Bank of America
And so Wall Street has set its sights on the next junk bond fund casualty, a name which is well-known to most equity market participants: none other than Waddell and Reed (WDR), the fund which rose to infamy in the aftermath of the May 2010 Flash Crash, after it was initially blamed by the SEC as the culprit behind the Dow's 1000 point crash...
“To the intelligent man or woman, life appears infinitely mysterious, but the stupid have an answer for everything.” ~Edward Abbey
The Market Has Spoken: The Fed Made A Policy Mistake And "Quantitative Failure" Looms - What Comes NextSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 12/19/2015 14:43 -0500
"Since the risk of Quantitative Failure brings with it the risk of more extreme policies/politics in 2016, the natural hedges are gold & volatility. Gold in particular will be interesting to watch in coming months. The Fed’s determination to raise rates means gold prices should fall. If in contrast gold rises with Fed hikes that’s a clear sign of a “policy mistake” and investors anticipating the need for more inflationary policies next year."
As new investor liquidity evaporates and as billions are redeemed first from the junk bond universe, then investment grade and then loans, the debt crisis which was unleashed in anticipation of the Fed's rate hike, is about to get much worse, and lead to even more prominent hedge fund "gates" and liquidations.
"A flip to fiscal stimulus is the most likely catalyst for a Great Rotation out of “deflation plays” into “inflation plays”, undoubtedly the biggest investment decision of 2016. Sadly it took the New Deal and WW2 to end the dominance of “growth” over “value” in the 1930s."
According to Bank of America's credit and debit card spending data, core retail sales (those excluding autos which are mostly non-revolving credit funded) just dropped by 0.2% in November, the first annual decline since the financial crisis!
Government interference by both central banks and regulators (the latter are desperately fighting the “last crisis”, bolting the barn door long after the horse has escaped, thereby putting into place the preconditions for the next crisis) has created an ever more fragile situation in both the global economy and the financial markets. As the below charts and data show, price distortions and dislocations have been moving from one market segment to the next and they keep growing, which indicates to us that there is considerable danger that a really big dislocation will eventually happen.
From "Thundering Herd" to thundering-mad. Having recently laid off 100s of staff and cut compensation plans, AdvisorHub reports that Mother Merrill may be canceling Christmas for its roughly 14,500 brokers - "we’re hearing that in many regions the Bank of America-owned brokerage firm has sent out word that there will be no Merrill-financed holiday parties this year." Such Grinch-like moves have little precedent, and brokers in some areas have retaliated.
According to Bank of America last week, during which the S&P 500 was essentially flat, BofAML clients were net sellers of $1.3bn of US stocks, following two weeks of net buying. Net sales were led by institutional clients, who have sold US stocks for the last five consecutive weeks.
"It is our humble belief that the consensus at the Fed does not fully understand the magnitude of the problems in corporate credit markets and the unintended consequences of their policy actions."
As we approach the Fed meeting expect markets to get more volatile. While the odds favor a move, it isn’t a sure thing until it is actually done. We found out last week what happens when forward guidance turns out to be forward misdirection. All those traders who thought they had a sure thing, who assumed that Draghi wouldn’t dare disappoint the market, got whipped. Whipped good.
The system is beyond the point where it is merely showing stresses and fractures. Things are now falling apart and there may well be no way of putting them back together again. The media will continue to claim everything is fine, until the day of panic and reckoning when it will suddenly be the "next Greece" or "2008 all over again"... but worse.
There is a high hurdle following October's surprisingly strong gain of 271,000 jobs. On the other hand, Wall Street is confident we would have to see a significantly lower number, somewhere in the 100,000 range or even lower, — and weakness in other parts of the report, such as the unemployment rate, hourly wages and weekly hours — for the FOMC to postpone a rate hike into next year.