When last we checked in on the 1MDB saga, Goldman was busy tying up a few loose ends. Tim Leissner, the banker who built the firm’s Southeast Asia operation from the ground up and the man behind a series of questionable deals that funded what would eventually become Malaysian PM Najib Razak’s personal slush fund, was essentially forced out in January, after bank investigators uncovered what they said was an unauthorized reference letter. Now, the global effort to find out how nearly three quarters of a billion dollars ended up in Najib's checking account looks set to ensnare all of the usual suspects.
"Three quarters of the previous selling of equity ETFs during January and February has been reversed in just three weeks. CTAs appear to have fully covered their shorts. Indeed both CTAs and Discretionary Macro hedge fund managers appear to be close to neutral right now... we conclude that the short covering phase that started a month ago is very advanced."
"We are in the bottom of the 8th or 9th inning, and unless the Fed steps in to add liquidity to the market, which seems unlikely, I don’t expect extra innings... there is no question that the bubble will burst, resulting in a mini or not-so-mini credit crisis."
Amid a recent exuberant short-squeeze-driven bounce, the'real' valuation of the Russell 2000 remains at insanely high levels (and gravely decoupled from credit markets). But as Dana Lyons' explainsthe market likes to do whatever will fool the most people. So while this level should at least be an interesting one in producing a battle between the Russell 2000 bulls and the bears, it would also be an ideal spot for the market to unleash its shenanigans.
Not only has the Yen strengthened and stocks collapsed since BoJ's Kuroda descended into NIRP lunacy but, in a dramatic shift that threatens the entire transmission mechanism of negative-rate stimulus, Japanese banks (whether fearing counterparty risk or already over-burdened) have almost entirely stopped lending to one another. Confusion reigns everywhere in Japanese markets with short-term interest-rate swap spreads surging and bond market volatility spiking to 3 year highs (dragging gold with it).
Be our guest. Lever up in junior US CLO tranches. It should be fine. Of course if it turns out poorly you'll look like the biggest sucker on the planet because you should be able to divine something about the suitability of an investment by observing supply and demand dynamics.
Bottom line, our conversations with investors suggest yields in the 20 – 25% context could be attractive enough to draw in marginal capital – although several investors noted that is reasonable for triple C risk excluding commodities. In short, we're not there yet.
"Assuming selling in accordance to the average allocation of FX Reserve Managers and SWF across asset classes, we estimate that the sales of bonds by oil producing countries will increase from -$45bn in 2015 to -$110bn in 2016 and that the sales of public equities will increase from -$10bn in 2015 to -$75bn in 2016."