Despite hope (and talk) that Greece is on the path back to recovery, our recent discussion of the record deflation the nation is undergoing (and record unemployment) suggests Stournaras propaganda is just that. As Bloomberg's David Powell writes, the embattled nation continues to push further into depression and a state of insolvency and appears highly unlikely to be able to reduce the domestic price level in order to restore competiveness and simultaneously avoid a second restructuring of its sovereign debt. Perhaps that is why Troika delayed its appearance in Athens as it is easier to ignore the truth that way? Especially as beggars, once again, will become choosers in the "grexit" debate.
"You can’t expect the Fed to spell out what it’s going to do. Why? Because it doesn’t know." - Stanley Fischer
Big Tail Highlight Of 10 Year Reopening Auction, In Which Direct Bidders Get Least Since August 2012Submitted by Tyler Durden on 12/11/2013 - 13:13
Moments ago the Treasury sold $21 billion in 9 Year-11 Month paper in today's 10 Year reopening of CUSIP WE6, which pricing at 2.824% was a sizable 0.7 bps tail to the 2.817% When Issued trading at 1 pm, and easily one of the bigger tails in the past year for the benchmark bond auction. And while the closing yield indicated a sudden drop off in demand into the auction, the internals were hardly as ugly, with a Bid to Cover of 2.61, below last month's 2.70 (and below the TTM average of 2.73) but hardly a cliff drop in bidside demand. Breaking the allotment by final purchaser, Dealer got 40.5%, in line with the 39.2% average, while Indirects took down nearly half the auction, or 49.8% to be precise, far above the 38.3% LTM average, and the highest Indirect allotment since the 51.7% from June. Directs were therefore left holding 10.6% of the auction, the lowest such portion since August 2012. Overall, hardly an impressive auction, and one which probably reflects concerns what the taper could do for longer duration in the months ahead.
Following yesterday's "selfie-gate" furore at Nelson Mandela's memorial service, it is perhaps unsurprising that the AFP photographer responsible for the series of incriminating photos come out with a wordy (and picturey) response to explain what we all saw. Roberto Schmidt notes, "it was interesting to see politicians in a human light because usually when we see them it is in such a controlled environment. Maybe this would not be such an issue if we, as the press, would have more access to dignitaries and be able to show they are human as the rest of us." Indeed, especially for a president whose only focus is to be seen as "one of the people" and not actually doing, you know, work to help the people.
JPY carry trades are not helping and stocks just keep testing lows and finding no new BTFATH-ers for now. This will come as a little surprise to those who have watched the saturated and less exuberant credit markets unable to join the party for the last 2 months.
A senior manager at a small tech company had some time-consuming data analysis that needed to get done on a regular basis, and the manager was considering recruiting a (paid) intern to do the work. Instead, he spent four hours writing a Python script which did the work in a few minutes. He named the program "Intern." This story is repeated thousands of times a day across millions of tasks. The paid human labor that can't be replaced by a script will increasingly require the knowledge and skills needed to collaborate with technology as an essential work partner. We are already well into the "end of work." Digital pythons have been eating jobs for some time now, and because organizations only have expenses, they will continue to do so indefinitely until the only paid jobs left are those that cannot be fully replaced by a script or a robot operating on standardized scripts.
Two days ago, supposedly in an attempt to demonstrate how "contained" the radiation fallout from Fukushima was, an event was held in Tokyo to demonstrate that safety of the rice grown in the vicinity of the evacuated area around the exploded nuclear power plant according to the original source, NHK. And since officials from Fukushima Prefecture said "no radioactive materials were detected in any of the harvested rice" a whopping 540 kilograms of the non-radioactive rice would be served in a government office complex in Tokyo for 9 days from Monday. We further learned that Senior Vice Environment Minister Shinji Inoue and Parliamentary Vice Environment Minister Tomoko Ukishima tasted rice balls made of the crop on the first day. Inoue said the rice tasted good especially when he thought about the great effort that went into cultivating the crop. A farmer from Kawamata Town said he will continue to cultivate rice now that he knows that it's possible to grow a tasty product if the paddy fields are properly decontaminated. He said he travelled from his temporary home to the paddy to tend the rice as it grew.
The ratio of bulls to bears has never (that is ever) been higher according to (the perhaps ironically names) Investor's Intelligence. There are now more than 4x more bulls than bears and even more concerning, the only time "bears" have been lower than the current 14.3% was in the spring of 1987...
The MSM is trying to spin the 110,000 sign ups in November as a fantastic result. When a “free” new entitlement is announced and rolled out in this country, they would normally be knocking down the doors to sign up. Anyone who really wants Obamacare has already signed up. The first two months should generate the biggest numbers. When you have only achieved 5% of your goal after two months, you’ve failed miserably. Obamacare is a disaster before it even gets off the ground and bankrupts the country. Young healthy people will never sign up for Obamacare. They know it’s a scam. HHS officials said nearly 365,000 people have selected health plans from state and federal marketplaces since Oct. 1, with nearly two-thirds of that coming from the states. HHS hopes to enroll 7 million people in health plans by March 31.
But...we have a deal in DC?! As the safety bid in bullion continues (but bonds are fading), stocks are greatly rotating lower (sadly a 10 point drop is now 'epic' in our new normal world), retracing much of the post-payrolls (taper is a good thing) gains. Perhaps more notably, attempts to juice stocks with EURJPY are failing (for now)... Still think taper is priced in?
A modest cut in the slowdown of the growth of debt in the most indebted nation on earth is being heralded as a 'win' by many (even if the 'market' is entirely ignoring it). We leave it to Speaker Boehner to explain the "compromise" but remind readers that the extension of emergency claims is off the table (for now) and thusly, the unemployment rate is about to drop notably - providing the Fed the cover (along with this fiscal 'tailwind') to spin a tale of taper sooner rather than later.
To help readers get a sense of perspective how the US and Japan compare when matched to China, below we present a chart showing the fixed monthly "money" creation by the Fed and the BOJ compared to the most comprehensive money supply aggregate available in China - the Total Social Financing - for the month of November. The chart speaks for itself.
If you don't like the frequency of your air-quality alerts, you don't have to keep them. That is the message that the Chinese government has made loud and clear as Bloomberg reports, Shanghai's environmental authority took decisive action to address the pollution - it cynically adjusted the threshold for "alerts" to ensure there won't be so many. In a move remininscent of Japan's raising of the "safe" radioactive threshold level, China has apparently decided - rather than accept responsibility for the disaster - to avoid it by making the "safe" pollution level over 50% more polluted (up from 75 to 115 micrograms per cubic meter) - almost 5 times the WHO's "safe" level of 25 micrograms.
Absent the "obvious" bubble in the late 90s, the US equity market is at its most expensive valuation since right before the '30s crash. As Bloomberg notes, thanks to the exuberance of stocks in the last quarter, Pavilion Global Markets has calculated Tobin's Q (a valuation indicator based on market 'price' versus 'asset value' for non-financial companies) has only been higher at the peak of bubble exuberance. Still want to BTFATH? Afraid of missing out?