As we have discussed previously, the "partial government shutdown" that we are experiencing right now is pretty much a non-event - especially with the un-furloughing of The Pentagon. Yeah, some national parks are shut down and some federal workers will have their checks delayed, but it is not the end of the world. In fact, only about 17% of the federal government is actually shut down at the moment. This "shutdown" could continue for many more weeks and it would not affect the global economy too much. On the other hand, if the debt ceiling deadline (approximately October 17th) passes without an agreement that would be extremely dangerous. A U.S. debt default that lasts for more than a couple of days could potentially cause a financial crash that would make 2008 look like a Sunday picnic. If a debt default were to happen before the end of this year, that would bring a tremendous amount of future economic pain into the here and now, and the consequences would likely be far greater than any of us could possibly imagine.
There is a reason why John Taylor of FX Concepts, founded in 1981 and which once upon a time was the world's largest FX hedge fund, has kept a very quiet profile lately despite his often bombastic prognostications in 2011 and 2012: the firm may be on the verge of shut down following a recent surge in redemptions resulting from woeful performance in the past three years. FX Week reports that AUM at FX Concepts "have continued to fall and the fund's chief strategist confirms the board's ideas haven't worked so far." It adds that the hedge fund is in "dangerous territory after the departure of several major clients and falling assets under management, prompting the firm's board to rethink its strategy, officials have confirmed." As a result of a surge in redemptions, assets under management have declined from a peak of $14.2 billion in 2007 to less than $1 billion this year, having been at $4.5 billion in early 2012.
Argues that despite the growth the of the state in response to the crisis, what characterizes the current investment climate is the weakness of the state. This asssessment is not limited to the US, where the federal government remains partially closed.
Technically, the dollar is looking a bit better. Here is our assessment.
The standard wisdom on gold is that it does well in times of economic bad news such as in the 1970s, a period of stagflation and recessions, when the yellow metal rose from $35/oz to peak at $850/oz in 1980. But this time, Don Coxe, a portfolio adviser to BMO Asset Management, believes, things are different. In this interview with The Gold Report, Coxe explains why gold will rise when the economy improves.
One thing is now abundantly clear: 2013 is now one big scratch for bankers who were expecting that this year bonuses would finally pick up from the prior several years mediocre performance and catch up to the record days of 2009 (just after the biggest wholesale bank bailout in history). The WSJ summarizes the situation best: "I haven't seen morale this bad since the Titanic," said Richard Stein, a senior recruiter at Caldwell Partners CWL.T -3.41% who specializes in financial services. And if bankers are not happy, nobody else will be (here's looking at you dear perpetual banker bailout ATM known as US taxpayers).
From: Chilton, Bart <BChilton@cftc.gov>
Subject: Re: Today's Smackdown
No regulators looking at markets due to government shut down.
Perhaps investors are becoming inured to the United States’ annual debt-ceiling debacle, now playing out for the third year in a row. But, as the short-term antics become more routine, the risks of long-term dysfunction become more apparent. At least for now, the rest of the world has seemingly unbounded confidence – reflected in very low borrowing rates – in America’s capacity to put its house (of representatives) in order. No one can imagine that a country with so many unique economic advantages would risk such a damaging self-inflicted wound as default would cause. But this time could be different. Obama needs to force his Republican opponents to blink, and there is no guarantee that they will.
Want to fund your "grilled cheesus" project? Need money to continue your "edible cup" business? Kickstarter is the platform of choice. But now, with the muni bond market suffering from outflows in retail funds and bankruptcies mounting across the nation, cities are increasingly turning to 'crowd-funding'. As Bloomberg reports, Central Falls (which filed for bankruptcy 2 years ago) is using Citizinvestor to seek $10,044 in funds for 5 new trash cans. "Even with attractive yields, there aren't a lot of people lining up to get involved with places that have gone through bankruptcy," as the initiative has raised $295 so far...
The Government May Shut Down, But These 18 October POMOs Will Proceed Come Hell Or Selective DefaultSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 09/30/2013 14:15 -0500
As pointed out earlier, the Federal Reserve does not depend on Congressional appropriations, and will not see any cutbacks due to a shutdown which with every passing hour seems more inevitable. It also means that even if the entire US government were to be shutdown, the daily wealth effect injection into the stock market for the benefit of the 0.01% will continue and the confidence show must go on. Specifically, as was released moments ago by the NY Fed, Bernanke will inject another $45 billion in the capital markets courtesy of 18 distinct bond-monetizing POMO operations over the next 31 days. These will take place regardless of anything else that may happen to the government, which perhaps better than anything else, shows who is truly in control of this country and on whose behalf they operate.
Breaking Bad With Big Bank CEOs: How Bad Bank CEOs Use the Bystander Effect to Dupe Good People Into Working For ThemSubmitted by smartknowledgeu on 09/30/2013 05:09 -0500
This may become the most important article I’ve ever written. But whether it becomes that article or dwells in anonymity is up to you, the reader.
Dispassionate overview of the key factors shaping the investment climate in the week ahead.
As we pointed out earlier, today the investing public was witness to perhaps one of the most epic (and backfiring) media PR clusterfucks in history. And it just got so much better.
BlackBerry Enters LOI With Fairfax Financial To Be Taken Private At $9.00/Share; Deal Subject To Diligence, Financing OutsSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 09/23/2013 12:37 -0500
Following Friday's stunner of a stock halting press release, moments ago BBRY was halted again, this time however for some "good" (relatively speaking) news. The firm reported that it has entered into a Letter of Intent (so nothing definitive yet) with Fairfax Financial, according to which BBRY shareholders would receive U.S. $9 per share in cash - Transaction valued at approximately U.S. $4.7 billion - Consortium permitted 6 weeks to conduct due diligence - BlackBerry entitled to go-shop during due diligence period, subject to payment of a termination fee in the event alternative offer accepted. In other words an LBO, one which however has not only but many outs: "There can be no assurance that due diligence will be satisfactory, that financing will be obtained, that a definitive agreement will be entered into or that the transaction will be consummated." Which means that once the buyers figure out the potential disaster on the books, expect the final price (if any) to be revised lower as one after another MAC clause is triggered.
Once upon a time, US thrift institutions were the primary provider of credit to keep the American housing market humming along. Then the great Savings and Loan crisis happened, and by and large thrifts disappeared from the housing credit landscape. The result was the advent of Fannie and Freddie (i.e., the GSEs) as the "rug" that tied the US housing market room together. The chart below shows the dramatic increase in the role that the GSEs started playing following the S&L crisis, and which culminated with the great financial crisis, or rather the failure of the GSEs a month ahead of the Lehman bankruptcy.