European Union

Brexit Bets Surge At Bookies Despite Cable Strength

Cable has strengthened notably in the last week or so as Cameron and Osborne unleashed phase 2 of "project fear" and 'some' Brexit polls suggested market fears of a 'leave' decision were overblown. However, the broad polls still show the decision is too close to call, which is why the news from Ladbrokes - Britain's largest bookmaker - that they have seen a sudden surge in Brexit bets in the last few days. Interestingly, sterling has started to leak lower today...

Frontrunning: May 26

  • Wall Street Crime: 7 Years, 156 Cases and Few Convictions (WSJ)
  • Japan's Abe points to 2008 crisis as G7 leaders debate global risk (Reuters)
  • Brent Crude Rises Above $50 a Barrel (WSJ)
  • New York financial regulator gearing up to probe online lenders (Reuters)
  • At Swinging Wall Street Parties, the Feds Are Now on the Prowl (BBG)

Futures Levitation Continues As Brent Rises Above $50 For First Time Since November

In what has been another quiet overnight session, which unlike the past two days has not seen steep, illiquid gaps higher in US equity futures (the E-mini was up 3 points and accelerating to the upside as of this writing so there is still ample time for the momentum algos to go berserk), the main event was the price of Brent rising above $50 for the first time since November with WTI rising as high as $49.97.

"Run For Cover If You’re Short" Gartman Pleads One Day After Saying "2,025 Is A Given"

"Anybody who's short - and there are a lot of smart people who are in fact heavily short - they have to run for cover, and I think it could get ugly.  In our account here, we quite literally were grasping for almost anything we could to reverse our position. Covering… or actually greatly reducing… our short position in the derivatives market was the first course of action.... We’ve learned over the years that when such things occur it is better to “shoot first and ask questions later."

Frontrunning: May 25

  • Oil nudges $50 a barrel as investors bet on shrinking overhang (Reuters)
  • From hinterland to wonderland: China's 'teapot' refinery boomtowns (Reuters)
  • Peter Thiel Has Been Secretly Funding Hulk Hogan's Lawsuits Against Gawker (Forbes)
  • China Wants to Set Prices for the World's Commodities (BBG)
  • Big Banks Ladle On the Risk (WSJ)
  • China Said to Plan Asking U.S. on Timing of Fed Rate Hike (BBG)

Global Stocks, Futures Rally, Ignore Sharp Yuan Devaluation On Hopes Fed Is Right This Time

The single biggest event overnight was the PBOC's devaluation of the Yuan to the lowest since March 2011, setting the fixing at 6.5693, the highest in over 5 years and in direct response to a stronger dollar, which however if one looks at the DXY remains well below the recent highs in the 100 range, suggesting for China this is only just beggining. However, the fact that there was not more volatility in onshore and offshore overnight FX also comforted the market that at the same time as its was devaluing the PBOC was also intervening in the FX market, thus providing some assurance it would not allow runaway "risk off" sentiment prevail, nor would it promote another blitz round of capital outflows, leading to another gradual levitation in overnight risk.

Stronger Dollar Sends Futures Higher, Oil Lower, Asian Stocks To Two Month Lows

Yesterday's weak dollar headfake has ended and overnight the USD rallied, while Asian stocks dropped to the lowest level in 7 weeks and crude oil fell as speculation returned that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates as early as next month. The pound jumped and European stocks gained thanks to a weaker EUR.

Academic Skullduggery – How Ivory Tower Hubris Wrecks Your Life

Monetary policy may seem technical as clever people debate among themselves whether the optimal policy rule should be one part inflation and one part output gap or one part inflation and two part output gap with various degree of flexibility in its interpretation. In reality it is just a bunch of academics looking at an extremely simplified mathematical representation of the world under the pretense of knowing the consequences of their actions. They do not. It is all made up as they go along and the repercussion for their hubris will be borne by all of us. It is glaringly obvious to us that the extraordinary decisions made by our money masters over the last decade will end in an extraordinary correction of malinvested capital. Applying the scientific method of natural science on a social system is the gravest error of them all.

Frontrunning: May 23

  • Global stocks see-saw, yields slip as investors get week off to cautious start (Reuters)
  • Bayer defies critics with $62 billion Monsanto offer (Reuters)
  • Iran has no plans to freeze oil exports, official says ahead of OPEC meeting (Reuters)
  • U.S. lifts arms ban on old foe Vietnam as regional tensions simmer (Reuters)
  • Anthem, Cigna Privately Bicker as They Seek Merger Approval (WSJ)

Futures Fade Early Bounce, Slide In Illiquid Tape As Yen Rises, Oil Drops

Government bonds rose and the yen strengthened as investors weighed the timing of the Federal Reserve’s next increase in interest rates and the outlook for inflation. Commodities slid, led by metals, while stocks in Europe declined. Treasury 30-year yields fell for a third day. The yen rose from near this month’s low. Futures on the S&P 500 also declined after initially jumping higher in thinly traded, illiquid tape.

Despite Depression, Greece Forced To Hike VAT, Add New Taxes

The IMF wants debt relief now, but Germany wants the IMF to hold off until Merkel wins reelection. Meanwhile, the Greek depression resumes. These tax hikes are insane. The key question remains: Is the IMF bluffing about debt relief or not?

Erdogan Nears Absolute Power With Appointment Of Puppet Premier, Stripping MPs Of Immunity

During today's congress of Turkey's AKP, Erdogan confirmed an impotent lapdog, Binali Yildirim - a close ally for two decades and a co-founder of the ruling AK Party - as his new prime minister on Sunday, which as Reuters explained was "a big step towards the stronger presidential powers [Erdogan] has long sought." In plain English, Turkey is unofficially a dictatorship, in which Erdogan is president only in title and in reality a supreme despot as there is no longer anyone who can politically challenge the president.