The only question that matters today: is a "downbeat undertone", aka bad news, good news for stocks once again, and will the market relapse to its old "bad news is great news" regime, or will it take advantage of today's brief European bank euphoria to sell the rally as it has throughout all of 2016?
Recently we joked that it is unclear just where Venezuela will find all the paper banknotes it needs for all its new currency. And, as if on cue, the WSJ answered. As it turns out we were not the only ones wondering how the devastated "socialist paradise" gets its exponentially collapsing paper currency, which in just the past month has lost 17% of its value. The answer: 36 Boeing 747s.
"The severely adverse scenario is characterized by a severe global recession, accompanied by a period of heightened corporate financial stress and negative yields for short-term U.S. Treasury securities.... As a result of the severe decline in real activity and subdued inflation, short-term Treasury rates fall to negative ½ percent by mid-2016 and remain at that level through the end of the scenario."
Ten years ago, all this would have been written off as the stuff of an insane mind or conspiracist. Now, it is just normal and economists would have you think it the only option. At what point do we accede back to logic and rational thought?
It is safe to say that nobody expected the BOJ stunner announced last night, when Kuroda announced that Japan would become the latest country to unleash negative interest rates, for one simple reason: Kuroda himself said Japan would not adopt negative rates just one week ago! However, a few BIS conference calls since then clearly changed the Japanese central banker's mind and as we wrote, and as those who are just waking up are shocked to learn, negative rates are now a reality in Japan. The immediate reaction was to send the USDJPY surging by nearly 200 pips, back to levels seen... well, about a month ago.
To most people, a bull market is good. Share prices are connected to business productivity, right? In a free market, yes. However we don’t have a free market. We havemonetary policy, how our central planners stimulateus into awealth effect.
After yesterday's historic -6.9% rout in the Shanghai Composite, which saw the first new marketwide circuit breaker trading halt applied to Chinese stocks (on its first day of operation), many were wondering if the Chinese government would intervene in both the once again imploding stock market, as well as China's plunging and rapidly devaluing currency. And, after the SHCOMP opened down -3%, the government did not disappoint and promptly intervened in both the Yuan as well as the stock market, however with very mixed results which global stocks took a sign that the "national team" is no longer focused solely on stocks, and have resumed selling for a second consecutive day.
No year is ever easy to predict, if only because if it were, that would take all the fun out of life. But still, predictions for 2016 look quite a bit easier than other years. This is because a whole bunch of irreversible things happened in 2015 that were not recognized for what they are, either intentionally or by ‘accident’. Things that will therefore now be forced to play out in 2016, when denial will no longer be an available option. Simply put, 2016 will be the year when a lot of ‘underlying wealth’ evaporates.
With just a handful of trading sessions left in the year, this is how the major global markets look as 2015 is about to close. As of this moment, and in keeping with the Christmas spirit, the biggest question is whether the S&P500 will close green or red for the year.
Not since December 2013 have Canadian Consumer Prices dropped by such a large amount. November CPI dropped 0.3% MoM, dramatically worse than expected to the largest drop since Dec 2013. The largest YoY drop in Canadian CPI, amid a surge in inventories relative to a collapsee in wholesale sales sent the loonie crashing above 1.4000 for the first time since August 2003.
Moments ago Brazil lower house chief Eduardo Cunha announced that he has accepted an impeachment request filed by Helio Bicudo. Cunha told reporters in Brasilia that the decision is not political, and while one can debate that, the implications will have a tremendous impact on both Brazil's political situation not to mention its already imploding economy. Cunha told reporters in Brasilia on Wednesday he "profoundly regrets" what’s happening. "May our country overcome this process." The impeachment process could take months, involving several votes in Congress that ultimately may result in the president’s ouster.