thinner mkt, similar to UST flash crash of Oct. 15.” Amid the cacophony of explanations emanating from every credit and rates strategist on Wall Street, BNP is out with a simple suggestion: it’s all about the waxing and waning of supply.
Apple is the Ty Cobb of corporate America. Like Cobb, Apple has set some impressive records. Nine years, a trillion dollars in sales, and almost no taxes paid. Apple risks having a legacy of tainted success and isolation.
NY Fed Head Of Banking Supervision, And Person Who Handed Over Billions In AIG Profits To Goldman, ResignsSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 04/30/2015 - 12:29
Just three questions here about Sarah Dahlgren's "resignation":
1. Why is she resigning now: is there a crackdown on just how corrupt the Goldman Sachs branch office at Liberty 33 truly is?
2. What will her salary at Goldman Sachs be once she joins the 200 West firm?
3. Which Goldman partner will replace her.
According to the latest SNB financial release, 18%, or CHF 95 ($102 billion) of the assets held on the SNB's balance sheet are, drumroll, foreign stocks! In other words, the SNB holds 15% of Switzerland's GDP in equities!
"The Q1 US GDP data was a major disappointment to the market as business investment declined due to the intensifying US profits recession. Only the biggest inventory build in history stopped the economy subsiding into a recessionary quagmire. The US economy is struggling and the Fed will ultimately re-engage the QE spigot. Talk is growing that China will soon be doing the same as local authorities struggle to issue debt. But this week we want to focus on Japan, having just made my fist visit to that fine nation for over a decade! Japan, the third largest economy in the world, is also in trouble (see chart below) and will soon be increasing its off-the-scale QE programme to an out-of-this-world QE programme." - Albert Edwards
Suddenly, and with no catalyst whatsoever, "someone" decided to sell JPY, buy EUR and USD and aggressively bid for US equities and European peripheral bonds... just as they headed for an ugly day... Paging GPIF?
The world oil market is undergoing a fundamental structural change in response to expensive oil. Producers are trying to survive by limiting expenditures. While analysts have been focused on rig counts, deferred completions have emerged as the initial path to lower U.S. oil production. This unanticipated outcome suggests that others may follow. While everyone is waiting for higher oil prices and for things to return to normal, what we may be witnessing is the end of normal.
The current equities bull run seems unstoppable. No amount of geopolitical concerns, Greek default fears, rate hikes, US dollar strength, crude oil price volatility, Russian sanctions or whatever else you can think of can put a dent on it. Perhaps we should take a step back and try to understand what is driving this strength. OK, we know that central banks continue to spike the punchbowl, but what is the actual transmission mechanism that directs all this liquidity into equities – as opposed to commodities for instance, which continue to struggle?
George Soros may owe some $6.7 billion in taxes Bloomberg says, noting that despite the billionaire's call to increase taxes on the wealthy, his fund has employed a loophole that allowed for the deferral of taxes on management fees the reinvestment of which has generated billions in returns.
"I felt a great disturbance in the Farce, as if millions of fast-money voices suddenly cried out in terror, and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened."