Following the earlier note on the "irrational exuberance of QE3" at current conditions, Goldman does a one-two to the face of the long-only slow money crowd which are about to realize that what goes up the escalator, will go down the elevator, repeating that the next round of monetary easing "would require a notable further deterioration in the outlook to be considered seriously." As a reminder the only "outlook" the Fed keeps an eye out on is the 50 DMA of the Russell 2000.
Gold has reached a new record nominal high in British pounds due to the growing risk of stagflation in the U.K. and due to Moody’s somewhat belated threat to cut its ratings on most UK banks. This was not helped by Chinese ratings provider Dagong Global Credit downgrading the U.K.’s local and foreign currency sovereign credit rating from AA- to A+ with a negative outlook. The increasingly powerful Chinese credit rating agency warned that the U.K. government's fiscal deficit is likely to be a very high 9% of GDP this year and the U.K.'s banking system has a large amount of risk exposure, which could create risks for the government. It estimates that about 40% of the banking system's GBP 2 trillion worth of assets is exposed to risk.
Gold And Silver Bubble? - Some Retail Investors Taking Profits And ETF And COT Data Suggest OtherwiseSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 04/27/2011 08:16 -0400
GoldCore submits: "Many of our clients have taken profits on certificates in recent days. Most continue to be prudent and continue to maintain a core holding (for portfolio diversification and financial insurance purposes) but there are definitely concerns amongst some of a bubble. Others have taken profits on certificates and bought gold and silver coins and bars (in secure storage or delivered). Recently orders for coins and bars have outweighed those for certificates and there is definitely an increased preference for physical coins and bars and for taking delivery. Our ratio of sell orders to buy orders is the highest it has ever been."
Chairman Bernanke has placed himself in a box. It is not a box of his choosing, but rather the result of his misguided economic beliefs, use of flawed statistical data, geo-political events occurring during his watch, poor decisions and a penchant for political pandering. Some of these may be requirements for academia success but not for leading global financial markets during turbulent times. It is time for Professor Bernanke to return to the collegial setting of Princeton University while the world still has time to correct the path he has mistakenly set us on. I was angry during most of former Chairman Greenspan's tenure because of his persistent use of liquidity pumping to solve every problem from Y2K to the Peso crisis. Greenspan's inability to see a bubble two inches from his nose and yet still pontificate about irrational exuberance, rather than taking the punch bowl away from the party, incited me. Bernanke does not affect me that way. He simply disappoints and leaves a taste like eating dry shredded wheat, with the hope of a child, to eventually get the prize at the bottom of the box. Character flaws show during times of stress. Honesty, integrity, value systems and beliefs are put to test and are highlighted under the public media microscope. I'm sure Chairman Bernanke is a nice guy, loved by his family but he is missing a backbone. On April 27th, 2011, that will become obvious to all.
With the market now only capable of kneejerk headline reactions which end up being immediately priced in, in the pursuit of the mythical Russell 36,000, it completely ignores the actually important news (whose interpretation has not been programmed into the algos trading the S&P) such as input costs and their derivatives, which will inevitably crush margins and lead to the same market reaction as that seen in the summer-fall 2008 transition. And since leverage on all cash flow producing assets will be at the same level as US banks circa 2008, the result will be an even worse wipe out. It has gotten so bad that US Energy Secretary Steven Chu was dragged out of his office to present his version of the "irrational exuberance" speech so pervasively ignored by the stock market until it was proven to be the only sensible thing ever uttered by the maestro. At a news conference on clean energy, Steven Chu said on Thursday high oil prices posed a threat to the global economy. "The oil producer countries and the oil consuming countries are concerned because it does have an impact on a very fragile economic recovery. There is great concern," Chu told a news conference while attending a clean energy conference. "There's ongoing discussions ... I'm not going to go into any of the details of the discussions. There is a concern about trying to stabilize prices. There is a concern about rising prices," he said." There may be a concern, but according to the president there isn't really much that can be done about said prices. The best people can do is learn to cope. Especially since there is no chance that the commodity complex will be declining any time soon: to many today's ECB decision was a potential catalyst. And instead the market took one look at the number, listen for 2 minutes to Trichet's rambling remarks and bid everything up.
Silver for immediate delivery has gained another 1.7% to $38.50 an ounce, the highest level since February 1980, the year silver reached a record of $50.35/oz. An ounce of gold bought as little as 37.32 ounces of silver in London today, the lowest level since September 1983. Silver has come out of backwardation and returned to contango with longer dated future prices again higher than nearer month contracts and spot for delivery (see table below). This suggests that default on the COMEX, as warned of by some analysts, is not imminent and the tightness seen in the physical silver market may have abated somewhat. However, the Dec12 contract trading at only cents over spot for delivery (less than 10 cents) suggests that tightness remains. Given the degree of tightness in the physical silver market, silver may return to backwardation sooner rather than later. The latest COT report shows speculative long positions, or bets prices will rise, outnumbered short positions by 37,139 contracts (see news and chart below). This is a level of net longs by hedge fund managers and other large speculators that was seen as long ago as 2002.
Gold’s all time record nominal high yesterday was barely reported in most of the mainstream business and financial press today - slightly more online but there was little or no coverage in print. This is an indication that gold and silver remain far from the “bubbles” that some have suggested. Speculative manias and bubbles are characterised by mass participation and widespread enthusiasm and “irrational exuberance” by all sectors of society including the media and particularly the retail investor and the “man in the street”. The majority of investors and savers in the western world do not know what gold bullion is and could not tell you the price of an ounce of gold or silver in dollars – let alone in pounds, euros or other local currencies. The majority are unaware of the huge developments in the gold markets (only reported by specialist financial press) such as China’s emergence as one of the largest buyers of gold in the world (see news and our video below) and the fact that central banks and astute hedge funds are some of the largest buyers of gold in the world today.
Fed boss Ben Bernanke is the most dangerous human on earth, far more dangerous than Hosni Mubarak, Egypt’s 30-year dictator, ever was. Bernanke rules a monetary dictatorship that will trigger the coming third meltdown of the 21st century. But this reign of economic terror will end. Just as Mubarak was blind to the economic needs of the masses and democratic reforms, Bernanke is blind to the easy-money legacy that’s set the stage for revolution, turning the rich into super rich while the middle class stagnates and peanuts trickle down to the poor. Warning, Egypt also had a huge wealth gap before its revolution. Bernanke is the final egomaniac in America’s bubbling 30-year wealth gap, where the top 1% went from owning 9% of America’s wealth to owning 23% during this dictatorship.
FASB Bends Over For The Final Time & Accuracy In Financial Reporting Dies An Ignominious Death, Proving Ignorance IsTruly Bliss With Other People's Money!!!Submitted by Reggie Middleton on 02/09/2011 10:13 -0400
Regulatory Capture now appears to be accepted policy procedure as FASB bends over and gives up on even asking financial entities to report accurate market values, leaving only those who spend their lives in spreadsheets and arcane nomenclature capable of discerning trash from treasure. I guess it best that way. The truth has this proclivity to hurt people's feelings, not to mention certain ill gotten gains...
"There's Some Crap Getting Done": BlackRock Scared We Are Going Back To "Ponzi Finance Excesses" Of 2007Submitted by Tyler Durden on 02/08/2011 15:55 -0400
We have now officially gone full circle. Even as CMBS delinquencies are at all time highs, Wall Street's scramble to generate yield on other people's money (which will be completely lost once the liquidity tsunami ends) is back in 5th gear, as securitizations backed by commercial mortgages are flying off the shelves. It is so bad, that even S&P (!) is questioning the sanity of all those using LP capital to sign the dotted line in pursuit of a few quarters of yield. “There’s some crap getting done,” David Jacob, an executive managing director at credit-rating company S&P, said today during a panel discussion at the American Securitization Forum trade group’s annual meeting in Orlando, Florida. “It’s surprising to me this early in the cycle that some of that could be happening.” Don't be surprised David, after all it is your company that is rating it AAA (we realize you, too, have to eat), and never ever forget that if this was merely an indication of unseen market exuberance the Chairsatan would have long since popped the latest (and luckily last - after this one, there will be no one left to bail out the world) bubble. And someone else scratching their head at the current round of irrational exuberance that would make the dot com era look like dress rehearsal for "Spiderman: The Musical" is none other than some guy from Blackrock. "It’s been surprising how quickly investors have returned to
accepting transactions with numerous AAA rated classes, said
Blewitt, co-head of securitized assets at BlackRock, the world’s
largest money manager. Some bond buyers may not be scrutinizing
offering documents closely enough to find “hidden” dangers, he
said. “I don’t think we’re going back to the Ponzi finance
excesses that we had in 2006 and 2007 just yet, but when I get a
little bit scared is when I see the old game of, ‘These are not
your droids, look over there, not over here." Blewitt is right: the current round of 'Ponzi finance excesses' is like nothing ever seen before. But then again we have QE2 (then 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, etc) to mask just how enamored with droid chasing we all are. When this last bubble pops, it will be monumental.
BBH's Marc Chandler gives his latest outlook on the FX board. Not surprisingly, and as we pointed out following the CFTC COT data, following a fresh round of record bearish bets on the USD, the Brown Brother's chief FX strategist sees a short-term bottom in USD sentiment (until we get a fresh new low of course), which coupled with a dose of irrational exuberance over how fast Europe has come on the past month, on nothing real but merely more expectations of improvement, could make the EURUSD fall to a $1.3250-$1.3350 range. Of course, this is the worst outcome for the dollar debasing central banks (i.e., all of them currently, due to the implicit G-20 understanding that a temporary bounce in the US stock market in nominal terms will lift all boats). Specifically: "For three days the euro tried to rise convincingly above the $1.3840 area, a technical area we had been monitoring. Provided this is indeed a failure, the euro could fall back into the $1.3250-$1.3350 range in the near-term. Sterling neared $1.62 and appeared also to run out of gas. Yet given the rebound in UK data and the prospects of heightened tensions in the euro zone, sterling can outperform the euro. Sterling may encounter support in front of $1.60, but there appears to be potential toward $1.58." Keep in mind that Citi's Steven Englander proposed a comparable logic recently, claiming that increasingly the only way to moderate surging inflation (check out commodity futures) aside from CME, ICE and other exchange margin hiking gimmicks which work for all of 24 hours, is for a concerted push to raise the dollar. Naturally, by the time a move like that is espoused by Bernanke it will be far too late.
In our now globally accepted bizarro world, where problems are priced in before they even appear, disclosing swans of assorted colors becomes a moot point. After all, all the bad news in the universe couldn't possibly matter as long as the irrational exuberance persists. That the higher stocks go, the farther they will crash eventually (and for those with their finger on the sell buttong, good luck selling into a bidless market) is a given, but maybe, just maybe the laws of gravity are different this time. On the other hand, maybe they are not. For those who are convinced that no matter the amount of data fudging, accounting fraud, and dollar debasement that the Fed endorses, nature will eventually take its course, may want to take a look at the below chart of 1 week, 1 and 3 month SHIBOR. In a nutshell: there is no marginal liquidity left in the world's fastest growing economy. Eventually this will dawn on the world. Until then, BTFD.
In his latest letter, "In Defense of the 'Old Always'" GMO's James Montier takes PIMCO's trademark "New Normal" to task, and argues that the "Old Always" with its ever trusty mean reversion strategies work as well now as they always did. Summarizing his disagreement with what the investment implications of the New Normal are, Montier says: "For instance, Richard Clarida of PIMCO wrote the following earlier this year, “Positioning for mean reversion will be a less compelling investment theme in a world where realized returns cluster nearer the tails and away from the mean.” This certainly isn’t the first premature obituary written for mean reversion. During pretty much every “new era,” someone proclaims that the old rules simply don’t apply anymore … who could forget Irving Fisher’s statement that stocks had reached a “permanently high plateau” in 1929? Mean reversion is in some august company in being well enough to read its own obituary." The key defense for mean reversion Montier says, is the market itself: "we have witnessed some quite remarkable, and quite appalling, things – the deaths of empires, the births of nations, waves of globalization, periods of deregulation, periods of re-regulation, World Wars, revolutions, plagues, and huge technological and medical advances – and yet one thing has remained true throughout history: none of these events mattered from the perspective of value!" Which means: is this time really different? Have we passed some rubicon at which time not even the otherwise spot on observations of traditionally sensible analysts like Montier make sense? The answer is so far elusive. Yet in a universe in which true asset fair value can no longer be derived, and all valuations are wrapped in the enigma of trillions of monetary and fiscal stimuli, whose stripping is virtually impossible in a world in which everything is centrally planned, we just may have entered... the non-"old always" zone.
With the Federal Reserve now openly endorsing the ponzi scheme nature of the US stock market, it would be expected that any releases out of the Fed or its regional offices would be strictly within the limits of preapproved propaganda. Which is why we were stunned when we read the following research piece released from the Dallas Fad, titled: "The Fallacy of a Pain-Free Path to a Healthy Housing Market" in which we read unpleasant facts that traditionally are relegated only to the dark and murky world of the blogosphere. Among these are the following pearls: "Prices, in fact, have begun to slide again
in recent weeks. In short, pulling demand forward has not produced a
sustainable stabilization in home prices, which cannot escape the
pressure exerted by oversupply", "About 3.6 million housing units,
representing 2.7 percent of the total housing stock, are vacant and
being held off the market....Presumably, many are among the 6 million distressed
properties that are listed as at least 60 days delinquent, in
foreclosure or foreclosed in banks’ inventories." (the bulk of which are still populated by squatters who pay no mortgage, yet who are not booted by the lender banks, and who instead can redirect the money to uses such as iPad purchases), and this stunner: "With nearly half of total bank assets backed by residential real estate, both homeowners on the cusp of negative equity and the banking system as a whole remain concerned amid the resumption of home price declines.....The latest price declines will undoubtedly cause more economic dislocation. As the crisis enters its fifth year, uncertainty is as prevalent as ever and continues to hinder a more robust economic recovery. Given that time has not proven beneficial in rendering pricing clarity, allowing the market to clear may be the path of least distress." This is a stunning admission: in essence the Fed itself is advocating for mark-to-market, and the ensuing bloodbath that would ensue with bank book, and market, capitalization. Will this proposal by authors Danielle DiMartino Booth and David Luttrell see more traction at the Fed or promptly disappear in someone's inbox? Our money is on the latter.
Is JP Morgan Shifting Its Silver And Gold Shorts To Non-US Domiciled, And Thus Unregulatable, Banks?Submitted by Tyler Durden on 12/20/2010 23:07 -0400
Going through recent bullion bank shorting information, Adrian Douglas has stumbled across a nugget that may explain the sudden willingness of JPM to admit to the FT, via proxies as obviously the bank would never expose itself to even remote market manipulation claims, that it has collapsed its silver short. The reason: even as US bank silver (and gold) shorts by US banks have been gradually declining, those positions established by non-US bank, and thus entities not under the CFTC's control, have seen their silver shorts surge, increasing by orders of magnitude over the past several months. Is there a stealthy transfer of precious metals market manipulation taking place, one that exonerates the domestic, and therefore regulatable, suspects, while making foreign banks carry the burden of suppressing silver and gold prices? The reason: hand over the silver shorts to entities that would not be subject to the CFTC's upcoming size limit rules. Per Douglas: "The sudden and massive increase in their short positions in both
metals is conspicuous when compared with historical trading patterns.
The fact that it occurs at a time when the US banks that are mega-short
appear to be covering makes it doubly intriguing. It looks like a
strategy to shift suppression and manipulation of the market to banks
that are not under the direct supervision of the CFTC. Will these non-US
banks be expecting to receive an exemption to position limits where US
banks might not be successful?" We hope to get an answer to all these questions soon - Douglas has sent out the following letter to the only honest man at the CFTC, Bart Chilton, which explains Douglas' findings, and demands an inquiry into just who these foreign banks are that are suddenly shorting silver and gold on the margin at alarming rates.