The biggest event overnight came from Europe, where Draghi managed to once again jawbone the Euro lower by ober 50 pips when he told European lawmakers in a prepared testimony that downside economic risks are "clearly visible," repeating his October press conference statement, adding that the ECB will reexamine degree of accommodation in December as "inflation dynamics have somewhat weakened." And the statement that crushed the Euro: "If we were to conclude that our medium-term price stability objective is at risk, we would act by using all the instruments available within our mandate to ensure that an appropriate degree of monetary accommodation is maintained." I.e., another "whatever it takes" moment.
On the heels of placing its third former employee at the Fed this year alone, Goldman explains why the market is wrong about inflation and whyv a handful of ex-Goldmanites will hike by 200bps in the next two years.
Now down 5 of the last 6 days, WTI Crude is crumbling another 3.5% today, back to a $42 handle for the first time since the manic surge at the end of August. Furthermore, the dramatic decoupling of Oil VIX from Oil that occurred at the end of August has now converged.
Today’s dilemma – for financial markets and central bankers – is that pushing back against nascent “risk off” unleashes another forceful bout of “risk on.” At this point, it’s either Bubble on or off – destabilizing either way. The global Bubble has grown too distended and the market backdrop too dysfunctional. Central bankers over the past 25 years have created excessive “money,” while incentivizing too much finance into financial speculation. There is now way too much “money” crowded into the securities and derivative markets, and the upshot is an increasingly hostile backdrop for leverage and speculation.
Bloomberg's global commodities index is testing fresh 16 year lows but this is often excused on the basis that it includes crude oil weakness - which will mean-revert higher any day now. Perhaps the bigger, even louder warning signal is directly from the basest of base industrial metals... which are now down 50% from their 2011 "reflate the world" highs.
For the third day in a row, China dominated the overnight newsflow with the latest industrial output data, which printed at 5.6% missing expectations of a 5.8% increase, and was tied with March for the lowest print since late 2008.
Once again we feel the close tug of systemic illiquidity as it transcends the usual noise about assurances to ignore or trivialize all this growing uncertainty. Even though stocks and other assets have been trading in their own world mostly free from all this more hidden esoterica, the full weight of this analysis suggests that can’t be more than a temporary deviation. Since it is the angle of economy that is ultimately driving all of this, everything depends upon a global economy that has already been beaten down far past anticipation.
Venezuela is at a political crossroads, with an all-important parliamentary election set to take place in December. Meanwhile, the Venezuelan economy continues to deteriorate as the state seeks to stave off default and a brewing financial crisis. Late last month, Brazil withdrew its involvement in election monitoring after Venezuela rejected the officials Brazil put forward. Maduro is doing his best to keep international observers from scrutinizing the election. The election will take place just as the OPEC meeting will be wrapping up in Vienna, which is expected to yield few benefits for Venezuela. All signs point to OPEC continuing its market share strategy, keeping a lid on any substantial price rebound in the short-run. That does not bode well for Venezuela as it teeters on the brink of catastrophe.
The ongoing failure of China to achieve any stabilization in its economy, after already cutting interest rates six times in the past year, and the prospect of a U.S. interest rate hike in December, had made markets increasingly jittery and worried which is not only why the S&P 500 Index had its biggest drop in a month, but thanks to the soaring dollar emerging market stocks are falling for a fourth day - led by China - bringing their decline in that period to almost 4 percent, and the global stock index down for a 5th consecutive day.