Bond

Can QE Prop Up Asset Prices Forever?

It’s not just voters who buy into popular myths. Many investors do too. Few have wider appeal than the myth that central banks can create economic growth via the printing press.

OPEC's Crude Bloodbath Sends 10 Year To 2.20%, Energy Companies Tumble

The biggest, and most market-moving, event overnight continues to be yesterday's shocking OPEC announcement, which is still reverberating across the energy space as markets largely ignore European and Japanese inflation data which is once again sliding back dangerously fast, or Italian unemployment which rose more than expected, and joined France in hitting a new record high. As a result European shares remain lower, close to intraday lows, with the oil & gas and industrials sectors underperforming and telco and travel outperforming as oil continues its decline. EU inflation slowed in Nov. to 0.3%. Italian and Swedish markets are the worst-performing larger bourses, Spanish the best. The euro is weaker against the dollar. And while US equity futures are largely unchanged even as, or perhaps because, the world is screaming economic slowdown, bonds are finally getting the message with U.S. 10yr bond yields falling to only 2.20% as Japanese yields also decline.

"There Will Be Blood": Petrodollar Death Means A Liquidity And Oil-Exporting Crisis On Deck

Recently we posted the following article commenting on the impact of USD appreciation and dollar circulation among oil exporters, as well as how the collapsing price of oil is set to reverberate across the entire oil-exporting world, where sticky high oil prices were a key reason for social stability. Following today's shocking OPEC announcement and the epic collapse in crude prices, it is time to repost it now that everyone is desperate to become a bear market oil expert, if only on Twitter...

Stuck In Reverse And Descending Into Trauma

While the media continue to just about exclusively paint a picture of recovery and an improving economy, certainly in the US – Europe and Japan it’s harder to get away with that rosy image -, in ordinary people’s reality a completely different picture is being painted in sweat, blood, agony and despair. Whatever part of the recovery mirage may have a grain of reality in it, it is paid for by something being taken away from people leading real lives.

Oil Prices Collapse After OPEC Keeps Oil Production Unchanged - Live Conference Feed

But, but, but... all the clever talking heads said they wil have to cut...

*OPEC KEEPS OIL PRODUCTION TARGET UNCHANGED AT 30M B/D: DELEGATE

WTI ($70 handle) and Brent Crude (under $75 for first time sicne Sept 2010) are collapsing... as will US Shale oil company stocks and bonds (and thus all of high yield credit) tomorrow. The Saudis are "very happy" with the decision, Venzuela 'stormed out, red faced, furious.' Commentary from various OPEC members appears focused on the need for non-OPEC (cough US Shale cough) nations to "share the burden" and cut production (just as the Saudis warned yesterday).

Oil Slumps To 4 Year Low Ahead Of OPEC, Eurozone Yields New Record Lows: Summary Of Overnight Events

While the US takes the day off after another near-record low volume surge to a new all time high in the S&P500, a level which is now just 125 points away from Goldman's year end target for 2016, the rest of the world will be patiently awaiting to see if oil's next step, as a result of today's OPEC meeting will be to $60 or to $100. For now at least the answer is the former (see more here from the WSJ), with Brent recently touching a fresh 4 year low in the mid-$75s, as WTI doesn't fare much better and was down 2% at last check to $72.20 after touching a low of $71.89. It appears the prepared remarks by the OPEC president to the 166th conference have not eased fears that despite all the rhetoric OPEC will be unable to get all sides on the same story, even though the speech notes "ample supply, moderate demand and warns that "if falling price trend continues, “long-term sustainability of capacity expansion plans and investment projects may be put at risk."

Stimulate This! Thoughts On Intergenerational Fairness

Since this is the season for giving thanks in the US, we might give some consideration to the unsung heroes who have been underwriting a big chunk of our economic recovery of late. Actually, we literally owe our future to them - in more ways than one. Since there are no free lunches in economics (that we all must agree on), somebody has to pay for this. And it should be obvious by now who that will be: our children and grandchildren (and at this rate, probably their children and grandchildren too).

3 Things Worth Thinking About

"The time to liquidate a given position is now seven times as long as in 2008, reflecting much smaller trade sizes in fixed income markets. In part the current liquidity illusion is a product of the risk asymmetries implied by the zero lower bound on interest rates, excess reserves in the system, and perceived central bank reaction functions. However, interest rates in advanced economies won’t remain this low forever. Once the process of normalization begins, or perhaps if market perceptions shift, and it is expected to begin, a re-pricing can be expected. The orderliness of that transition is an open question."

For The World's Largest Rig Operator, The "Recovery" Is Now Worse Than The Post-Lehman Crash

The last time the world's largest oil and gas drill operator, Seadrill, halted its dividend payment was in 2009, shortly after Lehman had filed and the world was engulfed in a massive depression. Retrospectively, this made sense: the company was struggling not only with depressionary oil prices, but with a legacy epic debt load as can be seen on the chart below. So the fact that the stock of Seadrill collapsed by 20% today following a shocking overnight announcement that it had once again halted its dividend despite what is a far lower debt load than last time, indicates that when it comes to energy companies, the current global economic "recovery" - if one believes the rigged US stock market - is actually worse than the Lehman collapse.

Most Indirect Bidders For 7 Year Paper Since US Downgrade Means Lowest Yield In Over A Year

After describing this week's prior two bond auctions as "blistering" and "scorching", we were concerned we would run out of hyperbolic adjectives to describe today's last for the week 7 year auction. As it turns out, our concerns were unfounded, because moments ago the Treasury announced it sold $29 billion in 7 Year paper at a 1.96% yield, a small 0.4 bps tail to the When Issued in an auction that was just modestly weaker than the prior two, relatively speaking, even if in absolute terms the high yield, down from 2.02% last month, was still the lowest since October 2013, and as can be seen on the chart below, is continuing to drop. The Bid to Cover also showed a substantial pick up in interest, jumping to 2.635, the highest since February, and well above the 2.54 TTM average.

"Failed" Bund Auction At Record Low Yield And All Other Key Overnight Events

While there has been no global economic outlook cut today, or no further pre-revision hints of "decoupling" by the appartchiks at the US Bureau of Economic Analysis,  both European and US equities are pointing at a higher open, because - you guessed it - there were more "suggestions" of "imminent" QE by a central bank, in this case it was again ECB's Constancio dropping further hints over a potential ECB QE programme, something the ECB has become the undisputed world champion in. The constant ECB jawboning, and relentless central bank interventions over the past 6 years, led to this:

  • GERMANY SELLS 10-YEAR BUNDS AT RECORD-LOW YIELD OF 0.74%

The punchline: this was another technically "failed" auction as it was uncovered, the 10th of the year, as there was not enough investor demand at this low yield, and so the Buba had to retain a whopping 18.8% - the most since May - with just €3.250Bn of the €4Bn target sold, after receiving €3.67Bn in bids.

The Swiss Referendum On Gold: What's Missing From The Debate

A “YES” vote for the gold referendum is a first step towards redressing the imbalance that exists between the SNB and the people of Switzerland. A “YES” vote will begin a process to restore restraint, accountability, and transparency on an institution that took advantage of the removal of its previous gold holding constraint already once before to explode its balance sheet, reinvent itself as a hedge fund, and significantly expand into areas of policy far beyond its original remit. Central banks should be lenders of last resort and systemic regulators. In a direct democracy, decisions regarding taxation, membership in trade / political unions, and the autonomy of the national currency should be determined by popular vote not decreed or circumvented by central bank edict.

Another Keynesian Debt Boondoggle: How Brussels Plans To Turn $26 Billion Into $390 Billion

Long ago, Keynes himself pointed out, perhaps inadvertently, the profound difference between GDP and wealth. If we merely want a higher GDP print - which measures spending, not wealth - governments should handout spoons so that millions of citizens can dig holes and millions more refill them. It would appear that the statesmen of Brussels are fixing to try the modern day equivalent of just that.

Scorching Demand For 5 Year Treasurys: Indirect Bid Highest On Record

If yesterday's 2 Year stopping through auction was best described as "blistering", then today's 5 Year, which again stopped through the When Issued 1.614% by a whopping 1.9 bps, was nothing short of a scorcher. Oddly enough, in a time when demand considerations should be sparking a lack of primary market demand for paper, investors just couldn't get enough collateral, and as a result while the Dealer bid was quite possibly a record low 25.1%, it was the Indirects that stunned with their aggressive bid, taking down a record 65% of the auction, leaving just under 10% for Direct bidders. Finally, the Bid to Cover left little to the imagination: soaring from last month's paltry 2.36, it jumped to 2.91, the highest print since March. Needless to say the entire curve buckled tighter on the news, with the yield on the 10 Year printing at a day's low of only 2.279% as once again all the "economic recovery" shorts are left scrambling.