- New York Fed defends handling of AIG disclosure, cites accuracy (Bloomberg)
- FHA raises down payments, premiums amid mortgage delinquencies (Bloomberg)
- China asks some banks to limit lending as loans surge (Bloomberg, Reuters)
- Republican Brown wins Mass seat in "Tsunami" election; time for major changes in D.C. (Bloomberg)
- Housing starts drop more than forecast, 557K in December, Permits 653K; following the NAHB double-dip (Bloomberg)
- The Fed's $1.25 trillion gambit (Cumberland Advisors)
- Asian stocks advance for the first time in three days on higher metal prices, weak Yen.
- China money rates rise to the highest this year on signs government to rein in stimulus.
- Chinese Regulator orders some Chinese banks to limit loans due to insufficient capital.
- Chinese regulators expect its banks to issue about $1.1 trillion in new loans this year.
- Chinese shares fall on stimulus concern; Euro at four-month low on Greece.
- Euro slumped to four-month lows.
- Federal Housing Administration to announce more-stringent lending requirements, higher borrower fees on Wednesday.
- Morgan Stanley Q4 EPS $0.14 versus analyst estimate of $0.42; Revenue $6.8 billion vs Est. of $7.8 billion
- Bank of America Q4 EPS ($0.60) versus analyst estimate of $(0.52),
Revenue of $25.4 bn vs Est. $26.9 bn; $10.1 bn in loss provisions
- Wells Fargo Q4 EPS $0.08 versus analyst estimate of $0.01; $25 bn in loss provisions - $500MM increase
Both Morgan Stanley and Bank of America join JPM in revenue misses: so much for the fabled revenue recovery in Q4.
RANsquawk 20th January Morning Briefing - Stocks, Bonds, FX etc.
Guest Post: Media And Political Hysteria Over Yemen Hides A Deeper Strategic Matrix of Long-Term ImportanceSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 01/19/2010 - 21:02
US and Western European political leaders have begun to focus on Yemen as a source of projected instability and as a haven for jihadist terrorism against the West.
This simplistic and overly narrow view has largely been a reaction to media reporting of the links of alleged (and unsuccessful) Nigerian-born terrorist bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, to a radical Yemeni group, and to intense ongoing fighting between insurgents and Yemeni and Saudi government forces on the Yemen-Saudi border.
The reality is far more complex and far-reaching.
CLSA's global forecast for the next two year after the break.
What is there to say about the endless barrage of insider sales that hasn't been said for 9 straight months before. Insiders are selling into the neverending rally, as domestic mutual funds have no equity inflows, yet stocks somehow miraculously keep rising, providing yet more attractive exit price points for directors and insiders. In the past week insiders bought $18 million worth of stock and sold $419 million. There is no way to spin this data. There were no notable buyers, while Nelson Peltz was vacating HNZ shares with a vengeance, selling $30 million worth of the canned food maker. Ralph Lauren also apparently wasn't too hot on Polo's Spring/Summer collection.
Spreads were generally wider in the US from Friday's close as IG underperformed HY and breadth was very negative at around 4-to-1 wideners-to-tighteners (and 2-to-1 steepeners to flatteners). Single-names were much more negative than indices in the higher beta names. HY13 is tighter from Friday's close but is wider on yesterday's weak volume day although it remains below par and intraday was unable to trade below 500bps. As stocks moved to the upper end of their ten-day channel into the close we came off our wides of the day in IG and HY but single-names remained weak overall.
Notable 2009 performers:
- Paulson Credit: 34%
- York: 45%
- Maverick: 24%
- Moore Global: 22%
- Tudor: 15%
- Brigade: 40%
- Davidson Kempner Distressed: 45%
- Brevan Howard: 19%
The decline in weekly consumer confidence as measured by ABC will not end. From -41 two weeks ago, this number has now fallen a dramatic 8 points to -49. And add another double-dip data point: after being respondents were evenly split between those who think the economy is getting better and those who saw deterioration on December 13, 2009, the spread has surged with 36% now seeing a worsening while those who think things are getting better is now 24% the worst reading since June 2009. People have just about had enough of change they can believe in.
PIMCO Sells $37 Billion In Treasuries, Adds Bunds, MBS And Cash As Total Return Fund Hits Record In DecemberSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 01/19/2010 - 18:01
Congratulations Bill Gross: PIMCO's flagship Total Return Fund closed December at $202 Billion, representing $70 billion in net inflows, more than the combined inflows of the prior three years. December also saw a curious reshuffling of TRS' portfolio: Gross sold a whopping $34 billion in Treasuries, bringing the total to $64.6 billion from $101.7 billion in November. And while the bond manager surprisngly added $10 billion in MBS (now accounting for 17% of holdings) after selling $95 billion in MBS to the Fed in the previous 10 months, for the first time (probably ever) PIMCO's holdings of Treasuries and MBS accounted for less than half of total holdings. As was previously noted, Bill Gross notably increased his non-US Developed country bond holdings by $22 billion to $32.3 billion, which is a direct result of his recent purchases of German Bunds.
This latest development should surely make for some abnormally entertaining Sprott reports: "Sprott Inc. (TSX: SII) (the "Corporation") is pleased to announce that the Board of Directors has appointed Marc Faber as a director and member of the Audit Committee."
Joseph Mason from Roubini Global Economics has written an interesting analysis of Fed monetary policy, focusing on the Fed Fund rate as the primary tool of economic intervention, in which concludes that the Fed's traditional weapon for moderating the business cycle is becoming increasingly irrelevant, and has reached a point where the traditional central bank arsenal could be considered irrelevant. By analyzing historical data of rate tightening into and during recessions, coupled with loosening interventions, Mason observes that by "reducing rates before recession may both add to the speculative fury that will (eventually) necessitate the (potentially larger) downturn and leaves no room to lower rates in order to address lagging effects like unemployment." If correct, and if the excess reserve phenomenon currently witnessed, which is purely a function of negative implied interest rates per the Taylor rule, is unable to force the economy into a recovery mode, the Fed will be left with absolutely no additional mechanisms to facilitate monetary expansion, resulting in an impotent Federal Reserve, whose only function would then become to fund balance sheet shortfalls at major financial institutions. And if there is a an actual empirical point arguing that the Fed no longer needs to exist, in addition to all the rhetoric we have witnessed over the past year which implicates the Fed as merely a proxy vehicle for banker status quo perpetuation, this could very well be it.