Hong Kong

Frontrunning: September 2

  • Markets on edge as policymakers flex muscles (Reuters)
  • European shares recover from rough ride (Reuters)
  • For Stock Markets, the Moment When Humans Matter (WSJ)
  • Puerto Rico's PREPA, bondholders have framework for deal (Reuters)
  • Hundreds of migrants protest at Budapest station, want to go to Germany (Reuters)
  • New Whale Seen Moving Tokyo Markets (BBG)

China Takes "10 Steps Back," Slaps 20% Reserve Requirement On Currency Forwards

Overnight, China decided to take steps to reduce "macro financial risks." And by that they mean "do something quick to help ease pressure on the yuan" and by extension, on the PBoC’s rapidly depleting FX reserves. To that end, starting October 15 banks will have to hold the equivalent of 20% of clients' FX forward positions with the PBoC, where the money will sit, frozen, for a year, at 0% interest.

Frontrunning: September 1

  • Charting the Market: New Month, Same China (BBG)
  • China jitters send stocks tumbling (Reuters)
  • Oil falls on weak China factory data (Reuters)
  • Euro zone factory growth eases in August despite modest price rises (Reuters)
  • Euro-Area Joblessness Falls to Lowest Level Since Early 2012 (BBG)
  • Clinton friend advised on U.S. politics, foreign policy (Reuters)
  • Korea exports slump as Asia's woes deepen (Reuters)

When Every Option In The Financial System Is Grounded In Absurdity, It's Time To Look Elsewhere

The fundamentals for the US dollar are terrible, but people keep dumping money into it like trained monkeys simply because nothing else in financial markets makes any sense. This perception of 'safety' is based on a complete myth - every credible fundamental suggests that the dollar is dangerously overvalued; but if not the US dollar, then which currency is the safe haven? The euro is garbage, the Chinese are fighting a depression, Japan is a disaster. And that’s precisely the point. When every option in the financial system is grounded in absurdity, the only solution is to start looking for safety outside of it.

Frontrunning: August 31

  • Hilsenrath: Fed Appears to Hold Line on Rate Plan (WSJ)
  • Europe, Asia stocks set for worst monthly drop in three years on China, Fed (Reuters)
  • Beijing abandons large-scale share purchases (FT), if only for a few hours
  • China’s Next Problem: Paying for Its Stock-Market Bailout (WSJ)
  • Crises Put First Dents in Xi Jinping’s Power (WSJ)
  • Man Group’s China Chief Said to Assist Police in Probe (BBG)

Policy Confusion Reigns As China Caps Muni Debt, Uncaps Bank Debt, And Bad Loans Soar

In the latest example of Beijing attempting to deleverage and re-leverage all at once, China has lifted a cap on loan-to-deposit ratios for banks while simultaneously capping local government debt issuance for 2015. Meanwhile, bad loans are still on the rise at China's "big four" banks, underscoring the extent to which China's economy is rapidly deteriorating and drawing a line under the risk the PBoC is running by forcing banks to lend into an extraordinarily uncertain environment.

Why The Great Petrodollar Unwind Could Be $2.5 Trillion Larger Than Anyone Thinks

The virtuous circle that has sustained the dollar and buoyed USD assets for decades has definitively been broken. Now, with China's Treasury liquidation serving to exacerbate the pressure from the demise of the petrodollar, it's critical to take stock of accumulated petrodollar reserves in order to understand how large the unwind could ultimately be in a worst case scenario. As it turns out, narrowly focusing on official FX reserves could understate the size of petrodollar accumulation by some $2.5 trillion.

Frontrunning: August 28

  • Stock Halts Added to Monday’s Market Chaos (WSJ)
  • Fed Up Investors Yank Cash From Almost Everything Just Like 2008 (BBG)
  • Drop in Stock Futures Signal Halt to S&P 500's Relief Rally (BBG) - at least until the BOJ ramps USDJPY up again
  • Hacker Killed by Drone Was Islamic State’s ‘Secret Weapon’ (WSJ)
  • Greece's Syriza to win election but face setback, poll shows (Reuters)
  • Puerto Rico Spends More Than $60 Million on Debt Restructuring (BBG)

Frontrunning: August 27

  • Virginia TV journalists killed by suspect with 'powder keg' of anger (Reuters)
  • Policeman shot to death and three women stabbed, one fatally, in Louisiana (Reuters)
  • China Intervened Today to Shore Up Stocks Ahead of Military Parade (Reuters)
  • Margin Calls Bite Investors, Banks (WSJ)
  • "Computer glitch" is preventing dozens of mutual funds, ETFs from promptly pricing their securities (WSJ)
  • Oil prices rise more than 4 percent as equities rally (Reuters)
  • Oil Industry Needs Half a Trillion Dollars to Endure Price Slump (BBG)

Japan's Kuroda Denies Existence Of Currency War As China Devalues Yuan To Fresh 4 Year Lows, Injects CNY150bn Liquidity

The night began much like any other morning in Asia - with pure comedy gold from Japanese leadership with BOJ's Kuroda saying he is "not concerned about currency wars, there is no currency war," adding that he has "no plans for further easing." That coincided with a drift lower in Japanese stocks from the US close - but mots of Asian stock markets were green buoyed by America's victory against malicious sellers for the first time in a week. Meanwhile, in China, margin debt drops to a 7-month lows (but is still up 133% YoY). But as rumor-mongers face death squads and any broker caught not buying with both hands and feet faces prison, it is no surprise that Chinese stocks are higher in the pre-open (A50 +5%, CSI +2.7%) but large corporate bond issues are being canceled willy nilly even as China devalues Yuan to fresh 4-year lows (6.4085) and adds CNY150bn liquidity.