- Mixed signals from China's factories in March (Reuters)
- EU wants G20 to boost IMF funds after Eurogroup move (Reuters)
- Euro Leaders Seek Global Help After Firewall Boosted (Bloomberg)
- Euro-Region Unemployment Surges to Highest in More Than 14 Years (Bloomberg)
- Big banks prepare to pay back LTRO loans (FT) ... don't hold your breath
- Coty Inc. Proposes to Acquire Avon Products, Inc. for $23.25 Per Share in Cash (PRnewswire)
- Spain Record Home Price Drop Seen With Bank Pressure (Bloomberg)
- Firm dropped by Visa says under 1.5 million card numbers stolen (Reuters)
- Japan Tankan Stagnates With Yen Seen as Threat (Bloomberg)
- Fed to buy $44 billion Treasuries in April, sell $43 billion (Reuters)
In advance of ever louder demands for more, more, more NEWER QE-LTROs (as BofA's Michael Hanson says "If our forecast of a one-handle on H2 growth is realized, then we would expect the Fed to step in with additional easing, in the form of QE3") , it is an opportune time to demonstrate just what the traditional monetary "plumbing" mechanisms at the discretion of the Fed are, and more importantly, just how completely plugged they are. So without any further ado...
Sometimes, the biggest threat comes from within...
How long will this last?
All you need to read and some more.
The persistent negative investment flows at U.S. listed mutual funds specializing in domestic stocks is one of the most important long-term trends catalyzed by the Financial Crisis. AUM has dropped by $473 billion since January 2007 despite the S&P 500 Index’s essentially flat performance over this period. The news is no better since the beginning of 2012 – despite the ongoing rally in domestic equities – with $6.8 billion of further outflows year to date. In today’s note Nic Colas, of ConvergEx analyzes what will reverse this trend along two vectors: the desire and ability of individuals to invest. The rally in risk assets, along with declining actual volatility, is the best hope for a reversal in money flow trends. Offsetting that factor are continued stresses on household budgets and consumer psychology combined with problematic demographic trends. Bottom line: domestic money flows have likely become more economically sensitive than in previous cycles.
Who's more foolish, the fool, or the fool who follows him?
The Fed is not a “dealer” giving “hits” of monetary morphine to an “addict”… the Fed has permitted cancerous beliefs to spread throughout the financial system. And the end result is going to be the same as that of a patient who ignores cancer and simply acts as though everything is fine. That patient is now past the point of no return. There can be no return to health. Instead the system will eventually collapse and then be replaced by a new one.
The Fed Isn’t Providing “Monetary Morphine”; It’s Spreading Financial Cancer That's Killing the Markets & Democratic CapitalismSubmitted by Phoenix Capital Research on 03/16/2012 14:46 -0400
I believe Central Bank intervention is not a drug or “hit” for an addict. Instead, it is a cancer that has spread throughout the financial system’s psyche and which is killing the markets and Democratic capitalism.
Busy day with the usual Thursday fare of Initial claims, as well as Empire Manufcaturing survey, PPI, and the Philly Fed, which will reflect just two things - the reflation in global capital markets courtesy of non-Fed balance sheet expansion, and soaring gas prices courtesy of the same. Average regular is now $3.821, an all time high for this day in history.
You didn't think investors would voluntarily give up on the potential to generate returns between 50% and 333% now did you following the 'coercively voluntary' (aka Schrodinger Spanish Inquisition) Greek debt exchange? Because here they come. Reuters reports that a Hamburg law firm representing 110 Greek bond holders have formed a class action group and intend to sue banks and the Greek state following the Greek swap. It is unclear yet if there are any hedge funds participating in the group, or if these are the entities represented by Bingham. Most likely not: those will almost certainly seek non-class action status so as not to dilute the legal effort, if not fees. However, now that the precedent is set, look for the onslaught of lawsuits to start in earnest. What is probably quite important is that European taxpayers will now be delighted to know they are paying the Troika lawyers' $1000/hour legal fees (and uncapped expenses).
ETF fund flows have been a uniformly positive source of capital into U.S. risk markets in 2012. Looking a little deeper at the decidedly 'risk-on' flows, Nic Colas (of Convergex Group) notes perhaps their most provocative feature has been their high degree of net concentration. When you look at the entire “ETF Ecosystem” of listed funds, just 6 funds represent all the net gains in assets over the past month ($5.4 billion in net inflows) – LQD, HYG and JNK in fixed income, VWO in emerging markets, VXX in risk, and GLD in commodities. With 1,433 different ETFs listed on U.S. markets now, Colas likens the comprehension of the $1.2 trillion in AUM across these ETFs to how well you know your spouse as we know ETF flows are important (just like a wedding anniversary date or what day the trash is picked up at home) but with their still-evolving proliferation it seems a daunting task to keep tabs on them. All in all, this brief analysis points to more of a pause in investor sentiment rather than the opening for a more full-blown correction in the coming weeks.
As the week's panacea event (no, not iPad3) draws ever closer, overnight news our of Argentina may be critical for any fence-sitting Greek PSI holdouts. As Reuters reports, a US judge has ruled in favor of a holdout creditor forcing Argentina to pay $650mm interest and principal on their long-forgotten defaulted/restructured debt. Argentina defaulted on $100bn bonds in 2002 and has yet to return to the international capital markets. While the Argentinians continue to litigate holdouts, the judge's decision in favor of these so-called 'vulture funds' (an affiliate of Elliott Management) offers renewed confirmation of considerable payouts in time for Greek bond PSI holdouts. Argentina's whiny reasoning that "bondholders who did not take part in the 2005 and 2010 debt swaps do not deserve full recovery because it is unfair to bondholders who accepted less" sums up the perspective of cram-downs and forced action that sovereigns will try to take. The vulture-fund litigation (and successful precedent here) blocks any new debt operations by Argentina until settlement is reached. This coincides with Bingham McCutchen's committee of Swiss-law Greek bond holders who look set to holdout or 'protect the rights of bondholders' as there appears to be several investors actively considering all of their options, including litigation - but as noted above, litigation can take years (though returns could conceivably be very large given par payouts of bonds trading sub-20% currently).