The centrally-planned house of cards is finally starting to shake uncontrollably.
"Following the RMB devaluation some weeks ago, markets have been erratic, fearful that the initial move was the beginning of a larger devaluation cycle that could disrupt global markets. Given how worried markets have been about China, a better-than-expected reserves number holds the potential for risk assets to rally as devaluation fears abate."
Like pretty much everything in the modern U.S. economy, wealthy and connected people fleecing taxpayers in order to earn even greater piles of money is also the business model when it comes to sports stadiums. Many cities have tried to make voter approval mandatory before these building boondoggles get started, but in almost all cases these efforts are thwarted by a powerful coalition of businessmen and corrupt politicians. Sound familiar? Yep, it a microcosm for pretty much everything else in America these days.
Early last month, we noted the irony inherent in the fact that Saudi Arabia, whose effort to bankrupt the US shale space has been complicated by the Fed's ZIRP, was set to opportunistically tap the debt market in an effort to offset a painful petrodollar reserve burn. As Bloomberg reports, Qatar is now doing the same, "raising money from local banks as the slump in oil prices buffets the finances of the Middle East’s largest oil and gas exporters."
"What happens in any bull asset bubble such as what we've seen is you run out of buyers. It's hard to get deals done if the bottom third can't get a mortgage."
Moments ago, US equity futures tumbled to their lowest level in the overnight session, down 22 points or 1.1% to 1924, following both Europe (Eurostoxx 600 -1.8%, giving up more than half of yesterday's gains, led by the banking sector) and Japan (Nikkei -2.2%), and pretty much across the board as DM bonds are bid, EM assets are all weaker, oil and commodities are lower in what is shaping up to be another EM driven "risk off" day. Only this time one can't blame the usual scapegoat China whose market is shut for the long weekend.
There is no doubt that the Chinese economy is in a material economic slowdown. Policy officials’ aggressive actions and scare tactics against equity short sellers could continue to cause capital flight. However, this does not mean that China is going to sell large quantities of Treasuries. There is too much co-dependency between the US consumer and Chinese exporter. Destabilizing the US Treasury market with large sales would be tantamount to shooting themselves in the foot.
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"... we estimate that only about half (or slightly more than half) of total technical selling was completed to-date (mostly completed by VT funds, half by CTAs, and a smaller fraction by RPs). We estimate that a further ~$100bn of selling remains to be completed over the next 1-3 weeks. As a result, we expect elevated volatility and downside price risk to persist."
Confused why the blistering rally off the open following Draghi's uber-dovish commentary has completely faded? The following note from BMO's Mark Steele should explain it.
The US economy was not “decoupled” in the slightest during the expansion of the great global monetary boom that has now crested. Nor will it uncouple during the deflationary bust that must necessarily ensue. The ultimate worldwide hit to US exports is evident in the 20% drop in shipments to Brazil, and that’s just for starters because its economic depression is just getting underway. Likewise, the panicked flight of hot dollars from Brazil now besetting the global financial markets is only indicative of the turmoil to come as the massive “dollar short” unwinds on a global basis. So this is not a retest. We are in the midst of an unprecedented global deflation. A real live bear market is once again at hand.
By monetizing more than the entire Japanese budget deficit, the BOJ is running of out willing sellers. Without those, Japan's QE, just like that of the ECB, will grind to a halt. Better yet, this creates a vicious loop, because with every passing month, the inevitable D-Day when the BOJ has no more TSYs on the offer gets closer, which in turn will force those who bought stocks to sell in anticipation of the end of QE, and to seek the safety of bonds themsleves, in effect precipitating the next inevitable Japanese stock market crash.
All eyes will be on Mario Draghi on Thursday as expectations for something big from the former Goldmanite have grown over the past two weeks. More specifically, some now think the odds of QE expansion have increased considerably in light of collapsing eurozone inflation expectations, the incipient threat of some $1 trillion in QE-offsetting EM FX reserve draw downs, turmoil in China's financial markets, heightened volatility across the globe, and chaos in emerging markets from LatAm to AsiaPac.