In another quiet overnight session, the biggest - and unexpected - macro news was the surprise monetary easing by Singapore which as previously reported moved to a 2008 crisis policy response when it adopted a "zero currency appreciation" stance as a result of its trade-based economy grinding to a halt. As Richard Breslow accurately put it, "If you need yet another stark example of the fantasy storytelling we amuse ourselves with, juxtapose today’s Monetary Authority of Singapore policy statement with the storyline that the Asian stock market rally intensified on renewed optimism over the global economy. Singapore is a proxy for trade and economic growth ground to a halt last quarter." The Singapore announcement led to a sharp round of regional currency weakness just as the dollar appears to have bottomed and is rapidly rising.
Would the world survive President Hillary?
America's New Impossible Trinity: You Can't Have Higher Wages, Steady Inflation And High Profits At The Same TimeSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 04/13/2016 11:57 -0400
America’s ongoing labour productivity slump has created a new impossible trinity – policymakers can only choose two of the following three desirable outcomes: higher nominal wage growth, steady inflation and high corporate profits. The theory behind this new ‘impossible trinity’ is intuitively simple. If workers’ wages rise faster than their productivity, the companies paying those higher wages face two choices. They can either pass on the extra costs to customers, thereby leading to higher overall prices and rising inflation, or they can absorb the extra costs resulting in lower profit margins.
- China trade surprise gives stocks a lift (Reuters)
- JPMorgan profit hurt by drop in investment banking revenue (Reuters)
- About 40,000 Verizon workers launch strike (Reuters)
- Regulators Set to Reject Some Big Banks’ ‘Living Wills’ (WSJ)
- More Startups Are Getting Lower Valuations Than Joining the Billion-Dollar Club (BBG)
- Closures and court cases leave Turkey's media increasingly muzzled (Reuters)
What in the World is Going on with Banks this Week? Emergency meetings, banker summits, crashing European banks.......Submitted by Bruno de Landevoisin on 04/12/2016 17:29 -0400
Ever since the beginning of 2016 and especially in the last few weeks, while Hugh Hendry has been chugging horse doses of blue pills, Joe LaVorgna has finally discovered the red pill, and perhaps because he has been focusing a little to much on the performance of the stock price of his employer, or for whatever other reason, gradually Wall Street's biggest bull has mutated into its most outspoken bear.
Hot on the heels of Wells Fargo's $1.2 billion settlement, Bloomberg reports that Goldman Sachs will pay $5.1 billion to settle a U.S. probe into its handling of mortgage-backed securities involving allegations that loans weren’t properly vetted before being sold to investors as high-quality bonds. “This resolution holds Goldman Sachs accountable for its serious misconduct in falsely assuring investors that securities it sold were backed by sound mortgages, when it knew that they were full of mortgages that were likely to fail,” said Acting Associate Attorney General Stuart Delery.
This morning's 160 point spike in Dow Futures - out of nowhere - was predicated on hopes of an Italian bank bailout. While this may seem like an odd reason to "buy buy buy" US equities, in the new normal, it really is not.. and when put in context, the 'bounce' in EU banks should do more to scare than soften investors' concerns...
"We continue to live in a low default world for now though. Even though defaults picked up in 2015, B/BB default rates were still comfortably below their long-term average which they have been for well over a decade now with 2009 being the only exception. Indeed last year’s default rate for global Bs (up from 0.9% to 2.7%) was still lower than all of the first two decades of the modern era of leveraged finance up to 2003. So in spite of all the challenges we face this era has been characterized by astonishingly low default rates. There are clear signs the cycle is turning though, especially in the US."
The alienation between Germany and the ECB has reached a new level. Back in deutsche mark times, Europeans often joked that the Germans "may not believe in God, but they believe in the Bundesbank," as Germany's central bank is called. Today, though, when it comes to relations between the ECB and the German population, people are more likely to speak of "parallel universes."... Should it come to helicopter money, Berlin would have to consider taking the ECB to court to clarify the limits of its mandate. In other words: the German government and Draghi's ECB would be adversaries in a public court case.
Over time, Bubble Economies become increasingly vulnerable to economic stagnation, Credit degradation and asset price busts. Bubbles are fueled by Credit excesses that distort risk perceptions and resource allocation. Credit and asset price inflation will incentivize speculation, another key dynamic ensuring misallocation and malinvestment. In the end, Bubbles redistribute and destroy wealth. Major Bubbles will tear at the threads of society.
Nearly a decade since the housing bubble burst the dirty skeletons still emerge from the closet, and still nobody goes to jail. In the latest example of how criminal Wall Street behavior leads to zero prison time and just more slaps on the wrist, overnight Warren Buffett's favorite bank, Wells Fargo, admitted to "deceiving" the U.S. government into insuring thousands of risky mortgages. Its "punishment" - a $1.2 billion settlement of a U.S. Department of Justice lawsuit, the highest ever levied in a housing-related matter.
The market bond market, which is now frontrunning not just what the ECB has announced it will buy but what it may buy, just led to a record European junk bond issuance, when French cable and telecom operator Numericable "stunned the market" (as Reuters put it), when it upsized what was originally supposed to be a $2.25 deal by more than 100% to a whopping $5.2 billion bond deal on Wednesday. This was the largest single high-yield bond tranche ever issued.
- Stocks up as investors look to end bruising week on a high (Reuters)
- Treasuries Set for Two-Week Gain; Greenspan Warns of Global Risk (BBG)
- Yellen, alongside Fed alum, says rate hikes on track (Reuters)
- Oil Prices Lifted by Fed Comments on U.S. Economy (WSJ)
- China says G20 summit should be about economics, not politics (Reuters)
- Cameron Accused of Hypocrisy for Stake in Father's Offshore Fund (BBG)
Despite the supposedly ineluctable logic of Sanders’ unelectability, many pundits now believe there has been a seismic shift in the 2016 presidential race. It is becoming increasingly obvious that Americans are sick to death of the two corporatist political establishments and will do anything to send them a message. Then there’s the matter of the Panama Papers, which once again illustrate the stark contrast in judgement between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton.