The only asset class that made any sense in today's quad-witching was the 10 Year, whose yield did precisely what it should do in a world in which the Fed slashed the economic outlook 2 days ago: it tumbled. Everything else was just algorithmic momentum ignition, stop hunts, and the other usual quad witching thriller which we said would happen first thing this morning.
In the aftermath of the ECB's QE announcement one topic has received far less attention than it should: the unexpected collapse of risk-sharing across the Eurosystem as a precursor to QE. This is what prompted "gold-expert" Willem Buiter of Citigroup to pen an analysis titled "The Euro Area: Monetary Union or System of Currency Boards", in which he answers two simple yet suddenly very critical for the Eurozone questions: which "currency boards", aka national central banks, are suddenly most at risk of going insolvent, and should the worst case scenario take place, and one or more NCBs go insolvent what happens then?
CCC-rated Ukraine is preparing to issue more debt, debt with a Aa+/AAA rating because it will come with the explicit guarantee of the United States of America. In other words, after raiding Greek pensions with the IMF's blessing, the Kiev puppet government is now going after the "full faith and credit" of the US... backed by its taxpayers. In yet other words, the latest Ukraine "bailout" is courtesy of you, dear US taxpaying reader.
When The World's Reserve Currency Flash Crashed: "I Haven’t Seen Anything Like It Since The Financial Crisis’Submitted by Tyler Durden on 03/20/2015 14:23 -0400
On Wednesday afternoon, just after the close of the market, the US Dollar, the world's reserve currency flash crashed. “I haven’t seen anything like it since the financial crisis,” said Paul Lambert, head of currency at Insight Investment, which manages $480 billion of assets. For a few minutes on Wednesday, the lack of dollar buyers caused a short-term freeze in electronic trading platforms, according to a New York-based trader at a major currency-dealing bank. “There was a lot of shouting on the desk, a lot of nervousness,” the trader said.
The rig collapse continues, with "only" 1,069 rigs currently operating, down 5.0% from last week's 1,125, and the lowest since March 2011. The hope (because lately that's all there is) is that since oil rigs are plunging at an annual pace last seen 1986, that sooner or later production will be mothballed. However, as the blue line in the chart below shows, quite the contrary is happening as plummeting oil rigs simply means even more record production.
Does it get any funnier than this? Well, arguably, we’ve already seen an even funnier episode from these financial “Wile E. Coyotes”. But let’s begin with a look at the most recent “botched operation” by the psychopaths of the One Bank.
Quad-witching days are volatile on normal days, so in an environment of virtually zero liquidity, in which the market careens from one extreme to another simply based on whether the Fed utters one single word, in which volatility across asset classes is soaring, and in which it is all about igniting algo momentum, today's quadruple withicng should be memorable, which is good since there is virtually no macro data today to speak of.
"The GPIF in October slashed its targeted holdings of low-yielding government bonds and doubled its target for stocks, as part of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's plan to boost the economy and promote risk-taking," Bloomberg notes, marking a shift into risk assets by the country's pension funds.
"Some highly respected market commentators, most recently Ray Dalio from Bridgewater, have raised the possibility that Fed rate hikes risk a 1937-like slump. It is indeed a dilemma but likely already too late to avert another crisis.... In that respect it is probably too late already. We believe that the die is now cast, the cake is baked and coming out of the oven, and the financially fattened goose is well and truly cooked!"
The BoJ may now run into the same inconvenience in its efforts to control the stock market that it encountered on the way to monopolizing the JGB market: there’s only so much out there to buy. "BOJ held 3.85t yen ($32.0b) of ETFs at end-2014 and plans to boost these holdings by 3t yen per year; at this pace, the current market value of 11.5t yen in ETFs would be entirely bought by BOJ by end-2017," Bloomberg notes.
Janet’s Yellen’s pettifogging today about her patient lack of impatience was downright pathetic. Her verbal hair-splitting is starting to make medieval ritual incantations sound coherent by comparison. But unlike the financial media’s dopey dithering about “dot plots”, Yellen at least has something to hide behind all the gibberish. Namely, she and her merry band of money printers are becoming more petrified each month that they will trigger a thundering Wall Street hissy fit if they move to “normalize” interest rates - even as they are slowly beginning to realize that continuance of ZIRP much longer will only intensify the market’s addiction to rampant speculation, free money carry trades and the associated risks to financial stability.
Debt saturation and debt fatigue = diminishing returns on central bank tricks. The diminishing returns manifest in three ways: the gains from each round of central-bank tricks are declining, the periods of stability following the latest “save” are shrinking and the amplitude of each episode of debt crisis is expanding.
That the unraveling is speeding up is not just perception - it’s reality.
The oil jobs nightmare is in fact spreading like a cancer. Last year there was much banter from the Wall Street shysters and Bakkan shale oil experts about the true breakeven price for shale oil not being $80 (which is the truth) but actually being as low as $58 a barrel. They were spreading this lie in order to keep idiot investors buying the stocks and bonds of these fly by night shale oil companies. Well, we are now six months further down the line and Bakkan shale oil this morning is selling for $37 per barrel.