The UK EU referendum is suddenly totally dominant in financial markets. The increased focus comes as the leave campaign has gathered steam as 4 polls yesterday afternoon/evening put the 'leave' campaign ahead. As a result of the continued global scramble for safety, German 10Y bunds finally dropped below 0% for the first time ever, while global risk assets are red around the globe.
Regulation NMS made its first major impact with the introduction of “Payment For Order Flow”, which when paired with sub-penny pricing, is now directly responsible for birthing a new gold rush within the capital markets. The dawn of the High Frequency Trading (HFT) community we witness today. The result of this policy is an insurmountable, unequal, and unjust advantage for self-dealing BD’s and HFT’s, at the expense of the market’s retail level investors.
"For long-term investors the outlook is dire. If you invested today for 20 years the after cost excess return might be $21,800 (today’s yield on a balanced portfolio is just 199bps minus 100bps) versus $60,000 if you invested 10 years ago – and a $150,000 30 years ago."
There is a deep irony embedded in the Fed’s savage assault on savers and its delusional doctrine of interest rate repression. While this actually results in monumental windfalls to speculators and the one percent, it’s all justified in the name of boosting the labor market and the wage bill. All this money printing has been for naught. Notwithstanding the 9X eruption of the Fed’s balance sheet from $500 billion at the turn of the century to $4.5 trillion today, growth in the most basic measure of labor input - total hours worked - has come to a grinding halt.
In developed countries (like America) with sophisticated capital markets, complex adaptive supply chains, and experienced PhD economists running the economy, it is the weather that is to blame when data disappoints and throws cold water on a status-quo-maintaining narrative. But in Kenya, there is a force far greater than Mother Nature when it comes to potentially destroying the economy... the vervet monkey!!
As global growth expectations collapse, so do bond yields (now at new record lows for developed markets) but that doesn't stop equity 'investors' from piling into already richly-valued stocks on the hope that next year will be the year when global macro and micro hockey-stick projections will work out...
With the plunge in rate-hike odds and fears over Brexit, it appears the safety of global developed market bonds is sought after as Bloomberg's Developed World Bond yield slumps to just 62bps - a record low. Yields are moving opposite to what economist expected (and have been expecting since the fall of 2011 when Ben Bernanke broke the capital markets).
Here are five market counterfactuals – “What ifs” – all anchored in a prior reality: where the world was 155 days ago, at the end of 2015; to both illustrate why large cap U.S. equities just closed near their highest levels of 2016 and consider the conventional wisdom about whether the current rally is sustainable.
Jamie Dimon said the market for U.S. automobile lending is “a little stressed” and that he foresees higher losses ahead for some competitors. “Someone will get hurt in auto lending,” but not JPMorgan, Dimon said. Meanwhile, CEO Citigroup Mike Corbat indicated that the company's second-quarter net income will be roughly 25% lower than the same period a year earlier, roughly the same as the abysmal first quarter.
Following an abysmal quarter for investment banks around the globe, which saw salary cuts across the board as a result of sliding revenues in virtually all product areas, we forecast that the next logical step will be ongoing major layoffs of some of the world's highest paid employees. This morning none other than the most insulated from global financial troubles bank confirmed just this when Bloomberg reported that Goldman had quietly cut investment banking jobs in the last few weeks, joining securities firms that are adjusting to a slowdown in deal activity.
Now that the market's fascinated dream with the regime of Brazil's new president Michel Temer is quickly turning into a nightmare, following two immediate resignations of his closest ministers over the ongoing Carwash corruption scandal, including ironically that of the country's anti-corruption minister, Fabiano Silveira, attention is gradually returning to what is truly the cause of Brazil's woes: an unprecedented economic depression.
Saudi Arabia is planning to hit up the international bond markets for cash for the first time ever as the kingdom grapples with plunging oil revenue. The middle-eastern nation is planning to raise as much as $15 billion in the bond sale.
One does not have to be financial wizard to to know that a firm which has to borrow more than it can generate from core operations is not a sustainable business model, and yet today's CFOs, pundits and central bankers do not. But more are starting to pay attention as the corporate debt pile hits epic proportions. As Bloomberg writes this morning, when it also issued a stark warning about the next source of credit contagion, while "consumers were the Achilles’ heel of the U.S. economy in the run-up to the last recession. This time, companies may play that role."