This decline is inevitable in fast-expanding economies that play fast and loose with credit/debt and leverage. All the phantom wealth piled up in China's boost phase is now melting down, and the China Syndrome will trigger a meltdown in global phantom assets.
Just 11 days into 2016, Goldman has been stopped out of one of its 6 "top trades for 2016" following a 5.4% loss on its "long large-cap US banks" trade as these "relatively well-priced, trading just above book value" assets turned out to be relatively unwell priced...
Initially both European stocks and US equity futures were grateful that China has picked at least one asset class to prop up overnight, and rose in an extremely illiquid market with European shares gaining for first time in 4 days, as S&P futures rise even as the MSCI Asia Pacific ex-Japan index just fell to the lowest level in more than 4 years. However, as of moments ago the Stoxx 600 had faded all its earlier gains and was trading near the flatline, as an algo takes out all stops on the top and bottom once more, and looks set to move on to US futures shortly.
It was an ominous beginning to what is poised to be a most tumultuous year. Market participants are quickly coming to appreciate that China does in fact matter. Few understand why. Most – from billionaires to fund managers to retail investors – will “Do Nothing.” This has worked just fine in the past – repeatedly. Not understanding and not doing anything will be detriments going forward.
Happy New Year: Global Stocks Crash After China Is Halted Limit Down In Worst Start To Year In HistorySubmitted by Tyler Durden on 01/04/2016 06:46 -0500
It all started off relatively well: oil and US equity futures were buoyant on hopes Iran and Saudi Arabia would break out in a bloody conflict any minute boosting the net worth of shareholders of the military industrial complex, and then, out of nowhere, like a depressed China in a bull shop, the "mainland" crashed the party and it all well south very, very quickly...
2016 Off To A Miserable Start: Asian Stocks Drop; Futures Slide After China PMI Tumbles On Dire CommentarySubmitted by Tyler Durden on 01/03/2016 21:31 -0500
Earlier in the session, after the surge in oil prices on fears of a spike in belligerence between Saudi Arabia and Iran, bulls were hopeful that after a poor close to 2015, at least the first trading day of 2016 would set a positive mood: after all, if there is one thing war is good for, it is to lift stock markets. And it did... for about 3 hours. Then moments ago, Caixin Media and Markit Economics released the latest December PMI, which was, in a word, a total disaster, one which promptly sent US equity futures sliding, and the Shanghai Composite tumbling some 4%... and CSI-300 Limit down.
One year ago, the two most crowded trades going into 2015 were being long the USD and short US Treasurys. While the former trade had questionable success, the latter most certainly did not work and while hedge-fund managers and other large speculators spent December 2014 setting the biggest bets against Treasuries in four years, fast-forwarding 12 months later we find that the smartest money in the room has fully abandoned those massive short Treasury bets.
Imagine if Casinos told you in advance what the next card from the deck in a game of Blackjack was going to be?
Goldman, Decembert 20, 2015: "We think the BoJ is closer to easing further to attempt to achieve a successful reflation than it is to giving up altogether, and so we continue to expect $/JPY higher. We recommend being long $/JPY as part of our 2016 top trade recommendation (along with short EUR/$) and forecast $/JPY at 130 in 12 months"... Three days later, the USDJPY is 100 pips lower.
It has been a seesaw session with U.S. stock index futures following their dramatic buying burst in the last half hour of market trading yesterday by first rising, then falling, then rising again alongside European equities both driven almost tick for tick with even the smallest move in the carry trade of choice, the USDJPY, even as Asian shares trade near intraday highs after China’s leaders signaled they will take further steps to support growth.
So there you have it: a riskless "profit" handout for foreign banks, subsidized by the most famous US "public" institution - the Federal Reserves - amounting to approximately $11 billion in just one year.
The problem with all of this is that it’s now becoming apparent to everyone. The amount of mal-investment along with just how intertwined all the subsequent carry trades and more is becoming frightfully obvious and can no longer be hidden from view. The real problem now facing the Fed. which I believe they themselves did not fully comprehend was the extent in which all of this was: so blatantly obvious. Again: to anyone who truly wanted to look. Without the Fed’s interventionism – there is (and was) no market. And now with the raising of rates; no one will be able to miss or avoid that fact any longer. No matter how hard they try.
Seven years of zero rates, massive monetary inflation and incessant market backstopping have desensitized and anesthetized. Rational thought ultimately succumbed to "perpetual money machine" quackery. And now all of this greatly increases vulnerability to destabilizing market dislocations, as senses are restored and nerves awakened. "A lot of this looks like late 2007 or early 2008," warns one manager, but today, market mispricing is systemic and global – virtually all securities classes at home and abroad.
After Tuesday’s dividend massacre, it’s plain as day that Kinder Morgan wasn’t the greatest thing since slice bread after all. That is, a “growth” business paying rich dividends out of rock solid profit margins and flourishing cash flow. In fact, it was just a momo stock on a borrowing spree.