Four months ago, in another failed attempt to boost confidence in the Eurozone and stimulate lending (failed because three months later the ECB finally launched its own QE), the ECB conducted its latest stress test, which as we explicitly pointed out was an utter joke as even its "worst-case" scenario did not simulate a deflationary scenario. Two months later Europe was in outright deflation. It was initially unclear just how comparably laughable the Fed's own stress test assumptions were, but refuting rumors that Deutsche and Santander would fail the Fed's stress test (perhaps because former FDIC head and current Santander head Sheila Bair wasn't too happy about her bank being one of the failed ones), moments ago the Fed released the results of the 2015 Fed stress test, and.... it seems there was no need to provide a sacrificial lamb as with stocks at record highs. In fact everything is awesome! FED STRESS TEST SHOWS ALL 31 BANKS EXCEED MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS
The tide is turning against the banks. We will see more and more corporations turn away from the banks as advisory entities. They just cannot be trusted when they are also the market-makers making commissions/spreads on the trading that are totally undisclosed. The day of the banks is coming to an end. It looks more like the next downturn will drive the spike right through their hearts. Just maybe, we may get back to the way its should be – relationship business, not transactional where they have the incentive to manipulate markets for the quick buck and front-run clients.
Update: And just to prove that people are indeed, idiots, moments ago this hits:
ENERGY XXI GULF COAST, INC. PRICES UPSIZED PRIVATE OFFERING OF $1.45 BILLION OF 11.000% SENIOR SECURED SECOND LIEN NOTES DUE 2020
Back in August 2014, yield-starved bondholders were delighted to give American Eagle Energy $175 million in cash, and why not: the company promised them an 11% annual cash coupon. Seven months later the company is in default, and the same bondholders are looking at an 80% loss, without receiving even one coupon payment. Movie Gallery anyone?
Since the start of February, 48 US macro data items have missed expectations and 8 have beaten. Since then the S&P 500 has risen over 5.5% (and the Nasdaq even more) and 10Y yields are up 50bps. Bloomberg's US Macro Surprise index is now as weak as it was just after Lehman and is falling at the fastest pace since Summer 2012. While everyone is well aware that markets can stay irrational longer than a trader can stay liquid, one has to wonder just how long this farce can continue before even the most effusive talking head has to admit... things ain't great.
"What the data doesn't tell us is whether it [the next correction] will be a 'buy the dip' opportunity or something much more significant. Given the length of current economic expansion and cyclical bull market, the fact that the Fed is extracting liquidity from the markets, the trend in margin debt, and the current extension of the markets above their long-term moving averages, there is cause for real concern."
Earlier today a lightbulb went over the head of Goldman Sachs which just had the following epiphany: "if we have blamed the snow for everything so far, shouldn't we also blame it for the most important data point to come - tomorrow's nonfarm payrolls?" And so it did...
Once upon a time businesses borrowed long term money - if they borrowed at all - in order to fund plant, equipment and other long-lived productive assets. Today American businesses are borrowing like never before - to fund financial engineering maneuvers such as stock buybacks, M&A and LBOs, not the acquisition of productive assets that can actually fuel future output and productivity.
Let’s see. The Eccles Building has grown its balance sheet by 9X since the turn of the century, but real net investment in the business sector has plunged by 33%!
The real "dynamo" of global growth since the Lehman crisis is about to go dark.
It’s not that long ago, in 2001, that Jim O’Neill, then still with Goldman Sachs, coined the term BRICs, for the fast emerging markets of Brazil, Russia, India and China. O’Neill saw a global power shift from the west to these four nations happening. Fast forward to today, and we see Russia under multiple attacks, including economic ones, from the west, as India just announced the second rate cut this year and China is attempting controlled demolition of the possibly biggest financial bubble in the history of the world. And Brazil? If anything, it’s falling even faster off its pedestal than the other three nations.
84% of JPMorgan’s 10-year long-term mutual fund AUM is ranked in the top two quartiles, while 70% and 81% of JPM US equity mutual funds have outperformed their benchmark on a 1- and 3-year timeframe, respectively according to an investor presentation. In last year’s presentation, the bank cited Morningstar and Lipper (who know a thing or two about calculating mutual fund returns) as sources. The only problem is that it later turned out that Morningstar and Lipper had no idea how JPM calculated the returns.
In 2002, Benjamin Netanyahu already harbored some extremely strong convictions on how to deal with both Iran and Iraq - "If you take out Saddam’s Regime, I guarantee you, that it will have enormous positive reverberations on the region." Fast forward nearly thirteen years, and rather than recognizing that this man’s plan in Iraq only led to death, chaos, and the emergence of ISIS, Congress felt the need to ask him for advice once again. Since as we all know, being wrong in America doesn’t lead to consequences, it leads to promotions.