Western central banks have tried to shake off the constraints of gold for a long time, which have created enormous difficulties for them. They have generally succeeded in managing opinion in the developed nations but been demonstrably unsuccessful in the lesser-developed world, particularly in Asia. It is the growing wealth earned by these nations that has fuelled demand for gold since the late 1960s. There is precious little bullion left in the West today to supply rapidly increasing Asian demand, and it is important to understand how little there is and the dangers this poses for financial stability.
Futures Pushed Higher On Weaker Yen, But All Could Change With Today's "Most Important Ever" Jobs NumberSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 12/06/2013 06:58 -0500
The latest "most important payrolls day of all time" day is finally upon us. Of course, this is a ridiculous statement: considering that the average December seasonal adjustment to the actual, unadjusted number is 824K jobs, it will once again be up to the BLS' Arima X 13 goal-seeking, seasonal adjusting software to determine whether the momentum ignition algos send stocks soaring or plunging, especially since the difference between up and down could be as small as 30K jobs. As Deutsche Bank explains: " today's number is probably one where anything above +200k (net of revisions) will lead to a further dip in risk as taper fears intensify and anything less than say +170k will probably see a decent relief rally after a tricky week for markets. Indeed yesterday saw the S&P500 (-0.43%) down for a fifth day - extending a sequence last seen in September." And then consider that nearly 30 times that difference comes from seasonal adjustments and it becomes clear why "farcial" is a far better definition of labor Friday.
Whether it was President Obama's call for moar debt, less spending cuts, and a safety bid from his implicit end-QE comments, technicals from moving-averages, or reflections of the USD weakness; precious metals are surging this morning... Stocks are tumbling further (as are bonds) back to EURJPY-implied levels... call for gold bubbles in 3...2...1...
Overview of the near-term outlook for the major currencies.
Another (like yesterday) late-day collapse in stocks was not enough to entirely ruin CNBC's headlines as the NASDAQ closed above 4,000 for the first time in 13 years. The only thing that could have made today better for the central planners was a red close for gold but despite rolling over from late-yesterday's spike, the precious metal closed marginally higher and unch on the week. The NASDAQ just rolls on - up over 100 points in the last 4 days and now +10.3% off debt-ceiling lows (outpacing the S&P and Dow). Today's 'apparently' good news on housing sent homebuilder buyers into a frenzy (+2.4% on the day as the squeeze continues wherever it can). The total lack of volume and liquidty was evident when sellers appeared in the last 15 minutes and instantly smashed the S&P back to VWAP and below echoing yesterday afternoon. Treasuries rallied on the day (with a little selloff as stocks sold off into the close) ending -3bp on the week. The USD slid from the US open but notably stocks disconnected from any JPY carry for most of the day until the closing collapse...
The S&P 500 has now managed the longest weekly winning streak (7 weeks) since May 2007 (when it managed a 9% gain). Off the recent lows, the current run is an impressive 9.6% (for the S&P) with Trannies up 12.5% in the same period. (we hesitate to mention that May 2007's run-up was halted by the first of the structured credit funds imploding) On the week, Trannies and NASDAQ ended back practically unch, Russell 2000 outperformed but the afternoon melt-up in stocks (on the back of more shorts being squeezed) held the S&P above 1,800 close for the first time ever. Bonds rallied (recovering a lot of their mid-week losses), the USD was offered in general (led by EUR strength) but AUD's 2% loss was notable. VIX was manhandled to 12.25% into the close to maintain the headline-grabbing 1,800 as gold and silver clung to their lows.
Supported by economic weakness overnight in Asia and a weak Philly Fed print (bad news is good news) along with hope from more QE out of the BoJ, JPY weakness floated all boats today as homebuilders and financials surged lifting stocks tick for tick with carry. Yellen's nomination provided yet another lift. Treasuries rallied (though the long-end remains +10bps on the week). Precious metals were monkey-hammered early then dead for the rest of the day (-4% on the week) as oil prices surged higher ( +1.6% on the week). The USD Index glitched lower on no neg rates chatter early from Europe but the quietness in the index hid major dispersion as AUD was craushed (now 1.6% lower on the week). Credit markets rallied (but remain well off stocks) and VIX was compressed as low volumes meant a slow lift higher (and Trannies best day in almost 5 weeks). Shorts suffered the most until POMO ended - tripling market performance.
... And why does the Fed, with $1.3 trillion in cash parked at foreign commercial banks or more than half of the reserves created under QE1, 2 and 3, continue to bail out non-American banks?
David Stockman has never been shy of expressing his true feelings (about Bernanke's "Born Again Jobs Scam", Calamity Janet Yellen, Obamacare's resentment-encouraging rollout, and the entire Keynesian state wreck ahead). But this time, he aims his acerbic ire at the "markets." During a brief interview on FOX Business, the author of The Age of Deformation exclaimed "There’s no one in the stock market today except drugged-up day-traders and robots... This is utterly irrational." The blame (and benefactors) are clear, he blasts, "how could someone in their right mind believe that you can have interest rates... at zero for nine years?... That is the greatest gift to the speculators, to the 1%, to the leveraged traders, to the carry trade ever imagined!" He concludes, "we're almost on the edge of another explosion at the present time."
In addition to the bevy of ugly European unemployment and inflation news just reported, the overnight session had a dollop of more ugly macro data for the algos to kneejerkingly react to and ramp stocks to fresh time highs on. First it was China, where the PBOC did another reverse repo, however this time at a fixed 4.3% rate, 0.2% higher than the Monday iteration and well above the 3%-handle from early October, indicating that China is truly intent on tightening its monetary conditions. Then Japan confirmed that despite the soaring imported food and energy inflation, wages just refuse to rise, and have declined now for nearly 1.5 years. Then, adding core insult to peripheral injury, Germany reported retail sales that missed expectations of a +0.4% print wildly, declining -0.4% from a prior downward revised 0.5% to -0.2%. And so on: more below. However, as usual what does matter is how the market digests the FOMC news, and for now the sense is that the risk of a December taper has risen based on the FOMC statement language, whether warranted or not, which as a result is pushing futures modestly lower following an epic move higher in the month of October on nothing but pure balance sheet and multiple expansion. The big data week in the US rolls on with the highlights being the Chicago PMI and initial jobless claims, which are expected to print their first accurate, non-impaired reading since August.
Dispassionate discussion of some of the vexing issues.
The USD is bid; Treasury Bonds are being abandoned; the 10/24/13 Bill remains lost though; but stocks are entering escape velocity. S&P 500 has screamed 15 points higher (no surprise given Nanex noted that S&P 500 futures had the lowest liquidity of the year for this time of day prior to the rumor) and the Russell 2000 has broken back to new all-time highs (why not). Of course JPY-crosses are largely responsible for the knee-jerk move and we wait to see if this becomes a sell the news moment (or for Boehner's denial)... Commodities are not moving much for now.
In the aftermath of the latest House Republican debacle, the Senate had no choice but to go back to where it was on Thursday morning, and attempt to cobble a deal together. Only unlike Thursday, it now has just a little over 24 hours, and a House that it knows will not play ball with pretty much anything that the Senate proposes (at least not until that ultimate arbiter Joe Biden shows up and starts laughing). So while the outcome of this latest regression to square 0 is unknown, one thing we do know is that when it comes to matters such as these, Harry Reid is one very optimistic guy.
In a world in which only the central banks' balance sheets matter, and everything, when stripped of its product complexity, is simply a derivation of a cheap money carry trade, as can be seen on the chart below showing the correlation between the the ES and the EURJPY which have become interchangeable then the futures open in 4 hours should be interesting following the early weakness in both EURJPY and USDJPY. Interesting because the implied 15 point ES drop in futures as of the early indications is hardly the large enough drop that is needed to once again the GOP in either the House or the Senate to scramble and get a deal done, following the recent two-day epic surge in the market on hopes that deal concerns would no longer be an issue.
David Stockman, author of The Great Deformation, summarizes the last quarter century thus: What has been growing is the wealth of the rich, the remit of the state, the girth of Wall Street, the debt burden of the people, the prosperity of the beltway and the sway of the three great branches of government - that is, the warfare state, the welfare state and the central bank...
What is flailing is the vast expanse of the Main Street economy where the great majority have experienced stagnant living standards, rising job insecurity, failure to accumulate material savings, rapidly approach old age and the certainty of a Hobbesian future where, inexorably, taxes will rise and social benefits will be cut...
He calls this condition "Sundown in America".