The American miracle idea of energy independence is fully reliant on a shale patch that went over $100 billion deeper into debt every year for years running just to produce that not-so-miracle. Take away 40%+ of what revenue it did take in, and there is no independence left. All that’s left is fracking fluids in your drinking water, and a few trillion in debt that the Big Kahuna lenders will seek to unload upon the real economy.
The attention being brought to bear upon Greece highlights once again the hollow nature of the “recovery” in Greece, Europe and the western world. The crisis is far from resolved - merely to use the very true cliche - kicked down the road. Well we appear to be coming towards the end of the road in Greece and this could set the stage for the next stage of the Eurozone debt crisis.
Brent Crude crossed below $65 for the first time since 2009 this morning and WTI began to slide as inventories showed a bigger-than-expected build. But it was Saudi Arabia's oil minister al-Naimi who sparked the latest dump:
*NAIMI SAYS `WHY SHOULD I CUT PRODUCTION'?
And with that WTI plunged to a $60 handle on heavy volume...
Remember yesterday? When talking heads proclaimed the lows were in and due to the strength of energy stocks, this must mean the worst is over? And remember we - quietly - showed the massive divergence between crashing energy credit markets and the stocks on the day...? Well guess who was right?
While we were expecting that one-time "god of crude oil trading" would have a poor year as a result of his consistent bullishness on the crude space, we were quite astounded to learn, as Bloomberg first reported yesterday, that Andy Hall - the man whose name was for a decade legendary in the commodity space - would call it a day. And yet that pales in comparison to the WSJ report overnight than Phibro itself, Andy Hall's 113 year old employer currently owned by Occidental Petroleum after its sale by Citigroup, would liquidate in the US after it failed to buy a buyer, marking the end of an era.
- New Normal headlines: Global stocks up on hopes of China policy easing (Reuters)
- China inflation eases to five-year low (BBC)
- U.S. Lawmakers Agree on $1.1 Trillion Spending Bill (WSJ)
- U.S. Braced for Blowback as CIA Report Lays Bare Abuses (BBG)
- CIA tortured, misled, U.S. report finds, drawing calls for action (Reuters)
- CIA Made False Claims Torture Prevented Heathrow Attacks (BBG)
- Oil Resumes Drop as Iran Sees $40 If There’s OPEC Discord (BBG)
- OPEC Says 2015 Demand for Its Crude Will Be Weakest in 12 Years (BBG)
- Greek yield curve inverted as politics raise default fears (Reuters)
Now that China is on the same boat as the rest of the world, and its stock market is a direct reflection of hopes for constant liquidity injections by the central banks, nothing could be better for stocks than bad news, which is precisely what it got. After the biggest crash in the Shanghai Composite in 5 years, what China got just the bad economic update it needed, when it reported a PPI of PPI (-2.7%, Exp. -2.4%), the 33rd consecutive decline and a CPI (1.4%, Exp. 1.6%), lowest since November 2009, when the big banks’ RRR rate stood at 15.5% vs. current 20%. And so hope of yet more PBOC interventions to halt China's deflation promptly reversed SHCOMP losses of over 4% on the session (at which point it was just shy of correction territory from recent highs hit just this week), and stocks surged to close up almost 3%, erasing half of yesterday's losses. This spike came despite reports Chinese regulators may limit brokerages' interbank borrowing.
The rather amusing and broadly cited economic fact is that US growth has become more robust and we should only expect a “tailwind” from lower gas prices that will put more dollars in the US consumers’ pockets , but 3 charts might indicate a less optimistic outcome.
Yes, you too can become a Crude Oil futures trader!
We are now far advanced into the third central bank generated bubble of the last two decades, but our monetary politburo has taken no notice whatsoever of its self-evident leading wave. Namely, the massive malinvestments and debt mania in the shale patch.
While there will be much debate over the economic pros and cons to tumbling oil prices (there is no debate if the plunge is confirmed to be the result of a global collapse in demand: that would scream global recession) with a definitive answer unlikely to be forthcoming for at least several quarters, when it comes to corporate profitability the outcome is already known, because between plunging oil prices and the soaring dollar, what is most likely next in store for the US economy may or may not be a full-blown economic recession, but a profit recession seems virtually inevitable.
There can be only one bond king. And with Gross in cross-asset limbo, that means that the undisputed fixed income crown, for now, goes to the one true monrach Jeffrey Gundlach. And in a few moments, said fixed income royal will be discussing the economy, the markets and his outlook for what he believes may be the best investment strategies and sector allocations, in his latest webcast titled, to borrow Barron's latest headline, "This Time It's Different."
Having already raised rates and devalued the Naira (and widened its trading bands), the Nigerian currency continues to collapse to new record lows as crude crashes lower and lower. Having tumbled 11.5% since oil prices peaked, the Naira is holdinga round 184/USD - over 9% above the new peg and dramatically outside of the new trading bands of +/-5% as it seems capital flight is out of control. That is probably why, as Bloomberg reports, Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has commented that Nigeria won’t resort to printing money or imprudent borrowing as it adjusts to lower prices of oil. “This is not the first time this country has gone through lower oil prices and it will not be the last,” she said - making it very clear that Nigeria is not Zimbabwe (yet).
Two months ago, when the first tremors in the crude market appeared, we wondered, jokingly, if one of the biggest crude bulls, Phibro's (and formerly Citi's uber-well paid trader) Andy Hall was puking blood yet. "Any crude BWICs from Andy Hall yet?" But while we may have been joking, for Andy Hall things were only all too real. So real, in fact, he just lost his job according to Bloomberg.
OIL TRADER ANDREW HALL SAID TO LEAVE PHIBRO BY YR-END: SOURCES
So is Hall's unwind the source of what some say is a relentless, rolling liquidation within the commodity space?
- China’s Stocks Sink Most Since 2009 as Turnover Jumps to Record (BBG)
- Greek Stocks, Bonds Tumble (WSJ)
- China tightens LGFV funding screws (BBG)
- Crude Rebounds From Five-Year Low Amid Shale-Oil Spending Curbs (BBG)
- Sexual threats, other CIA methods detailed in Senate report (Reuters)
- U.S. Takes Security Precautions Overseas Ahead of CIA Report (WSJ)
- Light-Speed Treasury Trading Governed by Rules Dating to 1998 (BBG)
- Delhi to ban all internet taxi firms after Uber rape claim (Reuters)
- Supreme Group Fined $389 Million for Overcharging Pentagon (WSJ)