It's so good to be the cleanest dirty shirt, right? Wrong...
Hearing of IMF interventions generally conjures up images of developing nations (and the occasional Eurozone peripheral economy of late) facing some kind of financial difficulty. But it was actually Great Britain, the cradle of the industrialized world, which in 1976 became one of the first countries ever to be "bailed out" by the IMF in the modern sense of the term.
Despite claims of containment, Reuters reports seven more people turned themselves in late on Thursday to an Ebola isolation unit in Madrid; but following a visit by PM Rajoy, Spanish citizens can relax as the government is setting up a special Ebola committee. Following yesterday's scare in Paris, The Independent reports authorities are investigating a 'probable' case of a French national who may have contracted the disease in Africa. The World Health organization has warned that East Asia is at risk of becoming a "hot spot" for diseases - but is well prepared after SARS and avian flu but it is the appearance of a confirmed case in Brazil that is most concerning. A 47-year-old man, originally from Guinea, is LatAm's first case and suggests SOUTHCOM's "nightmare scenario" is closer than many would care to believe. Finally, the CDC has issued special guidance to 911 operators on dealing with suspected Ebola cases across America.
This week has seen some market volatility (see VIX Chart) reminiscent of the functioning market from days of old. The markets are spooked, bad news is overtaking good news and bearish views are becoming vogue. We are seeing a titanic battle taking place between the various bull and bear camps and they are starting to unleash some serious firepower.
Relative to stock market indices, broad commodity indices are now at their lowest levels since the late-1990s dot com boom. Key commodity price ratios, such as those between precious and industrial metals, are already at levels associated with financial crises such as that of 2008. In other words, there is already ‘blood on the commodity streets’, presenting investors and commodity traders with potentially attractive opportunities.
Global Equities In "Sea Of Red" After German Industrial Data Horror, Hints Japan May Give Up On Weak YenSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 10/07/2014 05:44 -0500
While the economic data, especially out of Europe, just keeps getting worse by the day, with the latest confirmation that Europe is now officially in a triple-dip recession coming out of Germany and the previously observed collapse in Industrial Production which tumbled the most since February 2009, it was once again the Dollar and especially the New Normal favorite currency, the Yen, that was in everyone's sights overnight, when it first jumped to 109.20 only to slide shortly after midnight eastern, when Abe repeated once again that a plunging Yen is hurting small companies and consumers - and to think it only took him 2 years to read what we said would happen in late 2012 - but also the BOJ minutes which did not reveal any addition easing, which apparently disappointed algos and triggered USDJPY slel programs, pushing the USDJPY 80 pips lower to 108.40.
This may be excessively optimistic on my part, but there seems to be a slow change in the way the world thinks about reserve currencies. For a long time it was widely accepted that reserve currency status granted the provider of the currency substantial economic benefits. For much of my career I pretty much accepted the consensus, but as one starts to think more seriously about the components of the balance of payments, it is clear Keynes wad right in his call for a hybrid currency when he recognized that once the reserve currency was no longer constrained by gold convertibility, the world needed an alternative way to prevent destabilizing imbalances from developing. On the heels of Treasury Economist Kenneth Austin and former-Obama chief economist Jared Bernstein discussing the end of the USD as a reserve currency, Michael Pettis summarizes 10 reasons the USD's reserve status has become an 'exorbitant burden'.
After collapsing on the heels of a poll a week ago suggesting Dilma Rousseff was leading in Brazil's Presidential election (and thus bad for business, more of the same lack of reform), the weekend's vote - while confirming Rousseff's lead - did not give her a majority and pro-business candidate Aecio Neves had a strong showing. Brazil's stock market IBOVESPA index exploded 8% higher on hope that this may mean 'change' as Brazilians clearly signaled disenchantment with current policies... even as Rousseff is still the strong favorite.
The US Dollar has risen for 12 straight weeks - gaining over 8% against major worlde currencies since June - and while talking heads proclaim the cleanest-dirty-shirt belief in "king dollar," as Reuters notes, it could pose a triple threat to US companies' earnings: driving up the costs of doing business overseas, suppressing the value of non-US sales and, perhaps most worryingly, signaling weak international demand. While the historical relationship between the dollar and the S&P 500 has been inconsistent (though some sectors are highly correlated), Barclays fears translation effects could reduce revenues and cause estimates for Q3 to be missed (even as they are marked down dramatically). Crucially, Barclays warns dollar strength is important because it is a symptom of decelerating international economic growth and they reiterate their unchanged 1975 year-end target for the S&P.
- Ebola Patient Fights for Life as Contacts are Monitored (BBG)
- GPIF Unlikely To Announce New Portfolio Until November: Delay Could Rattle Investors Hoping Fund Will Invest More in Stocks (WSJ)
- High risk Ebola could reach France and UK by end-October, scientists calculate (Reuters)
- Neves to Face Rousseff in Brazil in Surprise Comeback (BBG)
- Hong Kong democracy protests fade, face test of stamina (Reuters); A Hong Kong Protest Run on Fumes and Instant Noodles (WSJ)
- Putin Clans Said Gridlocked Over Arrest as Sanctions Bite (BBG)
- Surging dollar may be triple whammy for U.S. earnings (Reuters)
- Lloyds Said to Cut Thousands of Jobs as CEO Cuts Costs (BBG)
While the biggest micro news of the weekend is certainly the report that Hewlett-Packard has finally thrown in the towel on organic growth (all those thousands laid off over the past ten years can finally breathe easily - they were not fired in vain), and has proceeded to do what so many said was its only real option: splitting into two separate companies, a personal-computer and printer business, and corporate hardware and services operations (which will certainly lead to even more stock buybacks only not at one but two companies) which in turn has sent its stock and futures higher, perhaps the most notable development in the macro world is Japan's realization finally that the weaker Yen is crushing domestic businesses, which has resulted in the USDJPY sliding to lows last seen at Friday's jobs report print, and also generally leading to across the board wekness for the dollar, whose relentless surge in the past 3 months is strongly reminiscent of the euphoria following the Plaza Accord, only in the other direction (and making some wonder if the Plaza Hotel caterer are about to see a rerun of September 22, 1985 in the coming weeks).
There Might Be Some Truth to China's Accusation that the U.S. is Doing Its Best to Stir Up Hong Kong
Having rallied exuberantly on the back of hopes a reform-hungry hot-money-flow-encouraging Silva would take the Presidency in Brazil, a new poll this morning shows encumbent Rousseff back in the lead... and Brazilian markets are rapidly unwinding their exuberance. The Ibovespa is down 5% - its biggest drop in over 3 years. Brazil swap rates have spiked over 50bps and bonds bleeding as USDBRL jumps over 3 handles (to weakest since 2008). It appears just 48 hours after a strong rally on Friday, as markets 'efficiently' knew everything was great, Rousseff has realised a few well-placed, well-executed poll results and everything changes.
First it was the foreign exchange markets, then commodities, followed by fixed income markets. Now it’s the equity markets. Wherever we look, volatility has been creeping higher. To some extent, this is not surprising. At the end of the US Federal Reserve’s first round of quantitative easing, and at the end of QE2, the markets wobbled. So with QE3 now winding to a close (and with the European Central Bank (ECB) still behind the curve), a period of uncertainty and frazzled nerves should probably have been expected.
- Mystery Man Who Moves Japanese Markets Made More Than 1 Million Trades (BBG)
- Draghi’s Trillion-Euro Pump Finds Blockage in Spain: Euro Credit (BBG)
- Apple plays defense on iPhone 6 bending, software concerns (Reuters)
- U.S. to Shield Military From High-Interest Debt (WSJ)
- U.S. Outgunned by Extremists on Social Media Battlefield (BBG)
- Yen Weakens on Pension Fund Reform; Aussie Drops to 7-Month Low (BBG)
- Secretive Russian oil giant has no fear of sanctions (Reuters)
- Ride-Sharing Services Face Legal Threat From San Francisco, Los Angeles (WSJ)
- Putin’s Sell-Treasuries-for-BRICS Bonds Plan Has Limits (BBG)