On The Linkage Between Politics And Markets

Tyler Durden's picture

On a very slow trading day, some big picture observations from Russ Certo of Gleacher:

On The Linkage Between Politics And Markets

Good afternoon.  The S&P 500 slid for a sixth straight week, its longest swoon since July 2008.  The Dow closed below 12,000 for the first time since March, and 6.7% off the highs and has been bantering around all day today.  Declining stocks outpaced advancing ones by 4-to-1 ratio on Friday.  Stock, money market and muni funds had a weekly net outflows averaging $4.2 billion, $1.1 billion and 141 million respectively, in the latest four weeks.  Investment grade corporate issuance fell to its slowest pace of the year last week spooked by a host of global, sovereign and geopolitical items.  Just $6.3 billion in new investment grade bonds were sold last week in this climate. 

The “Sell in May and walk away” mantra is on trader’s minds as last year the Dow receded nearly 14% from late April through early July.  Remember the calls to attention to the Hindenburg formations which cast a cloud over markets before they climbed a wall of worry since? 

Increasing banter about sovereign debt exposure and residual impacts of prospective Greece restructurings, bailouts, creditor exposure, CDS, and consequent impacts of such on broader PIIGS added to the consternation in markets.  Essentially, Club Med is at the forefront of investor considerations today. 

News leaked out of ECB exposure, $637 billion  PIIGS holdings itself, which failure could cause writedowns to ECB capital.  The ECB is leveraged 23 times with about 83 billion Euros of capital and reserves versus owning 1.9 trillion Euros in assets.  Whatever, the actual ratio, a miniscule decline in asset values of loans or government debt holdings on books of, let’s say, 5%, would wipe out the entire ECB’s capital base.  ECB Greece exposure alone is 190 billion Euros not to mention peripheral exposure.  And this is only one source of consideration which has markets in a rut.  http://online.barrons.com/article/SB50001424053111903588204576369741392085006.html?mod=googlenews_barrons

OTHER things are on market’s minds too.  The markets also don’t like the punitive regulatory landscape.  The Federal Reserve warned of broader bank purview.  A Fed proposal would require U.S. banks to develop detailed capital plans and submit them for federal review BEFORE MAKING DIVIDEND PAYMENTS OR STOCK REPURCHASES.  This rule is aimed at banks with  more than $50 billion in assets.  Bank stocks have been responding to this uncertainty in kind.  http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304392704576377464238788864.html

Now the rush to avoid being designated at “systemically important” by the council of financial regulators.  Everyone is now trying to be too small to fail.  Dozens of firms are scrambling to be not enough important.  Not just banks.  Hedge funds, private corporations, insurers, money managers, and quasi-government entities like the FHLB banks.  These regulators have EVERYONE scared and no wonder why there is $1.9 trillion dollars sitting on the sidelines waiting to be deployed if they EVER get relief from the current regime or regulatory climate.  

And Barney Frank heralds who or who is not the cause of financial meltdown.  He should know, but insurance companies in his district surely aren’t likely to be the future cause.  How can Barney Frank, one of the primary architects of mis-allocation of government resources instrumental in crises and not resolving it, canvass for who is systemically relevant in the future, with their new broad powers as a result of his own critical failure and contribution?  Don’t make me YouTube all of Barney’s housing proclamations or unearth the litany of his cozy courtships and relationships with housing players, friends of Angelo below market deals and the like.  http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/12/business/economy/12big.html

Other than requiring banks to hold more capital and gaining permission from regulators on investor business decisions, these queries will likely adversely impact lending and growth given the myriad of uncertainty of committing capital to ANY business plan in banking or otherwise. 

“I have a great fear someone’s going to try to write a  book in 20 years, and the book is going to talk about all the things that we did in the middle of the crisis to actually slow down recovery,” Dimon told the Fed chairman during a conference.  The Chairman replied, “The points are valid and the Fed lacks the quantitative tools to study the net impact of all the regulatory and market changes over the past three years.  Direct quote, “It’s too complicated”.  Atlas Shrugged. 

Allow a diatribe for a moment.  I wonder what Pearl Harbor was “really” like given historical accounts and knowing the rewriting of history in front of our very eyes regarding the causes of the credit crises.  You would never know that “liar loans” were made by mortgage companies (Countrywide, NOT BANKS, was nearly 35% of the most troubled loans) and that Congress had working groups to court some of these firms aggressively to support housing formation goals at all cost and encouraged GSE lenders to make subprime loans and had intimate relationships with these institutions.  And that the FHA is still making these loans with less than 3% down and zero interest in some cases.  As the bank witch hunt continues for “lending abuses”?!#%%*$  of the past?!#$^  And overleverage, artificial interest rate engineered policy%#!#%$#^  

How politicized is the Fed today with its conflicting dual mandate of full employment and moderate prices?  The bank unfurled a rainbow flag recently with political underpinnings?  How can this be?  Separation between church and state.  http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/11/us/11flag.html

Is the bank independent of political forces like social goals?  Bernanke noted the banking system’s “social” function last week.  Can you find it in his speech?  Fed Chairman Bernanke speaks about fiscal sustainability on Tuesday.   Why is the Fed Chairman discussing FISCAL sustainability?  Why does the Fed chairman have to consider FISCAL ineptitude or Jamie Dimon like over-zealous regulation when it aspires to gauge economic activity and, hence, monetary policy which is DEPENDANT on such?  The greater overarching slowdown regulatory framework or $70 trillion in structural entitlement spending means policy is easier for longer or tighter for longer or both? 

Political corruption in markets from all angles.  Members of the U.S. House of Representatives may have had a great “informational advantage” from 1985 to 2001 as they had substantially higher portfolio returns than other investors including corporate insiders.  http://online.barrons.com/article/SB50001424053111903588204576369670961147188.html?mod=googlenews_barrons


Peru’s election of the left leaning Ollanta Humala as president sent investors heading for the border last week with broad declines in equity bourses responding to economic prospects of a particular ideology.  This election was a timely, albeit likely temporary boost for Hugo Chavez, populist who leads like minded Latin American leftist leaders. 

Chavez, former military and leader of Venezuela is beset by mounting economic problems of skyrocketing crime rates, the world’s highest inflation rate and sluggish economy.  See the policy parallels and how markets and capital mobilize instantly on their perceptions of policy prowess or lack thereof?  This is kind of some Peruvian anecdote but kind of not.    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304474804576371980223043622.html

Barron’s conducted its round table interview of veteran pros.  What was consistent and revealing to all which invest in markets was how GEOPOLITICAL inefficient allocation of national resources is contributing to a less than stellar investment climate.  Not an anecdote to these great investor minds.  http://online.barrons.com/article/SB50001424053111903425204576373910676523034.html?mod=BOL_hpp_popview#articleTabs_panel_article%3D1

Scott Black :  The national debt exceeds $14.3 trillion.  It is equal to 96% GDP, the highest since WWII.  At least then we had an excuse.  IT IS DISGRACEFUL THAT BOTH PARTIES AREN’T DOING WHAT’S RIGHT FOR AMERICA.”

Felix Zulauf:  “By the middle of the decade, we will have a major crises, bigger than 2008.  Several countries will default.  U.S. and Chinese exchange rates will unravel and force US dollar down tremendously.”


Archie Macallaster:  “Obama administration is anti-business.  The president is good on his feet. He speaks well. He has a sense of humor.  But he is anti-business because he never grew up with business.  Also, both parties don’t get along, which makes things difficult for business.  In this environment it is hard to know what stocks will do.” 

A former Clinton White House aide:  “There’s no economic thinking going on at this White House.  It’s so obvious.”  The president hasn’t seen the light on jobs.  http://online.barrons.com/article/SB50001424053111903425204576373451448216690.html?mod=BOL_twm_col

Look at interview with Jim Rogers last week on government spending.  Think he knows a thing or two about finance, the allocation of resources?   http://www.marketwatch.com/video/asset/rogers-only-a-crisis-can-fix-us-debt-problem-2011-06-08/7B14FAAB-F745-4ECA-ADB4-F8D5BD0A2C96?link=MW_story_insert#!7B14FAAB-F745-4ECA-ADB4-F8D5BD0A2C96.                                              

But the lawsuits keep coming as Goldman’s Tourre loses bid to escape SEC suit.  http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-06-10/fabrice-tourre-loses-bid-to-dismiss-all-charges-in-sec-suit.html

Honda, Mazda, GM fight California’s bid to peg Zero-Emission vehicles at 5.5% of sales by 2018.  I’m sure that Japanese have a few other items to concern themselves since Toyota sales down 70% since nuclear fallout and 31% fall in year’s profit.  Government controlling retooling and procurement decisions for companies.  http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304778304576377823227859488.html

Subprime education:  Congress needs to rein in for-profit colleges that leave students with debt. http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/f/forprofit_schools/index.html

Barron’s Up and Down Wall Street Column suggests ISI outfit believes administration may tap the strategic petroleum reserve as gas prices are hurting consumers, the economy, and the president’s poll ratings.  “Too, we seem to recall, 2012 is an election year.”  Should an administration even remotely consider strategic oil supply when couching votes and approval ratings or even have integrible shops confuse such?  http://online.barrons.com/article/SB50001424053111903588204576369661532710914.html#articleTabs_panel_article%3D2
Politics, good or bad, affect markets.  The linkage between politics and markets if you will.  How about a lunch with fat cats at “Daniel” where the six course tasting menu is $195 per person.  http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/11/us/11flag.html

And oil down $2 today


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RobotTrader's picture

There is a 60-in. plasma screen TV in the lobby of our office building.

Lots of people were huddled together watching CNN report after the market close, of yet another down day in stocks.

You should have seen the look on everyone's faces.

"Oh Shit".....


plocequ1's picture

Double. Tylers server sucks Monkey ass today

topcallingtroll's picture

everybody send tyler a donation.  Zero hedge needs more server space.  Even ten dollars makes a difference. Zero hedge runs on volunteers and a vision and peanut butter sandwiches.

Nobody is living high off the hog working for zero hedge.

plocequ1's picture

This is bullish for Panasonic 

falak pema's picture

your 'lol' smells of candy wrapped, horse traded, cynical shit...or is it just me and a 60 inch plasma fueled hard-on that blurs my eyes and slurs my nostrils? I am all confused like a blown fuse ready to be recycled.

There is poetry in trade like no robot will ever know...but that's cos its free trade and not political horse trading.

SwingForce's picture

FWIW: Citi-GS-USB-WFC all bottomed Weds, MS Thurs, JPM-BAC-PNC Friday, has the worm turned?

jeff montanye's picture

it is just possible: 2008 did mark the end of a credit cycle that began 1932-42.

euclidean's picture

Relax; it is anatomically impossible for the Fed Reserve to grow back a penis and pair of balls. The Fed was willingly castrated and now professes to warn of bank regulation? F*ck off with the pathetic jokes, and bind their hands so they can't remove the gimp ball from filling their mouths. Be the bitch and be happy. Leave the dirty talk to your masters.

Nothing To See Here's picture

Politics affect markets only because politics have so much power. The purpose of the US Constitution was to contain this, but it did not last long before the Constitution was "interpreted" to give power to the politics...

optimator's picture

"The real truth of the matter is, as you and I know, that a financial element in the larger centers has owned Government even since the days of Andrew Jackson."

FDR to Col. House, Oct 21, 1933

NotApplicable's picture

Why would FDR tell House that, when that's the reason House was in the White House?

Strange days...

GFORCE's picture

"Sell in June, and don't come back til 400 SPX!"

CPL's picture

Or forever...depends what the nut sacks do.  Best case scenario is to jack interest rates up to 23%

  • It will force write downs in the financial sector as it should have done.
  • Plus shit can well above the needed 30% of public sector employees.  Proper estimates of the civil service work force to be eliminated should run into the 65-70 range.

But what will happen.

  • Print QE3
  • Drive Oil over the human capacity point of afforability
  • War breaks out, nukes get thrown around and nobody cares.  Remember the legal limits have all been changed regarding acceptable radiation across the world.
  • Then jack up interest rates to around 40% to pay for the rebuilding still managing to go into more public debt.


High Plains Drifter's picture

when is ron paul going to take the gloves off?

the writer ask this question. i can answer it. never. and he never will either. he is a dark horse and a waste of time.

ron paul recently met with a scurrilous scumbag, liar, and traitor to America, Ralph Reed.


jeff montanye's picture

paul used the opportunity to get before reed's audience with the other republican presidential hopefuls and said that, like the ancient israelites, the current citizens of the u.s. do not need a king to tax them without mercy and send their sons to die in distant wars.  about right if you ask me.  

he sounds least like a neocon of the presidential candidates in my lifetime.  sounds.  proof is in the pudding.

King_of_simpletons's picture

Obama is going to train 10000 engineers.

It is becoming pathetic. Now they are not even trying, just throwing some shit out.

CPL's picture

Train Engineers or aka drive locomotives, my guess is someone missed an adjective in the job title.  Only way he's getting 10000 Engineering professionals out of the schools is to ship them in overseas or give those in the retirement cloud a second job.


we've all heard this wag before during dot.com.  Look how fast the Engineers were disposed of then.  The powers that be couldn't push the bodies into the fire fast enough.  So if there are any baby Engineers out there, if you see the first year Engineering class balloon to 400% of it's natural size all of a sudden.  Stay the course.  If you are part of the government initative, guess what colour the career is going to be in around three years in your first job...pink, as in pink slip.

KCMLO's picture

Complete bullshit, my girlfriend is a masters-educated engineer.  Bachelor's in Chemical, Master's in Environmental.  She's been looking for a job for the last 2 years (to get out of consulting) and it's nothing but cricketts out there.

docj's picture

Wow - and you'd think she would be the winner of the holy trifecta job lottery there...

1) Female Engineer

2) Chemical Engineer (they always did well in the past)

3) Enviro Engineer (AHEMgreenjobsAHEM)

I know it's bad out there (yeah, the PhD is real - and it's in Engineering) but I had no idea it was that bad.

JuicedGamma's picture

She sounds like a perfect fit as a hi freq algo developer, send her resume over!

malek's picture

If she is doing consulting and earns some notable money there I recommend she stays like that.

the not so mighty maximiza's picture

kick ass policies from kick ass leaders.

docj's picture

Meanwhile, The Teleprompter is telling us he wants to spend more money we don't have so the Fed.gov can train 10K engineers a year - I suppose so they can watch their jobs get outsourced, too.


The Stupid is strong with this one.

RobotTrader's picture

Obama needs a "shock and awe" stimulus ASAP, like a huge tax cut for two years or something.  Something big, that will last as long as he remains in office.

Otherwise, he's already toast for 2012.

the not so mighty maximiza's picture

Yeah like pallets of money falling from the sky blocking out the Sun.



smlbizman's picture

as a know nothing employer, i will ask you...will that tax cut make my phone ring?????

i read alot of know it alls like you, and i would safely bet you have never signed the front of a paycheck...

so until the headlines start placing the following words in large fonts, we are all toast.





Eireann go Brach's picture

Did you know what the word Politics in latin means.. "Poli" means "many" in latin.."tic" means "blood sucking insect" in latin. That just about sums it up! 

falak pema's picture

the romans left their indelible mark on your neighbours...its called the seal of Imperial rule...even if they never invaded Ireland...the Brits learnt, rinsed and repeated. Now its the Oligarchy...Politics is a bitch when one is small and at the receiving end. 

Timmay's picture


Caviar Emptor's picture

Sorry. The stock market was, is and will always be one step from only serving one function: get rich quick. The old shell game: "which stock is the banana under? Guess and I'll pay ya" :-) 

For many decades in the period of greatest US prosperity in the mid 20th century the stock market was a sleepy backwater. The real money was made in the private world of free enterprise: owning and operating businesses or working for successful ones. In other words Adding Value. Few Americans invested in stocks. Taking Financial Risks was not for regular people and was a sure way to the poor house. It was possible to save back then. It was also possible to get rich slow with high quality bonds, savings accounts, but mainly through building a business. 

Now the lay of the land has changed drastically. Savings is near impossible with low interest and the ever rising cost of living, working and doing business. That makes even bonds a sure way to get poor slow. Taking risks often gets rewarded: With financial pain. Non-professionals have a tough time avoiding losses. Which guarantees getting poor fast. Building wealth through enterprise has gotten harder but not impossible. 

One thing is certain: staking hopes, dreams and trillions on stoking up the stock market is as losing a proposition for America as being the pigeon at the 3-card Monty table. Sooner or later he's gonna cut and run with your money, and his shill players from the audience will cut out too. 

High Plains Drifter's picture

U.S. Homeland Security asks Jewish groups to be vigilant for terrorists


gee, isn't that precious?

jewish militia trains in forest


oh goody. say there mr skullcap, doth thou raise thy arm against me and prepareth for war?

zaknick's picture

Your true, massive-beaked masters, bitchez!

DBS harassing Amerikkkans at airports and coddling funny money, dirty jooooohs!

zaknick's picture

Your true, massive-beaked masters, bitchez!

DHS harassing Amerikkkans at airports and coddling funny money, dirty jooooohs!

Bear's picture

I have been reading interesting chatter in the 'left leaning' press about Bernanke being a Republican and inferring that the double dip was his fault. I think this theme will continue with Obama trying to see what scenario works best for abrogating his responsibility for the Greatest Depression of next year.

Caviar Emptor's picture

Obama trying to see what scenario works best for abrogating his responsibility for the Greatest Depression of next year.


...he'll float the idea of renaming it "The Grooviest Depression" 

Eireann go Brach's picture

Falak Pena..Ireland may be small but they can and will play a massive role in how the house of world financial cards will fall over the next few years..centuries of fighting and telling establishments to fuck themselves makes it an absolute certainty that they will also tell the Euro and IMF to go fuck themselves sometime over the next year or two.

The Euro is destined for disaster because the powers that be never baked centuries of cultural differences and hatred into the Euro monetary pie when it was created, because that moment is fast approaching..Bernanke and Trichet may think they know academics because they have a PHD..but they know fuck all about centuries of cultural and historical differences that are innate in all countries and which will ultimately decide the fate of the Euro!

falak pema's picture

I'd be inclined to believe you if you are full of guinness as your poetry would match your eloquence and like all true irishmen you would know how to pass the ball to O'Driscoll to score the winning try that would seal the prize.

But on a sober day when the north wind blows and a slice is death on the fairway, I would advise you to jump off the cliffs of Connemara for a cold bath to revive your spirits...as a sober irishmen needs to feel the cold to find poetry in his soul; all fouled up with centuries of mythical logic that can't tell north from south pole. No, Europe is a mutant that now spreads its wings on a new basis in search of new meaning and new horizons. It'll always be born in pain as nothing worth while occurs for mankind without sufferance. Anyways, there is always an irish jig and a good pass out to the wing to provide solace to irish eyes who need to smile...whatever Caesar or his sons have in store for the continent. 

zaknick's picture

If i really gave a shit about what this idiot thinks, I would insert two graphs here:

1. Chart of food stamp usage in AmeriKa

2. Chart of Venezuelan poverty reduction

Chavez is not the brightest bulb but at least you have somebody who cares about their country and its people. Compare that to this TelePrompTer CIA bitch and you get the picture.

Know how you see all those charts here about record income inequality here in the US where 400 families own more wealth than 40% of the rest of their countrymen? Well, that's how it was in Venezuela.

He should back the Bolivar with oil and be done with (after acquiring some nukes and ASBMs from China and Iran).

The tragic irony is that the morally befuddled author then goes on to lament the predictable failure of a for profit educational system: only the rich have knowledge.

Fucken hyenas

topcallingtroll's picture

sounds like you are a communist who sees everything in terms of racism.  I've spent quite a bit of time in Venezuela.  Things are not better for the people now.  Maybe on paper, but not in reality.

zaknick's picture

You are hallucinating, bitch!

Yet you will soon see the putrid remains of your economy exposed for the world to see. The handiwork of the banksters you know & love. Wait until this latest Ponzi cracks up!

I would go so far as to say that, measured in happiness and life satisfaction, Venezuelans will have a better life than Americans. True.

topcallingtroll's picture

come on market.  go down you bitch!

I was in cash maybe six weeks ago before cash was cool.

Now hurry up and go down you fucker!  Take gold and silver with you please.

NotApplicable's picture

In other news. Conan O'Brien made his best joke ever during a commencement speech at Dartmouth.

He joked that the school had an inferiority complex, but claimed it should not: 'You have graduated more great fictitious Americans than any other college.


'Meredith Grey of Grey's Anatomy. Pete Campbell from Mad Men. Michael Corleone from The Godfather.


'In fact, I look forward to next years' Valedictory Address by your esteemed classmate, Count Chocula.'


Of course, your greatest fictitious graduate is Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. Man, can you imagine if a real Treasury Secretary made those kinds of decisions? Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.'