Aggressive Chinese Intervention Prevents Another Rout, Sends Stocks Soaring 5% In Last Trading Hour; US Futures JumpSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 08/27/2015 06:48 -0400
After a 5 day tumbling streak, which saw Chinese stock plunge well over 20% and 17% in just the first three days of this week, overnight the Shanghai Composite was hanging by a thread (and threat) until the last hour of trading. In fact, this is what the SHCOMP looked like until the very end: Up 2.6%, up 1.2%, up 2.8%, up 0.6%, up 2%... down 0.2%. And then the cavalry came in: "Heavyweight stocks like banks and insurance companies helped pull up the index, and it’s possibly China Securities Finance entering the market again to shore up stocks," Central China Sec. strategist Zhang Gang told Bloomberg by phone. Net result: the Composite, having been red just shortly before the close, soared higher by 156 points or 5.4%, showing the US stock market just how it's down.
The story behind the deadly chemical explosion that rocked China’s Tianjin port last Wednesday continues to evolve amid fears that the public could be at risk from the hundreds of tonnes of sodium cyanide stored at the facility. Indeed, new samples show that the cyanide level in the water around the site is some 28 times the safety standard. It looks as though determining who actually owns Ruihai will be complicated by the fact that in China, it’s not uncommon for front men to hold shares on behalf of a company’s real owners. In an effort to pacify the country’s censored masses, party mouthpiece The People’s Daily said 10 people, including the head and deputy head of Ruihai had been detained since Thursday. Finally, initial estimates put the cost of the blast at bewteen $1 billion and $1.5 billion.
The dance of the zombies goes on... During the 10 years between 2005 and 2014, these four retailers spent $34 billion on stock buybacks and dividends. But, alas, their cumulative net income during the period was only $13 billion. So they pumped 2.6X more into the casino than they earned! Last week’s tepid retail reports were not only a reminder that QE and ZIRP have by-passed main street entirely. The faltering department store sector is also a reminder that the monumental amount of Fed confected cash pooling-up in the canyons of Wall Street is breeding debt-laden zombies throughout the length and breadth of the land.
“The way to wealth in a bull market is debt. The way to oblivion in a bear market is also debt, and nobody rings a bell.” – James Grant
Whatever action we take has a consequence. It is impossible to manipulate markets and the economy for there will always be unintended collateral damage. We are living in the era that will bring about a collapse of socialism precisely as took place in communism. Government is incapable of ever managing society for they cannot escape the inter-connectivity.
Earlier today, Bloomberg TV blasted an amusing snippet from an article that was based on some deep revelations about what is happening in the bond market: It says: "China sells $180 billion of US Treasuries but no one notices." Which is ironic considering the following ZH headlines:
May 18: Revealing The Identity Of The Mystery "Belgian" Buyer Of US Treasurys
June 15: China Dumps Record $120 Billion In US Treasurys In Two Month Via Belgium
July 17: China Dumps Record $143 Billion In US Treasurys In Three Months Via Belgium
and of course July 22: "China's Record Dumping Of US Treasuries Leaves Goldman Speechless"
It looks like it is time for Warren to get on the Obamaphone and make it clear this is unacceptable... Berkshire Hathaway announced a $2,367 (Adjusted) EPS, missing estimates of $3,038 by 22.09% - the biggest disappointment since Nov 2008...
We have lived through a credit hyper-expansion for the record books, with an unprecedented generation of excess claims to underlying real wealth. In doing so we have created the largest financial departure from reality in human history. Bubbles are not new – humanity has experienced them periodically going all the way back to antiquity – but the novel aspect of this one, apart from its scale, is its occurrence at a point when we have reached or are reaching so many limits on a global scale. The retrenchment we are about to experience as this bubble bursts is also set to be unprecedented, given that the scale of a bust is predictably proportionate to the scale of the excesses during the boom that precedes it. Deflation and depression are mutually reinforcing, meaning the downward spiral will continue for many years. China is the biggest domino about to fall, and from a great height as well, threatening to flatten everything in its path on the way down. This is the beginning of a New World Disorder…
"If circumstances cause these price-insensitive buyers to turn around and become price-insensitive sellers, there are not a lot of candidates to take the other side. Be prepared for the possibility that some of the same assets that have again and again risen to prices that many investors said were impossible show more downside volatility than investors have bargained for."
We have argued that it is a perilous myth that central bankers these days control a general price level. They instead incentivize massive financial flows into securities markets and fashionable sectors. Over time, ramifications and consequences reach the profound. For one, excess liquidity promotes over/mal-investment. It’s only the scope and nature that remain in question. If major Bubble flows inundate new technology investment, the resulting surge in the supply of high-margin products engenders disinflationary pressures elsewhere. Policy responses to perceived heightened “deflation” risks then only work to exacerbate Bubbles, mounting imbalances and structural fragilities. This was a critical facet of “Roaring Twenties” analysis that was lost in time.
Following last night's afternoon session plungefest (with ChiNext's biggest drop in a month), as it appeared the government experimented with 'free' markets briefly, regulators have "asked" insurance companies to be "net sellers" of stocks going forward. With margin debt dropping for the 4th day in a row (to fresh 4-month lows), Markit noted that accusations of foreigners short selling shares is “overblown” by Chinese market regulators and not the cause of a recent rout in the stock market, according to the SCMP. The requests and threats appear to not be working as CSI-300 futures open down 0.7%.
Having exposed the reality that the world's capital markets are a manipulated shell game, Janus' Bill Gross has a message for the perpetual bulls in his latest letter to investors - "say a little prayer." Gross continues, "low interest rates are not the cure – they are part of the problem," warning that ZIRP has enabled, "a host of zombie and future zombie corporations now roam the real economy. Schumpeter’s 'creative destruction' – the supposed heart of capitalistic progress – has been neutered. The old remains in place, and new investment is stifled." As he previously warned, when the central bank manipulation is removed the likely trajectory of prices is downward...
Just two years after Toy'R'Us attempted (and failed) to IPO, Bloomberg reports that insurance companies are cutting back on their coverage of the firm's suppliers. Without this 'insurance', which protects suppliers in case a retailer fails to pay them for merchandise - as in the event of a bankruptcy - the risks of shipping to the retail chain soar. Toys'R'Us bonds have collapsed to lows as investors recognize that credit insurers sometimes cancel existing policies if a company’s performance declines precipitously enough to place its ability to keep operating in doubt. That occurred in the months before bankruptcy filings at RadioShack, Borders, and Circuit City.
The Central Planners who thought that buying shares to prop up the stock bubble was an excellent fix are about to find out the true meaning of toil and trouble.
You don’t hear it much, but the S&P 500 has been a bit of a “One trick pony” in 2015. No, it isn’t the 4% weighting in Apple that makes it such; it is the combination of a 15% weighting in Health Care AND that sector’s 12.9% return year to date. When you compare the S&P 500’s price return year to date of 3.37%, you can see that the Health Care sector’s contribution is essentially just over half the market’s price return for 2015 (12.9 times 15% is 1.90 of that 3.37). Layer on the fact that 5 of the 10 industry sectors in the S&P 500 are still down on the year: Materials (-2.7%), Industrials (-2.9%), Telecomm (-0.7%), Utilities (-8.6%) and Energy (-9.7%).