Bank of America

Perspectives On Gold's "Parabolic" Catch-Up Phase

Since 2007 our analysis has suggested the likelihood of economic outcomes that most have considered unlikely: significant and ongoing monetary inflation, policy-administered currency devaluation, substantial global price inflation, and an eventual change in how the forty year old global monetary system is structured. Most observers have viewed such outlooks as tail events – highly unlikely, unworthy of serious consideration or a long way off. We remain resolute, and believe last week’s movements in Frankfurt and Washington towards perpetual quantitative easing confirmed and accelerated the validity of our outlook. With QBAMCO's view that $15,000 - $19,000 Gold is possible, timing of the catch-up phase is impossible - though they suspect last week's events may be the catalyst that begins to raise public awareness of the link between monetary inflation and price inflation.

BofA Sees Fed Assets Surpassing $5 Trillion By End Of 2014... Leading To $3350 Gold And $190 Crude

Yesterday, when we first presented our calculation of what the Fed's balance sheet would look like through the end of 2013, some were confused why we assumed that the Fed would continue monetizing the long-end beyond the end of 2012. Simple: in its statement, the FOMC said that "If the outlook for the labor market does not improve substantially, the Committee will continue its purchases of agency mortgage backed securities, undertake additional asset purchases, and employ its other policy tools as appropriate until such improvement is achieved in a context of price stability." Therefore, the only question is by what point the labor market would have improved sufficiently to satisfy the Fed with its "improvement" (all else equal, which however - and here's looking at you inflation - will not be). Conservatively, we assumed that it would take at the lest until December 2014 for unemployment to cross the Fed's "all clear threshold." As it turns out we were optimistic. Bank of America's Priya Misra has just released an analysis which is identical to ours in all other respects, except for when the latest QE version would end. BofA's take: "We do not believe there will be “substantial” improvement in the labor market for the next 1.5-2 years and foresee the Fed buying Treasuries after the end of Operation Twist." What does this mean for total Fed purchases? Again, simple. Add $1 trillion to the Zero Hedge total of $4TRN. In other words, Bank of America just predicted at least 2 years and change of constant monetization, which would send the Fed's balance sheet to grand total of just over $5,000,000,000,000 as the Fed adds another $2.2 trillion MBS and Treasury notional to the current total of $2.8 trillion.

Grand Theft Auto: FOMC City - Bank Robbers Throw Cash Out Of Volvo In South Los Angeles

Once upon a time we thought that literally throwing cash out of rapidly moving objects was a privilege strictly reserved for Fed chairmen. Not any more. Moments ago, a car chase in South Los Angeles went horribly right, when two bank thieves who managed to find a Bank of America branch which actually had cash in it, and robbed it, proceeded to throw cash out of the moving car as it was being chased by a cohort of cops. Since the getaway car happened to be a Volvo, they naturally failed to get away, but not before they became local Robin Hood-type heroes to the massive gathering of gawkers all of whom would appear gainfully employed if only they were not just standing there, doing nothing, and hoping to steal the already stolen money in a major LA intersection at 11:30 am local time on a Wednesday. At least we now have the first two joint candidates to take over the BOE's soon to be vacant governorship.

Frontrunning: September 12

  • Germany Can Ratify ESM Fund With Conditions, Court Rules (Bloomberg)
  • Obama Discusses Iran Nuclear Threat With Netanyahu (Bloomberg)
  • Stocks, Euro Gain as Court Allows ESM; Irish Bonds Climb (Bloomberg)
  • U.S. cautions Japan, China over escalating islands row (Reuters)
  • Draghi alone cannot save the euro (FT)
  • 'New York Post' Runs Boldest Anti-Obama Ad Yet (Bloomberg)
  • Another urban legend: Fish Oil Pills Don’t Fix Heart Ills in 24-Year Data Review (Bloomberg)
  • Troika Says Portugal’s Program is ‘On Track’ (Bloomberg)
  • Russia Wants to Steer Clear of 'Gas War' (WSJ)
  • U.S. Said Set to Target First Non-Bank Firms for Scrutiny (Bloomberg)
  • Wen Says China’s Policy Strength Will Secure Growth Targets (Bloomberg)
  • UK faces clash with Brussels on City (FT)

Iran Gold Imports From Turkey Surge To $8 Billion YTD As Gold Increasingly Used As Currency

Central bank demand internationally continues and demand for gold in the increasingly volatile Middle East remains robust as seen in data from the Istanbul Gold Exchange. It showed that Turkey’s gold imports were 11.3 metric tons last month alone. Silver imports were 6.7 tons, the data show. Much of these imports may be destined for Iran where imports have surged an astonishing 2,700% in just one year – from $21 million to $6.2 billion. In the first seven months of this year, Turkey's exports to Iran have also skyrocketed to $8 billion, up from $2 billion in the same period last year. And it is widely believed that the major portion of the increase, which is $6 billion, stems from the export of gold. There is speculation that the Iranian central bank is buying gold and that they may be accepting gold in payment for oil and gas in order to bypass western sanctions.  Turkey is paying for the oil and natural gas it is importing from Iran in gold, Turkish opposition deputies have claimed, drawing attention to the enormous increase in Turkey's gold exports to Iran in 2012.  “Gold is being used as an instrument for payment. Under the guise of exportation, gold is being sent to Iran in exchange for oil,” Sinan Aygün, a deputy from the Republican People's Party (CHP), has told Turkish daily Today's Zaman.

Frontrunning: September 11

  • Germany says U.S. debt levels "much too high" (Reuters)
  • Netanyahu ramps up Iran attack threat (Reuters)
  • Burberry plummets by most ever, slashes guidance, rattles Luxury-Goods Industry as Revenue Growth (Bloomberg)
  • FoxConn Again Faces Labor Issue on iPhones (NYT)
  • Southern whites troubled by Romney's wealth, religion (Reuters)
  • China's Xi not seen in public because of ailment (Reuters)
  • Another California muni default: Oakdale, Calif., Restructuring Debt, Planning Rate Raise After Default (Bond Buyer)
  • Spain's PM expects "reasonable" terms for any new aid (Reuters)
  • Bernanke Proves Like No Other Fed Chairman on Joblessness (Bloomberg) - Ineffective like no other?
  • John Lennon’s Island Goes on Sale as Irish Unpick Property Boom (Bloomberg)

Are The Krimson Karlsruhe Knights About To Say Ni-en?

On Wednesday the German constitutional court, aka the KKK (Krimson Kardinals Of Karlsruhe, any association with other acronyms is purely accidental), will decide if Europe stays or goes. There is some possibility Karlsruhe may delay the September 12 decision even further, following a new complaint by a Merkel conservative, Peter Gauweiler who said in a statement on Sunday the fund should not be ratified unless the ECB rowed back on its plans to make unlimited purchases of sovereign bonds, since that he said, posed a major risk to Germany's own national budget. The Constitutional court is expected to opine on this latest hurdle today or tomorrow at the latest. However we doubt it. So what does the binary outcome ahead of Wednesday look like? Here are some Wall Street pundits opining. Curiously, while the market is also pricing perfection as the outcome to this event, there may be gray skies forming.

Gold In Euros Touches New Record High At EUR 1,360 Per Ounce

Gold has risen to new record highs in euro terms overnight in Asia when gold consolidated on last week’s 3% gains and rose above €1,360/oz for the first time.  Significant consolidation has been seen in the last year between €1,200/oz and the previous record high at €1,359.01/oz. This record high was seen almost exactly a year ago on September 9th 2011. Gold is being supported by the unrest in South Africa which continues to destabilise the mining sector. Gold Fields said this morning that some 15,000 workers were still on strike at one of its gold mines outside of Johannesburg. The tally of workers on strike at the West Section of the KDC Gold Mine is about 3,000 higher than last week. All production at the mine has been brought to a standstill. With the US job growth contracting significantly in August, investors see that the Fed will be inclined to announce QE3 at this week’s policy meeting on the 12th & 13th. US gold futures and options climbed to 6-month high 144,775 contracts in the week ended September 4, according to data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Gold ETF’s grew to a record high of 72.125 million ounces on Friday. Also, Hong Kong's July gold shipments to China was almost double on the year and exports for the first 11 months were greater than 2011, suggesting China will overtake India as the world's top gold consumer.

Subprime Auto Nation

Have you heard the news? Auto sales are booming. Total sales for the month of August were 1,285,202 vehicles, according to Autodata Corp, the highest monthly sales figure for any August since 2007, when 1.47 million autos were sold in the United States. Year to date auto sales have totaled 9.7 million and are on track to reach 14.5 million. Between 2006 and 2007, auto sales ranged between 16 million and 18 million. They crashed below 10 million in 2009. The Keynesians running our government have pulled out all the stops to restart this engine of consumer spending. First they wasted $3 billion of taxpayer funds on the Cash for Clunkers debacle. Almost 700,000 perfectly good cars were destroyed in order to keep union workers happy.  This Keynesian brain fart distorted the used car market for two years, raising prices for cars needed by the working poor. After that miserable failure, they realized the true secret to selling vehicles is to give them away to anyone that can scratch an X on a loan document, with 0% interest for 60 months, financed by Federal government controlled banking interests. Add in some massive channel stuffing and presto!!! – You’ve got an auto sales boom.... This is America, land of the delusional and home of the vain. The appearance of success is more important than actual success.

The Next (Lack Of) Trading Casualty: Nomura's Brand New $270 Million Trading Floor

Over the past several months (and years) we have been warning that the ongoing collapse in trading volumes, in part due to the lack of faith in capital markets that now have all the integrity of a rigged Vegas casino from the 1960s, in part due to investors' need to monetize assets in a world in which wages simply refuse to keep up with prices, will have not only irreversible implications on the shape of market structure, but also substantial consequences when it comes to the layout of modern banks, and associated up and downstream variables, such a jobs, real estate, support professions, municipal taxes and much more. Nowhere is this more evident (for now at least) than in the massive corporate reorganization taking place at Nomura's American division, which among many other things is about to lose its brand new $270 million trading floor even before a single trader set foot in it.

Bloomberg FOIA Documents How Wall Street Made A Muppet Of The SEC, Mary Schapiro And Dodd Frank

That the SEC is the most incompetent, corrupt, irrelevant and captured organization "serving" the US public is known by everyone. And while the details of the SEC's glaring lack of capacity to do anything to restore investor confidence in the capital markets, which has become a casino used exclusively by Wall Street to defraud any retail investor still stupid enough to play (which lately a moot point as there have been no material retail inflows into mutual funds in over three years), are scattered, courtesy of Bloomberg we now have the best summary of just how the utterly clueless SEC is a muppet plaything of Wall Street, and together with it, the "grand regulation" that was supposed to keep Wall Street in check, is nothing but what Wall Street demand it to be, and forced the SEC, way over its head on regulation, to accept every change, that the very banks that are supposed to be regulated, demands as part of Dodd-Frank reforms. In short: everything we know about Wall Street 'regulation' has been a farce, and a lie, exclusively thanks to corruption rampant at the now documentedly incompetent Securities And Exchange Commission.

Bill Gross Releases Latest Monthly Outlook: The Lending Lindy

Having operatied for years under ZIRP, and with the NIRP neutron bomb just around the corner, and already implemented in various European countries, one question remains: can banks be banks, i.e., can they make money, in a world in which borrowing short and lending long, no longer works, courtesy of ubiquitous and pervasive central planning which is now engaged solely and almost exclusively (the other central bank ventures being of course to keep FX rates and equities within an acceptable range) on the shape of the yield curve. Since 2009 our answer has been a resounding no. Today, Bill Gross speaks up as well, and his answer is even more distrubing: "If the dancing has slowed down, then the reason is not just an overweight partner. It’s that the price of money (be it in the form of a real interest rate, a quality risk spread, or both) is too low. Our entire finance-based monetary system – led by banks but typified by insurance companies, investment management firms and hedge funds as well – is based on an acceptable level of carry and the expectation of earning it. When credit is priced such that carry is no longer as profitable at a customary amount of leverage/risk, then the system will stall, list, or perhaps even tip over." Indeed, according to Gross central banks have now clearly sown the seeds of the entire financial system's own destruction. That he is right we have no doubt. The only question: how soon until he is proven right.

Chart Of The Day: With All Of QE3 Priced In, The Only Way Is Down Should Bernanke Disappoint

The following chart from Bank of America shows that with a few short hours ahead of the dangling strawman known as Bernanke's J-Hole address (now that Mario Draghi has more pressing issues to deal with elsewhere), expectations for QE3, in the form of what is actually priced in, just hit an all time high. So is, by implication, the potential for disappointment and that the petulant market, no longer caring about such trivia as fundamentals, technicals, newsflow or frankly anything except what the Chairsatan ate or what side of the bed Bill Dudley woke up on, will not get what it demands. It then begs the question: if the S&P is at 1400 with virtually all of QE3 priced in, what is the "fair value" if there is, gasp, no QE3 announced either today, in two weeks when the FOMC delivers it periodic oracular address to the plebs, or until the post-election FOMC meeting, which will take place on December 12, and just days ahead of the Fiscal Cliff arrival (which will certainly not be resolved by then)?