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Flushing Cash Into The Casino - The Media Stock Swoon Shows That It Works Until It Doesn't





During the most recent quarter debt issuance by US companies reached an all-time high, raising a question as to why companies still need to borrow so much after selling $7 trillion of U.S. debt securities since 2008. This weeks S&P Media index swoon leaves no doubt as to the answer. Companies have not been borrowing to grow; they have been borrowing in order to flush cash into the casino. Charles Ponzi once had a scheme that was not essentially different. Yes, and it worked until it didn’t.

 
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"It's Nuts!" Hedgies Hammered Amid Media Massacre





“People are shooting first and asking questions later...this indiscriminate selling, to me, is just nuts," exclaims on billion-dollar AUM hedge fund CIO as media stocks faced a bloodbath this week. Small (illiquid) doors and large crowds do not mix well as Bloomberg reports, hedge funds own an average 9.7% of the 15 companies in the S&P Media Index - which has tumbled over 8% in 2 days - its biggest loss since 2008. Exuberant return chasing on merger speculation has reversed into panic-selling as Disney, Time Warner Inc., Fox, CBS and Comcast Corp. erased almost $50 billion of value in two days.

 
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Frontrunning: July 31





  • U.S. stock futures slip amid lukewarm earnings, fall in commodities (Reuters)
  • Stressful times for low-polling Republicans who may miss debate stage (Reuters)
  • Trump shows staying power with surge ahead of first debate (Reuters)
  • China Market Manipulation Probe Targets Spoofers After Crash (BBG)
  • Beijing Chosen to Host 2022 Winter Olympics (WSJ)
  • Obama Warns Support on Iran Deal ’Getting Squishy’ Amid Pressure (BBG)
  • Pacific trade negotiators chase elusive final deal in tough talks (Reuters)
 
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Frontrunning: July 28





  • Fed Officials May Offer More Clarity on Rates (WSJ)
  • Stocks rebound, shrugging off volatile and weak China (Reuters)
  • Three-Day Selloff Knocks 11% From China Shares (WSJ)
  • China shares fall again as Beijing scrambles to calm markets (Reuters)
  • VAT hikes to make Greek destination less popular (Kathimerini)
  • Varoufakis - Something is rotten with the eurozone’s hideous restrictions on sovereignty (FT)
  • EU denies Varoufakis 'tax control' claims (FT)
 
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A Philadelphia Story - 30 Blocks Of Squalor & Government Incompetence





The 30 blocks of squalor from 69th Street in Upper Darby to 39th Street in West Philly is a tribute to government incompetence, failed government policies, shoddy union labor practices and fiscal mismanagement.

 
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Futures Drift Higher, Dollar Slides In Quiet Session





A slow week devoid of virtually any macro news - last night the biggest weekly geopolitical event concluded as expected, when Greece voted to pass the bailout bill which "the government does not believe in" just so the ECB's ELA support for Greek depositors can continue - is slowly coming to a close, as is the busiest week of the second quarter earnings season which so far has been largely disappointing despite aggressive consensus estimate cuts, especially for some of the marquee names, and unlike Q1 when a quarterly drop in EPS was avoided in the last minute, this time we won't be so lucky, and the only question is on what side of -3.5% Y/Y change in EPS will the quarter end.

 
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Frontrunning: June 26





  • Chinese Stock Plunge Leaves State Media Speechless (BBG)
  • China’s Market Selloff Accelerates (WSJ)
  • Any Deal on New Greek Bailout Funds Put Off Until Weekend (WSJ)
  • ECB keeps ELA funding limit for Greece unchanged for third day in a row (Reuters)
  • Impoverished Greek City Stands With Alexis Tsipras (WSJ)
  • Why It Won’t Be a Default If Greece Misses IMF Payment Next Week (BBG)
  • Valeant Makes Takeover Approach to Zoetis (WSJ) - or how Ackman assures himself another good T+3 quarter
  • Obamacare ruling puts Supreme Court on hot seat in U.S. presidential race (Reuters)
 
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Frontrunning: June 18





  • WSJ urges Fed to blow uberest of all bubbles: Memo to Fed: Let the Economy Overheat (WSJ)
  • Gunman at large after killing nine at black South Carolina church (Reuters)
  • Nine Dead in Charleston Shooting Labeled a 'Hate Crime' (BBG)
  • Hong Kong Votes Down Beijing-Backed Election Plan (WSJ)
  • Greece Has Already Cost Investors $897 Billion This Year (BBG)
  • Merkel Maintains Tough Stance on Greece as Deadline Looms (WSJ)
  • Small U.S. frackers face extinction amid drilling drought (Reuters)
  • Brian Williams to Stay at NBC, but Lester Holt Will Be Anchor (WSJ)
 
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Futures Rebound As Yellen's Market-Lifting Track Record Offsets Greek Gloom





With the Fed's June FOMC statement in just over 7 hours and a Yellen press conference to follow shortly, one in which nobody expects the Fed will announces its first rate-hiking cycle in nine years despite repeated clues by Yellen that not only is there froth in the market but that the Fed has no dry powder to contain the next crisis when it emerges (even though a rate hike will catalyze the next crisis), traders have chosen to ignore the chatter from Greece which is getting worse by the hour, and unlike recent days, have bought risk overnight based on one simple technical: of the five press conferences in ten Fed meetings held by Yellen as Chairman, the S&P finished higher 80% of the time.

 
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Frontrunning: June 15





  • Tsipras Hardens Greek Stance After Collapse of Talks (BBG)
  • Obama Fights to Save Trade Bill (WSJ)
  • German Stock Market Pain Seen Just Beginning Should Greece Exit (BBG)
  • Russia to boost forces in western flank if U.S. stations arms in east Europe (Reuters)
  • Lab Nears Settlement Over Pricey Medicare Drug Tests (WSJ)
  • China's $358 Billion in Margin Loans Points to Next Bear Market (BBG)
  • Draghi Faces EU Court Ruling on 2012 Bond Plan as Greece Teeters (BBG)
  • Sex, lies and debt potentially exposed by U.S. data hack (Reuters)
 
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Frontrunning: May 7





  • Fed’s Yellen: Stock Valuations ‘Generally Are Quite High’ (WSJ)
  • Britain's dead-heat election 'down to the wire' on polling day (Reuters)
  • European Markets Roiled by U.S. Fed Chief Janet Yellen’s Comments (WSJ)
  • Stocks Drop With German Bonds to Extend $2 Trillion Global Loss (BBG)
  • Oil heads toward 2015 highs despite ample supply (Reuters)
  • Wary of bond 'cliff,' Fed plans cautious cuts to portfolio (Reuters)
  • Saudi Arabia mulling land operations on Yemen border (Reuters)
 
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Frontrunning: May 5





  • Fed's Yellen says met firm at heart of leak probes (Reuters)
  • EU Raises Growth Outlook as ECB Counters Greek Threat (BBG)
  • Hillary Clinton Takes Hit in WSJ Poll, but Holds Edge Over GOP Rivals (WSJ)
  • China stocks slump on tighter margin rules, IPOs; Hong Kong down (Reuters)
  • McDonald’s Chief Promises Turnaround in a Restructuring (NYT)
  • German Bond Market Selloff Continues (WSJ)
  • Vanguard overtakes Pimco’s Total Return following outflows in wake of Bill Gross’s departure (WSJ)
  • EU Demands Concessions as Greece Hurtles Toward Deadlines (BBG)
  • Junk Bonds Are The New Haven Assets (BBG)
 
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Futures, Treasurys Flat After Chinese Stock Bubble "Incident"; Bunds Stage Feeble Rebound





If yesterday's laughable lack of volume (helped by the closure of Japan and the UK) coupled with hopes that the end of the buyback blackout period was enough to send stocks surging if only to end with a whimper below all time highs despite what is now looking like three consecutive quarters of Y/Y EPS declines according to Factset, today's ramp will be more difficult for the NY Fed and Citadel to engineer, not least of all due to the headwind of the overnight "incident" by China's stock bubble which saw the Shanghai Composite tumble by 4%, the most since January.

 
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Frontrunning: May 1





  • Record month ends in pain as biotech, small-caps, Apple tumble (BBG)
  • Japan inflation rises for first time in nearly a year (WSJ)
  • US Navy starts to accompany ships in strait where Iran seized cargo carrier (WSJ)
  • Russia may be readying for new Ukraine offensive: NATO commander (Reuters)
  • Big banks use loophole to avoid ban (WSJ)
  • China April official PMI shows factories struggling to grow (Reuters)
  • CME suspends traders for alleged Sarao-like manipulation (BBG)
 
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Frontrunning: April 27





  • Nepal earthquake toll crosses 3700 (Reuters)
  • Greeks Add Pressure on Tsipras to Compromise as Talks Resume (BBG)
  • With No Deal on Greek Bailout Aid in Sight, Some in Europe Suggest ‘Plan B’ (WSJ)
  • BOJ Shouldn’t Ease Further; Yen Fell Enough: Business Lobby Head (BBG)
  • Clinton Foundation admits making mistakes on taxes (Reuters)
  • Here’s the Old Nemesis Starting to Spook Bond Traders Again (BBG)
  • Deutsche Bank to Trim Investment Banking (WSJ)
  • China’s Stocks Rise to Seven-Year High on SOE Merger Speculation (BBG)
 
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