• Marc To Market
    12/20/2014 - 12:21
    When the dollar falls, we are told it is logical.  The empire is crashing and burning.  When the dollar rises, the markets, we are told are manipulated.    Well, the dollar is...

Fisher

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China Tests Nuclear ICBMs, US Analyst Warns "Arms Control Is Failing To Increase American Security"





China carried out a long-range missile flight test on Saturday using multiple, independently targetable reentry vehicles, or MIRVs, according to U.S. defense officials. As The Washington Free Beacon reports, the test of a new DF-41 missile, China’s longest-range intercontinental ballistic missile, marks the first test of multiple warhead capabilities for China (the DF-41 is capable of carrying up to 10 warheads and has a maximum range of 7,456 miles, allowing it to target the entire continental United States). Rick Fisher, a specialist on the Chinese military with the International Assessment and Strategy Center, warned "the beginning of China’s move toward multiple warhead-armed nuclear missiles is proof that today, arms control is failing to increase the security of Americans."

 
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2014 Year In Review (Part 1): The Final Throes Of A Geopolitical Game Of Tetris





Every year, David Collum writes a detailed "Year in Review" synopsis full of keen perspective and plenty of wit. This year's is no exception. "I have not seen a year in which so many risks - some truly existential - piled up so quickly. Each risk has its own, often unknown, probability of morphing into a destructive force. It feels like we’re in the final throes of a geopolitical Game of Tetris as financial and political authorities race to place the pieces correctly. But the acceleration is palpable. The proximate trigger for pain and ultimately a collapse can be small, as anyone who’s ever stepped barefoot on a Lego knows..."

 
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Futures Soar On Swiss NIRP Stunner, "Considerably Patient" Fed





After drifting unchanged for much of the overnight session, US futures exploded higher shortly after the previously noted SNB's NIRP announcement, which took place at 2 am eastern, which made it explicit that yet another banks will herd the bouncing dead cats right into new all time stock market highs, and following the European open, were carried even higher as the global "risk-on" momentum ignition algos woke up, spiking all recently depressed assets higher, including energy as Brent rose almost 3% despite Saudi Arabia’s oil minister Ali al-Naimi once again saying "it is difficult if not impossible" for OPEC and his kingdom to reduce output.

 
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No More "Considerable Time" - Meet The New, "Patient" Fed





With expectations that the FOMC would drop "considerable time," ignore foreign market instability, and shrug off HY credit's demise (as they had previously said it was a bubble), the members did not let anyone down...

  • *FOMC SAYS IT CAN BE 'PATIENT' IN APPROACH TO RAISING RATES
  • *FOMC DECLINES TO MENTION RECENT GLOBAL MARKET INSTABILITY
  • *FOMC SAYS PATIENT APPROACH 'CONSISTENT WITH OCT. STATEMENT'
  • *FISHER, PLOSSER, KOCHERLAKOTA DISSENT IN FOMC DECISION

For the 3rd FOMC meeting in a row, equity markets have surged (and decoupled from bonds); we will soon see if history repeats a third time.

Pre-FOMC: S&P Futs: 1988.00, 10Y 2010%, Gold $1195, WTI $57.50

 
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Frontrunning: December 17





  • Citigroup is pleased: Obama signs $1.1 trillion government spending bill (Reuters)
  • Oil holds below $60 as OPEC, Russia keep pumping (Reuters)
  • 5 Things to watch at the December Fed Meeting (WSJ)
  • Russia Tries Emergency Steps for 2nd Day to Stem Ruble Rout (BBG)
  • Ruble crisis could shake Putin's grip on power (Reuters)
  • Apple Curbs Russia Sales as McDonald’s Lifts Prices (BBG)
  • Traders Betting Russia’s Next Move Will Be to Sell Gold (BBG)
  • China Warms to a More Flexible Yuan (WSJ)
 
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China's Stock Market Whiplash Extends As Greece, Crude Slump More





Now that China is on the same boat as the rest of the world, and its stock market is a direct reflection of hopes for constant liquidity injections by the central banks, nothing could be better for stocks than bad news, which is precisely what it got. After the biggest crash in the Shanghai Composite in 5 years, what China got just the bad economic update it needed, when it reported a PPI of PPI (-2.7%, Exp. -2.4%), the 33rd consecutive decline and a  CPI (1.4%, Exp. 1.6%), lowest since November 2009, when the big banks’ RRR rate stood at 15.5% vs. current 20%. And so hope of yet more PBOC interventions to halt China's deflation promptly reversed SHCOMP losses of over 4% on the session (at which point it was just shy of correction territory from recent highs hit just this week), and stocks surged to close up almost 3%, erasing half of yesterday's losses. This spike came despite reports Chinese regulators may limit brokerages' interbank borrowing.

 
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Algo Eyes On Draghi Ahead Of ECB Announcement





Today we'll learn more about whether Mr Draghi becomes Super Mario in the near future as the widely anticipated ECB meeting is now only a few hours away. We will do another summary preview of market expectations shortly, but in a nutshell, nobody really expects Draghi to announce anything today although the jawboning is expected to reach unseen levels. The reason is that Germany is still staunchly against outright public QE, and Draghi probably wants to avoid and outright legal confrontation. As DB notes, assuming no new policy moves, the success of today's meeting will probably depend on the degree to which Draghi indicates the need for more action soon and the degree to which that feeling is unanimous within the council. Over the past weekend Weidmann's comment about falling oil prices representing a form of stimulus highlights that this consensus is still proving difficult to build. It might need a couple more months of low growth and inflation, revised staff forecasts and a stubbornly slow balance sheet accumulation to cement action.

 
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"We Are All In A Ponzi-World Right Now, Hoping To Get Bailed-Out By The Next Person"





"We all are in a Ponzi world right now. Hoping to be bailed out by the next person. The problem is that demographics alone have to tell us, that there are fewer people entering the scheme then leaving. More people get out than in. Which means, by definition, that the scheme is at an end. The Minsky moment is the crash. Like all crashes it is easier to explain it afterwards than to time it before. But I think it is obvious that the endgame is near."

"Today central banks give money to institutions, which are not solvent, against doubtful collateral for zero interest. This is not capitalism."

 
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Stocks Rebound, Oil Resumes Slide, Ruble Tumbles As Yen Flirts With 119





A few days of near-record crude volatility (which the CME is scrambling to reduce following 2 crude margin hikes in the past week) is giving way to the New Normal default thinking: that central banks will soon take care of everything. And sure enough, just an hour earlier, US equity futures had jumped 8 points on virtually zero volume, wiping out all of yesterday's losses, driven higher by that new "old favorite", the USDJPY, which has once again resumed its climb higher, briefly rising above 119.00 once again and sending the Nikkei and the Topix to fresh 7 year highs, perfectly oblivious to both yesterday's Moody's downgrade and now open warnings from both Eisuke Sakakibara and Goldman Sachs that further declines in the Yen will accelerate the collapse of the Japanese economy. And, since there is also zero liquidity in the market, that entire gain was also just as promptly wiped out with futures now practically unchanged from yesterday's close.

 
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The Economic End Game Explained





Throughout history, in most cases of economic collapse the societies in question believed they were financially invincible just before their disastrous fall. Rarely does anyone see the edge of the cliff or even the bottom of the abyss before it has swallowed a nation whole. This lack of foresight, however, is not entirely the fault of the public. It is, rather, a consequence caused by the manipulation of the fundamental information available to the public by governments and social gatekeepers.

 
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"If The Fed Was Truly Data-Dependent, They Would Have Tightened Already"





In 2006, Bernanke said that “stable prices are a prerequisite to the achievement of the Federal Reserve’s other mandated objectives….”   In other words, achieving maximum employment and low long-term interest rates, required price stability foremost.  However, in the past few years, the FOMC expressed its willingness to compromise price stability in order to gain improved employment. It seems to me that markets have been duped into believing that inflation is a proxy for growth. However, fragmented global policy shifts - as opposed to the quasi-coordination from 2008-2013 - are causing enormous volatility in currency and commodities.  It is likely to spill over into equity and bond markets, and have the potential to trigger disruptive second order effects.  Hopefully, the Fed does not miss its window of opportunity to hike before this occurs.

 
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Futures Fail To Surge On European Commission Slashing Growth Outlook As Crude Plunge Continues





what is strange is that while traditionally such a major downward growth revision would have been sufficient to send futures soaring - why: because in a world where only central banks are left, it means more central bank global bailouts of course - this time the adverse update actually had the impact of sending futures to their lows of the session, granted just a few tiny points since the market is clearly disconnected with even the most pro forma, non-GAAP version of reality, but the reaction direction was clearly unexpected. Perhaps this is explained by the ongoing devastation in both WTI and Brent, which were trading at $76.70 and $82.50 at last check, both down almost 3% as the plan to use Saudi Arabia to crush Russia has instead backfired and the Saudi princes are now openly looking at destroying the US shale infrastructure, as we forecast in the worst, for Obama, scenario.

 
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Yellen Shocked After Fisher Again Reveals Fed Is Source Of Record Inequality





As Janet Yellen prepares to meet with President Obama this morning for the first time, it appears The Dallas Fed's Richard Fisher has planted a rather uncomfortable tape bomb for her to explain:

FISHER: QE3 WAS A GIFT TO THE RICH

So right before the Midterm elections, a week after Janet Yellen discussed inequality, she is summoned to meet with The 'fair' President to explain how her policy is keeping Obama's dream alive?

 
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Lack Of Daily Central Bank Intervention Fails To Push Futures Solidly Higher, Yen Implosion Continues





While it is unclear whether it is due to the rare event that no central bank stepped in overnight with a massive liquidity injection or because the USDJPY tracking algo hasn't been activated (moments ago Abe's deathwish for the Japanese economy made some more progress with the USDJPY hitting new mult-year highs just shy of 113.6, on its way to 120 and a completely devastated Japanese economy), but European equities have traded in the red from the get-go, with investor sentiment cautious as a result of a disappointing the Chinese manufacturing report. More specifically, Chinese Manufacturing PMI printed a 5-month low (50.8 vs. Exp. 51.2 (Prev. 51.1)), with new orders down to 51.6 from 52.2, new export orders at 49.9 from 50.2 in September. Furthermore, this morning’s batch of Eurozone PMIs have failed to impress with both the Eurozone and German readings falling short of expectations (51.4 vs Exp. 51.8, Last 51.8), with France still residing in contractionary territory (48.5, vs Exp and Last 47.3).

 
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