What if Berlin and Frankfurt do not budge? What if they tell Athens to ‘go jump of the tallest cliff’? I have good cause to hope that Berlin will prefer to accommodate the Greek government and to look with a great deal more ‘kindness’ the ‘request’ for a debt relief conference. And if it does not, and wishes to bring the Eurozone down with it, let it do its worst, I say.
Every quarter ConvergEx's Nick Colas reviews a raft of unusual and less examined datasets with an eye to refining and adding perspective to the more traditional macroeconomic analyses. This quarter’s assessment of everything from large pickup truck and firearms sales to Google search autofills for “I want to buy/sell” shows a U.S. economy that is reasonably strong but growing only very slowly. The chief areas of concern: Food Stamp participation is still very high at 45.6 million Americans (14% of the total population) and indicators like used car prices and large pickup sales are flat.
That an ETF can satisfy redemption with underlying bonds or shares, only raises the nightmare possibility of a disillusioned and uninformed public throwing in the towel once again after they receive thousands of individual odd lot pieces under such circumstances.
Anyone trading the Global X FTSE Greece 20 ETF should take a cue from Howard Marks and ask themselves the following question: can an ETF be more liquid than the assets it references?
If I'm a fund manager, the idea that ETFs provide liquidity rests on the assumption that when I experience outflows, someone else will be experiencing inflows and thus I can sell ETFs and avoid offloading my bonds into an illiquid corporate credit market. Put another way: I am depending on new money coming into the market to fund redemptions from previous investors who are exiting the market, all so that I can avoid liquidating assets that are declining in value and that I believe will be difficult to sell. There's a term for that kind of business. It's called a ponzi scheme.
"It's starting to get ugly..."
"How long the bubble can continue to inflate is the key question – but necessarily unanswerable. Inherently irrational, bubbles usually last longer than expected, [but they] ultimately burst... they expand continuously, then pop."
"A surprise move by Vanguard to include onshore Chinese A-shares in its flagship emerging market fund will “put pressure” on other asset managers to follow suit," FT reports.
"From the BIS to BlackRock, and Jamie Dimon to Jose Vinals, everyone seems to be talking about market liquidity," Citi's Matt King writes, before taking an in-depth look at just how broken the 'markets' truly are. To summarize: no depth in the Treasury market, a duration mismatched powder keg in "long-term" mutual funds thanks to the fact that ZIRP has destroyed money market yields causing investors to find a new 'cash substitute,' and a magically shrinking repo market in the wake of new regulations ironically meant to promote stability.
I would say Apple is the most dangerous holding on the street right now for portfolio managers.
I am not sure how long Mario Draghi can carry on this QE Charade, but it is quite obvious that there is nothing more to be gained from the program.
Closing out another whirlwind week, which has seen the biggest S&P 500 intraday plunge and surge in months, futures are taking a breath (if not so much the Nikkei which closed over 19,000 for the first time since 2000 - one wonders how many direct equity interventions it took the BOJ to achieve that artificial "price discovery"). In lieu of any notable macro news, the most significant update hit less than an hour ago when Goldman piled on the EUR pressure, when it released a note in which it further revised down its EURUSD forecast.
The RIG Count has dropped also but this is a misnomer because unlike in ‘old fashioned drilling times’ where one Rig represented One well, now one RIG often represents multiple wells attached to the one Rig due to modern drilling technology.
If you thought the Greek tragicomedy is over, you ain't seen nothing yet, because despite the so-called Friday agreement, the immediate next step is for Greece to submit its list of reform measures to the Troika, which will almost certainly result in an immediate revulsion in Germany's finance ministry, and lead to another protracted back and forth between the Troika and Greece, which may once again well end with a Grexit, especially if the Greek liquidity situation, where bash is bleeding from both the banks and the state at a record pace, remains unhalted. It is therefore not surprising that the ongoing decline in the EURUSD since the inking of the agreement, and the fact that the pair briefly dipped below 1.13 this morning - over 100 pips below the euphoric rip on Friday - is a clear indication that the market is starting to realize that absolutely nothing is either fixed, or set in stone.
In a fundamentals-driven market you need to look at fund flows; in a Narrative-driven market you need to look at Narrative flows. With Draghi’s announcement last Thursday, there is no longer a marginal provider of market-supportive monetary policy Narrative. Or to put this in game theoretic terms, the 2nd derivative of the Narrative of Central Bank Omnipotence just flipped negative. We’ve shifted from an accelerating Narrative flow to a decelerating Narrative flow, and that inflection point in profoundly important in game-playing. The long grey slide of the Entropic Ending begins.