AIG

"Friends Don't Let Friends Buy VIX"

"You know a trade is getting crowded when my parents start asking about it.  You know just how one sided something is when people think that even Chuck Norris can’t make money buying vol... I think selling VIX is very crowded and fraught with danger."

The Great Disconnect: Markets Vs. Economy

"While the Fed keeps promising with each passing year the economy will come roaring back to life, the reality has been that all the stimulus and financial support can’t put the broken financial transmission system back together again. Eventually, the current disconnect between the economy and the markets will merge. My bet is that such a convergence is not likely to be a pleasant one."

FX Week Ahead Preview: Negative USD Sentiment Tamed For Now

We got some encouraging signs from the latest US payrolls report on Friday, with the earnings component edging up to 0.3% on the month, to lift the year on year rate to 2.5%.  Even so, this is one month's set of data, and is unlikely to convince USD bears that the rate path espoused by the Fed is still firmly 'on track', and in the wake of the numbers, the odds of another 25bp hike by end of year remain close to 50/50.

FX Week Ahead: Can The Swiss National Bank Breathe A Sigh Of Relief?

Having focused on the USD in recent weeks, and how the market has rounded on the greenback 'en masse', we can finally look to some exchange rate moves outside of the major spot rates.  Sharp losses in the CHF have shown that the big money is taking note of the recovery in the Euro zone, and that investment prospects look good as the smaller member states are gaining traction alongside the power house that is Germany. 

Howard Marks Sounds The Alarm On ETFs And Passive Investing, Again

"If funds ever flow out of equities and thus ETFs, what has been disproportionately bought will have to be disproportionately sold.  It’s not clear where index funds and ETFs will find buyers for their over-weighted, highly appreciated holdings if they have to sell in a crunch."

FX Week Ahead Preview: All Eyes On Payrolls Friday

Despite the NY market holiday over Independence day in the US, we have a number of notable data releases leading up to the main event next week in the May employment report (Friday).

Frontrunning: May 11

  • After Comey, Russia Probe Escalates (WSJ)
  • Comey Firing Distracts Trump White House, Risking His Agenda (BBG)
  • Trump wanted to preview Comey's Senate testimony (Reuters)
  • Traders Ask What Will Rouse Markets When Trump and Twitter Can't (BBG)
  • EU Raises Growth Forecasts but Cites Threats From Brexit, Trump (WSJ)

Key Events In The Coming Busy Week: FOMC, Payrolls, 131 S&P Companies Report

Besides the upcoming FOMC meeting on May 2-3, and French & Italian politics - the decisive runoff round of the French election takes place this Sunday - this week's releases are dominated by US payrolls expected to come around 170k. The busy release calendar continues with Norges bank and RBA meetings as well as global manufacturing PMIs.