UPDATE: Full SOTU Speech released - "THE SHADOW OF CRISIS HAS PASSED"
By now it is well known that The State of The Union tonight will be about President Obama's Robin-Hood Agenda. Furthermore, it is entirely clear that his proposals have no chance of becoming law. As WaPo's Marc Thiessen notes, Obama is not delusional, his move is completely and transparently political... And just as Eric Cantor suggests will merely serve to inflame the GOP. From taxes to cyber security and from community college to housing... in 50-65 minutes, all will be clear...
"Why stand on formalities? Let's get the ball rolling right now," Mr. Obama said at a recent stop in Tennessee. In previous years, As Dow Jones reports, the content of the speech was a closely guarded secret, leaving reporters, politicians, lobbyists and interest groups scrambling for tidbits and gossip in the days and weeks leading up to the event. But this year, much of Mr. Obama's policy wish list and broad themes will be well-known when he walks onto the House floor next week. Here is what the president is widely expected to focus on in his address next week...
Once upon a time the health of the US consumer was gauged by one simple thing: how much credit card debt did US households take on in any given month. Which makes sense: American consumers would not go out and spend on credit unless they felt strongly about their future job, income and overall wealth prospects. In simple terms, rising credit card debt was synonymous with confidence and prosperity. In recent years, however, this metric has quietly fallen out of favor with the punditry, for one simple reason: that reason is shown on the chart below, which very likely also shows where the S&P would trade if it weren't for $11 trillion in central bank liquidity injections.
- French policewoman killed in shoot-out, hunt deepens for militant killers (Reuters)
- The Bold Charlie Hebdo Covers the Satirical Magazine Was Not Afraid to Run (BBG)
- Evans Says Fed Shouldn’t Rush Rate Rise as Inflation Undershoots (BBG)
- Oil holds above $51 as traders search for floor (Reuters)
- Gross Helps Fuel New Fund With His Own Cash (WSJ)
- ECB warns Greek funding access hinges on keeping bailout (Reuters)
- Greece Jolts QE Juggernaut as ECB Gauges Deflation Risk (BBG)
- Analysts Say There's No Telling How Low Oil Prices Could Go (BBG)
- Scientists find antibiotic that kills bugs without resistance (Reuters)
Market Wrap: Evans' "Catastrophe" Comment Blasts Overnight Futures Into Overdrive, 10-Year Rises To 2%Submitted by Tyler Durden on 01/08/2015 06:56 -0500
After subdued trading in the overnight session until a little after 8pm Eastern, algos went into overdrive just around the time the Fed's 2015 voting member and uberdove Charlie Evans told reporters that "raising rates would be a catastrophe", hinting that the first rate hike would likely be - as usual - pushed back from market expectations of a mid-2015 liftoff cycle into 2016 or beyond (but don't blame the US, it is the "international situation's" fault), in the process punking the latest generation of Eurodollar traders yet again. Whatever the thinking, S&P futures soared on the comments and were higher by just under 20 points at last check even as Crude has failed to pick up and the 10Y is barely changed at 2.00%.
Over the past couple of years there has been a rising chorus of individuals warming to the idea of a new secular bull market. This is not surprising given the seemingly unstoppable rise of asset prices since the financial crisis despite a litany of geopolitical and economic headwinds. But are the "ingredients" that spurred the previous two secular bull market periods in existence today?
The surreal nature of this world as we enter 2015 feels like being trapped in a Fellini movie. The .1% party like it’s 1999, central bankers not only don’t take away the punch bowl – they spike it with 200% grain alcohol, the purveyors of propaganda in the mainstream media encourage the party to reach Caligula orgy levels, the captured political class and their government apparatchiks propagate manipulated and massaged economic data to convince the masses their standard of living isn’t really deteriorating, and the entire façade is supposedly validated by all-time highs in the stock market. It’s nothing but mass delusion perpetuated by the issuance of prodigious amounts of debt by central bankers around the globe. But now, the year of consequences may have finally arrived.
The key is to understand why real median household incomes continue to decline and then how to correct it. It all comes back to financial policies that incentivize investors to avoid economy-boosting investments and toward financial investments that have no economic benefit. The result is a narrowing of income distribution exasperating the down spiral, while inflating wealth to the already wealthy. As long as these policies remain intact the American quality of life will continue to spiral downward while the wealth at the top continues to accelerate until one day when the top pops off and all that wealth goes abroad. And that Mr. Liesman is what we call economics.
In its latest effort to counter financial instability - and show its commitment to maintaining order and support for the economy - Russia's Central Bank (CBR) has unveiled 7 new measures... Ranging from bank recaps to measures aimed at helping manage interest-rate and credit risks, the reaction in the Ruble is positive for now... as perhaps, taking a lesson from the US, The CBR removes Mark-to-Market accounting for various credit instruments.
For the 3rd month in a row, Consumer Credit growth rose less than expected. At $13.226 billion (against expectations of a $16.5bn gain), this is the smallest growth since Nov 2013. This is the first 3-month miss since June 2009. Once again, as expected, the rise is all student and auto loans (which now face 27% delinquency for the subprime borrowers). However, perhaps the most notable facet is a 66% collapse in revolving credit growth from a year ago.
Confused why in the lack of any horrible economic news (unless of course someone leaked a worse than expected November payrolls print which would put QE4 right back on the table) futures are higher, especially in the aftermath of yesterday's disappointing ECB conference? Then look no further than the Yen which has now lost pretty much all control and is in freeplunge mode, rising some 25 pips moments ago on no news, but merely as wave after wave of momentum ignition algos now make a joke of the Japanese currency, whose redline of 123 (as defined by SocGen)is now just 240 pips away. At this pace, Japan's economy, which as reported yesterday has just seen a record number of corporate bankruptcies due to the plummeting yen, may well be dead some time next week. Which, with Paul Krugman as its new and improved economic advisor, is precisely as expected. RIP Japan.
Following last week's holiday-shortened week, which was supposed to be quiet and peaceful and was anything but thanks to OPEC's shocking announcement and a historic plunge in crude prices, we have yet another busy week of macroeconomic reports to look forward to.
A recent article argues that the increasing demand for consumer credit is an indicator of increasing consumer confidence. The argument seems reasonable due to the way it is presented--there is an entirely different conclusion one would draw were the argument presented differently.
Non-bombastic overview of the forces influencing the capital markets in the week ahead.
Another month, another $14.5 billion increase in student and car loans, offset by a measly $1.4 billion in credit card debt, following last month's upward revised $200 million drop in revolving debt. Total consumer debt in September increase by $15.9 billion, just below the $16.0 billion estimate, and the problem is that with the Fed's credit injection fading, someone has to step on the borrowing pedal. Alas, if one takes away student and car loans, the credit creation is not nearly enough to push US consumption higher. In any event, the most amusing chart is the following. It simply screams sustainable.