The [growing deficits of the past 50 years] suggest that we’ve never been in a predicament comparable to today. Essentially, the world’s developed countries are following the same path that’s failed, time and again, in chronically insolvent nations of the developing world. Look at it this way: the chart shows that we’ve turned the economic development process inside out. Ideally, advanced economies would stick to the disciplined financial practices that helped make them strong between the early-19th and mid-20th centuries, while emerging economies would “catch up” by building similar track records. Instead, advanced economies are catching down and threatening to throw the entire world into the kind of recurring crisis mode to which you’re accustomed if you live in, say, Buenos Aires.
If yesterday's 2 Year auction was largely blah, today's issuance of $15 billion in 5 year bonds can only be described as blistering. While the high yield of 1.53% was strong enough to stop through the 1.538% When Issued, and the lowest since November's 1.34%, it was the Bid to Cover that showed just how much demand there was for paper, as 2.98 dollars in tendered bids were waiting for every dollar of allocation: this was the highest Bid to Cover since September 2012 and well above the 2.62 TTM average. This outlier print snapped the recent trend of declining BTCs and showed that when it comes to Bill Gross once favorite spot on the curve, there is no lack of demand, especially from foreigners, who took down 50.7% of the allotment, the highest since July and solidly above the 44.5% average. On the other hand, Directs who lately are hardly the best friends of the Dealer community, took down only 9.2%, the lowest also since July, leaving 40.2% for the dealers.
We haven't seen the once ubiquitous morning drubbing of precious metals for a while but this morning gold (and more so silver) have been hammered. US equities' overnight quiet meltup has given way as AUDJPY is once again fully in charge. Emerging market FX is tumbling (Turkish Lira as well as Ukraine). Treasuries are rallying once again as the USD soars on the back of EUR weakness. It appears Russia's actions (Readiness tests) this morning are prompting a flight to USD and bond safety for now (and as the turmoil picked gold has stopped dropping).
"There is a big flight to quality," warns one trader as the spread between interest rate swaps (implicitly bank risk) and government bonds soared to a record high. This "crisis gauge" flashing red is also followed by 3 month SHIBOR (short-dated interbank lending rates) surging to an 8-month high. China's CDS have jumped 30bps since the Fed taper and as Bloomberg reports that billionaire investors like George Soros and Bill Gross have drawn uncomfortable parallels between the situation in China now and the US before 2008 (when this crisis gauge was key in spotting the carnage to come). Simply put, the banks don't trust each other...
For the second night in a row, China, and specifically its currency rate which saw the Yuan weaken once more, preoccupied investors - and certainly those who had bet on endless strenghtening of the Chinese currency - however this time it appeared more "priced in, and after trading as low as 2000, the SHCOMP managed to close modestly green, which however is more than can be said about the Nikkei which ended the session down 0.5%. Still, the USDJPY was firmly supported by the 102.00 "fundamental" fair value barrier and as a result equity futures, which had to reallign from tracking the AUDUSD to the old faithful Yen carry, have been propped up once more and are set to open at all time highs. If equities fail to breach the record barrier for the third time in a row and a selloff ensues after the open in deja vu trading, it will be time to watch out below if only purely for technical reasons.
Chinese non-financial companies held total outstanding bank borrowing and bond debt of about $12 trillion at the end of last year - equal to over 120 percent of GDP - according to Standard & Poor's estimates.
Bill Gross, by his own admission, is a demanding boss; but as the WSJ reports, one day last June (amid the bond sell-off), things went a little turbo (leading to Mohamed El-Erian's recent resignation):
Gross: "I have a 41-year track record of investing excellence... What do you have?"
El-Erian: "I'm tired of cleaning up your shit."
While careful to deny that El-Erian's departure had anything to do with 'friction' although even Mr.Gross admits he can be difficult to work with,"sometimes people will say 'Gross is too challenging,' and maybe so. I would say if you think I'm challenging now, you should have seen me 20 years ago."
Today's auction of $32 billion in near-cash equivalent 2 Year paper was hardly remarkable. The yield was a somnolent 0.34%, pricing through the 0.343% When Issued courtesy of a strong bid in bonds all day (ignoring the ongoing idiocy of the stock market), below last month's 0.38% and just modestly above the 0.32% average, which means that despite all the posturing, few are actually expecting the Fed to do much to short-end rates in the next two years. The Bid to Cover did post a bounce to 3.605, above last month's 3.30, and above the trailing 12 month average which was also 3.30. Perhaps the only thing of note was that the Indirect bid jumped from 28.5% to 34.3%, the highest since June's 35.83% and well above the 24.7% average, and with Directs taking down 19.3%, it meant that Dealers were stuck with just 46.4%, below the 52.3% 12MMA and the lowest since October.
Wall Street Trader: "My Lying Is Part Of Making Deals Although I Generally Consider Myself A Truthful Person"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 02/25/2014 11:13 -0500
The story of former Jefferies MBS trader Jesse Litvak, who is currently on trial in New Haven federal court accused of defrauding investors of $2 million by lying on trades of mortgage-backed securities, is well known to regular readers: it was summarized previously in "We Are Doneski Gorgeous!" - How Bond Trading On Wall Street Really Works. In that article we showed, more than just an isolated case of alleged fraud, that when it comes to OTC trades which do not transact on an exchange but instead take place over the phone between a salesman and a buyer, it is all a game of lies, fraud and misinformation... however one which both it is a game of lies, fraud and misinformation. Today, Mr. Litvak confirmed as much when he said, quoting Bloomberg, "My lying is part” of making deals, he said, “although I generally consider myself a truthful person."
This morning's US equity "market" behavior is 'volatile' to say the least and of course all human-driven??! A JPY-pump-driven surge into day-session open suckered just enough in to leave vaccuum and when someone pulled the rug from under the JPY shorts right at the open (bashing USDJPY back down to the all critical 102.00 level) stocks tanked... AUDJPy stabilized and stocks surged back to it and are now treading water around VWAP. While all this was occurring bond yields went only one way - down; and the USD Index jumped notably. Given the all-time-highs, conviction in stocks seems anything but strong.
Russian bonds had rallied for 2 days on the heels of the ouster of Yanukovych and a hope-fueled strategy (supported by Goldman's buy-buy-buy recommendation) that Europe or the IMF would save the day and fund them back to solvency. However, Russian deputy finance minister Storchak has a different perspective...
*UKRAINE FACES HIGH PROBABILITY OF DEFAULT: RUSSIA'S STORCHAK
And that has sent 3-month Ukraine bond prices tumbling once again...
The last 7 days have seen the unstoppable 'sure-thing' one-way bet of the decade appreciation trend of the Chinese Yuan reverse. In fact, the 0.95% sell-off is the largest since 1994 (bigger than the post-Lehman move) suggesting there is clear evidence that the PBOC is intervening. The fact that this is occurring with relatively stable liquidity rates (short-term repo remains low) further strengthens the case that China just entered the currency wars per se as SocGen notes, intending to discourage arbitrage inflows. For the Chinese authorities, who do not care about the level of their stock market (since ownership is so low), and specifically want to tame a real-estate bubble, this intentional weakening is clearly aimed at trade - exports (and maintaining growth) as they transition through their reforms. The question is, what happens when the sure-thing carry-trade goes away?
- Turkish PM says tapes of talk with son a fabrication (Reuters) but opposition confirms authenticity, and national TV carriers cut parliament when played live
- Inside the Showdown Atop Pimco, the World's Biggest Bond Firm (WSJ)
- Ex-Jefferies Trader’s Customers Say Lies Common Tactic (BBG)
- Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox disappears in blow to virtual currency (Reuters)
- The messenger mania is spreading: SoftBank Said to Seek Stake in Naver’s Line Messaging Unit (BBG)
- Ukraine Replaces Central Bank Head (BBG)
- Yup, an actual headline: Harsh weather tests optimism over U.S. economy (Reuters)
- Hiring of Law Grads Improves for Some (BBG)
- Easy Currency Bet Gets Harder as the Chinese Yuan Tumbles (WSJ)
- In Ukraine turbulence, a lad from Lviv becomes the toast of Kiev (Reuters)
All eyes were on China overnight, where first the PBOC drained a quite substantial CNY 100 billion in liquidity via 14 day repos in the month following the biggest credit injection on record, pushing those worried about China's credit schizophrenia to the edge, and then things got even more bizarre when in an act of clear PBOC intervention, the CNY dropped to the lowest since August 2013 as concerns about the global carry trade's impact on China (as noted here previously) start to reverberate. We will have more to say about China's Yuan intervention, but what should be noted is that the Shanghai Composite has tumbled nearly 10% in the past week, and was down another 2% overnight and is once again just barely above 2000, a level it can't seem to get away from for years (which is fine: recall that the real bubble in China is not the stock but the housing market). Chinese property stocks dropped to 8-month lows as concern continues about bank's withdrawing some liquidity for the asset class.The USDJPY drifted along and after rising to a resistance level of about 102.600 has since slide just shy of its 102.20 support area which means US equity futures are now in the red, and concerns that the S&P 500 may not close at a new record high are start to worry the technicians.
US equities tagged new highs early in the day-session sparked by USDJPY ignition and rotating to support from AUDJPY as stops were run and exuberance over shitty data reigned. "Most shorted" stocks dramatically outperformed early on providing the sacrifice required but while bond yields rose from their open last night, they end the day practically unchanged (10Y +1bps); The USD rallied into the open but EUR and AUD strength cracked it back to practically unchanged by the close. Copper flailed (on slowing China construction fears) but oil, silver, and gold all rallied around 1% on the day (though rolled over in the afternoon). VIX dropped but held 14% and remains notably divergent. Credit rallied but remains a laggard compared to equity exuberance. Stocks tanked into the close; catching down to VIX, credit, and USDJPY - what a "market" with the S&P losing its highs and closing red for 2014 once again.