While the Arab countries floated themselves on oceans of petro-dollars forty years ago, they have little need for them now. So we must now turn our attention to China, which is well positioned to act as white knight to Saudi Arabia. China’s SAFE sovereign wealth fund could easily swallow the Aramco stake, and there are good strategic reasons why it should. A quick deal would help stabilise a desperate financial and political situation on the edges of China’s rapidly growing Asian interests, and keep Saudi Arabia onside as an energy supplier. China has dollars to dispose, and a mutual arrangement would herald a new era of tangible cooperation. The US can only stand and stare as China teases Saudi Arabia away from America’s sphere of influence.
Italy's bad bank bailouts fund, "Atlas", is about to become the proud new owner of around 90% of Italy's Popolare di Vicenza after investors only bought a fraction of the mid-tier bank's €1.5 billion cash call, Reuters reports. Popolare di Vicenza, which was due to announce the outcome of the public share offer later on Friday, said earlier in the day that it had raised €4.25 billion, at the lower end of a 4-6 billion euro range it had initially targeted, from 67 mostly domestic financial institutions.
80% of US companies beating EPS estimates is above the historical average. However, we note that in the last 10 years, the proportion of EPS beats was always well above the 50% threshold, suggesting that companies typically do a good job at managing analysts’ expectations. The actual delivered EPS growth is a better indicator of the underlying earnings backdrop, in our view. At -8%, the S&P500 Q1 EPS growth is the worst since ’09.
Those who thought the situation in Greece was solved after prime minister Alexis Tsipras suddenly caved in to creditors’ demands need think again. Greek tax revenues are running well under expectations. A default looms in July unless the creditors give more money to Greece so that Greece can pay back the creditors. As convoluted as that sounds, that’s precisely the way this madness works. The creditors demand still more austerity but Tsipras said “no”. Instead, Tsipras seeks an emergency meeting, but European Commission president Donald Tusk said “no” to that proposal.
Is gold, often scoffed at as being an unproductive asset, more productive than cash? If so, what does it mean for asset allocation?
The history of economic central planning is not exactly glorious. In fact, as American economist Thomas Sowell once noted, "in general [central planning] has a record of failure so blatant that only an intellectual could ignore or evade it."
That the status quo--the current pyramid of wealth and power dominated by the few at the top - has failed is self-evident, but we can't bear to talk about it. This is not just the result of a corporate media that serves up a steady spew of pro-status quo propaganda--it is also the result of self-censorship and denial. The truth is the usual menu of reforms can’t stop this failure, so we have to prepare ourselves for the radical transformations ahead.
There is no smell here: metal has none. There is no noise, either, on account of the vaults’ thick concrete walls. What there is, however, is one of the world’s most important traded assets. Deals are still done in gold in almost every country in the world. Its price is a crucial barometer for consumer confidence. Prices rise when markets are uncertain, and before US elections – like now.
RANSQUAWK WEEK AHEAD VIDEO NOW AVAILABLE - April 25th: Highlights this week include Fed and BoJ rate decisionsSubmitted by RANSquawk Video on 04/25/2016 09:12 -0400
Futures are currently unchanged, but the E-mini was down as much as 12 points less than two hours earlier after the European open when this time it was up to the PBOC to intervene in global markets by pushing the Yuan higher (selling USDCNY via intermediary banks) sending global stocks sharply higher off session lows and leaving the S&P futures virtually unchanged. As Bloomberg reported, there has been increasing USD/CNY selling in afternoon session as Dollar Index edged lower. This is the PBOC entering the building and levitating stocks.
Today, everything (and we do mean everything!) one thought they understood about free market capitalism has been thrown into the wastebasket of history and replaced with edicts and dictates set forth by an un-elected gaggle of economic theorists who've decided the world of business is theirs to control. How do they control it? Hint: The courage to print! Whether you're a solo-practitioner or CEO of a global concern one thing should be making you very, very, very concerned: The recent proclamations, as well as, delivery from the ECB’s Mario Draghi. To say central banks have intervened far too long within the financial markets would be an understatement.
For a century, elites have worked to eliminate monetary gold, both physically and ideologically, and yet, like Banquo’s ghost, gold insists on its seat at the monetary table. After decades as net sellers of gold, central banks became net buyers in 2010. A scramble for gold has begun... When it comes to monetary elites, watch what they do, not what they say.
"In the context of today’s paralyzed political-fiscal landscape how silly is it to suggest the Fed purchase a significantly large quantity of gold bullion at a substantially greater price than today’s free-market level, perhaps $5,000 an ounce? Admittedly, this suggestion is almost too outrageous to post under the PIMCO logo, but NIRP surely would have elicited a similar reaction a decade ago. But upon reflection, it could be an elegant solution since it flips the boxes on a foreign currency “prisoner’s dilemma”. Most critically, a massive gold purchase has the potential to significantly boost inflationary expectations, both domestic and foreign."
- World stocks gain along with oil, clock ticks down to ECB (Reuters)
- Draghi Expected to Defend ECB in Face of German Criticism (WSJ)
- Trump, Cruz, Kasich seek to win over Republican leaders at party meeting (Reuters)
- Donald Trump Plans to Adopt More-Traditional Campaign Tactics (WSJ)
- Japan, Not Germany, Leads World in Negative-Yield Bonds (BBG)
One day after stocks were this close from hitting new all time highs on what have been either ok earnings, if looking at non-GAAP data, or atrocious earnings, based on GAAP, and where any oil headline is now immediately translated as bullish by the oil algos, so far futures are relatively flat, while European stocks were at their moments ago in anticipation of the latest ECB announcement due out in just one hour. However, unlike last month's "quad-bazooka", this time the market expects far less from Draghi. “Having pulled put the monetary bazooka in March, the market is sensibly expecting no further policy measures from the ECB,”