Following last week's holiday-shortened week, which was supposed to be quiet and peaceful and was anything but thanks to OPEC's shocking announcement and a historic plunge in crude prices, we have yet another busy week of macroeconomic reports to look forward to.
- Moody’s Downgrades Japan’s Credit Rating (WSJ)
- China Factory Gauge Drops as Shutdowns Add to Slowdown (BBG)
- Euro zone factory growth stalls in November as new orders sink (Reuters)
- Espírito Santo Faces Money-Laundering Investigations (WSJ)
- Oil at $40 Possible as Market Transforms Caracas to Iran (BBG)
- Hong Kong warns protesters not to return after clashes close government HQ (Reuters)
- Bond Secrets Decoded 9,539 Miles From Wall Street in Lot (BBG)
- Ruble Rally Turns to Rout as Fortunes Tied to Sinking Oil (BBG)
- Loans Made in Blink as Banks, Funds Vie for LendingClub Clients (BBG)
If you ever needed proof that the financial press has been completely indoctrinated in the cult of Keynesian central banking consider the following...
- Oil Seen in New Era as OPEC Won’t Yield to U.S. Shale (BBG)
- Alberta Producers With World’s Cheapest Oil Face Cascading Woes (BBG)
- Bundesbank’s Weidmann Rejects Calls for German Stimulus Plan (WSJ)
- Google Should Be Broken Up, Say Euro MPs (BBC)
- Calm comes to troubled Ferguson; protests dwindle across U.S. (Reuters)
- Russia’s Banks Feel Capital Squeeze in Grip of Sanctions (BBG)
- Italian Unemployment Rate Rises to Record, Above Forecasts (BBG)
Gold spiked higher in many price feeds overnight and was $270 higher or more than 22% higher to $1,467.50/oz at one stage in what appears to have been some form of computer glitch. It was not manipulation, a short squeeze, or a modern Chinese or Russian ‘Goldfinger’ sending a pointed message to Washington.
- National Guard, police curb Ferguson unrest as protests swell across U.S. (Reuters)
- Ferguson Reaction Across U.S. Shows Complex Racial Split (BBG)
- Democratic senator Schumer: Democrats Screwed Up By Passing Obamacare In 2010 (TPM)
- Veto threat derails Reid tax deal (Hill)
- Justice Department Investigating Possible HSBC Leak to Hedge Fund (WSJ)
- Merkel hits diplomatic dead-end with Putin (Reuters), and yet...
- Merkel Said to Reject Ukraine NATO Bid as Rousing Tension (BBG)
- HSBC, Goldman Rigged Metals’ Prices for Years, Suit Says (BBG)
“Ordinary people are unnerved about how money works in a bottomless cyber space. Gold seems tangible, clear and timeless”
As the debate regarding whether or not Switzerland should keep the bulk of its gold reserves at home on Swiss soil reaches it's climax - the referendum takes place on Sunday - it is telling that the Dutch announced on Friday that they have just secretly repatriated 122 tonnes of their sovereign gold reserves from New York back to Amsterdam.
- Grand jury expected to resume Ferguson police shooting deliberations (Reuters)
- PBOC Bounce Seen Short Lived as History Defies Bulls (BBG)
- Home prices dropped in September for the first time since January (HousingWire)
- UPS Teaches Holiday Recruits to Fend Off Dogs, Dodge NYC Taxis (BBG)
- US oil imports from Opec at 30-year low (FT)
- Hedge Funds Bet on Coal-Mining Failures (WSJ)
- Putin Woos Pakistan as Cold War Friend India Buys U.S. Arms (BBG)
- How the EU Plans to Turn $26 Billion Into $390 Billion (BBG)
- The $31 Billion Bet Against Brazil’s New Finance Minister (BBG)
In the final part of Hugh Hendry's 3-part (part 1 and part 2 here) interview with MoneyWeek's Merryn Somerset the Sanguine Scot, perhaps surprisingly to some given his previous negativity - though fitting with his world view of fiat currency destruction - believes "to bet against China or Chinese equities, or the Chinese currency is to bet against the omnipotence of central banks. One day that will be the right trade, just not ready or sure that that is the right trade today."
The news this week of China's largest corporate bankruptcy - Haixin Iron & Steel Group - amid crashing iron ore and steel prices was followed by analysts noting it "will be followed by others," as the major flaw of producers of iron ore, the most traded commodity after oil, is they tend to be "over-bullish." Distressed debt funds are starting to circle in preparation for what they expect to be a bloodbath as Bloomberg reports, bad debts in China are well underestimated because authorities persist in propping up weak companies and bailing out local investors, according to DAC Management, "we've yet to see it because if you look at corporate defaults, they keep getting covered by the government. At some point, they can’t cover every single one." Most worryingly though, as KPMG points out, "when you see restructuring advisers getting hired by SOEs... you know it's coming."
It will come as no surprise to regular readers that gold (and silver) have suffered from 'odd' violent down-slams in the last few months but, as Bloomberg reports, those 'sneak-attacks' have become increasingly more prevalent during the thin illiquid hours of the Asia trading session. "It is unusual for Asia to be seeing these busy trading sessions," notes on trader, adding that "consensus seems to be that there is a big increase in algorithmic and high-frequency trading in this time zone." The trend began on Oct. 31, with gold futures falling $11 in a minute on nearly 9,000 lots (20x the norm) - all happening when the Chinese market is at lunch. As one Hong Kong precious metals trader remarked, "someone is utilising these thin trading volumes to get a turbo steroid move."
While the biggest news of the day will certainly be China's rate cut (and the Dutch secret gold repatriation but more on the shortly), here is a list of all the other central-banking/planning events which have moved markets overnight, because in the new normal it no longer is about any news or fundamentals, it is all about the destruction of the value of money and the matched increase in nominal asset values.
- Banks Had Unfair Advantage From Commodity Units (Bloomberg)
- Report Notes Deals Between Goldman, Deutsche and Others Drove Up Aluminum Prices (WSJ)
- Goldman, Morgan Stanley Commodity Heyday Gone as Units Faulted (BBG) - because when you can no longer manipulate, you move on...
- Lenders Shift to Help Struggling Student Borrowers (WSJ)
- Immigrants face major hurdles in signing up to new Obama plan (Reuters)
- Distressed Debt in China? Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet, Buyers Say (BBG)
- Banking culture breeds dishonesty, scientific study finds (Reuters)
- Amazon Robots Get Ready for Christmas (WSJ)