Bank of America

Double Whammy Of Debt Talk Breakdown And Chinese Economic Crunch Means Buying Euphoria Halted

In a world devoid for the past two weeks and certainly for foreseeable future of most US economic data (this week we get no CPI, Industrial Production and New Home Sales among others), markets are now reliant on China for an indication of how the economy is doing, which is why this weekend's weaker than expected Chinese exports (ignoring the fact that China trade data is largely made up) and higher than expected consumer price inflation (driven by higher vegetable prices), even as new yuan loans soared to CNY787 billion, well above the CNY675 billion estimate despite broader M2 slowing from 14.7% in August to 14.2% in September, means the Chinese economy is once again in a vice and following the summer's liquidity driven boost, is set to roll over. Which in turn means that once again the PBOC is flying blind: unable to inject more liquidity without risking broader inflation, while most indicators are already rolling over. In short, ugly and certainly rolling over Chinese economic indicators for the market to mull over on Columbus day, even though all this will be promptly forgotten once the Washington debt ceiling song and dance resumes and the now traditional 10:30 am surge grips the algotrons as the latest set of "imminent deal" rumors is unleashed.

Trading Twitter: Where Noise Becomes Signal

Over four years ago when we discussed the high frequency predator traders feasting on the signals of others, few believed it possible (and fewer still comprehended it). Today there is another potential disruptor in US equity market microstructure, the transformation of noise to signal from the overwhelming drivel of a Twitter stream. Macro signals (the hashcrash in April when AP's account was hacked and this week's Israeli military tweet misunderstanding) have had dramatic effects on the market but individual stock trading success remains elusive. “You have to be happy with a lot of noise in your data,” one advocate notes, but, as the FT notes, a recent PhD study concluded, "The proponents of this idea really do exaggerate it... I’m not saying there’s nothing here, but I’m not saying you can print money either."

White House, Republican Meeting "Inconclusive", To Continue Throughout The Night

UPDATE: The Day in Washington in 2 minutes added

In what can at best be described as a "fluid" situation, one in which according to initial press reports the White House and the GOP couldn't even compromise on what had actually been said, it seems that while both sides are eager to move on with the debt ceiling extension, the GOP is still hoping in trying to preserve some political capital, of which it will be left with virtually nil if it caves to every last demand by the democrats, namely "reopen the government and then we can negotiate" losing all leverage in the process. And a loss of all capital and leverage is precisely what the GOP will "achieve" according to Politico, which clarified that "House Republicans told Obama that they could reopen the federal government by early next week if the president and Senate Democrats agree to their debt-ceiling proposal" - a proposal which Obama has already said he would accept. In other words, full capitulation by Boehner appears imminent. Politico adds: "President Barack Obama and House Republicans clashed in a meeting Thursday afternoon over how soon the government can be reopened, even as the GOP offered to lift the debt limit for six weeks, according to sources familiar with the session. Aides will continue the discussion through the night to see if they could find common ground on how to move forward on the debt limit and government funding."

Pivotfarm's picture

As Warren Buffet openly states that he believes that a default on US debt will be catastrophic and that lawmakers in Congress need to get their act together and get the federal government back to work by passing the budget we might well wonder if it’s just for show or if he really believes that.

Did Paul Ryan Provide A Debt Ceiling Compromise Fig Leaf?

Late last night, Paul Ryan wrote a WSJ op-ed titled "Here's How We Can End This Stalemate" in which some believe he provided the framework for what a possible fig leaf offering on the government shutdown and debt ceiling compromise could look like. While on the surface this may be grounds for optimism, the reality is that Ryan, whose entire proposal is based on the assumption that Obama is willing to negotiate which for now he has shown repeatedly he won't, merely fell back to his traditional "grand bargain" talking point made so clear during the Mitt Romney presidential campaign. What Ryan does suggest is yet another angle to a common bargaining position, one which would be certainly more palatable to Obama: because in order to get both parties happy and reach a compromise, all that would happen is for various long-term assumptions would be changed, with zero actual, real current impact - something politicians are good at, because it does not generate an adverse impact during their tenure (afterwards, it becomes someone else's problem).

Frontrunning: October 8

  • Hilsenrath: Tense Negotiations Inside the Fed Produced Muddled Signals to Markets (WSJ)
  • Biggest US Foreign Creditors Show Concern on Default Risk (BBG)
  • Shutdown Costs at $1.6 Billion With $160 Million Each Day (BBG)
  • What default? Republicans downplay impact of U.S. debt limit (Reuters)
  • Top Bankers Warn on U.S. Debt Proposal (WSJ)
  • India to stick with austerity despite looming election (Reuters)
  • Japan's Current-Account Surplus Plunges (WSJ)
  • Amazon Wins Ruling for $600 Million CIA Cloud Contract (BBG)
  • German Factory Orders Unexpectedly Fall on Weak Recovery (BBG)
  • Britain's Higgs, Belgium's Englert win 2013 physics Nobel prize (Reuters)
  • Supreme Owner Made a Billionaire Feeding U.S. War Machine (BBG)

Boehner Says We Are "On The Path To Default", "It Is Time For Us To Stand And Fight"

STEPHANOPOULOS: So are you saying that if he continues to refuse to negotiate, the country is going to default?

BOEHNER: That's the path we're on.
...

STEPHANOPOULOS: So bottom line, you're saying this is your absolute position. If the president continues to refuse to negotiate over the debt limit, if Democrats refuse to continue to negotiate over the government shutdown, the government is going to remain closed and the United States is going to default?; BOEHNER: The president -- the president, his refusal to talk, is resulting in a possible default on our debt.

A Depressed Bank Of America Predicts "Agreement Is Almost Impossible As Long As Obamacare Is On The Table"

Bank of America's latest forecast on the resolution, or lack thereof, of the government shutdown, which now seems virtually certain to last at least one week into Monday night, when the House and Senate return to work, is hardly encouraging. The bank's base case now calls for "either a two-week shutdown or for multiple shutdowns." Additional, BofA has now cut its Q3 GDP forecast from 2.0% to 1.7% and from 2.5% to 2.0% for 4Q. It gets worse: "Much worse outcomes are possible. In our view, agreement is almost impossible as long as the Affordable Care Act is on the table." Finally, and what ties it all together, is that as a result of the lack of "government data", BAC now expects the Fed to delay tapering to their January meeting, or later. Which may well have been the much needed alibi all along to delayed tapering until 2014.

America's Budget Problem In One Chart

In a country in which the aging population wants their (10,000 kcal) cake, and the diabetes treatment for free too, the chart below is what happens.

Wall Street Headhunter: "I Haven't Seen Morale This Bad Since The Titanic"

One thing is now abundantly clear: 2013 is now one big scratch for bankers who were expecting that this year bonuses would finally pick up from the prior several years mediocre performance and catch up to the record days of 2009 (just after the biggest wholesale bank bailout in history). The WSJ summarizes the situation best: "I haven't seen morale this bad since the Titanic," said Richard Stein, a senior recruiter at Caldwell Partners CWL.T -3.41% who specializes in financial services. And if bankers are not happy, nobody else will be (here's looking at you dear perpetual banker bailout ATM known as US taxpayers).

Frontrunning: October 3

  • Mounting Wall Street fears of US default (FT)
  • This is what the US government does when it is "shut down" - CIA ramping up covert training program for moderate Syrian rebels (WaPo)
  • SEC Weighs Overhaul of Exchanges’ Self-Regulatory System (WSJ) - just let Goldman and JPM do all the policing; not like anyone cares anymore
  • Reid Sets Tone for Democrats in Shutdown Fight (WSJ)
  • No Movement in Shutdown Standoff (WSJ)
  • Shutdown will not slow Fed nomination, says Obama (FT)
  • Syrian Regime Chokes Off Food to Town That Was Gassed (WSJ)
  • Tesla Says Car Fire Began in Battery (AP)
  • China Services Index Increases in Sign of Sustained Rebound (BBG) or sustained data manipulation