AIG

Frontrunning: August 16

  • World stocks edge away from one-year peak, dollar on defensive (Reuters)
  • Central Banks Could Be This Market’s Pets.com (WSJ)
  • Clinton announces transition leadership should she win in November (Reuters)
  • Oil Trades Near $46 a Barrel as Nigeria Sees OPEC Cuts Unlikely (BBG)
  • BHP Billiton Reports Worst-Ever Annual Loss (WSJ)

What Hedge Funds Bought And Sold In Q2: The Full 13-F Summary

Today is the deadline for hedge funds to submit their Q2 13-F filings. Among the more notable changes was the previously reported 55% increase in Warren Buffett's Apple shares, offset by the cut in his Wal-Mart stake; Elliott's addition to stakes in security firms Qualys, Fortinet, CyberArk; ValueAct's new stakes in Morgan Stanley, Seagate; Tiger's exit of Netflix; Jana addition of Time Inc, and Soros' cut of his gold miner positions.

How Long Can Economic Reality Be Ignored?

Real economists, if there were any, looking at the real economic picture would see an economy collapsing into widespread debt deflation and impoverishment. Debt deflation is when consumers after they service their debts have no discretionary income left with which to drive the economy with purchases. The reason that Americans have no income from their savings is that public authorities put the welfare of a handful of “banks too big to fail” above the welfare of the American people. The enormous liquidity created by the Federal Reserve has gone into the financial system where it has driven up the prices of financial instruments. There has been a stock market recovery but not an economic recovery.

Buffett Exits Entire Credit Default Swap Exposure, As Citi's Appetite For Derivative Destruction Surges

It was considered one of the bigger paradoxes for years. Back in 2003, Warren Buffett famously dubbed derivatives “financial weapons of mass destruction” and yet over the next several years went ahead and entered a number of the contracts, including both equities and credit, ostensibly by selling CDS to collect up monthly premiums. However, at least when it comes to CDS, after several years of Berkshire trimming its credit derivative exposure, it is now completely out. Meanwhile, Citi is loading up on any CDS it can find...

Musical Chairs

Economics is a bit like musical chairs. In a recession, the economy takes a hit and there are some casualties. Some players fail to get a chair in time and are out of the game. The game then goes on without them. The economy eventually recovers. But a depression is a different game entirely...

World Stocks Drop For Third Day On Growing Concerns About Central Bank Policy, Tumbling Oil

After 7 consecutive drops in the Dow Jones, the Industrial average is set for an 8th decline with US equity futures modestly lower in the premarket as risk-averse sentiment persists overnight. Oil’s continued slide and recent plunge into a bear market, despite some stabilization this morning just south of $40, has finally rekindled global growth concerns, and is keeping a lid on bullishness. European stocks are little changed, while Asian stocks and S&P futures fall.

Global Shares Slide As Japan Stimulus Disappoints, RBA Underwhelems, Italy Bank Fears Return

European stocks slid to a two-week low amid mixed earnings, as bank stocks extended yesterday’s decline as fears that Italy is not "fixed" have reemerged, not helped by an adverse market reaction to a disappointing Japanese fiscal stimulus announcement, while the AUD first dropped but then jumped after the RBA's priced in rate cut was announced, seen as underwhelming.

Euro Stocks Reverse Early Gains Dragged Lower By Slumping Banks; US Futures Flat; Crude Slides

Following last Friday's shocking weak US GDP print, Asian stocks jumped to an 11 month high on reduced prospects of a near-term rate hike, while the region also digested mostly encouraging in conflicting Chinese PMI data. European bank stocks initially rose following the release of the 2016 stress test then declined, tempering gains in global equity indexes, amid investor skepticism over the usefulness of stress-test results and weaker oil prices.

A Common Central Bank Tool: Fearmongering

Central bankers should not be treated as wise oracles whose guidance is desperately needed. Instead, we should throw off the tyranny of the PhD’s and embrace the decentralization of power that is desperately needed to allow civilization to thrive. Brexit would be a great way to start.

FedSpeak - Lost In Translation

Federal Reserve speakers appear to be suffering from an inability to contain themselves to the detriment of their audiences. So damaging is FedSpeak, so to speak, that it’s become the Fed’s greatest liability, chipping away at what little credibility monetary policymakers have left in reserve. Perhaps what is most disturbing about today’s stretch of FedSpeak is how it parallels with the months preceding the Great Recession.