Central Banks

Johnson & Johnson Announces $10 Billion Buyback Ahead Of Earnings To Stabilize Sliding Stock Price

With JNJ about to announce - what are almost certain to be very bad - earnings in just over an hour, the company decided it was prudent to set the mood by preannouncing, less than an hour before earnings, good days are back again and that the company will do all in its power to not only increase the buyback pardon equity-linked compensation of CEO Alex Gorsky, but to reward shareholders for sticking with a company that hasn't announced a major buyback plan in recent months.

Futures Slump After China Imports Plunge, German Sentiment Crashes, UK Enters Deflation

For the past two weeks, the thinking probably went that if only the biggest short squeeze in history and the most "whiplashy" move since 2009 sends stocks high enough, the global economy will forget it is grinding toward recession with each passing day (and that the Fed are just looking for a 2-handle on the S&P and a 1-handle on the VIX before resuming with the rate hike rhetoric). Unfortunately, that's not how it worked out, and overnight we got abysmal economic data first from China, whose imports imploded, then the UK, which posted its first deflation CPI print since April, and finally from Germany, where the ZEW expectation surve tumbled from 12.1 to barely positive, printing at just 1.9 far below the 6.5 expected.

The Monetary Policy Dead-End

Fed chief Janet Yellen’s hesitations and the market turmoil since August seem to validate that it is impossible to stop the accommodative monetary policy, unless you accept that doing so would trigger a new global crisis. The Fed is aware that raising interest rates too fast and too high could have the same effect as pressing the nuclear button. The whole system could collapse and it cannot be taken for granted that the central banks would be able to extinguish the fire this time. Their strike force has weakened because their balance sheets are exposed to market fluctuations and their credibility was seriously damaged because the measure they have taken have failed to strengthen the economy.

Have We Reached "Peak Fedspeak"?

Between a convoluted, self-referential reaction function and a cacophony of Fed speakers, the market simply can no longer process the FOMC's message and with that in mind, we bring you RBS’ Alberto Gallo who asks if perhaps we have reached “peak Fedspeak”.

Deflation = Debt + Demographics + Disruption

The cyclical fallout from the Great Financial Crisis and the secular deflationary “D’s” of excess Debt, tech Disruption, aging Demographics have been the major catalysts for deflation.

BlackRock, The Stock Market, & The Alleged Evils Of "Volatility"

We would argue the main reason for Blackrock’s attempt to persuade the exchanges to adopt its recommendations on trading halts is that Blackrock itself is inconvenienced by downside volatility. Presumably the company is no stranger to leverage (how else can it squeeze out large returns with a portfolio this large in a ZIRP world?) and is therefore forced to exercise stop loss orders itself when the market declines fast. Such attempts to “regulate” everything, even the price swings markets are allowed to make, are attempts to stem oneself against nature.

Why Gold Is Surging: BofA Says To Expect A "Massive Policy Shift In 2016"

"The secular reality of deflation & inequality is intensified by recession & rising unemployment, investors should expect a massive policy shift in 2016. Seven years after the west went “all-in” on QE & ZIRP, the US/Japan/Europe would shift toward fiscal stimulus via government spending on infrastructure or more aggressive income redistribution.  buy TIPs, gold, commodities, Main Street not Wall Street."

Chinese Stocks Rally On Confusion Whether PBOC Finally Launched QE; US Futures Flat In Holiday Mode

With the "adult supervision" of US markets gone today as bond markets are closed for Columbus day, and the USDJPY tractor beam also missing with Japan also offline for Health and Sports day, stocks took their cues from China where speculation was rife that in lieu of cutting RRR, the PBOC has unleashed even more incremental QE by expanding its Collateral Asset Refinancing Program (CAR). Specifically, the central bank said this weekend it will expand a program allowing lenders to use loan assets as collateral for borrowing from the central bank, opening it up to nine more cities from the program's test in Shandong province and Guangdong. The new areas for the program include Beijing and Shanghai. According to some estimates released several trillions in liquidity into the market, and not only sent government bond futures to new highs, but pushed the Shanghai Composite up over 3% overnight.

The G-30 Group Of Central Bankers Warn They Can "No Longer Save The World"

"Central banks alone cannot be relied upon to deliver all the policies necessary to achieve macroeconomic goals. Governments must also act and use the policy-making space provided by conventional and unconventional monetary policy measures. Failure to do so would be a serious error and would risk setting the stage for further economic disturbances and imbalances in the future."

"The Heart Of The Economic Disorder Is A World Financial System That Has Gone Rogue"

"Europe has seen nothing like this for 70 years – the visible expression of a world where order is collapsing. The millions of refugees fleeing from ceaseless Middle Eastern war and barbarism are voting with their feet, despairing of their futures. The catalyst for their despair – the shredding of state structures and grip of Islamic fundamentalism on young Muslim minds – shows no sign of disappearing. Yet there is a parallel collapse in the economic order that is less conspicuous: the hundreds of billions of dollars fleeing emerging economies, from Brazil to China, don’t come with images of women and children on capsizing boats."