In spite of all the attention the nation has received in recent years, SCMP reports that thousands of so-called "politically exposed persons”, or PEPs - a category that includes heads of state and other top officials - hold Swiss bank accounts, a Swiss foreign ministry official said. But, perhaps not for much longer as Bern aims to finalize a law aimed at simplifying the process of freezing and unblocking such funds.
Although we've talked plenty about the impact of the yuan deval on Asia-Pac and LatAm, we haven’t yet mentioned India where yesterday, in the midst of the turmoil, central bank governor Raghuram Rajan sought to calm nervous markets by reassuring the world that India is not, for now anyway, in any danger thanks to ample FX reserves and a low CA.Be that as it may, economic realities are economic realities and a currency war is a currency war, which is why, we suppose, the Indian government’s chief economic advisor Arvind Subramanian thinks the country might just have to hit back.
With EM in turmoil from Brazil to Malaysia, Bloomberg has mapped the carnage, showing just how many EM equity markets are in or closing in on bear market territory.
Earlier this month whistleblowing platform, WikiLeaks, announced the launch of a new crowdfunding campaign to gain more information on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). The campaign, launched on August 11, is designed to raise funds to offer whistleblowers a reward for any information about the impending trade, which has been negotiated in almost complete secrecy despite its global implications. To date, the campaign has raised $86,693.47 from 2,441 people, 79 percent of the $109,700 goal.
Brazil's flagging economy, which is mired in stagflation and remains a slave both to China and to what looks like intractable political turmoil, has destroyed nearly 550,000 jobs YTD. As Barclays notes, " [the July] print is compatible with 140,939 job eliminations, pretty close to the historical low of -154,355 in June."
"We conclude that, under current circumstances, it is only a matter of time until Brazil loses its investment grade status."
By starving investors of safe return, activist Fed policy has promoted repeated valuation bubbles, and inevitable collapses, in risky assets. On the basis of valuation measures having the strongest correlation with actual subsequent market returns, we fully expect the S&P 500 to decline by 40-55% over the completion of the current market cycle. The only uncertainty has been the triggers.
So now comes the era of gluts, shrinking profits and a drastic deflation of the giant financial bubble that the world’s central banks have so foolishly generated. And this time they will be powerless to stop the carnage. Yet the beleaguered central bankers will launch desperate verbal and market manipulation ploys to brake the current sell-off and thereby preserve the bloodied remnants of their handiwork. When in response the gamblers make their eighth run at buying a dip that is now rapidly turning into a crater, it will be an excellent time to sell anything in the casino that isn’t nailed down.
"It is an old saying in commodities that the best cure for low prices is low prices. Market participants are now asking how much further prices need to fall and how long they need to stay there to bring supply and demand back in to balance and halt the price declines across a broad swathe of different raw materials markets. The fear is that just as the upside of the supercycle brought an unprecedented and long period of historical price highs, the plunge to the downside is shaping up to be equally dramatic and may yet have a way to run."
On Friday, ahead of the closing stock rout, we forecast that the biggest risk for anyone staying long over the weekend was a disappointment out of China, where the sellside had gotten so excited that a 50-100bps RRR cut was imminent, that the lack of one would surely send futures sliding. Sure enough, as we noted earlier today, much to everyone's surprise and disappointment, the PBOC did nothing (for reasons we speculated upon earlier). Which bring us to this evening's S&P futures, which opened for trading minutes ago, and as expected, gapped by over 0.6% after the Chinese disappointment, down 13 points to 1958 and looking quite heavy.
Last week, in the global currency war’s latest escalation, Kazakhstan instituted a free float for the tenge causing the currency to immediately plunge by some 25%. The rationale behind the move was clear enough. What might not be as clear is how recent events in developing economy FX markets stem from a seismic shift we began discussing late last year - namely, the death of the petrodollar system which has served to underwrite decades of dollar dominance and was, until recently, a fixture of the post-war global economic order.
The eventual outcome to all this is captured brilliantly in this quote by Ludwig Von Mises, the Austrian economist: "There is no means of avoiding the final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion. The alternative is only whether the crisis should come sooner as the result of a voluntary abandonment of further credit expansion, or later as a final and total catastrophe of the currency system involved." The credit expansion happened between 1980 and 2008, there was a warning shot which was soundly ignored by ignorant central bankers, and now we have more, not less, debt with which to contend.
As the great EM unwind continues unabated, we’ve noted that in some hard-hit countries, the terrible trio of falling commodity prices, decelerating Chinese demand, and looming Fed hike has been exacerbated by political turmoil. Now, we turn to Malaysia where an already tenuous situation just got worse as PM Najib Razak is now facing calls for a no-confidence vote amid allegations he embezzled some $700 million from the country's development fund.
Shockwaves from China’s devaluation have conspired with sluggish global demand and an attendant commodities slump to wreak havoc on developing market currencies the world over. On the heels of Kazakhstan's dramatic move to float the tenge, here's which currencies are next in line to tumble.
Courtesy of the following chart by BofA, we have the answer: while for the most part of 2015, the move in the price of oil was a combination of both supply and demand, the most recent plunge has been entirely a function of what now appears to be a global economic recession, one which will get far worse if the Fed indeed hikes rates as it has repeatedly threatened as it begins to undo 7 years of ultra easy monetary policy.