Shanghai Gold Exchange volume climbed to a record today as prices declined incentivizing value driven Chinese buyers as Chinese stocks crashed 7.4%. Chinese stocks have had the biggest two-week loss in more than 18 years and are close to entering a bear market after extending losses from their June 12 peak to 19 percent in less than three weeks.
Following yesterday's furious market drop in Chinese stocks, just before the overnight open, Morgan Stanley came out with a much distributed report urging investors "Not to buy this dip", and so they didn't. As a result, the Shanghai Composite imploded, at one point trading down 8% while the Chinext and Shenzhen markets crashed even more. This was the single biggest Shanghai Composite one-day drop since 2007, and with a close at 4192.87 the SHCOMP is now on the verge of a bear market, down 19% from its June 12 highs. China's second largest market, Shenzhen, is now officially in a bear market.
For a glimpse of what happens next, look no further than Sweden.
With levels of investors complacency at extremely high levels, it is a currently "fact" that little can go wrong. There is no recession in sight; the earnings decline was all primarily related to energy companies and most importantly, global Central Banks are continuing to support the financial markets. Of course, maybe it is the last point that should be questioned. If the economy is doing so well, then why are Central Banks still needing to intervene to support the growth? This is equivalent of saying the "the patient is cured, as long as we don't take him off of life support."
“Any of these events would likely trigger asset price volatility [and] attempts by institutional investors to redeem illiquid corporate bonds in crisis circumstances would amplify volatility.”
- This headline needs updating: Creditors set bailout ultimatum for defiant Greeks (Reuters)
- Greece’s Fragile Banks Leave Alexis Tsipras Few Options in Bailout Talks (WSJ)
- Dueling Greece Plans Presented as Ministers Race for Aid Deal (BBG)
- Icahn Cashes In His Netflix Chips (WSJ)
- Meet the Health-Law Holdouts: Americans Who Prefer to Go Uninsured (WSJ)
- ECB holds Athens lifeline unchanged as Bundesbank protests (Reuters)
- Supreme Court Guide: Six Big Decisions Remain (WSJ)
- The Rise of the Compliance Guru—and Banker Ire (BBG)
Chaos reigns, with contradictory headlines pushing and pulling futures in any one direction, only for the next headline to undo the previous one. And only headline scanning frontrunning algos have any chance of trading any of this...
"Of the subprime vehicle loans bundled into securities, 73 percent now exceed five years, up from 64 percent during the first three months of 2014. 'Because cars depreciate quickly, a borrower is typically upside down or underwater toward the end of a long loan term.' 'The risk is that you extend a loan that a borrower cannot afford over its term schedule. Inching out to 75 and 84 months, I don’t think that has been tested yet.'"
“There are three things that matter in the bond market these days: liquidity, liquidity and liquidity. When the unwind comes, like we’ve seen in the past few months, it comes abruptly and sharply as the exit door is tiny"...
- We need a free market in currencies, not bail-ins and a war on cash and gold - People blindly trust “experts” so welcome that some of them giving prudent advice regarding diversification - Currencies of creditor nations – Norway, Switzerland, Singapore, Hong Kong will outperform in long term
And it started off all so well: the market, blissfully ignoring what we wrote just yesterday in Why The IMF Will Reject The Latest Greek Proposal In Just Two Numbers, was in full blown levitation mode overnight when it sent Japanese stocks to their highest close since 1996 (pre dot com) and with the Chinese central bank doing its best to keep levitating local stocks away from the abyss, pushing the SHCOMP up another 2.5%. Euro Stoxx 50 went from flat to down 1% and is bouncing. As BBG's Richard Breslow adds, predictably, the market is taking this as a ploy, not an end game. Of course, this is precisely the "Bear Stearns is fine" conventional wisdom that Cramer was spewing days before Bear failed because nobody could fathom how anyone can conceive of a worst case scenario. Only it isn't nobody: we reported before of a Goldman's "Conspiracy Theory" Stunner: A Greek Default Is Precisely What The ECB Wants.
While China is rather proud of the fact that it hasn't yet implemented outright QE, Beijing has now put in place a bewildering hodge-podge of hastily construed easing measures that can't seem to get out of their own way.
The 2008 Crisis was a stock and investment bank crisis. But it was not THE Crisis.
The problem for investors is that inorganic measures to boost profitability, like cost-cutting, wage suppression, layoffs, and stock buybacks, are finite in nature. Eventually, these options are exhausted. There are only so many employees that can be terminated, wages can only be suppressed for so long, and there is a finite number of shares that can ultimately be repurchased from shareholders. The question that investors need to be asking is what happens when companies inevitabilty reach "the end of road." Importantly, with the Fed determined to begin hiking interest rates, despite weak economic data, the end may be nearer than most are currently expecting.