- MSM always "ahead" of the curve: Fed’s Messages Raise Volatility in Threat to Profits (BBG)
- Bernanke Plays Down Link Between Jobless Rate, Fed Moves (WSJ)
- Draghi to Carney Face Test Backing Guidance on Rates (BBG)
- House Republicans Vote to Delay Obamcare Mandates (Reuters)
- China media accuses Japan PM of dangerous politics (Reuters)
- China will replace America as the leading superpower, global attitudes survey finds (SCMP)
- Nonqualified mortgages make up as much as $1.5 trillion of the $10 trillion home-loan market (BBG)
- Dell $24.4 Billion Buyout Plan Is a Nail-Biter as Vote Looms (BBG)
- Republicans could see more bruising Senate primaries (Reuters)
- GM delays Chevy Cruze debut by a year (Reuters)
- Peltz needs support for PepsiCo restructuring dealsa (FT)
- Sweaty Wall Streeters Skip Booze for Spin-Class Meetings (BBG)
What happens if the central bank pushes the rate of interest below the marginal time preference? A destructive dynamic is set in motion...
Sunday's 'golidlocks' data dump from China was enough for many to herald the turn is in and it's all plain-sailing from here, but the reality is a little different (as always). As Bloomberg's Michael McDonough notes, there is little upside for the yuan given China's slowing economy and a strengthening US Dollar. The gloomier outlook may also weigh on domestic equity markets. The Shanghai Composite Index has underperformed global peers in the past year. The pace of expansion may fall below the government’s goal of 7.5 percent and that may prompt a rate cut and/or an accelerated pace of infrastructure project approvals. Policy makers need to prove they remain in control, meaning GDP growth must finish the year at or above the target (even if it means inflation and social unrest), but for now, the following four charts suggest all is not well with the 'soft-landing'...
"Perhaps the success that central bankers had in preventing the collapse of the financial system after the crisis secured them the public's trust to go further into the deeper waters of quantitative easing. Could success at rescuing the banks have also mislead some central bankers into thinking they had the Midas touch? So a combination of public confidence, tinged with central-banker hubris could explain the foray into quantitative easing. Yet this too seems only a partial explanation. For few amongst the lay public were happy that the bankers were rescued, and many on Main Street did not understand why the financial system had to be saved when their own employers were laying off workers or closing down." - Raghuram Rajan
Microsoft: "We Don't Provide Any Government With Direct Access...We Need The Attorney General To Uphold The Constitution"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 07/16/2013 15:41 -0400
A few days ago, Edward Snowden made even fewers friends in the corporate tech community with his Guardian disclosures that "Microsoft Helped The NSA Bypass Its Own Encryption Software, Spy On Its Clients." This promptly got the legal team the MSFT scrambling, and moments ago, the firm's General Counsel Brad Smith posted on MSFT's blog that, guess what, the world's biggest desktop OS maker doesn't give government data encryption keys or customer data. Well... what else were they going to say? Oh yes, repeat "direct acces" 6 times in a blog post, making it all too clear the whole issue is merely about semantics.
Former Goldman Sachs trader Fabrice Tourre goes on trial this week, accused by the Securities and Exchange Commission of willingly misleading investors while he was vice-president of the bank.
Risk assets are not quite (yet) back to the ‘melt-up' of May but equity markets are trading in a confident mood after Bernanke caused sentiment to flip from glass ‘half empty' to ‘half full'. China Q2 GDP data did not derail price action as equity futures anticipate a positive start of the week. The semi-annual testimony of the Fed Chairman is typically a seminal event on the market calendar but do we dare say that the one coming up this week is a non-event following last week's message on policy accommodation? The VIX index dropped 7 points over the last three weeks of which 2 points alone came last Thursday and Friday as stocks roared to new highs and shrugged off the candid observation on the Chinese economy by finance minister Lou Jiwei. If a 6.5% growth rate is tolerable in the future, there is little doubt that commodities and the AUD have further to fall. Chinese GDP slowed from 7.7% to 7.5% according to data released overnight and prospects for the second half don't look much brighter after evidence of slowing credit growth. Data on Friday showed declines of narrow money from 11.3% yoy to 9.1% in May, with broad money growth slowing to 14% yoy. Non-bank credit and new foreign currency bank lending also weakened.
Despite the Schrodinger PMIs that the nation continues to pump-out in less and less transparent nature, and the leadership's seeming desire to use the early years to 'soft-land' the bubble-economy created by their predecessors, it seems the most recent trade data (disappointment) was more an indication of reality (along with the recent jawboning) than the hopes of so many talking-heads in the West. GDP met lowered expectations of 7.5% YoY (but is down from last month's and lowest since Sep12), Industrial Production missed expectations for the 4th month in a row (8.9% vs 9.1% YoY expectations) at its lowest since April 2009, and Retail Sales beat expectations by the most in 9 months! Of course, the 'goldilocks' will be seen as instantly indicative of either 'all is well with global growth so don't sweat it' or of a need for an avalanche of stimulus to save the world, but as we noted here, China is way past the point of worrying about a few percentage points of GDP. AUD popped higher before the data and leaked back on the goldilocks reality; S&P futures testing spike highs from Friday; and gold pressing higher to $1295.
Dispassionate review of some of next weeks important developments.
Have you ever seen a disaster movie that is so bad that it is actually good? Unfortunately, we are witnessing something just as ridiculous in the real world right now. In the United States, the mainstream media is breathlessly proclaiming that the U.S. economy is in great shape because job growth is "accelerating" (even though we actually lost 240,000 full-time jobs last month) and because the U.S. stock market set new all-time highs this week. The mainstream media seems to be absolutely oblivious to all of the financial storm clouds that are gathering on the horizon. The conditions for a "perfect storm" are rapidly developing, and by the time this is all over we may be wishing that flying sharks were all that we had to deal with.
Gasoline RBOB price moves are ridiculous. RBOB closes Friday above 40 cents from the price on July 1st without any major news like 5 refiners exploding, or a major hurricane...
JPM Beats Thanks To $1.4 Billion Reserve Release; Net Interest Margin Drops To Record Low; Mortgage Production SlidesSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 07/12/2013 07:37 -0400
Cutting through the noise of JPM's earnings, here are the salient facts: the company beat the bottom line expectation of $1.45 with an $1.60 ex-DVA print. However, this number included the now traditional "puffery" benefit from loan loss reserve releases, specifically $950MM pretax ($0.15 EPS) from mortgage loan loss reserves and $550MM pretax ($0.09) from credit cards. Additionally, the company reserved a whopping $600 million for litigation, or about $0.09, and according to the firm this should be backed out from the bottom line. Of course, that assumes the litigation against JPM will not be an ongoing, non-onetime event. In other words, ex-releases, JPM misses, however it was right in line if one assumes the litigation reserve was indeed one-time. In summary, the firm had a total of $19.4 billion in loan loss reserves and the release of $1.4 billion was the biggest since Q3 2012. What is worse going forward was the slide in Mortgage Production pretax income which was $582mm, down a whopping $349mm YoY, "reflecting lower margins and higher expense, partially offset by higher volumes and lower repurchase losses." For those curious how the rate spike has impacted JPM, here it is: mortgage originations down 7% Q/Q, and firmwide it dropped to $52 billion. But perhaps the worst news is that despite the dramatic spike up in yields at the end of the quarter, JPM reported a Net Interest Margin that in Q2 was the lowest ever, dropping to just 1.05% on a market-based basis, the firm's defined NIM slid to 2.20%.
When Bloomberg blasts headlines like this: S&P FUTURES UP 1PT, AT SESSION HIGH, ERASE EARLIER 3.4PT DROP, you know Bernanke hasn't spoken in over 24 hours if a 4 point swing is headline worthy. That said, the exhausted S&P ramp is now going for the 6th consecutive session as all the losses since the June FOMC meeting have now been erased, the S&P is making constant all time highs, and seemingly the Fed's message on tapering and communication has been clarified. The message being that the Fed is tapering its monthly purchases but short-term rates aren't being lifted. Sadly, the market's first reaction was the right one but the herd of cats has once again been herded by the trading desk at Liberty 33.
No, last week’s jobs report was not “strong”. It was just another edition of the “born again” jobs scam that has been fueling the illusion of recovery during the entire post-crisis Bernanke Bubble. In short, the US economy is failing and the welfare state safety net is exploding. And that means that the true headwind in front of the allegedly “cheap” stock market is an insuperable fiscal crisis that will bring steadily higher taxes, lower spending and a gale-force of permanent anti-Keynesian austerity in the GDP accounts. And for that reason, the Fed’s strategy of printing money until the jobs market has returned to effective “full employment” is completely lunatic. The bottom-line is that Bernanke is printing money so that Uncle Sam can keep massively borrowing, and thereby fund a simulacrum of job growth in the HES Complex. Call it the Bed Pan Economy. When it finally crashes, Ben Bernanke will be more reviled than Herbert Hoover. And deservedly so.