In the summer of 2007, two inconsequential Bear Stearns property-related funds were gated and then liquidated, exposing the reality of the US housing bubble and catalyzing the collapse of the financial system. Fast forward eight years later when the UK's Standard Life has been forced to stop retail investors selling out of one of the UK’s largest property funds for at least 28 days after rapid cash outflows, due to fears over falling real estate values: "the risk is this creates a vicious circle, and prompts more investors to dump property."
In today's US holiday-impacted session, the biggest overnight story was the dramatic surge in precious metals, which saw silver briefly soar above $21 following a Chinese short squeeze sending the metal as much as 7% higher overnight, its biggest one day gain since December 1, 2014. As we reported overnight, silver touched a two-year high and gold rallied for a fourth day after the Brexit vote spurred demand for havens. The catalyst is familiar: speculation central banks in some of the world’s leading economies will step up monetary stimulus in the wake of Britain’s decision to leave the European Union.
Over the past few months we have witnessed massive cost cutting efforts (ie: firing of bankers) by many firms, Goldman, BAML, Nomura and RBS to name a few. Now it's time to add Commerzbank to the list of firms that need to fire people in order to try and cut enough costs to maintain earnings amid slumping revenues.
The new normal sure is strange: with the S&P flirting with all time highs, not to mention staging another dramatic V-shaped comeback from the post-Brexit crash which saw S&P futures trade limit down a week ago, investors keep on selling. According to Lipper data, U.S.-based stock mutual funds, which are held by retail mom-and-pop investors, posted cash withdrawals of $2.8 billion over the weekly period ended Wednesday; this was the 16th consecutive week of outflows.
"As gamma exposure turned significantly short on Monday 6/27, it also contributed to a larger squeeze up on Tuesday and Wednesday (please note, these were even more prominent on 8/26 and 8/27 than this week)... We maintain the view that we have not yet seen the highs of VIX due to Brexit and related risks. The points discussed above suggest equity markets face elevated risk in the days and weeks ahead."
Despite mainstream economists hopes that somehow “this time will be different,” the ongoing massaging of economic data through seasonal adjustments to obtain better headlines did not translate into actual prosperity. Of course, “reality” is a cruel mistress and despite ongoing hopes and overstatements, “fantasy” eventually gives way.
Sunday evening, as the world watched the fallout from what "Remin"-ers said was the end of the world, The BIS warned that central bank 'easing' actions "have started to backfire" and explained what little could be achieved with further stimulus. Three days later, first The Bank of England and then the European Central Bank both unleashed fresh bazookas as The PPT to save the world swung into action to rescue stocks and the all-important global wealth effect. Yet again - no consequences for anything will be allowed...
"We shall have orders in the markets today to sell the mid-points of all three indices; that is, we’ll sell the S&P futures today if 2045; we’ll sell the EUR STOXX 50 at 2837 and we’ll sell the Nikkie futures at 15,800… two thirds of a unit for each so that we’ll be short of two units in total if all are filled."
Why the ongoing rally? A squeeze, sure, and also month-end fund flows. But the fundamental driver remains one and the same, and we quote Bloomberg: "the relief rally endures as Asian and European stocks rally with crude oil amid speculation policy makers will use stimulus to blunt the impact of the U.K.’s decision to leave the European Union, including a pause in the Federal Reserve’s tightening cycle. Investors are looking to policy makers for support."
"I think indeed the comparison does not apply because the reaction to Lehman as you may recall was that several markets froze... That was not the case this time."Actually... that's not exactly true is it!!