Remember the shale gale and Saudi America? The scale of those outlandish delusions has now dwindled to plays in a few counties in West Texas and southeastern New Mexico. Saudi Permian. It’s a race to the bottom as investors double down on the tight oil companies that can still tell a growth story.
So far US banks have escaped the recent Libor surge, but the higher funding costs and shrunken market are hitting Japanese banks particularly hard, as they have been sourcing as much as a third of their U.S. dollar liquidity in the short-term U.S. market. Japanese banks have about $125 billion to $150 billion of CP and CDs maturing before the end of September.
Things are so absurd in the Eurozone that the ECB is buying private placement debt with little regard for safety. In turn, private equity companies issue debt simply because they know in advance the ECB will buy it. It’s a startling example of how the market is adapting to extremes of monetary policy, and it’s a safe conclusion the experiment will not end well.
The Bank of Japan's near doubling of its purchases of Tokyo shares is causing investors to worry the central bank will dominate financial markets, which could lead to price distortions as it continues to grease the economy. It also prompted a CLSA analyst to tell the truth: "The BOJ is nationalizing the stock market."
Investors should check their ideologies and personal politics at the door. The fact is, that strong and enduring capital markets can only survive in truly capitalist economies, preferably with strong representative governments. With accretive capital formation in question, it occurs to us that the largest global capital markets have become little more than tools for Marx’s "ruling class" - in this case well-funded politicians and their patrons - to socialize the factors of production. Whether such a conclusion is good, bad or irrelevant to market performance is the focus of this report.
According to John Williams, central banks and governments must come up with new monetary and fiscal policies to kickstart a global economy which is barely growing (thanks to 7 years of flawed monetary policy). "We can wait for the next storm and hope for better outcomes or prepare for them now and be ready." As a result, Williams believes that a major fiscal stimulus thrust is now critical to propel the US economy higher. And he is, mostly, right. There is just one problem...
To say that hedge funds have had a tough time navigating the world of activist central banks and central-planning, would be a vast understatement. According to Barclays, in the last almost 4.5 years, HFs actually generated negative cumulative alpha starting around 2011. Here is what they blame it on.
Needless to say, the above outlandish graph does not capture capitalism at work. Nor did the speculators who surfed upon this $45 trillion bubble harvest their monumental windfalls owing to investment genius. Instead, it is the perverted fruit of Bubble Finance, and there is no better illustration of this bubble surfer syndrome than the sainted Warren Buffett.
Following a handful of underwhelming monetary announcements by the likes of the ECB, BOJ and RBA, today the BOE's Mark Carney unveiled his own version of Draghi's infamous "whatever it takes" gambit, unleashing a kitchen sink of options that went well beyond what Wall Street expected, even quasi-copying Draghi's phrasing, saying the central bank will take "whatever action is necessary" to ensure the UK economy remains strong.
According to a just released Goldman analysis, the sensitivity of US Treasury yields to economic data surprises has declined to near record-lows over the last two years. In other words, the market no longer responds to data. What does it respond to? "Treasury yields have reacted more strongly to Fed communication." But where it gets truly perverse, is that the market, by ignoring the economy, is responding to a Fed which in turn is merely responding to the market.
The Fed's latest Senior Loan Officer Survey for July 2016 showed that banks continued to tighten standards on commercial loans in 2016 for both commercial and industrial (C&I) and commercial real estate (CRE). This was the fourth straight quarter of tighter standards: something that has never happened outside of a recession.
“By means that could be termed dishonest, deceitful and corrupt, they manufactured 7.2 billion euros in deposits by obvious sham transactions,” Judge Martin Nolan of Ireland said as he convicted three top bankers on Friday for their role in the 2008 financial crisis. They are among the first in the world to be sent to prison for their involvement in the global meltdown eight years ago.