Borrowing Costs

Frontrunning: August 1

  • Global stocks hit highest in a year but banks take shine off Europe (Reuters)
  • Fed’s Dudley Warns It Is Premature to Rule Out an Interest-Rate Increase This Year (WSJ)
  • Fed’s Kaplan Says September ‘On the Table’ If Data Support (BBG)
  • Europe's stress tests fail to ease investors' bank sector worries (Reuters)
  • Trump’s Attacks on Khan Family Roil Race But May Not Alter It (BBG)

Why MainStreet Isn't Buying Obama's Economic Story

Last night, President Obama took a victory lap for his economic achievements while in office. With the 2016 Presidential Election fast approaching, this was one of the final chances the President will have to try and divert attention away from Hillary’s “trustworthiness” problem following continued revelations surrounding Benghazi, email scandals and the Clinton Foundation which is now under investigation by the IRS. The question is whether the majority of the voting public will agree with the President’s message? Let’s take a look at some charts...

Corrupt Or Just Stupid? Markets Hand Corporations An Unlimited Credit Card

The crucial thing to understand about credit bubble dynamics is that borrowing money from people desperate to lend and using the proceeds to overpay for assets requires only monkey-level intelligence. So while a bubble is inflating it’s impossible for most of the media, banking and political communities to tell the legitimate operators from the hopelessly corrupt and/or extremely stupid. That’s the world we’ve created by handing monetary printing presses to governments, and by extension to corporate CEOs.

US Futures Rise With All Eyes On Kuroda As Global Stocks Tread Water

Following yesterday's Fed decision and ahead of tonight's far more important BOJ announcement, European stocks have posted modest declines, Asian shares rise toward 9-month highs, while U.S. equity index futures are fractionally in the green in the aftermath of Facebook's blowout earnings. The dollar has extended on losses after Yellen reiterated a gradual approach to raising interest rates, and was down 0.5% in early trading.

The Key Thing To Watch For In Today's FOMC Statement

The Fed is expected to stay on hold today. Given the Fed’s dovish reaction to the weak May employment report, SocGen expects that officials are likely to be reluctant to commit to any particular path just yet (despite the longest streak of economically positive surprise in US history). In the absence of any signal regarding the next hike, attention will fall on their characterization of the economy. Here are five things to watch in the statement...

Stocks Slide After Japan's "Helicopter Money" Plan Leaks, Underwhelms

At the same time that the Nikkei released its latest "market response" trial ballon, where it posted an article around 2am local time clearly meant for US market consumption according to which BOJ officials "were said to be leaning more toward easing", the same Nikkei also published a preview of what Japan's helicopter money may look like. There is just one problem: at first read, and judging by the market's reaction, it appears to be rather underwhelming.

US Futures Rebound Despite Global Stock Weakness As USDJPY Ramps HIgher

After breaking a multi-year stretch of 9 daily record highs in the Dow Jones, overnight global markets saw some early weakness with Asian stocks retreating after BOJ chief Kuroda dashed hopes for so-called helicopter money, triggering yen’s steepest rally in a month and pulling the Nikkei lower by 1.1%. This however did not last long, and around the European open the traditional ramp in the USDJPY helped European equities shrug off early downside, while US equity futures have already recovered half of yesterday's losses.

US Futures Dip, European Stocks Slide After EU Court Slams Italian Bank Bailout Plans

After a head-scratching S&P500 rally - which not even Goldman has been able to justify - pushed stocks to new all time highs with seemingly daily record highs regardless of fundamentals or geopolitical troubles, overnight US equity futures dipped modestly, tracking weak European stocks as demand for safe haven assets including U.S. Treasuries and gold rises. Asian stocks outside Japan fall. Crude oil trades near $45 a barrel. 

3 Things: Bonds, Bulls, & Central Banks

With global rates at zero to negative, money will continue to chase U.S. Treasuries for the higher yield. This will continue to push yields lower as the global economy continues to slow. What would cause this to reverse? It would require either an economic rebound as last seen in 50’s and 60’s or a complete loss of faith in the U.S. to pay its debts such as a collapse of the Government and the onset of the “zombie apocalypse.” We no longer have the drivers of manufacturing, demographics or credit expansion for the former, so I am ready for the latter.

"It's Prohibited By Law" - A Problem Emerges For Japan's "Helicopter Money" Plans

"Adopting helicopter money in the strict sense is impossible as it's prohibited by law," said one of the officials. "If it's about the BOJ buying huge amounts of bonds and the government deploying fiscal stimulus, we're already doing that." Japan shouldn't make its central bank directly underwrite government borrowing, "or it could suffer the kind of runaway spending and inflation that followed a similar move in the 1930s."

"Soon" And "Really, Really Crazy": Starting Up The Helicopters

The idea (now being pushed by a surprising number of people who ought to know better) that governments should take advantage of historically low interest rates to “invest” with borrowed money has an obvious fatal flaw. That is, accumulating even more negative or zero-rate debt will make it functionally impossible to raise rates to “normal” levels, which is to say levels where markets can once again function as mechanisms for moving savings into productive investments. It’s not a stretch to call this the end of capitalism and the beginning of a new Dark Age.

Global Stocks, Futures Rise On Disappointing Chinese Trade Data, Hopes For More Central Bank Intervention

In an otherwise quiet overnight session, which among other things saw Germany sell 10Y Bunds with a zero coupon and a negative yield (-0.05%) for the first time ever (despite being uncovered with just €4.038BN sold below the €5.00BN target) anyone hoping for a confirmation that China will be able to prop up the world economy once more, was left disappointed when earlier this morning China reported June exports and imports that once again dropped substantially in dollar terms as soft demand at home and abroad continued to weigh on the world’s largest trading nation.

S&P 500 To Open At All Time Highs After Japan Soars, Yen Plunges On JPY10 Trillion Stimulus

S&P 500 futures are set to open at new all time highs, with global stocks rallying as the yen weakened and the Nikkei soared on speculation Japan is about to unveil the first instance of "helicopter money"-lite, as well as due to a continuation of better-than-expected U.S. jobs data. Further speculation that Italy's (and Europe's) insolvent banks will be bailed out has further boosted sentiment.