Capital Markets

Greek Bond Curve Inverts As Stocks Crater

Amid the collapse of the global carry trade, no nation on earth has benefited more (and is now suffering more) from the dash-for-trash, buy-the-pig-sty trade than Greek stocks and bonds. Combining carry unwinds with uncertainty over snap Presidential elections (which could usher in a left-wing anti-EU party into power) and a 'technical-only' extension of its handouts from Troika and Greek capital markets are in freefalll. The Athens Stock Index is down over 11% on the day, destroying 3 weeks of gains; the Greek 3Y bond price has collapsed (as the carry-traders pile out through small doors) inverting the yield curve - never a good sign.

China Crashes: Shanghai Composite Plunges 5.4% Amid Record Trading, Biggest Tumble Since 2009

Those who have been following the ridiculous moves in the Shanghai Composite in recent months, knew it was only a matter of time before yet another major stock market (one which recently surpassed the Nikkei for the second largest spot in the world) crashed violently, further eroding faith in the centrall-planned "price discovery" process. The only question was when. Tonight we got the answer.

PBOC Tries To Pop Equity Bubble, Tightens FX & Slashes Collateral/Margin Availability; Yuan Crashes Most Since 2008

Unlike the Federal Reserve - which openly encourages speculative wealth creation/redistribution and has never seen an equity bubble it didn't believe was contained - the PBOC appears, by its actions tonight, to be concerned that things have got a little overheated in its corporate bond and stock markets as hot money ripped into the nation's capital markets on hints of further easing and QE-lite a few months ago. In a show of force, the PBOC simultaneously fixed CNY significantly stronger (implicit tightening) and enforced considerably stricter collateral rules on short-term loans/repos. With Chinese stocks concentrated is even fewer hands than in the US (and recently fearful of the surge in margin trading), it appears the PBOC is trying to stall the acceleration is as careful manner as possible. The result, as Bloomberg notes, is a major squeeze in CNY (biggest drop since Dec 2008), interest-rate swaps ripped higher along with corporate bond yields,  and most Chinese stocks sold off (with two down for every one up) though the latter is stabilizing now.

The Most Elementary Question Must Not Be Asked

You almost have to step outside of economics, even out of the financial world as a whole, to pose what is the most elementary question about our economy today. That can’t be right.  The most elementary question is not how we can achieve growth, it’s whether we need growth, and what we would need it for that is important enough to destroy our entire societies and economies for.... We’re in dire need of fresh blood and smart new ideas to clean up the mess the present ideologies and their puppets and puppetmasters have created.

"Serial”-izing The Dow’s New Highs

Another day, another record for the Dow Jones Industrial Average, Main Street’s favorite measure of Wall Street stock performance. How did we get here?  The answer sits in a comfortable blend of good returns from a range of industry sectors.  Seven of the Dow 30 names have added over 100 points to the total 1,303 point gain for the Average this year: Visa (251 points), UnitedHealth (185), Nike (136), 3M (129), Disney (116), Johnson & Johnson (111) and Home Depot (106).  By contrast, there is just one 100 point loser: IBM (negative 137 points). The collapse in energy stocks hasn’t hurt the Dow very much – just 113 points year to date related to declines in ExxonMobil and Chevron.  And to satisfy the most common “What if” scenarios we hear: adding Apple on its split day this June would have added an estimated 166 points, and Facebook’s whole-year 2014 performance would have pushed the Average higher by 162 points.  

Meet Kevin Henry, ETF Trading Expert?

By now everyone has heard of the NY Fed's most famous employee (who did not work at Goldman Sachs previously): Kevin Henry, who according to his latest LinkedIn profile was recently promoted to Senior Associate at the Capital Markets desk at the NY Fed (and if they haven't, a refresh can be found here, here and here). Which is fine: Kevin deserves all the recognition and accolades that are due to anyone who manages to centrally-plan the world's biggest bond market. Because after all that's what the Fed does: it intervenes in the bond market. Nothing strange about that. And yet we have one question: why does Kevin seem to exhibit an absolute fascination when it comes to equity ETFs?

Russia's Monetary Solution

The hypothesis that follows, if carried through, is certain to have a significant effect on gold and the relationship between gold and all government-issued currencies. The successful remonetisation of gold by a major power such as Russia would draw attention to the fault-lines between fiat currencies issued by governments unable or unwilling to do the same and those that can follow in due course. It would be a schism in the world's dollar-based monetary order.

B-Dud Explains The Fed’s Economic Coup (Or Why Every Asset Price Influencing Monetary Policy Transmission Is Now Manipulated)

The Fed can do only do two concrete things to influence these income and credit sources of spending - both of which are unsustainable, dangerous and an assault on free market capitalism’s capacity to generate growth and wealth. It can induce households to consume a higher fraction of current income by radically suppressing interest rates on liquid savings. And it can inject reserves into the financial system to induce higher levels of credit creation. But the passage of time soon catches up with both of these parlor tricks.

Deficit Spending And Money Printing: A German Point Of View

What we experience today is completely contrary to the German (maybe not the U.S.) understanding of the role of the Central Bank. The ECB has now assumed a role not only to protect the value of our common currency against inflation but also to take action as if it is responsible to create economic growth and full employment with instruments like money printing, zero interest rates and unlimited investments in bonds which the free market is rejecting... Is it really worth it to increase the already heavy burden of public debt, which our children must service someday, by accepting even more debt in a vain effort to increase public demand? Let’s instead be happy with zero GDP growth, zero inflation and zero growth of public debt! That could be a more rational solution.

Frontrunning: December 2

  • DAX’s ‘Brilliant’ Run Sends Red Flag as German Index Tops Record (BBG)
  • U.S. military warned of possible Islamic State attacks at home: report (Reuters)
  • Russia Faces First Recession Since 2009 as Banks Add to Oil Pain (BBG)
  • Dodgy Home Appraisals Are Making a Comeback (WSJ)
  • U.S. Corporate Bond Sales Pass $1.5 Trillion for Annual Record (BBG)
  • Basic Costs Squeeze Families (WSJ)
  • China Orders Stricter Checks on Local Debt as Sales Surge (BBG)
  • Draghi Powerless on ECB Path Toward QE Without Reforms (BBG)

"Why Anyone Believes Printing Money Will Leave Us Better Off Is Beyond Me"

The big selloff in 2015 will come from housing and housing-related investments as the marginal cost of capital rises through regulation and through “margin calls” on banks as their profit-to-GDP ratios grow too high for the economy to function properly. The dividend society is here and the true manifestation of Japanisation is not a future event but a thing we are living in right now…

"There Will Be Blood": Petrodollar Death Means A Liquidity And Oil-Exporting Crisis On Deck

Recently we posted the following article commenting on the impact of USD appreciation and dollar circulation among oil exporters, as well as how the collapsing price of oil is set to reverberate across the entire oil-exporting world, where sticky high oil prices were a key reason for social stability. Following today's shocking OPEC announcement and the epic collapse in crude prices, it is time to repost it now that everyone is desperate to become a bear market oil expert, if only on Twitter...