Russia finds itself in familiar territory after a controversial half-year, highlighted by the bloody and still unresolved situation in Ukraine. Nonetheless, the prospect of further sanctions looms low and Russia’s stores of oil and gas remain high. Shortsighted? Maybe, but Russia has proven before – the 2008 financial crisis for example– that it can ride its resource rents through a prolonged economic slump. Higher oil price volatility and sanctions separate the current downturn from that of 2008, but Russia’s economic fundamentals remain the same – bolstered by low government debt and a large amount of foreign reserves.
A year ago, when we reported that "Hedge Funds Underperform The S&P For The 5th Year In A Row", we thought there is no way this underperformance can continue: after all who in their right mind could possibly anticipate that a "risk-free" centrally-planned world could last for 6 years (well, maybe the USSR). Back then we explained this now chronic, "new abnormal", regime as follows: "hedge funds are "hedge" funds and appear to have done a great job managing performance over time... but in the new normal world in which we live, where downside risk is irrelevant (until it runs you over), all that matters is return (not risk-reward)." And yes, as the chart below shows we were wrong: because as of this moment the average hedge fund is not only underperforming the market for a record, 6th year in a row but as Goldman pointed out last night, the return of the entire hedge fund universe as of NOvember 19 is... negative 1%.
As Day 2 of Carl Levin's Senate hearing on the fact that banks did indeed corner and rig the physical commodity markets - with the erosion of the line separating banking from commercial activities leading to the detriment of consumers and the financial system - we thought the world needed a 'dummy's guide' to why the biggest banks should not be allowed to do this... or in legalese, here are the four most negative effects of allowing FHCs to engage in Complementary Commodity Activities.
While some might scoff at the idea of there even being a bubble in hi-tech start-ups, it appears the massive wall of money that has been thrown at dot-com 2.0 names - all money-losing, social, mobile, cloud name-droppers - has dried up. As The TechCrunch Bubble Index shows, the last 90 days have seen startup-funding announcements collapse over 40% to their lowest level in almost 3 years...
Here Is The Only Thing You Need To Know As Goldman's|New York Fed's Bill Dudley Testifies To The SenateSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 11/21/2014 - 10:55
As everyone listens in silence as Goldman's New York Fed's Bill Dudley gets emotional during his Senate Banking Committee testimony, and his only response to why there is Goldman capture of the NY Fed being that $3 trillion in Fed excess reserves have made banks "stable", yet why absolutely nothing will change, there is only one thing everyone needs to see to understand just how the system works. Presenting the total donations by Goldman Sachs to members of Congress in 2014 alone.
Dear Mr. Draghi, we are very sorry but we messed up on the 'stress test'. The Royal Bank of Scotland shares are sliding after it admitted that it made an error - not in favor the bank - in its stress test calculations...
*RBS: CET1 STRESS TEST RATIOS OVERSTATED ON CALCULATION ERROR
Under the corrected Adverse Scenario, RBS capital cushion was slashed from 6.7% to 5.7% (just barely above the 5.5% minimum). Still - we should all trust the stress tests as 'proof' how strong Europe's banking system is. What a farce!!
The explosive surge in US equity markets off the 'Bullard' lows have swung the Relative Strength Index (RSI) from its most oversold in 24 months to the most overbought in 33 months in a record amount of time. The last time the market was this 'overbought', the S&P 500 fell almost 11% in the following few weeks...
Just days after the NY Fed ousted an employee for providing confidential information to a Goldman Sachs banker (who formerly worked at the NY Fed - and has since been fired by Goldman), Bill Dudley - the president of the NY Fed - will face a very skeptical Senate Banking Committee this morning investigating so-called "regulatory capture." Of course, their eyes were finally opened after Carmen Segarra, a former employee, leaked 47.5 hours of taped conversation (as we discussed in detail here), exposing the dismal reality of the relationship between the 'regulator' and the 'regulated' as New York regulators were deferential to Goldman bankers for a supposedly "shady" deal. Dudley's defense (not denial) so far: "We understand the risks of doing our job poorly and of becoming too close to the firms we supervise. Of course, we are not perfect. We sometimes make mistakes."
Goldman may have been right that there will be no more multiple expansion in 2015, but there sure was quite a bit overnight thanks to the latest verbal and actual central bank interventions by the ECB and the PBOC. And as a result, the biggest beneficiary is the S&P500, which is set to open just around 2070, or about 30 points shy of Goldman's 2015 S&P500 year-end target. And for those who still care about such things, the chart below shows that fundamentally, the S&P is now trading at 17.5x non-GAAP LTM EPS, and, drumroll, 19.2X GAAP PE!
Speaker Boehner is out with his response to Obama's executive diktum:
*BOEHNER: OBAMA IMMIGRATION ORDERS WILL ENCOURAGE BORDER CRISIS
*OBAMA `DAMAGING PRESIDENCY ITSELF' BY EXECUTIVE ORDER: BOEHNER
As Obama himself noted, these actions are those of a teenager...
The effects of the cut in the benchmark lending rate are likely to be small, Goldman warns, pouringh cold water on the exuberant - "unlikely to have a big direct impact on the economy", since lending rates are not currently subject to either upper or lower limits. Goldman adds that the rate cut may however be slightly useful to borrowers in negotiations with lenders, in our view. This is nevertheless a positive step in interest rate liberalization, in their view.
Gold Repatriation Stunner: Dutch Central Bank Secretly Withdrew 122 Tons Of Gold From The New York FedSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 11/21/2014 - 08:25
A week ago, we penned "The Real Reason Why Germany Halted Its Gold Repatriation From The NY Fed", in which we got, for the first time ever, an admission by an official source, namely the bank that knows everything that takes place in Germany - Deutsche Bank - what the real reason was for Germany's gold repatriation halt after procuring a meager 5 tons from the NY Fed. Some took offense with this pointing out, correctly, that the gold held at the NY Fed in deposit form for foreign institutions had continued to decline into 2014 even despite the alleged German halt. Well, today we finally know the answer: it wasn't Germany who was secretly withdrawing gold from the NYFed, contrary to what it had publicly disclosed. It was the Netherlands. Why did the DNB decided it was time to cut its gold held at the NY Fed by 122 tons? "It is no longer wise to keep half of our gold in one part of the world," a DNB spokesman said.