Corporate executives offer three main reasons for share repurchases: 1. Buybacks are investments in our undervalued shares signaling our confidence in the company’s future; 2. Buybacks allow the company to offset the dilution of EPS when employee stock options are exercised or stock is granted to employees; or 3. The company is mature and has limited investment opportunities, therefore we are obligated to return unneeded cash to shareholders. The logic behind each of these explanations is in the vast majority of cases is flawed, to be kind, and deceptive to be blunt.
"In the United States, it took 18 quarters (4.5 years) before fixed business investment regained its pre-recession peak, in chain-volume terms. That compares with an average of just five quarters before business investment recovered to its peak level prior to the onset of previous post-War recessions; previously, it had never taken longer than three years for that milestone to be attained."
Wendy's just took buyback mania to the next level when, earlier today, it announced it would buyback $1.4 billion of its shares, which amounts to just under 50% of its entire float!
With the Greek IMF payment just 48 hours away, and Europe having submitted its best and final offer to Greece in a battle of "deal proposals", today Greek PM Tsipras will meet with European Commission President Juncker to discuss the recently submitted reform proposals by the Greek premier. However, a Greek government spokesman says that Greek PM Tsipras will not meet Eurogroup's Dijsselbloem despite several reports suggesting that they would do so later today. Last night it was reported that the EU, ECB, IMF agreed on terms for a cash-for-reform plan to be presented to Greece. However, a senior EU official has said that they are concerned that the stringent measures of the proposal could be met with rejection by Greece.
By accepting the story as told without regard to integrity of truth we have allowed ourselves to become feed for those controlling the story and thus the system. As the charts above clearly depict we have two distinct economic states. One is perceived and the other is real. The perceived state gets sole attention allowing the economic cannibalism to continue and draws us further out to the middle of the lake. And as the ice disappeared so quickly not yet 7 years ago it will again reveal itself only a perception created by policymakers for sycophants so willing to feast and profit on the rest of us and, perhaps more startling, on their own future well being.
In April we said that "sooner or later, in order to avoid liquidation and stave off severe disinflationary pressures, someone will have to call in "Helicopter Janet" and once the cash paradropping begins well, we'll see you in the Weimar Republic." Sure enough, the semi-official calls for helicopter drone cash drops have arrived.
"Wall Street’s generous supply of funds to U.S. oil drillers helped create the American energy boom. Now that same access to easy money is keeping them going, despite oil prices that are languishing around $60 a barrel," WSJ says, proving that the era of easy money has in fact led to deflation.
"Europe faces the risk of a second revolt by Left-wing forces in the South after Portugal’s Socialist Party vowed to defy austerity demands from the country’s creditors and block any further sackings of public officials", The Telegraph reports. In sum, the reason why concessions (any concessions) to the Greeks are a non-starter in Athens' negotiations with creditors is that the IMF, the European Commission, and most especially Germany, want to send a clear message to any other 'leftist radicals' who may be thinking about using the "one move and the idea of EMU indissolubility gets it" routine as a way to negotiate for breathing room on austerity pledges, will get exactly nowhere and will have a very unpleasant time on the way.
No lesser establishment economist than Martin Feldstein - Professor of Economics at Harvard University and President Emeritus of the National Bureau of Economic Research - has some warning words of wisdom for The Fed today: "...the Fed’s unconventional monetary policies have also created dangerous risks to the financial sector and the economy as a whole." When even The Ivory Tower is losing faith, you know The Fed is in trouble...
China Officially Launches Critical Local Government Debt Swap — But Is The PBoC Really Just Issuing Treasury Bonds?Submitted by Tyler Durden on 05/19/2015 22:30 -0400
China has pitched its local government debt swap program as a way for heavily-indebted provinces to deleverage. Now that the program is officially off the ground, what are the implications for banks and for the PBoC?
According to Tobin's Q, which compares stock prices to the replacement value of companies' underlying assets, equity markets have become detached from reality to a degree only witnessed on two occasions in history: the tech bubble and 1929.
Looking for signs that the country's largest asset management firms believe a market meltdown may be on the horizon? Look no further than Vanguard and several other large ETF providers who have set up billions in credit lines with banks to guard against the possibility that a wave of redemptions could wreak havoc on illiquid credit markets.
Some folks have been dumpingglobal bonds again today (after disappointing retail sales in the US). But, can we just put the recent bump in interest rates into some perspective? Will the "bond bull" market eventually come to an end? Yes, eventually. However, the catalysts needed to create the type of economic growth required to drive interest rates substantially higher, as we saw previous to the 1960-70's, are simply not available today. This will likely be the case for many years to come as the Fed, and the administration, come to the inevitable conclusion that we are now caught within a "liquidity trap" along with the bulk of developed countries.
As we discussed at the beginning of last month, the “revolver raids” have already begun for some heavily indebted US shale companies who were set to see their credit lines cut after banks performed their bi-annual review in April, which is based on where crude has traded over the preceding 12 months. Those credit lines will be assessed again in October and according to a UBS survey of the banks who have helped finance the oil & gas industry, the outlook is not good
It all started again in Asia, although not in China where the berserker mania bid for stocks has returned and the SHCOMP is now up nearly 5% in the past two days following the PBOC's latest easing, but in Japan where once again the massively illiquid JGB market, of which the BOJ owns roughly a third as of this moment, is going through yet another shock period (if not quite VaR yet) with last night's 10 Year JGB auction seeing the lowest Bid to Cover since 2009. This was the beginning, and promptly thereafter bond yields around the globe spiked once more, with 10-year Treasury yields climbing to a five-month high, as the global rout in debt markets deepened. The biggest casualty so far is the Bund, which having retraced some of the flash crash losses from two weeks ago is once again in panic selling mode, and while not having taken out the recent 0.8% flash crash wides, traded just shy of 0.75% this morning.