Despite a good start, since early March when The ECB began its bond-buying bonanza, things have not been going the way Mario Draghi had hoped. While inflation data inflected modestly higher (cough oil cough), European bond yields (and peripheral bond spreads) have widened notably. Whether this is "sell the news" trading, Gross-Gundlach-driven unwinds, or Greek "serious disappointment" contagion (Greek 10Y bond yields are up over 200bps from the announcement in January of ECB QE) is unclear... but what is clear is that if ECB bond-buying is not pressuring yields lower then how can they hope to contain real Grexit contagion?
- Fed's Yellen says met firm at heart of leak probes (Reuters)
- EU Raises Growth Outlook as ECB Counters Greek Threat (BBG)
- Hillary Clinton Takes Hit in WSJ Poll, but Holds Edge Over GOP Rivals (WSJ)
- China stocks slump on tighter margin rules, IPOs; Hong Kong down (Reuters)
- McDonald’s Chief Promises Turnaround in a Restructuring (NYT)
- German Bond Market Selloff Continues (WSJ)
- Vanguard overtakes Pimco’s Total Return following outflows in wake of Bill Gross’s departure (WSJ)
- EU Demands Concessions as Greece Hurtles Toward Deadlines (BBG)
- Junk Bonds Are The New Haven Assets (BBG)
If yesterday's laughable lack of volume (helped by the closure of Japan and the UK) coupled with hopes that the end of the buyback blackout period was enough to send stocks surging if only to end with a whimper below all time highs despite what is now looking like three consecutive quarters of Y/Y EPS declines according to Factset, today's ramp will be more difficult for the NY Fed and Citadel to engineer, not least of all due to the headwind of the overnight "incident" by China's stock bubble which saw the Shanghai Composite tumble by 4%, the most since January.
Gillian Tett, markets and finance commentator and an Assistant Editor and former U.S. Managing Editor of the Financial Times, wrote an important and little noticed article last week questioning complacency on the part of European policy makers regarding a Greek default and potential exit or ‘Grexit’. Tett argues that a Greek failure would lead, as Lehman’s did to “wider policy uncertainty: when Lehman failed, the entire paradigm for finance suddenly seemed unpredictable”.
"Greece is so far off course on its $172bn bailout programme that it faces losing vital International Monetary Fund support unless European lenders write off significant amounts of its sovereign debt, the fund has warned Athens’ eurozone creditors," FT reports, indicating that the organization may force the ECB and implicitly the German taxpayer to take the hit if Greece wants to receive the last tranche of aid under its existing program.
Turkey is currently trying to decide which of the two similar though competing projects - the Eurasian or the European Energy Union - would be more beneficial for the country. Russia’s attempts to build an ever closer relationship with Turkey - and the latter’s openness to such gestures - will complicate regional energy geopolitics further. Thus, Brussels and Ankara are likely to disagree on strategically important energy security issues over the coming years unless Turkey and the EU can achieve tighter cooperation under the framework of the European Energy Union. But if Turkey instead starts to pursue a more independent policy, particularly one at odds with the European Union, the Eurasian region will experience ever more unstable and competitive energy geopolitics.
1) governments are unable to eliminate deficits
2) global government debt is increasing exponentially
3) 0% interest rates are allowing governments to borrow more to pay off old loans and fund deficits
4) Global growth is declining despite money printing and bailouts And, we've saved the latest and greatest fact for last: as stunning as 0% interest rates sound, the mathematically-challenged-fantasyland called Europe has just one upped everyone by introducing NEGATIVE INTEREST RATES.
Quickly looking at the potential market moving events this week, US payrolls on Friday will be the clear focus. In terms of expectations, our US colleagues are expecting a +225k print which matches the current Bloomberg consensus, while they expect the unemployment rate to drop one-tenth to 5.4%. Elsewhere, Thursday’s UK Election will be closely followed while Greece will once again be front and center.
- Win or lose, Cameron's political career hangs by a thread (Reuters)
- Greece aims for deal with lenders, IMF hard on reforms: minister (Reuters)
- Greek Jobless Legacy Adds Danger for Tsipras as Funds Dry Up (BBG)
- U.S. Will Change Stance on Secret Phone Tracking (WSJ)
- China April HSBC PMI shows biggest drop in factory activity in a year (Reuters)
- Goldman Sachs in Talks to Sell Its Coal Mines (WSJ)
- Takeover Fuel Begins to Flow as S&P 500 Bull Run Makes History (BBG)
Futures Levitate Following Worst Chinese Mfg PMI In One Year, Brent At 2015 Highs; Bund Slide ContinuesSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 05/04/2015 06:45 -0400
The best news for stocks is twofold: volumes continue to be lethargic with both the UK (May Day bank holiday) and Japan closed until Thursday (Golden Week), while the bulk of the S&P500 has now exited the stock buyback quiet period. As such, ignore record equity outflows - all the matters is that corporate CFOs, flush with brand news bond issuance cash, will tell their favorite Wall Street trading desk to buy stocks at just the right inflection point sending the market surging just as shorts once again test the downtrend and the 50 DMA.
Fiat Money May Be Junk ... But a Cashless Society Controlled by the TBTFs Is Dictatorship
It has been a bad week for the Greek finance minister: first, under pressure from Europe, Tsipras was forced to sideline the "combatied" Varoufakis from future Troika negotiations, then his wife had to protect him from an attack by "young anarchists", and now - adding insult to injury - an anonymous EU source said that, without Varoufakis present, Greece and its creditors have made "significant progress" and that there were "encouraging" signs from meetings over the weekend. Meanwhile, the maverick economist's 90-year-old father jumped to his son's defence, claiming his European counterparts were jealous of him.
QUESTIONER: Just a few questions about other countries. A quick clarification on SDR, in January the managing director mentioned there would be an informal board briefing in May. Is that still happening, or has it been pushed back?
MR. RICE: .... the board meeting has been deferred because the work is underway and we'll let you know as soon as that board meeting is scheduled again....
"As the decline in yields that has followed the liquidity injections has made its way to intermediate maturities, the market has extrapolated that the Bundesbank would have to purchase a larger share of longer maturity bonds to fill its quota. This is a self-reinforcing expectations loop, where lower yields beget lower yields," Goldman notes, describing the dynamic driving Bunds. We would note that this type of feedback loop also operates in the other direction and could thus be rather dangerous in a market that is becoming structurally very thin.
Having previously effused over gold and holocaust jews, bailouts, and handouts, Buffett & Munger took aim at Europe, well more implicitly Greece, during today's annual octagenerian-fest.
Munger on Euro strains: You shouldn't create a partnership with your drunken, shiftless brother in law.
And Buffett's (implicit Grexit) retort: the euro can and probably should survive but it will take some changes...
As he previously said, Germany must stop Greek dog peeing on its rug.