Bank of Japan
The ECB panicked. Not only did QE fail to ignite inflation, the second order indications, modeled or real, suggest the real economy is in much, much worse shape than thought just a few months ago. The timing is not coincidental, as again there was a palpable global change starting around mid-year last year, cemented by the events of August and now January.
Call us old fashioned, but we still think prices matter. When prices are right, money flows to the most productive endeavors and economies work efficiently. When prices are wrong, crazy things eventually happen, with potentially dire consequences. That’s why we should be very worried about Japan, where things are getting crazy.
While conventional wisdom suggests that US government bond yields have nowhere to go but up, we believe the economic fundamentals will continue to weigh on interest rates for the foreseeable future.
Amid a strong 30 year auction overnight, long-dated Japanese Government Bond yields utterly collapsed. 30Y yields dropped 21bps - the biggest absolute drop in over 3 years and biggest percentage drop ever - to a record low 47bps. Since Kuroda unleashed NIRP, the entire JGB has been crushed and last night's rush for long duration debt (well at least there is some yield there?) has flattened the curve to record lows. For context, Japan's 30Y yield is now below US 2Y yield...
Indeed, what party other than the BOJ could be buying negative coupon debt? The answer is exactly why the coming financial crash will be so severe and long-lasting. To wit, it is front-runners expecting to cop a capital gain, and then get out before the house of cards collapses. That’s what might otherwise be called an ambush. The trillions of speculator dollars crowded into trades of this type throughout the global financial markets will never get through the narrow door of liquidity that remains in the casinos. The dotcom and the post-Lehman meltdowns were only the rehearsal.
Bears Exit Hibernation As Rally Fizzles On Dismal Chinese Trade Data; Commodities Slide; Gold HigherSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 03/08/2016 07:49 -0400
Those algos who scrambled to paint yesterday's closing tape with that last second VIX slam sending the S&P back over 2,000, forgot one thing - the same thing that China also ignored - central bankers can not print trade, something we have repeated since 2011. The world got a harsh reminder of this last night when China reported the third largest drop in exports in history, which crashed by over 25%, the third biggest drop on record, and no, it was not just the base effect from last February's spike, as otherwise the combined January-February data would offset each other, instead it was a joint disaster, meaning one can't blame the Lunar New Year either. In short, one can't really blame anything aside from the real culprit: despite all the lipstick that has been put on it, global trade is grinding to a halt.
The BIS’ Claudio Borio was vindicated in January - and it was a long time coming.
"What’s scary about this huge balance sheet expansion, is that it’s not having a bigger impact (although we don’t have a counterfactual). Indeed, the Nikkei is down -11% ytd and the yen has strengthened +6%."
Everything happening today is in some ways interconnected: popularity of ‘non-establishment’ political candidates; ineffectiveness of central bank policy in lifting inflation; economic pessimism; weak capital spending (from handcuffed capitalism); and angst due to perceptions of inequality. Let us explain...
"The reason that we’re still here, when we really should have fallen apart based on how much debt there was out there, and various other measures of instability, is that a printing press has turned out to be a great tool for fooling people...but in the longer term gold is a beneficiary of the instability that necessarily flows from borrowing too much money"
US financials are tumbling after The Fed proposed a rule that would limit banks with $500 bln or more of assets from having net credit exposure to a “major counterparty” in excess of 15% of the lender’s tier 1 capital. Bloomberg reports that The Fed's governors plan to vote today on the proposal. The implications of this are significant in that it will force some banks to unwind exposures and delever against one another (most notably with potential affect the repo market which governs much of the liquidity transmission mechanisms). Guggenheim's Jaret Seiberg warns the proposal is likely to be "stringent," though less onerous than the Dec 2011 proposal... which Goldman Sachs more specifically warned that it could destroy 300,000 jobs.
There is an odd feeling of Deja QEu this morning, when with two hours to go until the February payrolls, global stocks are modestly higher, US equity futures are likewise slightly higher on the back of a weaker dollar (or perhaps stronger Euro following a Market News report according to which the ECB may disappoint, more on that shortly), but it is gold that is breaking out, and after entering a bull market yesterday when it rallied 20% from its December lows gold has continued to surge, rising as high as @1,274 in early trading a price last seen in January 2015.
Around 40% or people who would respond to negative rates said that they would hoard cash. The risk is that this negative sentiment will infect the real economy, serving to depress spending. If so, the danger is that NIRP will have an impact on economic growth that is not merely non-linear, but perversely negative.
"We expect the10y JGB auction on the 1st to be a new issue with a 0.1% coupon, but auction yields are likely to go into negative territory. We do not expect the bank sector to buy, and demand from dealers and foreign investors is unlikely to provide sufficient support. We expect the auction to be turbulent given investors are also unlikely to short futures and the possibility of a tail. "