When your organic growth is over, your revenue just missed consensus expectations once again ($7.74Bn vs $7.77BN expected), your stock is trading near 4 years lows and and you are stuck in the imploding energy sector, what do you do? Why you announce a $10 billion stock buyback, but since you will have to fund it with more debt (whose cost in recent weeks has soared) you have to get rid of "overhead." How do you do that? Simple: you announce you are firing 10,000 workers.
In the end we all know that “informal central bank cooperation” doesn’t really amount to anything. That lesson could be applied to the Bundesbank “selling dollars” in 1969, the PBOC “selling UST’s” in 2015 or the worthless, useless Federal Reserve RRP in 2016. They really don’t know what they are doing, they never have and it truly doesn’t matter fixed or floating. Adjust accordingly because we know how this ends; we’ve already seen it.
Unfortunately, what we are facing now is a predicament, rather than a problem. There is quite likely no good solution. This is a worry. During the last 18 months we have read incessantly that low oil prices, for example, $30 per barrel oil, will stimulate the economy, and the economy will soon bounce back. What is wrong with this story? A lot of things, as we see it...
Liu Lang, a Chinese migrant worker, left his rural hometown in Sichuan Province two decades ago to work in the factories of the southern province of Guangdong, China’s manufacturing powerhouse. Now, he is moving back. “I worked my way up from a basic worker to a department head. And my career basically ended today,” Mr. Liu said on the train leaving Guangdong. Factories in Guangdong have been hit hard by the slowing economy, and many of them have closed, including the shoe factory where Mr. Liu worked.
The robo-machines are now having a grand old time hazing the August lows at 1870 on the S&P, and may succeed in ginning up another dead-cat bounce or two. But this market is going down for the count owing to a perfect storm.
How overoptimistic are Wall Street forecasts year in and year out? On average, forecasts were wildly bullish, even with the gains in recent years with results no better than a coin toss as to whether the S&P came in above or below the average forecast. Nonetheless, every year had one thing in common: Not once did a consensus predict a down year.
Last night's Chinese data deluge can only be classified with one word: bad. So if bad news was again bad news as many claim, both commodities (read oil), and US equity futures should be tumbling right now... but just the opposite is happening and in fact both Brent and WTI have already jumped over $30 this morning. This happens even as the IEA said this morning that global oil markets could “drown in oversupply,” And yet this morning both commodities, global stocks and futures soaring? Simple: the following Bloomberg headline summarizes it: "Brent Rallies More Than $1 as China GDP Spurs Stimulus Bets," and where Brent goes, so goes risk, and the S&P.
Gold retains a key role of a major diversifier in well-structured retail investment and pension portfolios ... core defensive and hedging properties vis-à-vis global currencies and fixed income, as well as oil and a range of other commodities.
CHINA NBS: OUR GDP NUMBER IS REAL AND CAN BE TRUSTED
The quadriga struck at 2100ET with Industrial Production +5.9% (MISS vs +6.0% YoY expectations), Retail Sales +11.1% (MISS vs +11.3% YoY expectations), Fixed Asset Investment +10.0% (MISS vs +10.2% YoY expectations), and then the big kahuna, Q4 GDP growth +6.8% (MISS vs +6.9% YoY expectations) and 2015 GDP growth of 6.9% was weakest sicne 1990. China, US equities were higher going in but faded quickly on the miss only to be rescued higher again. Offshore Yuan is fading.
While all eyes will be glued to the data avalanche unleashed by China's 'official' data creators in an hour, offshore Yuan is fading modestly, giving back half of the regulatory shift gains. PBOC injects another CNY155 billion (clearly reflecting last night's spike in 1mth HIBOR) and holds the Yuan fix 'steady' for the 8th day. Finally on the somewhat bright side following the CSRC shief's resignation, Shanghai margin debt has dropped for the 12th day in a row - the longest streak in 4 months.
Remember when oil was in the green (because Iran was "priced in") and stocks were in the green (because China was "fixed") this morning? Well, that's over. The dip-buying algo's reflex has run the stops, filled the gaps to unchanged and now stocks and crude are turning lower once again.
With the US closed today for Martin Luther King Holiday, global risk tone has once again been set entirely by oil, which opened sharply lower at fresh 12 year lows on fears of an Iran oil glut, but has steadily rebounded on the latest OPEC comments, and at last check both WTI and Brent were unchanged trading in the low $29's on muted volume. With Asian markets mixed, European shares swung between gains and losses, while the yen weakened as China stepped up efforts to curb foreign speculation against its currency. Crude oil rose from a 12-year low after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries forecast a decline in supplies from rival producers.
Throughout history government has served as a vehicle for the organization of hatred and oppression, benefitting no one except those who are ambitious and ruthless enough to gain control of it. That’s not to say government hasn’t, then and now, performed useful functions. But the useful things it does could and would be done far better by the market.
<Q - Mike L. Mayo>: What percent of the $17 billion is not investment grade?
<A - John R. Shrewsberry>: I would say most of it. Most of it.
<Q - Mike L. Mayo>: So most of the $17 billion is non-investment grade.
<A - John R. Shrewsberry>: Correct.