Borrowing Costs

Guest Post: Will Rising Rates Kill The Stock Market?

The current belief is that rising interest rates are a sign that the economy is improving as activity is pushing borrowing rates higher.  In turn, as investors, this bodes well for corporate profitability which supports the current valuations of stocks in the market.  While this seems completely logical the question is whether, or not, this is really the case? Increases in interest rates slow economic activity, with a lag effect, which negatively impacts earnings, margins and forward guidance.  Ultimately, and it may take several quarters to manifest itself fully, the fundamental deterioration leads to a reversion in stock market prices which, ironically, will then lead to the next decline in rates.

Overnight Safety Bid For 10 Year TSYs Offsets USD Weakness, Keeps Futures Rangebound

Following yet another rout in Asia overnight, which since shifted over to Europe, US equity futures have stabilized as a result of a modest buying/short-covering spree in the 10 Year which after threatening to blow out in the 2.90% range and above, instead fell back to 2.81%. Yet algos appear confused by the seeming USD weakness in the past few hours (EURUSD just briefly rose over 1.34) and instead of ploughing head first into stock futures have only modestly bid them up and are keeping the DJIA futs just above the sacred to the vacuum tube world 15,000 mark. A lower USDJPY (heavily correlated to the ES) did not help, after it was pushed south by more comments out of Japan that a sales tax hike is inevitable which then also means a lower budget deficit, less monetization, less Japanese QE and all the other waterfall effect the US Fed is slogging through. Keep an eye on the 10 Year and on the USD: which signal wins out will determine whether equities rise or fall, and with speculation about what tomorrow's minutes bring rife, it is anybody's bet whether we get the 10th red close out of 12 in the S&P500.

The Bubble Watcher-In-Chief Speaks: "No More Bubbles"

We have to turn the page on the bubble-and-bust mentality that created this mess,” President Obama stated authoritatively in his weekend radio address... but do not get too excited by the possibility of a real end to the Keynesian experiment and a return to 'free' markets for the President, in his oh-so-not-trying-to-start-a-class-warfare-battle way, blames bubbles not on Central banks (who have done "an outstanding job") but on the skewed distribution of income. As Bloomberg reports, Obama states “When wealth concentrates at the very top, it can inflate unstable bubbles that threaten the economy." The problem with his way of thinking is best described by the status quo defender Sarah Bloom Raskin who offered up this insight into what the manipulation of market interest rates gives us, "asset bubbles are a feature of our financial landscape." So there it is, a feature (not a bug) that the President wants to get rid of (and yet wants to maintain the illusion that unrealized profit (and debt) is wealth).

Guest Post: Cramer's Miss On The Corporate/Economic Relationship

One of the main reasons that investors so often get caught up in major market meltdowns is due to the short-sighted, near term, focus of market analysts and economists.  The data has to be analyzed with relation to the longer term trends and a clear understanding that all things, despite ongoing central bank interventions, do eventually end.  The problem with the current environment is that the artificial inflations have detached the market from the underlying economic fundamentals which has historically led to larger than expected reversions and outright crashes.

10 Year Bond Shakedown Continues: Rate Hits 2.873%

It's all about rates this largely newsless morning, which have continued their march wider all night, and moments ago rose to 2.873% - a fresh 2 year wide and meaning that neither Gross, nor the bond market, is nowhere near tweeted out. As DB confirms, US treasuries are front and center of mind at the moment.... the 10yr UST yield is up another 4bp at a fresh two year high of 2.87% in Tokyo trading, adding to last week’s 20bp selloff. As it currently stands, 10yr yields are up by more than 120bp from the YTD lows in early May and more than 80bp higher since Bernanke’s now infamous JEC testimony. We should also note that the recent US rates selloff has been accompanied by a rapid steepening in the rate curve. Indeed, the 2s/10s curve is at a 2 year high of 250bp and the 2s/30s and 2s/5s are also at close to their highest level in two years.

Frontrunning: August 9

  • JPMorgan Nears Settlement With SEC on London Whale Loss (BBG)
  • Without even a wristslap: Iksil to face no U.S. charges in 'Whale' probe (Reuters)
  • China’s Credit Expansion Slows as Li Curbs Shadow Banking (BBG)
  • China slowdown shows signs of abating (FT), even as...
  • Australia central bank Lowers Growth Outlook as Economy Transitions From Mining (BBG)
  • SAC Business Plan Goes to Judge, Plan Would Allow Firm to Maintain Business Operations but Restrict Its Ability to Move Assets (WSJ)
  • Another buyer of Herbalife? - Norway’s oil fund plans to turn active (FT)
  • Mark Carney plays down scepticism over interest rate policy (FT)
  • Orders Evaporate for Celebrity Perfumes (WSJ)

From Less Repo, To Less Collateral Transformation, To Less Quantiative Easing In One Shadowy Step

First it was the TBAC's May presentation "Availability of High Quality Collateral" piggybacking on reasoning presented previously by Credit Suisse. Then JPM's resident "flow and liquidity" expert Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou rang the bell on regulatory changes to shadow banking and how they would impact the repo market and collateral availability (and transformation) in an adverse fashion. Now, it is the turn of Barclays' own repo chief Joseph Abate to highlight a topic we have discussed since 2009: the ongoing contraction in quality collateral as a result of transformations in shadow banking and the Fed's extraction of quality collateral from traditional liquidity conduits (i.e., QE's monetization of bonds). To wit: "Several recent regulatory proposals will increase the pressure on banks to reduce assets that carry low risk weights. Repurchase agreements are a large source of banks’ low-risk assets, and we expect banks to reduce their matched book operations in response to these proposals."

Overnight News Not Terrible Enough To Assure New All Time Highs

While the market's eyes were fixed on the near record slide in Japanese Industrial Production (even as its ears glazed over the latest commentary rerun from Aso) which did however lead to a 1.53% jump in the PenNikkeiStock market on hope of more stimulus to get floundering Abenomics back on track, the most important news from the overnight session is that the PBOC's love affair with its own tapering may have come and gone after the central bank came, looked at the surge in 7 day market repo rates, and unwilling to risk another mid-June episode where SHIBOR exploded to the mid-25% range, for the first first time since February injected RMB17 billion through a 7-day reverse repo. The PBOC also announced it would cut the RRR in the earthquake-hit Lushan area. And with that the illusion of a firm and resolute PBOC is shattered, however it did result in a tiny 0.7% bounce in the SHCOMP.

Pivotfarm's picture

The Institute of International Finance (IIF) has released data that shows that the credit crunch in China is hitting harder than was thought at first and is secondly at the worst level since the global financial crisis landed on everyone’s plate. 

China To Kick Bad Debt Hornets Nest

China is preparing to admit that the level of problem Local Government Financing Vehicle debt is double the 10.7 trillion yuan first reported just two years ago, something many suspected but few dared to voice in the open. But not only that: since the likely level of Non-Performing Loans (i.e., bad debt) within the LGFV universe has long been suspected to be in 30% range, a doubling of the official figure will also mean a doubling of the bad debt notional up to a stunning and nosebleeding-inducing $1 trillion, or roughly 15% of China's goal-seeked GDP! We wish the local banks the best of luck as they scramble to find the hundreds of billions in capital to fill what is about to emerge as the biggest non-Lehman solvency hole in financial history (without the benefit of a Federal Reserve bailout that is).

Hugh Hendry: "The Storm That Caused Chaos In Markets Will Not Dissipate Anytime Soon"

The storm that caused chaos across financial markets since May should not dissipate any time soon. As such, we retain a short bias towards China and an outright short in EM currencies. If world trade remains weak and local inflation keeps on gaining momentum, the currencies of several EM countries (ex-China) may remain under pressure. Such weakness may be exacerbated by tightening liquidity.

Ugly Start As Sentiment Crunched On Cracked Credit Creation In Europe

At precisely 4 am Eastern two opposite things happened: the German IFO Business Climate for July printed at a better than expected 106.2 vs 105.9 in June and higher than the 106.1 consensus: news which would have been EURUSD positive. And yet the EUR tumbled. Why? Because at the same time the ECB provided an update to the chart that "keeps Mario Draghi up at night" as we reminded readers yesterday - the ECB's all important credit creation update in the form of the M3, which not only missed expectations (of +3%) but declined from 2.9% to 2.3%. But more importantly, ECB lending to private sector shrank for the 14th consecutive month in June, and slid to a new record low 1.6% in June, down from a 1.1% in May.

Frontrunning: July 24

  • Humans Beating Robots Most Since ’08 as Trends Shift (BBG)
  • Easing of Mortgage Curb Weighed (WSJ)
  • European Banks Face Capital Gap With Focus on Leverage (BBG)
  • Signs Suggest China Warming to Idea of Stimulus (WSJ)
  • China Coal-Fired Economy Dying of Thirst as Mines Lack Water (BBG)
  • Jeans and shoes show criminal underbelly of China-EU trade (Reuters)
  • How U.S. drug sting targeted West African military chiefs (Reuters)
  • Japan scrambles jets after China plane flies by southern islands (Reuters)
  • Apple Plots Return to Growth After Coping With Aging Lineup (BBG)
  • AT&T Falls Shy of Analyst Estimates as Discounts Hurt Margins (BBG)
  • SAC insider trading case takes twist (FT)
Pivotfarm's picture

Sovereign debt is the bonds that are issued by national governments in foreign currencies with the intent to finance a country’s growth. The risk involved is determined by whether that country is a developed or a developing country, whether that country has a stable government or not and the sovereign-credit ratings that are attributed by agencies to that country’s economy.