With The Fed definitely off the table, China promising nothing but daily liquidity drips, and Europe unable to do anything but jawbone, the world's bullish equity market investors are anxiously trawling for a central bank to save the world. Tonight's BoJ meeting could well be it - though judging by their past epic failures - it will be anything but successful as QE23 looms in Japan. “The need for a Kuroda bazooka is increasing,” said Yuji Shimanaka, an economist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities Co. in Tokyo. “This is decision time for Kuroda” as additional stimulus can stop the trend of yen gains and falling stocks.
- Stocks, oil soar as Draghi the dove tames global bears (Reuters)
- Massive snowstorm poised to wallop U.S. East Coast (Reuters)
- Oil Rises in Biggest Rally Since August Amid Volatility Surge (BBG)
- Nikkei spikes more than 900 points after rebounds overseas (Japan Times)
- China's Working-Age Population Sees Biggest-Ever Decline (WSJ)
- Oil Is `Trade of the Year' for Citigroup After Iran Export Surge (BBG)
- U.S. Payment of $1.7 Billion to Iran Raises Questions of Ransom (WSJ)
It may not be as sexy as gold and silver, but sometimes even doctor copper needs a little squeeze and corner love as well, and according to Bloomberg, that is precisely what someone is trying to do. One company whose identity is unknown, is "hoarding as much as half the copper available in warehouses tracked by the London Metal Exchange."
One thing is clear: banks are not only not telling the full story, but the story they are telling is compromised. Still one has to start somewhere with whatever data is publicly available, so courtesy of Reuters, here is a summary of what the big U.S. banks who have reported Q4 earnings so far, say about their energy exposure.
"It’s Black Wednesday for emerging markets," one strategist warned and Thursday is not looking any better, as SocGen's Berg warns "The rout in emerging markets could continue for some time, especially as the major global central banks have exhausted their ammunition in recent years, making it unlikely that they will rescue global markets this time around." In fact, as Bloomberg reports, this year's EM turmoil is already worse than in the same period in 1998's Asian financial crisis (and EM FX is even worse).
The end of America’s oil “miracle” is coming and there’s nothing Wall Street can do to stop it. At this point in the game, no one is going to finance the oil patch's cash flow deficits and the fundamentals in the oil market are laughably bad. As Bloomberg reports, Wall Street is about to have a serious bout of “indigestion” because recent auctions suggest that “some bankrupt oil and gas drillers can’t give their assets away.”
- Oil slump rocks markets again in equity rout (Reuters)
- Global Stocks on Brink of Bear Market as Oil Slides; Ruble Drops (BBG)
- Global Stocks Slide on Oil Rout (WSJ)
- Emerging Markets Roiled as Stock Selloff Surpasses Asian Crisis (BBG)
- Rising Debt in Emerging Markets Poses Global Threat (WSJ)
- China shares slip as oil slides, outweighing stimulus hopes (Reuters)
Hillary Clinton’s campaign is absolutely imploding right now. When people get desperate, they do desperate things, and the latest move by the Clinton campaign reeks of putrid, panicked desperation. Of course, it makes perfect sense that Hillary Clinton, JP Morgan and Bank of America would share the same strategist. After all, they are the exact same brand.
When we first wrote on the subject, there was considerable criticism as to the possibility that such a program would ever be attempted, let alone succeed. And, granted, it was so Orwellian that it was understandably seen as a crackpot idea. But since that time, the program has been developing extremely rapidly. In the last six months alone, it has become so visible that it has even garnered a name - "the War on Cash." Once complete, state wealth control will exist.
Another day, another plunge in The Baltic Dry Index, which just dropped a further 3.1% to 402 today - a new record low. While the index is driving headlines, under the surface, reality in the shipping (and shipbuilding) industry is a disaster. Total orders at Chinese shipyards tumbled 59% in the first 11 months of 2015, and as Bloomberg reports, with bulk ships accounting for 41.6% of Chinese shipyards’ $26.6 billion orderbook as of December, there is notably more pain to come, as one analyst warns "Chinese shipbuilders won’t be able to revive even if you try breathing some life into them."
While the list of "most hated buyside" stocks is at least actionable, not even we are sure what to do with the list of companies that are most hated by the sellside, besides perhaps revealing what it is. So for all those wondering, here courtesy of Factset, is the list of 10 S&P500 companies with the highest percentage of Sell ratings.
My overriding theme and the central drama for the coming year is that unexpected events can take on greater importance as the Federal Reserve ends its near-decade-long Zero Interest Rate Policy. Consensus premises and forecasts will likely fall flat, in a rather spectacular manner. The low-conviction and directionless market that we saw in 2015 could become a no-conviction and very-much-directed market (i.e. one that's directed lower) in 2016. There will be no peace on earth in 2016, and our markets could lose a cushion of protection as valuations contract. (Just as "malinvestment" represented a key theme this year, we expect a compression of price-to-earnings ratios to serve as a big market driver in 2016.) In other words, we don't think 2016 will be fun.
Banks have finally woken up to the risk their billions in C&I loans issued to fund "financial engineering" are exposed to. The reaction: an unprecedented surge in loan collateralization, with the percent of total loans secured by collateral soaring by nearly 50% in the past quarter to a record 55.9%, the highest ever!
"Unfortunately, an institution that was created to serve all Americans has been hijacked by the very bankers it regulates.” 2016 Democratic presidential candidate and Senator from Vermont Bernie Sanders said in an op-ed on Wednesday that a full independent audit of the Federal Reserve is necessary “to reign in Wall Street."