Is This The Mystery Crude Oil Liquidator? The "God Of Crude Oil Trading" Taps Out

Two months ago, when the first tremors in the crude market appeared, we wondered, jokingly, if one of the biggest crude bulls, Phibro's (and formerly Citi's uber-well paid trader) Andy Hall was puking blood yet. "Any crude BWICs from Andy Hall yet?" But while we may have been joking, for Andy Hall things were only all too real. So real, in fact, he just lost his job according to Bloomberg.

OIL TRADER ANDREW HALL SAID TO LEAVE PHIBRO BY YR-END: SOURCES

So is Hall's unwind the source of what some say is a relentless, rolling liquidation within the commodity space?

Guest Post: Central Banks Create Deflation, Not Inflation

If there's one absolute truism we hear again and again, it's that central banks are desperately trying to create inflation. Perversely, their easy-money policies actually generation the exact opposite: deflation. Financial and risk bubbles don't pop in a vacuum--all the phantom collateral constructed with mal-invested free money for financiers will also implode.

VIX Spikes Over 16, Biggest 2-Day Surge In 2 Months As Credit Contagion Spreads

VIX has been unable to make lower lows as stocks made higher highs in recent weeks as it appears managers protected these insane gains of the last few weeks rather than piled in - beta-chase-style - as financial media would have us believe. VIX has broken back above 16 this morning adding to its biggest 2-day surge in 2 months and suggesting notably more downside for stocks from here. We suspect credit hedgers are spilling over into the equity protection markets as bond liquidty dries up and protection costs soar.

"We Tortured Some Folks": CIA Lied To Congress, Senate Torture Report Reveals

In what we are confident everyone will find to be absolutely shocking news, moments ago the Senate Torture report was released. The key finding, hold on to your hats, is that the CIA "misled" Congress. As for the timing of the release, which takes place at the same time as Jonathan Gruber (Ph.D) is being grilled in the House, it is hardly a coincidence that Obama does everything in his power to deflect attention to what took place under the Bush administration, commenting that "torture techniques did significant damage to America’s standing” in the world. So what did the droning of thousands of innocent civilians do to the same "standing"?

Small Caps Plunge Negative Year-To-Date (Again) As 10Y Slides Below 2.20%

10Y yields are back below 2.20% and 30Y below 2.85% - awkwardly close to the Bullard lows - and stocks appear to be waking up to the massive squeeze-driven decoupling in the last 6 weeks (as USDJPY tests below 118.00). Small Cap Russell 2000 has plunged back into the red year-to-date, and the rest of the equity complex is not "off the lows". Remember, it's all about the fun-durr-mentals.

USDJPY Collapses 350 Pips, Drags Japanese Stocks Down 700 Points

China's overnight destruction of $80 billion of eligible collateral from the great global carry trade has had destructive consequences on the massively crowded short JPY (long USDJPY) trade. Haviung already lost ground following the dismal downward revisions in GDP, USDJPY is down 350 pips from yesterday morning's highs (This is the biggest 2-day drop in USDJPY in 18 months.) and the Nikkei 225 is down over 700 points in the same period... Abe approval ratings are plunging-er.  Did the downward revision to Japanese GDP straw finally break the back of the Central Bank Omnipotence camel?

Citi Pays $3.5 Billion To Keep Its Employees Out Of Jail For Yet Another Quarter

Alongside the just announced revenue warning, Citi's CEO Corbat also announced yet another $2.7 billion in legal, related charges in 4Q, as well as another $800 million in repositioning expenses. This simply means that for yet another quarter Citi will be charged with billions in recurring, non-one time "one-time, non-recurring" charges which will be dutifully added back to non-GAAP EPS by analysts at all the other banks (whose criminal employers are now engaged in the same racket with the US government). But what it really means is that it cost Citi some $3.5 billion to keep its employees out of jail for yet another 3 months.

"More Scarecrows Than People": A Tragic Preview Of Japan's Terminal Collapse

A few weeks ago it was revealed that the mystery person behind the latest bout of monetary (if not so much fiscal) insanity in Japan is none other than Paul Krugman, a fact which has since assured the fate of Japan as a failed state: the demographically imploding country now has at best a few years (if not less) before it implodes into a hyperinflationary supernova. And for a very graphic, and tragic, preview of Japan's endgame - the direct result of following Keynesian and monetarist policies to a tee - we go to the AP, which looks at the village of Nagoro, located "deep in the rugged mountains of southern Japan once was home to hundreds of families" and finds that now, only 35 people remain, outnumbered three-to-one by scarecrows that Tsukimi Ayano crafted to help fill the days and replace neighbors who died or moved away. This and nothing more, is what all of Japan has to look forward to as it slowly (or very rapidly) fades away to nothing.

Venezuelan Bonds Crash To Lowest Price Since 1998

Bond prices in Venezuela have totally collapsed this morning - at 45c on the dollar, they are the lowest since 1998 - as the realization of the "abyss" they are staring into sparks an exodus from all credit positions in the country. VENZ 5Y CDS rallied 130bps which signals hedgers unwinding and the simultaneous sale of the underlying bonds implies broad-based capital flight (and profit taking) as 1Y CDS surges to record highs at 4830bps.

Willem "Gold-Is-A-6000-Year-Bubble" Buiter Joins Council on Foreign Relations As Senior Fellow

"Distinguished Economist Willem Buiter Joins CFR as Senior Fellow

Willem H. Buiter, a renowned macroeconomist and global chief economist at Citigroup, has joined the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) as an adjunct senior fellow. His work will focus on geoeconomics, deglobalization, international financial institutions, and global economic governance. “We are thrilled to have someone of Willem Buiter’s experience and reputation joining CFR,” said CFR President Richard N. Haass. “His presence will make an already strong economics program that much stronger.” Buiter is the newest addition to CFR’s Maurice R. Greenberg Center for Geoeconomic Studies, which provides analysis on how economic and geopolitical forces interact to influence world affairs."

High-Yield Credit Crash Accelerates

High-yield energy bond spreads are crashing-er. Up 15bps to 880bps today, these are record wides and massively impact the economics of these firms - no matter how much investors want to ignore it. This is contagiously spreading across the broad high yield and even investment grade credit markets as high yield bond prices crash below the mid-October Bullard lows...

Glenn Greenwald Previews The Senate Torture Report

Curious what to expect out of today's 600-page mega dump by the Senate Intelligence Committee revealing US torture techniques and practices, aka the "torture report"? The the following explainer by the Intercept's Glenn Greenwald should provide some useful pointers.

Obamacare Architect Gruber Testifies Before "Stupid America" - Live Webcast

Today at 9:30am Eastern, the two key people behind Obamacare will testify under oath before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. One of them is Marilyn Tavenner, the CMS Administrator and the person who was tasked with managing the implementation of Obamacare: a process that was a complete disaster as those who tried to sign up on the healthcare.gov website in late 2013 will recall (and whose overhaul cost over $2 billion).  On the other hand, Jonathan Gruber has recently gained notoriety after a series of videos with him were leaked, in which he bragged that deception and “the stupidity of the American voter” allowed Obama to ram his pet healthcare program into law.

Greek Bond Curve Inverts As Stocks Crater

Amid the collapse of the global carry trade, no nation on earth has benefited more (and is now suffering more) from the dash-for-trash, buy-the-pig-sty trade than Greek stocks and bonds. Combining carry unwinds with uncertainty over snap Presidential elections (which could usher in a left-wing anti-EU party into power) and a 'technical-only' extension of its handouts from Troika and Greek capital markets are in freefalll. The Athens Stock Index is down over 11% on the day, destroying 3 weeks of gains; the Greek 3Y bond price has collapsed (as the carry-traders pile out through small doors) inverting the yield curve - never a good sign.

Gold Surges To October Highs, Snaps Japanese Linkages

Gold prices have surged this morning to their highest since October (over $1221) as leveraged hot money greatly rotates its repo-driven way out of risk assets and into Greenspan's alternative currency. However, there is a bigger problem for the biggest pairs trade that no one is discussing - apart from us - the decoupling of the long Nikkei, short gold trade as the repo market folds in on itself from the suck out of $80 billion in collateral by China...

Surveying The Carnage: Bullion Bounces, 30 Year Below 2014 Lows, Stocks Dump

While it took a few hours for people (and machines) to realize exactly what China did last night, the fallout in risk markets is now clearly evident when a central bank decides enough-is-enough for speculative wealth creation bubble-followers. As we described last night, China's tightening has dramatically influenced the carry trade (USDJPY back under 120) and thus global stocks (from Abu Dhabi to Greece), global corporate bonds (all significantly wider) and European peripheral bonds (cracking wider) all face pressure. The beneficiary safe havens so far are precious metals (Gold > $1315) and US Treasuries (30Y at 2014 low yields). For now the mainstream media's narrative is that this oil-driven (which is fantasy as oil prices are up today) - this is the fallout from the marginal removal of $80bn of leverage collateral from the world's carry trades...

China Crashes: Shanghai Composite Plunges 5.4% Amid Record Trading, Biggest Tumble Since 2009

Those who have been following the ridiculous moves in the Shanghai Composite in recent months, knew it was only a matter of time before yet another major stock market (one which recently surpassed the Nikkei for the second largest spot in the world) crashed violently, further eroding faith in the centrall-planned "price discovery" process. The only question was when. Tonight we got the answer.

Frontrunning: December 9

  • China’s Stocks Sink Most Since 2009 as Turnover Jumps to Record (BBG)
  • Greek Stocks, Bonds Tumble (WSJ)
  • China tightens LGFV funding screws (BBG)
  • Crude Rebounds From Five-Year Low Amid Shale-Oil Spending Curbs (BBG)
  • Sexual threats, other CIA methods detailed in Senate report (Reuters)
  • U.S. Takes Security Precautions Overseas Ahead of CIA Report (WSJ)
  • Light-Speed Treasury Trading Governed by Rules Dating to 1998 (BBG)
  • Delhi to ban all internet taxi firms after Uber rape claim (Reuters)
  • Supreme Group Fined $389 Million for Overcharging Pentagon (WSJ)