This morning’s news that the China leadership has launched a “mini-stimulus” package might confirm what we’ve long feared – China’s economic situation is more perilous than we thought. It looks like a comparatively modest supply-side package of tax cuts, export boosts and railway stimulus, designed to “arouse the energy of the market” according the State Council. But it could be the first of many new programs according to analysts. The state is clearly concerned. That it has been forced to act should be a wake up and smell the coffee moment for markets – the implications of China slowdown could be this year’s game changer in markets.
- The Department of Justice has opened an initial probe into the metals warehousing industry (WSJ)
- Obama Says Budget Debate a Battle for Middle Class Future (BBG)
- Death Toll From Spanish Train Crash Hits 77 (WSJ)
- ‘Fabulous Fab’ takes to witness stand (FT)
- Banks Said to Weigh Suspending Dealings With SAC as Charges Loom (BBG) - what about Anthony Scaramucci?
- How the Muslim Brotherhood lost Egypt (Reuters)
- German Business Confidence Rises for a Third Month (BBG)
- Fraternities Lobby for Tax Break Without Hazing Penalties (BBG)
- China charges Bo Xilai with corruption, paves way for trial (Reuters)
- Airbus Pushes Higher-Density A380 to Counter Luxury Image (BBG)
While Edward Snowden can perhaps breathe a sigh of relief at being abale to avoid the humdrum beat of airport food for a while, he will be stepping out into the 2nd most expensive city in the world. Based on a survey of over 200 items, Moscow ranks 2nd in the world (with $8 cups of coffee and $4,600 average apartment rental costs), and Tokyo 3rd (with $5 newspapers and $7 coffees). But the most expensive city in the world will come as a surprise to most and likely create the need for a Google Maps search. With 40.5% of the population of this nation living in property and the average monthly rent a sky-high $6,500, this southern African country's capital is the most expensive city in the world (it would seem the Chinese arrival in resource-rich African nations - N'Djamena, Chad is 4th - has had its hot-money inflationary effects).
- Humans Beating Robots Most Since ’08 as Trends Shift (BBG)
- Easing of Mortgage Curb Weighed (WSJ)
- European Banks Face Capital Gap With Focus on Leverage (BBG)
- Signs Suggest China Warming to Idea of Stimulus (WSJ)
- China Coal-Fired Economy Dying of Thirst as Mines Lack Water (BBG)
- Jeans and shoes show criminal underbelly of China-EU trade (Reuters)
- How U.S. drug sting targeted West African military chiefs (Reuters)
- Japan scrambles jets after China plane flies by southern islands (Reuters)
- Apple Plots Return to Growth After Coping With Aging Lineup (BBG)
- AT&T Falls Shy of Analyst Estimates as Discounts Hurt Margins (BBG)
- SAC insider trading case takes twist (FT)
“All warfare is based on deception.” – Sun Tzu
With earnings season in full swing as some 20% of the S&P is expected to report, the quieter macro picture moves to the backburner especially with the Fed now silent for a long time. Looking at key central banks events, at the Turkey central bank meeting this week, Goldman expects that the bank is more likely to deliver a moderately hawkish “surprise” and hike the lending rate by 100bp to 7.5% (7.0% for primary dealers), and leave the key policy (1-week repo) and the borrowing rates unchanged at 4.5% and 3.5%, respectively. Among the other central bank meetings this week, benchmark rates are expected to remain unchanged in New Zealand, Philippines and Colombia, in line with consensus, while a 25bp cut is expected to be announced at the Hungary MPC meeting.
Apparently, figures have just been released showing that 591 million Chinese are now on-line. That’s an increase of+10% on last year’s figure. So, the Chinese are connected.
Recent dramatic declines in gold prices and strong redemptions from physical ETFs (such as the GLD) have been interpreted by the financial press as indicating the end of the gold bull market. Conversely, our analysis of the supply and demand dynamics underlying the gold market does not support this interpretation. As we have shown in previous articles, the past decade has seen a large discrepancy between the available gold supply and sales. Many recent events suggest that the Central Banks are getting close to the end of their supplies and that the physical market for gold is becoming increasingly tight. The recent sell-off was all orchestrated to increase supply and tame demand. We believe that central planners are now running out of options to suppress the gold price. After taking a pause, the secular gold bull market is set to continue.
The recent decline in gold prices and the drain from physical ETFs have been interpreted by the media as signaling the end of the gold bull market. However, our analysis of the supply and demand dynamics underlying the gold market does not support this thesis. In our view, the bullion banks’ fractional gold deposit system is testing its limits. Too much paper gold exists for the amount of physical gold available. Demand from emerging markets, who do not settle for paper gold, has perturbed the status quo. Thus, our recommendation to investors is the following: empty unallocated gold accounts and redeem your gold in physical form (while you still can).
Trading of spot bullion of 99.99 percent purity on the Shanghai exchange exceeded 20 tons every day between April 16 and May 6. That’s more than four times the daily average in 2012. Volume reached a record 43.27 metric tons on April 22.
China’s net gold imports from Hong Kong increased 40% in May from a month earlier as the metal’s deepening slump continued to attract bargain hunters to bullion shops in China and Asia.
- India Joins Brazil to China in Efforts to Tighten Liquidity (BBG)
- Seven dead as police and protesters clash in Egypt (Reuters)
- U.S. senators fail to cut deal, head for showdown on filibuster (Reuters)
- Gasoline Tankers Beating Crude for First Time on Record (BBG)
- Smithfield's China bidders plan Hong Kong IPO after deal (Reuters)
- Bitcoin ETF plan struggles to find support (FT)
- Big Home Builders Gobble Up Rivals Starved for Cash (WSJ)
- Putin wants Snowden to go, but asylum not ruled out (Reuters)
- Zimmerman's lawyer calls prosecutors 'disgrace' to profession (Reuters)
- McDonald’s to bring Big Mac to Vietnam (FT)
- Korean Pilots Avoided Manual Flying, Former Trainers Say (BBG)
In an effort to soften the blow to our American readers, here is an analogy: You know when you move out of your parents’ house and live on your own, how you start hanging out with your friends’ families and you realize that actually, your family was a little screwed up? Stuff you always assumed was normal your entire childhood, it turns out was pretty weird and may have actually screwed you up a little bit. The point is we don’t really get perspective on what’s close to us until we spend time away from it. Just like you didn’t realize the weird quirks and nuances of your family until you left and spent time with others, the same is true for country and culture. You often don’t see what’s messed up about your country and culture until you step outside of it. And to our foreign readers, get your necks ready, because this is going to be a nod-a-thon.
- An actual Bloomberg headline: Granny’s Gold Bars Are Key to Vietnam Push to Boost Dong (BBG)
- Gay delivers further body blow to troubled sport (Reuters)
- China Wealth Eludes Foreigners as Stocks Earn 1% in 20 Years (BBG)
- Bernanke Boom Signaled by Yield Surge as Market Recalculates (BBG)
- Portugal's Parties Set Deadline for Pact (WSJ)
- Corporate Spending Set to Surge in U.S. (BBG)... or not at all based on the actual corporate data
- Legal Fears Slowed Aid to Syrian Rebels (WSJ)
- A mega-camp adds to the Boy Scouts’ troubles (Reuters)
- GSK accused of being ‘ringleader’ in China probe (FT)
- 19 Hospitalized in US-Ukraine Army Exercise - Ministry (RIA)
- Egypt Islamists march as senior U.S. official visits (Reuters)
- German spies made use of U.S. surveillance data (Reuters)
Jim Rickards on a September Tapering; And His Reaction to Our Chinese Currency Bait and Switch TheorySubmitted by EB on 07/14/2013 14:13 -0400
Tired of tapering talk? We couldn't resist. Then, on to more pressing matters. Seems an investment in China might just not be what it seems to be. Think Three Paddy Hat Monty.
Greenwald: "The US Government Should Be On Its Knees Every Day Praying That Nothing Happens To Snowden"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 07/13/2013 19:43 -0400
Edward Snowden may be America's persona most non grata in the entire world, but he has an insurance policy against "accidents": a treasure trove of supposedly damaging secrets about the US that will hit the public domain if something were to happen to the 30 year old whistleblower. A trove is so damaging that according to Glenn Greenwald, Snowden "poses more of a threat to the U.S. than anyone in the country’s history." Well, maybe a threat to the "government" which now only represents the interests of various corporations and Wall Street, but certainly not to what the US was supposed to be before it was hijacked by special interests, lobbies and the creature from Jekyll Island.