The US dollar's run stopped last week, but not before new highs were recorded against the euro, sterling, and the yen. By the end of the week, the euro had risen 1.4%, sterling 0.9%, and the yen had risen as much as the two of them put together. It was the biggest weekly gain for the yen in 16-months.
There is one pressing question that international investors will be mulling this weekend: How far and how long is the dollar's correction?
"Anything that becomes a mania -- it ends badly," warns one bond manager, reflecting on the $550 billion of new bonds and loans issued by energy producers since 2010, "and this is a mania." As Bloomberg quite eloquently notes, the danger of stimulus-induced bubbles is starting to play out in the market for energy-company debt - as HY energy spreads near 1000bps - all thanks to the mal-investment boom sparked by artificially low rates manufactured by The Fed. "It's been super cheap," notes one credit analyst. That is over!! As oil & gas companies are “virtually shut out of the market" and will have to "rely on a combination of asset sales" and their credit lines. Welcome to the boom-induced bust...
This weekend's reading list is a collection of articles discussing the good, the bad and the ugly of the dive in crude oil prices.
"If it was a free market and central banks were not allowed to intervene anymore then we would be very bearish as the global financial system is still extremely fragile and not sustainable."
The entire bond complex has come under pressure here with 2Y through 30Y all seeing yields jerk lower. 10Y and 30Y yields are back at the flash-crash Bullard Lows of Oct 16th... as yet another squeeze of record Treasury Shorts blows the minds of every talking head on CNBC...
After a brief respite overnight, the selling of crude oil and buying of US Treasuries has resumed in the early US session.WTI is comfortably back below the $59 level and rapidly looking to test the $57 handle. Treasury yields are down 3-5bps across the complex with 30Y as low as 2.76% and 10Y 2.10%. With bond yields and crude 'oddly' correlated to the collapse in global GDP expectations (and stocks anti-correlated in their "just wait til next year" delerium), we wonder how badly this will all end.
Overnight the bank with the $58 trillion in derivative exposure issued a note "From GRecovery to GRelapse" which is quite absent on the usual optimism, cheerfulness and happy-ending we have grown to expect from the bank whose former employee is in charge of the European printing press. Here is the punchline: "In the event of a severe Greek government clash with international lenders, interruption of liquidity provision to Greek banks by the ECB could potentially even lead to a Cyprus-style prolonged “bank holiday”. And market fears for potential Euro-exit risks could rise at that point." Dear Greeks, you have been warned, and "don't vote wrong" as EU's Juncker urges the Greeks.
Anyone who was hoping the market would rebound on last-minute news that the US government has gotten funding for another 9 months, will be disappointed this morning, when futures are finally starting to notice the relentless decline in crude, and with Brent down another 1% as of this writing following yet another cut in the forecast of Global oil demand by the IEA (the 4th in the last 5 months) and with Chinese industrial production also missing estimates (recall that the Chinese slow-motion hard landing has been said by many to be the primary catalyst for the crude collapse) which however pushed Chinese stocks higher on hopes of even more stimulus, the S&P is trading lower by some 14 points, the 10 Year is in the red zone at 2.12%, and the USDJPY is close to session lows. In short: Kevin Henry's "ETF" desk at the NY Fed will have its work cut out to generate one of the now traditional pre-weekend feel good, boost confidence stock market ramps.
Despite a 100bps rate hike this morning, Russia's Ruble has slipped lower and now trades 55.47 to the USD - a new record low. The initial surge in the Ruble was quickly sold back as the hike, while in line with surveyed expectations, was below FRA-market-implied levels of 200bps. Goldman believes this will not slow the decline and calls for 'other tools' like unsterlized intervention. Russian default risk continues to rise (though still low) back to the highest since April 2009.
Sometimes I wish I could just passively accept what my government monarchs and their mainstream media mouthpieces feed me on a daily basis. Why do I have to question everything I’m told? Life would be much simpler and I could concentrate on more important things like the size of Kim Kardashian’s ass... The willfully ignorant masses, dumbed down by government education, lured into obesity by corporate toxic packaged sludge disguised as food products, manipulated, controlled and molded by an unseen governing class of rich men, and kept docile through never ending corporate media propaganda, are nothing but pawns to the arrogant sociopathic pricks pulling the wires in this corporate fascist empire of debt.
The central banks are now out of dry powder - impaled on the zero-bound. That means any resort to a massive new round of money printing can not be disguised as an effort to “stimulate” the macro-economy by temporarily driving interest rates to “extraordinarily” low levels. They are already there. Instead, a Bernanke style balance sheet explosion like that which stopped the financial meltdown in the fall and winter of 2008-2009 will be seen for exactly what it is—-an exercise in pure monetary desperation and quackery. So duck and cover. This storm could be a monster.
The so-called economic recovery that America has experienced in recent years is "unfair" and "distorted" according to Elliott Management's Paul Singer. Speaking at The DealBook Conference in New York, Singer warned that the recent 'great' jobs data is "part of the distrortion" that he has so vociferously ascribed (having previously noted that he "does not think the current optimism is warranted.") But when asked if the Fed should be blamed for income inequality in America, Singer exclaimed "Yes, they are the enablers."
One of our old rules of trading is that whenever a major asset class, index, or other benchmark has a sudden, rapid move in price, something blows up. Sky high. That’s because people get used to regimes. They get used to a certain state of affairs with a lack of volatility. They become complacent. Maybe they stop hedging. Maybe they allow themselves to have unbounded downside risk. Maybe they start gambling. So what's going to blow up?