With every passing week that money markets rates remain pinned to the zero bound by the Fed, the magnitude of the financial catastrophe hurtling toward main street America intensifies. When the next financial bubble crashes it can only be hoped that this time the people will grab their torches and pitchforks. Stanley Fischer ought to be among the first tarred and feathered for the calamity that he has so arrogantly helped enable.
The stability of global capital markets, the ECB meeting and US employment data are highlights. Risk seems to be greater than discounted that Sept rate hike is still a distinct possibility.
Yuan Strengthens Most Since March, China Unveils New Bailout Source After Rescue Fund Runs Out Of Fire-PowerSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 08/27/2015 21:20 -0400
Update: China readies new bailout mechanism - pooling CNY2 Trillion of Pension funds for "investment"
A busy night in AsiaPac before China even opens. Vietnam had a failed bond auction, Japanese data was mixed (retail sales good, household spending bad, CPI just right), Moody's downgrades China growth (surprise!), China re-blames US for global market rout, and then the big one hits - China's bailout fund needs more money (applies for more loans from banks) - in other words - The PBOC just got a margin call. China margin debt balance fell for 8th straight day (although the short-selling balance picked up to 1-week highs). China unveiled some economic reforms - lifting tax exemption and foreign real estate investment rules. PBOC fixesds the Yuan 0.15% stronger - most since March, but even with last night's epic intervention, SHCOMP looks set for its worst week since Lehman.
Because no discussion of global dollar pegs and entrenched FX regimes would be complete without mentioning the Hong Kong dollar...
On the heels of China's "failure" to send the PBoC to the rescue with an RRR cut over the weekend, battered EM assets were hit hard again on Monday as stocks, bonds, and currencies all went into panic mode as the global meltdown gathers pace.
Consumer Prices Rise At Slowest Pace Since 2014 As Airfares Plunge, Car Costs Slide, But 'Rents' JumpSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 08/19/2015 08:40 -0400
US Consumer Prices (CPI) missed expectations MoM with a mere 0.1% rise (half the expected 0.2% rise). Core CPI (ex food and energy) rose just 0.1% - its weakest growth since Dec 2014 with the biggest drivers being a 5.6% plunge in airfares - the biggest drop since 1995 and a 0.3% surge in 'owner equivalent rents' driven by lodging. Gas prices rose for the 3rd consecutive month (unequivocally good?) but new and used car prices tumbled.
Chinese Intervention Rescues Market From 2-Day Plunge, Futures Red Ahead Of Inflation Data, FOMC MinutesSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 08/19/2015 06:37 -0400
With China's currency devaluation having shifted to the backburner if only for the time being, all attention was once again on the Chinese stock market roller coaster, which did not disappoint: starting off with yesterday's dramatic 6.2% plunge, the Shanghai Composite crashed in early trading, plunging as much as 5% in early trading and bringing the two-day drop to a correction-inducing 11%, and just 51.2 points away from the July 8 low (when China unleashed the biggest ad hoc market bailout in capital markets history) . And then the cavalry came in, and virtually the entire afternoon session was one big BTFD orgy, leading to a 1.2% gain in the Shanghai Composite closing price, while Shenzhen and ChiNext closed up 2.2% and 2.7%, respectively.
It was a relatively quiet weekend out of China, where FX warfare has taken a back seat to evaluating the full damage from the Tianjin explosion which as we reported on Saturday has prompted the evacuation of a 3 km radius around the blast zone, and instead it was Japan that featured prominently in Sunday's headlines after its Q2 GDP tumbled by 1.6% (a number which would have been far worse had Japan used a correct deflator), and is now halfway to its fifth recession in the past 6 year, underscoring Abenomics complete success in desrtoying Japan's economy just to get a few rich people richer. Of course, economic disintegration is great news for stocks, and courtesy of the latest Yen collapse driven by the bad GDP data which has raised the likelihood of even more Japanese QE, the Nikkei closed 100 points, or 0.5% higher.
While making its devaluation announcement, Beijing said that it wanted its currency "to reflect fundamentals" and to no longer simply mirror the movement of the dollar. It acknowledged the fact that its peg to the dollar was problematic and that it wanted a better, more natural mechanism. This is the key to understanding the announcement: The Chinese are preparing for a time in which the financial world does not spin in orbit around the dollar. Such a reality must make us think about the future.
Overnight the world realized that there is much more devaluation to come, which in turn led to a tidal move higher in the EURUSD as the European banks who had been short the EURCNH (probably the same ones that were long the EURCHF in January ahead of the SNB shocker) continued covering their exposure, and in turn pushed the EURUSD well above 1.11, while the CHF continued to tumble alongside the USD at least when it comes to Europe. In Asia, and local emergin markets, however, it was a different FX story enitrely.
Despite claiming yesterday's devaluation was a "one-off", The PBOC has devalued the Yuan Fix dramatically for the 2nd day in a row - now 22 handles weaker than Monday's Fix. Offshore Yuan is trading at 4 year lows against the USD. The carnage from this dramatic shift is just beginning as global equity markets (US futures to China cash) are tumbling, US Treasury bond yields are crashing, gold is up, China credit risk is at 2 year highs, and China implied vol has exploded to 4 year highs. Ironically, China's government mouthpeiece Xinhua explains "China is not waging a currency war; merely fixing a discrepancy."
Here is an overview of next week's events and data placed in the larger context.
If GDP growth only averages 2.0% in the Second Half (which I think is likely), then 2015 growth will only be about 1.7% annually. Given that the Fed didn't raise rates in 2012, 2013, and 2014, when growth was well north of 2%, why would they do so now? Yet Wall Street and the media stubbornly cling to the notion that 3% growth and rate hikes are just around the corner. Old notions die hard, and this one has taken on a life of its own.
We are delighted to report that about 7 years after it was glaringly obvious to everyone except the Fed of course, now - with the usual half decade delay - even the NY Fed has finally figured out what even 5 year olds get. "A new study from the New York Federal Reserve faults these policies for enabling college institutions to aggressively raise tuitions. The implication is the federal government is fueling a vicious cycle of higher prices and government aid that ultimately could cost taxpayers and price some Americans out of higher education, similar to what some economists contend happened with the housing bubble."
We have lived through a credit hyper-expansion for the record books, with an unprecedented generation of excess claims to underlying real wealth. In doing so we have created the largest financial departure from reality in human history. Bubbles are not new – humanity has experienced them periodically going all the way back to antiquity – but the novel aspect of this one, apart from its scale, is its occurrence at a point when we have reached or are reaching so many limits on a global scale. The retrenchment we are about to experience as this bubble bursts is also set to be unprecedented, given that the scale of a bust is predictably proportionate to the scale of the excesses during the boom that precedes it. Deflation and depression are mutually reinforcing, meaning the downward spiral will continue for many years. China is the biggest domino about to fall, and from a great height as well, threatening to flatten everything in its path on the way down. This is the beginning of a New World Disorder…