Eurozone

Thanksgiving Frontrunning And Market Summary

  • The second coming of Obamacare website - will it work? (Reuters)
  • Winter Storm Moves North as Macy’s Waits to Make Parade Call (BBG)
  • Eyeing holiday sales, more U.S. retailers to open on Thanksgiving (Reuters)
  • It's all Verizon's fault: H-P Will Replace Verizon in Hosting HealthCare.gov Website (WSJ)
  • Bitcoin Service Targets Kenya Remittances With Cut-Rate Fees (BBG)
  • Embattled Thai PM easily survives no-confidence vote, protests persist (Reuters)
  • For U.S. stores it is ugly out there: in more ways than one (Reuters)
  • Japan and S Korea military flout China air zone rules (FT)
  • UBS Restructuring Forex Unit (WSJ)
  • Trader Messages Scrutinized as UBS Bans Chats Among Firms (BBG)
  • ECB warns on external risks to eurozone financial system (FT)

Exposing The Reality Of The "Too Good To Be True" Greek Budget Myth

Recently, newspaper headlines declared that Greece would have a balanced budget for 2013 as a whole. The news came as quite a shock: Recall that when Greek officials came clean about the true state of their country’s public finances in 2010, the budget deficit was more than 10% of GDP – a moment of statistical honesty that triggered the eurozone debt crisis. It seemed too good to be true that the Greek deficit would be completely eliminated in just three years. In fact, it is too good to be true.

The Punch Line: The Complete Macroeconomic Summary And All The Chart To Go With It

As stocks hit new records and small investors—finally—return to the market, some analysts are getting worried. Risk assets have rallied to previous bubble conditions. Powered by unprecedented refinancing and recap activity, 2013 is now the most productive year ever for new-issue leveraged loans, for example. This has been great for corporations as financing and refinancing has put them on a stronger footing. Where M&A activity still lags the highs of the last boom, issuers have jumped into the opportunistic pool with both feet. And why not? Secondary prices are high and new-issue clearing yields remain low. Yet very inadequate movement has been evidenced on the hiring front. And after all the improvement in ebitda, where do we go from here? Forward guidance will clearly be harder. One might argue that we are back in a Goldilocks fantasy world, where the economy is not so strong (as to cause inflation and trigger serious monetary tightening) or so weak (as to cause recession and a collapse in profits) but "just right". Yet, it seems unlikely that issuers with weaker credit quality could find it so easy to sell debt without the excess liquidity created by the Fed and other central banks.

Futures Go Nowhere In Quiet Overnight Session

In fitting with the pre-holiday theme, and the moribund liquidity theme of the past few months and years, there was little of note in the overnight session with few event catalysts to guide futures beside the topping out EURJPY. Chinese stocks closed a shade of red following news local banks might be coming  under further scrutiny on their lending/accounting practices - the Chinese banking regulator has drafted rules restricting banks from using resale or repurchase agreements to move assets off their balance sheets as a way to sidestep loan-to-deposit ratios that constrain loan growth. The return of the nightly Japanese jawboning of the Yen did little to boost sentiment, as the Nikkei closed down 104 points to 15515. Japan has gotten to the point where merely talking a weaker Yen will no longer work, and the BOJ will actually have to do something - something which the ECB, whose currency is at a 4 year high against Japan, may not like.

Europe Unveils Its Latest Deus Ex Machina Growth Bazooka: Encourage Debt-Cutting "Reform" With Even More Debt

Just out from Reuters:

  • EURO ZONE COUNTRIES CONSIDERING CHEAP LOANS AS INCENTIVE FOR GOVERNMENTS TO ENACT ECON REFORMS-DOCUMENT
  • TO QUALIFY, COUNTRIES WOULD HAVE TO DRAW UP LEGALLY BINDING PLAN FOR REFORM APPROVED BY MEMBER STATES-DOC
  • LOANS WOULD NOT BE LINKED TO COST OF REFORM BUT MEANT AS GENERAL SUPPORT FOR THE ECONOMY-DOCUMENT
  • LOANS FOR REFORMS WOULD NOT BE AVAILABLE TO COUNTRIES RUNNING EXCESSIVE MACROECONOMIC IMBALANCES OR UNDER BAILOUT-DOC

In other words, "encourage" debt-cutting reforms by dangling the carrot of even more debt. But the punchline:

  • NO FIRM PLAN YET HOW TO FINANCE THE LOANS, WHICH COULD BECOME THE NUCLEUS OF A EURO ZONE BUDGET-DOC

Oops.

5 (+3) Themes For The Next 5 Years

The following five themes (and three bonus ones) are what UBS Andrew Cates believes will be of the greatest importance for global economic and capital markets outcomes for the next five years. There is little to surprise here but the aggregation of these factors and the increasingly binary outcomes of each of them suggest there may be a little more uncertainty about the future than most people sheepishly admit...

Guest Post: The Money Bubble Gets Its Grand Rationalization

Late in the life of every financial bubble, when things have gotten so out of hand that the old ways of judging value or ethics or whatever can no longer be honestly applied, a new idea emerges that, if true, would let the bubble keep inflating forever. During the tech bubble of the late 1990s it was the “infinite Internet.” During the housing bubble the rationalization for the soaring value of inert lumps of wood and Formica was a model of circular logic: Home prices would keep going up because “home prices always go up.” Now the current bubble – call it the Money Bubble or the sovereign debt bubble or the fiat currency bubble, they all fit – has finally reached the point where no one operating within a historical or commonsensical framework can accept its validity, and so for it to continue a new lens is needed. And right on schedule, here it comes: Governments with printing presses can create as much currency as they want and use it to hold down interest rates for as long as they want. So financial crises are now voluntary. The illusion of government omnipotence is no crazier than the infinite Internet or home prices always going up, but it is crazy.

Just The Right Amount Of Bad Overnight News Offsets Latest Taper Tantrum

Following yesterday's latest Taper Tantrum, it was critical to get a smattering of bad global overnight news to provide the ammunition for the algos that not all in the world is fine and the easy monetary policy will continue indefinitely pushing stocks ever higher at the expense of the global economy. Sure enough first China, and then Europe complied, following the biggest China Flash PMI miss and drop in 6 months, followed shortly thereafter by a miss and a drop in the Eurozone Composite PMI down from 51.9 to 51.5, below expectations of an increase to 52.0, primarily on the back of a decline in the Service PMI from 51.6 to 50.9, with 51.9 expected even as the Mfg PMI rose modestly from 51.3 to 51.5. The country breakdown showed a significant deterioration in France and an improvement in Germany. But the biggest overnight driver by a wide margin was the Yen, which tumbled nearly 100 pips and the USDJPY hit an overnight high of just over 100.90, which pushed the Nikkei up by almost 2%, and kept the futures well bid. However, what has confused algos in recent trading is the expected denial by Draghi of a negative interest rate, which while good for the EURJPY that drives the ES, what is the flipside is that this means less easing by the ECB, and thus interpreting the data does not result in a clear BTFD signal. Which may be a problem because should stocks close red today it will be the first 4 day drop in who knows how long.

An ECB Negative Deposit Rate? Don't Hold Your Breath, Says Citi

While the FOMC Minutes due out in less than an hour is what everyone is looking forward to, the big surprise announcement of the day was the repeat of a rumor released initially 6 months ago, namely that the ECB is considering negative deposit rates - a concept we first speculated about back in June of 2012. Alas, just like last time, the latest incarnation of the NIRP rumor appears to be merely more hot air (and certainly will be exposed as such once the non-compliant mostly German ECB members hit the tape). One person who says not to hold your breath for an ECB negative rate, is Citi's Valentin Marino, who says not only is a negative deposit rate unlikely before the results of the AQR and stress tests as it would accelerate bank deleveraging, but that it "could worsen the pervasive credit crunch and add to the growth headwinds and deflation risks in in the currency block. It would erode investors’ confidence in Eurozone’s financial institutions and accentuate their relative underperformance."

Frontrunning: November 20

  • JPMorgan $13 Billion Mortgage Deal Seen as Lawsuit Shield (BBG)
  • J.P. Morgan Is Haunted by a 2006 Decision on Mortgages (WSJ)
  • World powers, Iran in new attempt to reach nuclear deal (Reuters)
  • Keystone Foes Seek to Thwart Oil Sands Exports by Rail (BBG) - mostly Warren Buffet?
  • How Would Fed Deal With Debt Ceiling Crisis? Look to Minutes for Clues  (Hilsenrath)
  • Anything to prevent the loss of prop trading: 'Volcker Rule' Faces New Hurdles (WSJ)
  • BOE Sees Case for Keeping Record-Low Rate Beyond 7% Jobless (BBG)
  • Obama Backs Piecemeal Immigration Overhaul (WSJ)
  • Abenomics Seen Cutting Japan Bad-Loan Costs to 2006 Low (BBG)

DJIA 16000, S&P 1800 Looking Increasingly More Distant

After the DJIA and S&P briefly crossed the key resistance levels of 16000 and 1800, the upper bound on the markets has been looking increasingly more distant and this morning's lack of an overnight ramp only makes it more so. Perhaps the biggest concern, however, is that with both Yellen and Bernanke on the tape yesterday, the S&P still was unable to close green. This follows on Monday's double POMO day when the S&P once again closed... red. Not helping things was the overnight announcement by the Japanese government pension fund, the GPIF, in which the fund announced it would lower its bond allocation further however the new law to reform the GPIF could be written by spring 2015. This was hardly as exciting as the market had expected, and as a result both the USDJPY and the ES-moving EURJPY find themselves at overnight lows. Will the EURJPY engage in its usual post 8 am ramp - keep a close eye, especially since the usual morning gold and silver slam down just took place.

POMO Shows ECB Who's In Charge

The ECB tried to "do whatever it takes" this morning by floating QE rumors (Constancio - QE is a possibility but not discussed in any detail) with the endgame being a weaker EUR (since a stronger EUR has crushed Eurozone corporate earnings). But, the Fed was having none of that, and as POMO started it dominated the ECB's "weak" kung-fu, ramping stocks and EURUSD to new highs... as we chronicled on Twitter... banging EURJPY (the all-important carry driver of all thinsg risk) to new 4-year highs).