The September PPI, TICS and speeches from Fed officials
We are still waiting to see the final form of the "Grand Plan" and what novel ways the EFSF guarantees will be applied to save the day. At the risk of sounding incredibly stupid, I have this feeling that Europe didn't actually work on any details until this past week, and Germany is suddenly realizing how bad the details are for them. Is it possible that some politicians got so caught in the moment of "saving Europe" and "fighting the speculators" that they kept promising more and more, without thinking whether they could or should deliver? You would like to think they didn't, but since none of the politicians are detail oriented, most of their contacts at investment banks are high level, former bankers, rather than traders, it is quite possible they didn't realize what they had agreed to. If some new EFSF is created, all of the future bargaining power in Europe will be shifted from France and Germany to PIIS. (it is a shame Ireland wasn't named Shamrock, it would make the acronym so much better).
Gold has fallen in all currencies today as equity and commodity markets have seen weakness due to concerns about Chinese economic growth after China's economy eased somewhat. Germany’s pouring cold water on the likelihood of a speedy resolution of the euro zone's debt crisis and the summit this weekend has also increased market jitters. Gold continues to be correlated with equities in the short term but we are confident that this correlation is short term in nature and the inverse correlation between gold and equities and bonds will again be seen in the medium and long term. Peripheral European debt markets are showing weakness again. The recent trend of falling yields appears to have ended which is worrying. Should yields begin to rise again this should create added safe haven demand for gold. UK inflation rose to match a record high of 5.2% (CPI) and retail price inflation (RPI), a measure of the cost of living used in wage negotiations, accelerated to 5.6% (from 5.2%), the highest since June 1991. The figures were again worse than expected by the BoE, economists and many economic experts who have been underestimating the threat of inflation for some time. The BoE, like the Federal Reserve, continues to follow an ultra loose monetary policy in an effort to boost an economy teetering on the brink of a double dip recession.
Goldman Reports Massive $0.84 Loss Per Share, Prop Trading Loss Of $2.5 Billion, Comp Accrual Of $358,713 Per EmployeeSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 10/18/2011 - 07:39
Topline bloodbath Summary: Net revenues in Investment Banking were $781 million, 33% lower than the third quarter of 2010 and 46% lower than the second quarter of 2011. Net revenues in Financial Advisory were $523 million, up slightly from the third quarter of 2010. Net revenues in the firm’s Underwriting business were $258 million, 61% lower than the third quarter of 2010. Net revenues in both equity underwriting and debt underwriting were significantly lower than the third quarter of 2010, reflecting a significant decline in industry-wide activity. The firm’s investment banking transaction backlog increased compared with the end of the second quarter of 2011. Net revenues in Institutional Client Services were $4.06 billion, 13% lower than the third quarter of 2010 and 16% higher than the second quarter of 2011. Net revenues in Fixed Income, Currency and Commodities Client Execution were $1.73 billion, 36% lower than the third quarter of 2010. And so on. As for the number everyone in #OWS is looking for, "The accrual for compensation and benefits expenses (including salaries, estimated year-end discretionary compensation, amortization of equity awards and other items such as benefits) was $1.58 billion for the third quarter of 2011, a 59% decline compared with the third quarter of 2010. The ratio of compensation and benefits to net revenues for the first nine mo nths of 2011 was 44.0%. Total staff levels decreased 4% compared with the end of the second quarter of 2011." In a nutshell: for the first time in probably since the Lehman crisis, Goldman reported a massive loss in its prop trading division of $2.5 billion, and also based on LTM accured comp benefits and the total staff at period end of 34,200, average compensation amounted to $358,713/employee.
In yet another episode of accounting gimmickry Groundhog Dayness, Bank of America reported a massively wonderful EPS number of $0.56, which obviously is more than 100% better than the expectation of $0.21.... Until one actually reads the press releases and finds that this number is nowhere near comparable to an apples to apples comparison. To wit: the reported net income number was $6.2 billion, which includes, "among other things, $4.5 billion (pretax) in positive fair value adjustments on structured liabilities, a pretax gain of $3.6 billion from the sale of shares of China Construction Bank (CCB), $1.7 billion pretax gain in trading Debit Valuation Adjustments (DVA), and a pretax loss of $2.2 billion related to private equity and strategic investments, excluding CCB. The fair value adjustment on structured liabilities reflects the widening of the company’s credit spreads and does not impact regulatory capital ratios." So netting out the CCB gain and the strategic investment loss leaves us looking at the two items entirely affected by the blow up in the company itself manifested by its soaring spreads: the $4.5 billion in structured liabilities adjustment and the DVA which add to $6.2 billion, which is.... what the company reported as its EPS! In other words, Bank of America had $0.00 EPS excluding for the accounting BS that is provisioning for buying "CDS on yourself." And since both of these adjustments flow through the P&L, the reported revenue of $28.45 billion (much better than the expected $25.92 billion) had to be adjusted $6.2 billion lower, and confirms that absent this most blatant accounting gimmick, the revenue was a huge miss. Yet despite a plunge in the company's NIM, a $1.7 billion reserve release, and a substantial plunge in BAC's provisioning for Rep & Warranties from $14 billion in Q2 to $0.3 billion in Q3, something which will again haunt BAC, Bank of America increased its staffing from 40.4 thousand to $42.1 thousand sequentially. Alas, that trends will not persist.
No surprises this time in the overnight sessions with treasuries higher into the New York open as Moody’s signaled France’s Aaa rating is at risk and China’s economy grew at the slowest pace in two years, both events reported previously and still occupying the market. Futures are down solidly ahead of Bank of America (which Bloomberg has been caught doing some big shennanigans - see below) and Goldman. More on why numbers on our screen are red, aside from the horrible Crocs guidance of course, is below, courtesy of Bloomberg.
Talk about being caught between a rock and a hard landing. China just reported (completely fabricated) Q3 GDP of 9.1%, which was the slowest GDP growth in the past 2 years and well below expectations of 9.3%, which has sent the Hang Seng index down to -3% on the news, and which confirmed that the Chinese economy is slowing... but not enough for the PBoC to release the spigots. Because just after the GDP data we learned that Industrial Production was chugging along at a relatively healthy 13.8% y/y vs Exp of 13.4% while new home prices gained in 69 out of 70 cities on the year. Unless China wants more spontaneous inflation "appreciation" days by its hundreds of millions of migrant workers, it will have to wait for its economy to cool even more before it does anything, meaning that even as it caught in a very unpleasant place, the aftereffects of Bernanke's inflationary exports are still keeping the economy hot. And those hoping that China will be the much needed growth catalyst (sure, we may get the occasional RRR cut but that will be all) will be disappointed. And because suddenly everyone is a China expert, yet doesn't realize that 9.1% is effectively the equivalent of 1.1% stall print in an economy where 8.0% growth is the minimum threshold for social order and stability, please read this.
Another Quarter, Another Blatant Window Dressing By The Primary Dealer Banks To Make Their Balance Sheets Seem StrongSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 10/17/2011 - 21:56
When back in 2010, Lehman examiner Anton Valukas exposed the bankrupt bank's Repo 105 practices (which subsequently we learned were also partaken into by most other banks, although the trail ends there and nobody was prosecuted for it, let alone went to jail -after all, everyone was doing it, and everyone knew about it), many were shocked and appalled that such a blatant window dressing practice was allowed to continue quarter after quarter. Which is why we suppose nobody will be surprised to learn that glaringly "in your face" window dressing continues to this very day quarter in and quarter out by the same Primary Dealers who already leech billions in free Fed (i.e., taxpayer) money courtesy of a collusive BWIC/OWIC spread-to-market in the Fed's daily POMOs. The quote-unquote shocking chart below is one we have demonstrated on numerous occasions in the past: it shows total primary dealer assets on a weekly basis as reported publicly by the New York Fed. We have made it clear time and again, that this chart demonstrates nothing short of the end of quarter window dressing, when PDs convert their asset holdings into cash to make their Tier 1 Capital much more robust than it truly is. After all, none other than JPM and Citi were praising just how prepared for Basel III they are with their "sterling" capitalization ratios... which were only sterling courtesy of precisely the highlighted window dressing which occurs each and every quarter. We expect nothing less from Bank of America and Morgan Stanley when they report their own numbers in the coming days. We also expect the regulators to do absolutely nothing to prevent this blatant abuse of fiduciary duty which has no other purpose than to hide the true sad state of America's banking system.
Commemorating The 99th Anniversary Of The First Ever Vampire Mollusc, Or How William Banzai Met His MatchSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 10/17/2011 - 18:25
What is oddest about the below cartoon is how, in retrospect, it was absolutely spot on one 1 year ahead of the formation of the Federal Reserve, and shortly, about one century ahead of its destruction. We are happy to see that even William Banzai may have finally met his match, even if the temporal displacement is modestly skewed.
And from denial, or the comic and alcoholic, we shift to far more important things, such as acceptance, and actually dealing. Earlier we discussed the broad strokes about the imminent announcement by Ron Paul of his Plan to Restore America. Next, watch live as the Texan reveals the details of the only plan that has any sense of making even remote sense from a mathematical standpoint: start time 6pm EDT / 3pm PDT.
Moody's Announces That France's Debt Metrics Have Deteriorated And Are Now The Weakest Of All Aaa-Rated PeersSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 10/17/2011 - 17:34
This is not what Europe needed, 6 days ahead of the G20 ultimatum's expiration for Europe to somehow fix itself, and hours after Deutsche Bank said the rating agencies may go ahead and put France on downgrade review. Just out "Moody's notes that the government's financial strength has weakened, as it has for other euro area sovereigns, because the global financial and economic crisis has led to a deterioration in French government debt metrics -- which are now among the weakest of France's Aaa peers." As for the timing... "Over the next three months, Moody's will monitor and assess the stable outlook in terms of the government's progress in implementing these measures, while taking into account any potential adverse economic or financial market developments."
You know the drill: every time the TOTUS says "pass this bill" => shot, and 5 shots for every instance of "win(ning) the future." And if he actually says "the 1%", you have to finish the entire bottle. May the most cirrhotic man, woman or child win.
Fidelity Loses $50 Million In Seconds On Its Brand Spanking New Investment, As Crocs Plunges On Guidance Cut: 2007 Redux?Submitted by Tyler Durden on 10/17/2011 - 16:51
To anyone who is neither too young to recall, nor just got their first ever Bloomberg terminal a few days ago, CROX holds a special place in the heart since this perpetual momo stock, was without doubt the best coincident indicator of the market top back in 2007: the stock peaked just two weeks after the all time high in the S&P in October of 2007, only to collapse and never recover. Lightning may just have struck twice. Following an announcement that CROX cut guidance from $0.40, which was also the street's consensus, down to $0.31-0.33, the stock was halted for 30 minutes, only to reopen and plunge as much as 38% lower. The biggest loser? Not Paulson (for once), but Fidelity, which as the following chart from CapIq shows, decided to add 6.3 million shares in the Q2 quarter (having held nothing before), making it the second biggest holder. Oh well. There goes $50 million and some analyst's job. The biggest question, whether CROX part two is the same market peak signal that is was back in 2007 remains to be answered.