Richmond Fed's Lacker: "Falling Markets Should Not Be Too Surprising... Further Volatility Seems Likely"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 06/28/2013 09:24 -0400
"Bond and stock markets fell sharply in response, but that should not be too surprising. The Chairman’s statement forced financial market participants to re-evaluate the likely total amount of securities the Fed would buy under this open-ended purchase plan — in other words, how much liquor would ultimately be poured into the punch bowl. Market participants also had to reconsider their estimate of when the Federal Reserve would begin to remove the punch bowl by raising interest rates. These reassessments appear to have warranted price changes across an array of financial assets. As market participants gain additional insight from the words of Federal Reserve officials or by policy actions in coming quarters, further asset price volatility seems likely." - Richmond Fed's Jeffrey Lacker
Bond Funds saw a a massive $23bn of redepmtions in the latest week - a record in absolute terms. The outflows were across every segment of the fixed income market and are second only (in %of AUM) to the capitulative collapse that occurred after the October 2008 plunges (after which Treasuries rallied 5% in 6 weeks). The past 4 weeks have seen an unprecedented $58bn of outflows. All of this is providiung fodder for the mainstream media (and several hopeful strategists) that the great rotation 'must' have started. However, as BofAML notes, there were $13.1 billion of outflows from equity funds (including $6.7 billion from pure long-only funds) - the most since late April. It appears the money that has been 'rotated' into stocks from money-market funds has merely reverted back into these safe-havens - another reason why the powers that be would like to drastically reduce the access to these liquidity-sapping investment vehicles to keep the sheep in risk assets.
The first of three Fed speeches is out, and as expected, it contains nothing new save for the ongoing barage of stock market battering for daring to sell on last week's Bernanke warnings that the Fed's monthly flow is set to begin tapering in September. It continues to be as if the Fed is shocked to learn that nothing else matters in this "economy" and, of course, "market" than what the Fed will do and say.
Gold has gone down Friday to under $1, 200 an ounce and that means it’s reached its lowest point for the past three years. Worse than that: it’s been the worst quarterly performance for gold for 45 years!
Overnight newsflow (which nowadays has zero impact on markets which only care what Ben Bernanke had for dinner) started in Japan where factory orders were reported to have risen the most since December 2011, retail sales climbed, the unemployment rate rose modestly, consumer prices stayed flat compared to a year ago, however real spending plunged -1.6% significantly below the market consensus forecast for +1.3% yoy, marking the first yoy decline in five months. This suggests that households are cutting utility costs more so than the level of increase in prices. By contrast, real spending on clothing and footwear grew sharply by 6.9% yoy (+0.6% in April) marking positive growth for a fourth consecutive month. Simply said, the Japanese reflation continues to be limited by the lack of wage growth even as utility and energy prices are exploding and limiting the potential for core inflation across the board.
In the aftermath of the record cash crunch in the Chinese interbank market, many financial institutions in China and abroad have been hoping that the PBOC would either end its stance of aloof detachment or at least break its vow of silence and if not act then at a minimum promise good times ahead. Alas, despite repeated confusion in various press reports that it has done that, it hasn't aside from the occasional "behind the scenes" bank bailout. And at today's Lujiazui Financial Forum, PBOC governor Zhou Xiaochuan kept the status quo saying the central bank will adjust liquidity "at the proper time to ensure market stability." That time, however, is not now.
With the Comex futures prices becoming increasingly irrelevant, a Physical Gold price datasource for buyers of physical Gold
The late 20th century was a jam-packed time for stock-market crashes that would change, shape and alter our lives in so many ways.
"This year we have pursued five macro themes: long the US dollar, short China, long Japanese equities, long low variance equities and long interest rate contracts at the short end of G10 fixed income markets... The invisible regime of low volatility and low correlations that had been so supportive of risk markets for at least the last year started to become unhinged."
Remember the key component of the Fed's baffle with BS strategy: namely "baffle with BS." Following yesterday's epic trifecta of economic growth when durables, housing and confidence data all slammed expectations, it was up to GDP to be the bad cop. Sure enough, following the already disappointing first Q1 GDP revision which revised the preliminary 2.5% number to 2.4%, today economists were expecting an unchaged print. Instead they got a crash to 1.77%. And on what? Why the collapsing US consumer whose true colors have finally come out in the final Q1 GDP revision: responsible for 2.40% of the GDP print in the first revision, Personal Consumption Expenditures tumbled to just 1.83% of GDP. In absolute terms, PCE plunged from 3.4% to 2.6% on expectations of 3.4%. There goes the buying power of the overlevered, undersaved US consumer.
Goodbye housing (non)recovery... except for those private equity-cum-landlord firms and offshore oligarchs who pay all cash of course. "The 30-year fixed mortgage rate on Zillow(R) Mortgage Marketplace is currently 4.38 percent, up fifty basis points from 3.88 percent at this time last week. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate hovered between 3.82 and 4 percent late last week, before spiking up near the current rate over the weekend. This represents the highest rate on Zillow Mortgage Marketplace since July 2011."
Everyone knows Europe is insolvent; the only question is "when" will Europe be forced to finally admit this truism. The long overdue house of cards may start toppling in as little as 6 months, as The Telegraph reports, Mediobanca's 'index of solvency risk' suggests "time is running out fast" for Italy. With the breakdown in Eurozone talks on a banking union and the Fed's shift in policy, Europe "has become a dangerous place," warns RBS. Unless Italy can count on low borrowing costs and a broad recovery, it will "inevitably end up in an EU bailout." The current situation is as bad as when the country was blown out of the ERM in 1992 as "the Italian macro situation has not improved...rather the contrary; with 160 large corporates in Italy now in special crisis administration." If the ECB doesn’t act, one analyst warns (pleads) it could see all the gains of the past nine months vanish in two weeks. Mediobanca said the trigger for a blow-up in Italy could be a bail-out crisis for Slovenia or an ugly turn of events in Argentina, which has close links to Italian business. "Argentina in particular worries us, as a new default seems likely."
- Here come the rolling blackouts: Obama takes on power plant emissions as part of climate plan (Reuters)
- Walking Back Bernanke Wished on Too Much Information (BBG)
- As previewed last week: Bridgewater "All Weather" is Mostly Cloudy, down 8% YTD (Reuters)
- U.S. Said to Explore Possible China Role in Snowden Leaks (BBG)
- Coeure Says No Doubt ECB Loose Monetary Policy Exit Distant (Bloomberg)... so a "recovery", but not at all
- U.S. steps up pressure on Russia as Snowden stays free (Reuters)
- Texas' Next Big Oil Rush: New Pipelines Ferrying Landlocked Crude Expected to Boost Gulf Coast Refiners (WSJ)
- Singapore Offsets Bankers as Vacancies Fall (BBG)
- Asian Stocks Fall as China Sinks Deeper Into Bear Market (BBG), European Stocks Rally With Bonds as Metals Advance (BBG)
- Qatar emir hands power to son, no word on prime minister (Reuters)
A week ago, we provided a simple, irrefutable analysis of "What The Recent Surge In Rates Means For Your Home Purchasing Power" in which we demonstrated how the average home affordability goes down (due to the declining marginal purchasing power in a rising rate environment) as interest rates (for mortgages and all rate-sensitive products) go up. What this means is that all else equal, absent a massive increase in disposable income (especially when the opposite is happening to disposable income), the average home affordability plunges as rates go up. So here is the benchmark price-rate curve updated for a reality, in which the national average 30 Year fixed has exploded from 3.40% on May 1 to a whopping (for the New Normal) 4.875% as of today for Wells Fargo customers. The matching affordability collapse: from $450K to $378K, or a stunning 16% equilibrium price drop in under two months!