TLDR: Bitcoin XT proposes a premature fix to a potential problem; let's first wait and see how market forces react
When paying a premium for equities, or any asset for that matter, one runs the serious risk of capital impairment. Worse, most professional investment managers falling prey to the bullish sentiment currently surrounding this period of extreme valuations will likely not live up to their overriding fiduciary duty – the preservation of wealth. Following the herd may have its benefits at times, but following the herd over a cliff never ends well. As Seth Klarman warned. “Risk is not inherent in an investment; it is always relative to the price paid”
Perhaps the most important price point in the entire equity market was broken today... The odds of the post-2009 bull market continuing unimpeded are now significantly reduced.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng index is now down over 21% from the highs, having fallen over 9% in the last week, and Taiwan's TAIEX is down over 20% from April highs, joining Chinese stocks, both joining Chinese stocks in official bear markets. Japanese markets are down over 6% in the last few days (which Amari simply brushes off, blaming the global selloff stemming from China), a JGB trading volumes slump to a record low. Tensions in Korea are not helping. With all eyes on China's flash PMI (though why we are not sure since PBOC is already full liquidity-tard with CNY350bn this week alone), The PBOC fixed Yuan at 6.3864, up from yesterday's biggest strengthening in 3 months to 6.3915 (the biggest 2 day strengthening since April), and margin debt fell for the 3rd day. Gold is surging in the Asia session, near $1160.
News That Matters...
Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and JP Morgan aren't satisfied with disparate, disorganized "reference data" which is why they're teaming up on an initiative called "SPReD". As WSJ reports, "using consistent data allows the banks to form accurate pricing for trades," and we all know what can happen when Wall Street gets together to "standardize" a reference point on which trades are based.
Update: GREEK PM TO HAND IN RESIGNATION TO PRESIDENT LATER ON THURSDAY -GOVT OFFICIALS
"Greek state broadcaster ERT is reporting that the embattled prime minister will announce the vote later today. The PM has been meeting with government officials this afternoon and could resign from office having called the vote. September 13 and 20 have been touted as possible dates."
Dazed And Confused: Futures Tumble Below 200 DMA, Oil Near $40, Soaring Treasurys Signal Deflationary DelugeSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 08/20/2015 07:00 -0400
It is unclear what precipitated it (some blamed China concerns, fears of rate hikes, commodity weakness, technical picture deterioration although it's all just goalseeking guesswork) but overnight S&P futures followed yesterday's unexpected slide following what were explicitly dovish Fed minutes, and took another sharp leg lower down by almost 20 points, set to open below the 200 DMA again, as the dazed and confused investing world reacts to what both the Treasury and Oil market signal is a deflationary deluge. Indeed, oil is about to trade under $40 while the 10Y Treasury was last seen trading at 2.07%. Incidentally, the last time oil was here in March of 2009, the Fed was about to unleash QE 1. This time, so called experts are debating if the Fed will hike rates in one month or three.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record we'd like to say a bit more about economists' tendency to get their monetary history wrong; in particular, the common myths about the gold standard. If there's one monetary history topic that tends to get handled especially sloppily by monetary economists, not to mention other sorts, this is it. Sure, the gold standard was hardly perfect, and gold bugs themselves sometimes make silly claims about their favorite former monetary standard. But these things don't excuse the errors many economists commit in their eagerness to find fault with that "barbarous relic." The point, in other words, isn't to make a pitch for gold. It's to make a pitch for something - anything - that's better than our present, lousy money.
When we see guys like Bernie Sanders get visibly angry at guys like Alan Greenspan it behooves all of us to go beyond the entertainment of it or some prima facie agreement and to truly understand why the anger is justified. If we were to all take the responsibility to understand the lifeblood of our American existence i.e. the economy, we will most certainly be moved to remove not only the policymakers but the system that together serve only those at the top of the economic food chain and at a cost to the rest of us. When we do we will be asking why in the hell is no one yelling at Janet Yellen??
But Not There Yet...
Market pundits robotically suggest that the Fed should not raise rates because inflation is too low. Well, if zero rates and $4 trillion in asset purchases did not boost inflation, do they really believe that another few months at zero rates will do the trick? Some Fed researchers are actually asking whether policies have become counter-productive to their dual mandates. The path to rate normalization will not come without pain. On the contrary, there will be a difficult period, potentially even a damaging recession. Fed doves will likely feel vindicated. However, while a period of hardship is likely inevitable, purging both bad businesses and market speculation is vital for long-run economic health and will allow more productive businesses to evolve over time.
FOMC Minutes Leaked Early After Embargo Broken, Fed Warns Risk To GDP Forecast "Tilted To The Downside"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 08/19/2015 13:41 -0400
Seconds ago, someone accidentally (we hope) pulled a Janet Yellen as the following just came across the wires
FOMC MINUTES: MEMB 'GENERALLY AGREED' MORE INFO NEEDED TO HIKE
FOMC MINUTES: NO TIP TOWARDS SEPT LIFTOFF, DOESN'T RULE IT OUT
But the bottom line is that the Fed just admitted things are going from bad to worse: "The risks to the forecast for real GDP and inflation were seen as tilted to the downside." The question now is what comes first: QE4 or the first rate hike in nearly a decade.
Chinese Intervention Rescues Market From 2-Day Plunge, Futures Red Ahead Of Inflation Data, FOMC MinutesSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 08/19/2015 06:37 -0400
With China's currency devaluation having shifted to the backburner if only for the time being, all attention was once again on the Chinese stock market roller coaster, which did not disappoint: starting off with yesterday's dramatic 6.2% plunge, the Shanghai Composite crashed in early trading, plunging as much as 5% in early trading and bringing the two-day drop to a correction-inducing 11%, and just 51.2 points away from the July 8 low (when China unleashed the biggest ad hoc market bailout in capital markets history) . And then the cavalry came in, and virtually the entire afternoon session was one big BTFD orgy, leading to a 1.2% gain in the Shanghai Composite closing price, while Shenzhen and ChiNext closed up 2.2% and 2.7%, respectively.
The central bank has injected new capital into the China Development Bank (CDB), which provides medium and long term financing to major national projects, in a bid to reinforce its capital adequacy.