Following an Illinois Supreme Court ruling that struck down a pension reform plan aimed at closing a $100 billion funding gap, Moody's downgrades Chicago to junk, giving the city the dubious distinction of being the only major city "in recent history" to carry such a low rating other than Detroit. Chicago now faces accelerated payments to creditors of more than $2 billion.
Liquidity is plentiful when you don't care about it and scarce when you need it most
Morgan Stanley breaks down the buyback-equity rally relationship while WSJ flags "big borrowing" by both corporations and investors. In short: corporate debt issuance is at record levels and so are buybacks, stock prices, and margin accounts. When the cycle finally turns, look out below.
The results of the latest FOMC meeting confirm that most of the media and investor communities don't get the joke on Fed policy since the crisis. No change in '15
"An 'oil-debt nexus' could create a vicious circle whereby overindebted companies pump more oil to ensure they can pay interest on their loans, adding to the current global oil glut, and further depressing energy prices," WSJ notes, citing a BIS report. The interplay between the industry's growing debt pile and falling prices is a microcosm of the deflationary dynamic that’s taking hold in the macroeconomy and that serves, in Citi's words, to destroy creative destruction, creating "zombies" along the way.
Following the default on major Chinese developer Kaisa this week, and with the continued softness in the Chinese property market, many are asking who's next among the highly-leveraged firms. However, as The Real Deal's Konrad Putzier notes, Kaisa’s default carries significance for New York’s real estate industry. Chinese investors spent $3 billion on New York properties in 2014. Many in New York continue to associate Chinese real estate companies with limitless funds and a never-ending ability to invest... But what if they are wrong?
"To find the real source of the system's excessive fragility, the regulators will need to look much closer to home... The Federal Reserve remains the largest market manipulator ever, and the desperate yield-chasing, hair-trigger markets that it created were the primary cause of that crash and the inevitable ones yet to come."
A Full Analysis and Step-by-Step Guide for EU Area Residents To Aid In Escaping the Upcoming Bank Bail-ins & Capital ControlsSubmitted by Reggie Middleton on 04/18/2015 12:21 -0400
This may take you the entire weekend to digest, but if you are an unsecured creditor/lender (have a checking, savings or demand deposit account) to a euro zone bank, I would consider it your fiduciary responsibility to yourself to sit down and parse this piece with care and aplomb!
"[GE] said it doesn’t expect its GE Capital unit to sell new long-term debt for at least five years, effectively eliminating one of the biggest corporate issuers at a time when firms around the globe are tapping the market at a record clip…"
There are in fact problems that are too big for Central Banks to manage.
"A slow start to the week has become customary, as Monday appears to have become the new Friday," Barclays says, noting that the humans simply aren't trading in a credit market where opportunities are scarce. Meanwhile, the robots do not rest, and on the Monday they simultaneously decide that some random data point or unduly hawkish/dovish soundbite out of an FOMC voter is cause for all the algos to chase down the same rabbit hole sending ripples through a fixed income market devoid of any real liquidity, the humans will be in for a rude awakening when they get to work on Tuesday morning.
"The policy actions that cause financial repression entail a number of unintended consequences. These include potential asset price bubbles, convergence in asset allocation strategies of otherwise heterogeneous financial market participants and an increase in economic inequality. With regards to the latter, the impact of foregone interest income for households and long-term investors is substantial. At the same time, the equity rally has predominantly benefited society’s wealthiest." The hit to US savers: nearly a half trillion.
After Viacom's "Shocker", These Companies Are Most At Risk Of Early Terminating Their Stock Buyback ProgramsSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 04/07/2015 20:01 -0400
Yesterday afternoon Viacom revealed that as part of its "Strategic Realignment to Create Efficiencies and Drive Long-Term Growth" it would do something which the market loathes: it would stop its buybacks. Specifically it said that "Viacom will temporarily pause share purchases under its current $20 billion stock repurchase program in order to stay within its target leverage ratio." What Viacom meant was that just like IBM, its net debt ratio had likewise soared in the past several years, and had reached a level where the Baa2/BBB-rated company was on the verge of being cut to junk status. So is Viacom a harbinger for the broader market, a market which as we reported previously only, had a tremendous month of February only because of a record $100 billion in announced stock buybacks? The answer: a resounding yes.
This morning I had left the TV mistakenly tuned to CNBC with the sound on - and unavoidably caught another bullish strategist jawing about the US economy’s awesome strength. This one was peddling as exhibit #1 the recent surge in C&I loans, arguing that it is a sure sign that business is gearing up for a post-winter boom. In this case, like most of the blizzard of bullish factoids spewed out each day on bubble vision, the purported business lending boom is not all that.
Either Greece will stop trying to save the failed past and look into the future, treating the crisis and the adjustment program as opportunities to finally implement urgently needed reforms, or the country will be eventually forced to exit the euro, in our view. Economics 101 teaches us that an economy can survive within a monetary union only if it has fiscal policy room and structural flexibility to respond to asymmetric shocks. In our view, Greece had none and has none. We see no solution for Greece within the Eurozone without reforms.