• Gold Standard I...
    07/07/2015 - 02:32
    In hyperinflation, the currency's purchasing power collapses. Many Fed critics have predicted this will come soon, though it hasn't happened yet. However all is not well with the dollar.

Brevan Howard

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Guatemala Central Bank Chief Arrested





Now here's a story about something that will never happen in the United States.

 
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ECB Blames Leak To Hedge Funds On "Internal Procedural Error"





Shortly after 6pm London time yesterday, The ECB's Benoit Coeure told a non-public audience of hedge funds in London that "the central bank would moderately front-load its purchases in its quantitative easing program because of the seasonal lack of market liquidity in the summer." The reaction was a 50 pips drop in EURUSD... but this was inside information was not released to the trading public until around 8am London time - and resulted in a 150 pip plunge. In other words, a select private group of head funds in London were leaked ECB front-loading news 14 hours before The ECB deemed it 'correct' to publicly release the comments... due to what The ECB calls "an internal procedure error."

 
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Stocks, Bonds Spike After ECB Pledge To Accelerate QE Ahead Of "Slow Season"





Less than a week ago, fresh from the aftermath of the recent dramatic six-sigma move in German Bunds, one of Europe's largest banks openly lamented that so far the ECB's QE had done absolutely nothing: "two months of QE for nothing." And lo and behold, as if on demand, overnight the ECB confirmed it had heard SocGen's lament when just before the European market open, ECB executive board member Benoit Coeure delivered a speech at the Brevan Howard Centre for Financial Analysis (appropriately named after a hedge fund) at Imperial College Business School (not to be confused with the July 26, 2012 Mario Draghi "whatever it takes" speech which also took place in London) in which he said that the ECB intends to "frontload" i.e., increase, its purchases of euro-area assets in May and June ahead of an expected low-liquidity period in the summer.

 
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The Best And Worst Hedge Funds Of January 2015





It is no secret that January was a bad month for bulls: it was in fact the worst start to the year in years, especially following that surprising last day selloff, which took the YTD drop as of January 30 to an unheard of, at least under global central-planning, -3.1%. It wasn't just the broader market: some of the more marquee hedge funds names also found it a tough time to navigate the transition of global easing away from the Fed to the ECB even as other central banks like the SNB lost all credibility, such as Fortress, Third Point, Perry, Maverick, Brevan Howard and various others, all of which had negative returns for the majority of the month based on HSBC data. But it wasn't all bad news: in fact, as the table below shows, the January outperformers generated higher relative returns than the worst funds of the month,

 
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How The Swiss National Bank Almost Crushed George Soros





Minutes after last week's Swiss National Bank shocker, jokingly we mused: "Will be ironic if Soros was long EURCHF." As it turns out, we were almost correct, and according to the WSJ, Soros Fund Management, which manages more than $25 billion for investor George Soros, was betting against the Swiss franc in the fall before it removed those bearish positions.  Why did the Soros so conveniently take off a bet which, with leverage, could have resulted in massive losses for his hedge fund? The WSJ says he did so after "viewing the risk as too high relative to potential gains, said people close to the matter." Well as long as "people close" think Soros did not have input directly from the Swiss central bank, or perhaps the occasional hint from Kashya Hildebrand, then one can't help but marvel at the octogenarian's impeccable timing.

 
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Our Money Is On This Guy





If we had to put all our money on one trader, just one individual trader, we would do it without hesitation. The recipient? This guy.

 
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Frontrunning: January 22





  • ECB to decide on bond-buying plan to revive euro zone (Reuters)
  • Draghi Is Pushing Boundaries of Euro Region with QE Program (BBG)
  • Investors Wonder Whether ECB Will Do Enough (WSJ)
  • Treasuries Drop With Bunds Before ECB; U.S. Futures Rise (BBG)
  • European shares hit seven-year high (Reuters)
  • At least eight civilians killed in shelling of Ukrainian trolleybus (Reuters), both sides blame each other
  • OPEC Will Blink First in Battle With Shale Drillers, Poll Shows (BBG)
  • China Injects $8 Billion Into Banking System (WSJ)
  • New York says Barclays not cooperating in 'dark pool' probe (Reuters)
 
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2014 Year In Review (Part 1): The Final Throes Of A Geopolitical Game Of Tetris





Every year, David Collum writes a detailed "Year in Review" synopsis full of keen perspective and plenty of wit. This year's is no exception. "I have not seen a year in which so many risks - some truly existential - piled up so quickly. Each risk has its own, often unknown, probability of morphing into a destructive force. It feels like we’re in the final throes of a geopolitical Game of Tetris as financial and political authorities race to place the pieces correctly. But the acceleration is palpable. The proximate trigger for pain and ultimately a collapse can be small, as anyone who’s ever stepped barefoot on a Lego knows..."

 
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Crude Carnage Goes Contagious As Brevan Howard Liquidates Underperforming Commodity Fund





The entire commodity complex is seeing major contagion-like price declines in early trading. WTI Crude is back below $65 for the first time since May 2010 - now down 16% since the initial leaks of OPEC's decision last Wednesday. Gold and Silver are getting whacked and copper has plunged below 300 - back at its lowest since June 2010. The news over the weekend that Brevan Howard is liquidating its $630 million commodity hedge fund following recent poor performance is also likely not helping as what looked like late-Friday margin call liquidations are extending notably this evening.

 
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New Global Crisis Imminent Due To “Poisonous Combination Of Record Debt And Slowing Growth", CEPR Report Warns





A “poisonous combination” of record debt and slowing growth suggest the global economy could be heading for another crisis, a hard-hitting report will warn on Monday. It warns of a “poisonous combination of high and rising global debt and slowing nominal GDP [gross domestic product], driven by both slowing real growth and falling inflation”. The total burden of world debt, private and public, has risen from 160 per cent of national income in 2001 to almost 200 per cent after the crisis struck in 2009 and 215 per cent in 2013. “Contrary to widely held beliefs, the world has not yet begun to delever and the global debt to GDP ratio is still growing, breaking new highs,” the report said. Luigi Buttiglione, one of the report’s authors and head of global strategy at hedge fund Brevan Howard, said: “Over my career I have seen many so-called miracle economies – Italy in the 1960s, Japan, the Asian tigers, Ireland, Spain and now perhaps China – and they all ended after a build-up of debt.”

 
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Frontrunning: August 11





  • Maliki digs in as U.S. pushes for new Iraq government (Reuters)
  • Ukraine's forces say close to taking rebel-held Donetsk (Reuters)
  • Anger Over Michael Brown Shooting Leads to Looting (WSJ)
  • German Economy Backbone Bending From Lost Russia Sales (BBG)
  • Kinder Morgan to Consolidate Empire (WSJ)
  • Early Failure to Detect Gaza Tunnel Network Triggers Recriminations in Israel (WSJ)
  • You’ll never guess how much BuzzFeed raised from Horowitz (FT)
  • The dumb money is now chasing Chinese oligarchs: Norway’s Wealth Fund Buys $576 Million of Mayfair Area (BBG)
  • Clinical trial to start soon on GSK Ebola vaccine (Reuters)
  • No drone skeet shooting any time soon (WSJ)
 
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Frontrunning: February 12





  • Anti-Euro Party’s Le Pen Gains Supporters, French Poll Shows (BBG)
  • Carney Renews BOE Low-Rate Pledge to Fight Slack in Economy (BBG)
  • Bank of England hints at 2015 rate rise (Reuters)
  • ECB bond-buying intact and ready after court decision-Coeure (Reuters)
  • Canada scraps millionaire visa scheme, dumps 46,000 Chinese applications (SCMP)
  • Scrap this then? Vancouver facing an influx of 45,000 more rich Chinese (SCMP)
  • China's January Exports Power Higher, Up 10.6% (WSJ) ... and nobody believes the number
  • Emerging-Market Shakeout Putting Reserves Into Focus (BBG)
  • Wall Street's most eligible banker Fleming waits for suitor (Reuters)
  • Kazakh Devaluation Shows Currency War Stirring as Ruble Dips (BBG)
 
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Forbes Reveals Its "Top 30 Under 30" In Finance





With Trader Monthly magazine having, ironically, gone out business long ago, all those traders whose egos demanded that their insider trading connections put them at least in one of the iconic "Top X under X" league tables, pardon, rankings, had to bide their time in expectation of one day when their prowess to frontrun others or move markets with repeated calls to 555-7617 (with or without references to Anacott Steel) would be appreciated by such sterling Wall Street "experts" as Anthony Scaramucci. Well, for this year's crop of some 30 traders under 30, the day has arrived. And while Forbes may not be Trader Monthly, the amusement, the hubris and the behind the scenes dealing to appear in such a list, sure are still the same...

 
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Frontrunning: October 11





  • Dot Com part deux: Investors are showing increasing hunger for initial public offerings of unprofitable technology companies  (WSJ)
  • Poll Finds GOP Blamed More for Shutdown (WSJ)
  • House, Senate Republicans Offer Competing Plans on Debt-Limit, Government Shutdown (WAPO)
  • Obama, Republicans aim to end crisis after meeting, hurdles remain (Reuters)
  • US Rethinks How to Release Sensitive Economic Data (WSJ)
  • Chinese East Oil Fuels Fresh China-US Tensions (WSJ)
  • ECB Agrees on Swap Line With PBOC as Trade Increases (BBG)
  • China September Auto Sales Surge 21% on Japanese Rebound (BBG)
  • JPMorgan Taps Taxpayer-Backed Banks for Basel Rules (BBG)
 
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The End Of The Central Bank Put: From Mugabenomics To MadMaxnomics





There exists a super-Bernanke who proved also a super-Hollande, a gentleman who Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe cannot compete with: his name is Robert Mugabe, the president of Zimbabwe. When he took power, he seized the farmlands of one social group to give them to another social group. Afterwards, in part because the new social group did not manage the farms that well, the economy took a turn for the worse. Therefore, the state issued some bonds to finance its spending and asked the central bank to issue some money to buy this government debt. But they printed big time and turned the printing press into something of a cosmic proportion. According to Professor Steve Hanke from John Hopkins, monthly inflation was 80 billion percent, so per year it is a 65 followed by 107 zeros. This is what we call Mugabenomics, the conjunction of (i) state-forced wealth transfer between two social groups along with (ii) the monetisation of the debt. As we shall see below, Mugabenomics, or at least its mild version implemented now in the Western hemisphere, has drastic consequences on the final episode of the global financial crisis.

 
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