In the first two weeks of August 2008 (just a month before Lehman imploded), as tensions built in US financial markets, China weakened the Yuan for 10 straight days. Tonight, China just extended its streak of weakening the Yuan fix to 9 days (for an aggregate 1.4% devaluation, the largest such drop outside of August's devaluation in history). This pushes the Yuan back to June 2011 levels.
In the end, the Fed did not surprise, and raised interest rates for the first time in almost a decade in a widely telegraphed move while signaling that the pace of subsequent increases will be “gradual” and in line with previous projections. The Federal Open Market Committee unanimously voted to set the new target range for the federal funds rate at 0.25 percent to 0.5 percent, up from zero to 0.25 percent.
"The irony in this year’s batch of outrageous predictions is that some of them are “outrageous” merely because they run counter to overwhelming market consensus. In fact, many would not look particularly outrageous at all in more “normal” times – if there even is such a thing!"
There is a Category 5 deflationary hurricane forming off the Chinese coast as Beijing accelerates the devaluation of the yuan against the dollar under the guise of “reform”. I say forming … the truth is that this deflationary storm has already laid waste to the global commodity complex, doing trillions of dollars in damage. I say forming … the truth is that this deflationary storm has driven inflation expectations down to levels last seen when the world was coming to an end in the Lehman aftermath. And now the Fed is going to tighten? Are you kidding me?
Over the last two decades the Fed’s interventionism has created artificial booms and real busts. Their dreadful mistakes are “fixed” by currency debasement, lower interest rates, and money printing – creating even worse mistakes. They have successfully gutted the American economy and left a hollowed out shell. The coming collapse will be three pronged as stocks, bonds, and real estate are all simultaneously overvalued. Junk bonds are the canary in a coalmine. High end real estate in NYC has topped out. New and existing homes sales growth has stalled out. Retailers desperately slash prices to maintain sales, while destroying their profits. Corporate profits are falling. The stock market is teetering on the edge.
High yield bond ETFs are down for the 8th day in the last 9, retracing the modest bounce from Friday afternoon, plunging to new multi-year lows. In fact, at current levels HYG is trading below the lows it hit in the immediate aftermath of the Lehman collapse (Sept 2008).
Futures Resume Slide After Oil Tumbles Below $35, Natgas At 13 Year Low; EM, Junk Bond Turmoil AcceleratesSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 12/14/2015 07:51 -0400
With just 72 hours to go until Yellen decides to soak up to $800 billion in liquidity, suddenly we have China and the Emerging Market fracturing, commodities plunging, and junk bonds everywhere desperate to avoid being the next to liquidate.
"In short, the age of unconventional monetary policy begun by the 2007-09 financial crisis might not be ending."
- Jon Hilsenrath
When was the last time the same index was at precisely 17.24% and rising? The answer: the weekend Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy
In a supreme twist of irony, Bear Stearns is back - maybe not the firm itself - but the people who were in charge of its distressed and junk bond trading group, and just like the summer of 2007, it is an ex "Bear"-run hedge fund that was the first to gate, just as the credit cycle is turning and the default cycle has begun, as we explained last week, just one day before everyone's attention finally focused on junk debt.
The next financial crisis could manifest itself in the coming months. If so, it will mark the end of current central bank monetary policies and state control of markets, as free markets reassert realistic pricing. Government bond yields will normalise, stock markets will fall, and banks will almost certainly fail. When something as epochal as this happens, we can expect the macroeconomic establishment to be clueless with respect to the problem itself and its scale.
At the peak of the craziness of the last cycle, banks took to protecting themselves by buying (credit) protection on other banks as a 'hedge' for systemic risk (which instead exacerbated contagion concerns and was never going to payoff anyway given the systemic - counterparty - collapse required to trigger it). Fast forward 8 years and it appears once again, as Bloomberg reports, that banks are buying (equity) protection in order to hedge the stress-test downside scenarios enforced by The Fed.
George Orwell explained the cynical mechanism of Perpetual War in "1984" as a means to control the masses through terror and scarcity. Western Civilization has been embroiled in various continuous wars since Hitler invaded Poland. The Western public has passively abided Perpetual War, not because of scarcity, but because of consumer abundance, which was developed by virtually anonymous men like Edward Bernays in the 1920s. This is how men in the shadows transformed the American citizen into the American consumer, thus turning the public into a docile, unwitting accomplice in the mayhem which envelops the globe which so enriches those on high.
In NYT Op-Ed, Hillary Lays Out How She'd "Rein In Wall Street" (And No, Not By Demanding Even More Donations)Submitted by Tyler Durden on 12/07/2015 11:41 -0400
Overnight Hillary Clinton, in her latest populist push to present herself as "one of the people" wrote a NYT op-ed explaining "How I'd Rein In Wall Street", we were wondering if it would include draining Wall Street balance sheets with mandatory and far greater donations to her campaign by Wall Street firms - a strategy that may actually work as it hits banks where it hurts the most: their money. To our disappointment, this was not included.
"While funding continued to be available, such a large negative basis indicates potential market dislocations. And this may call into question how smoothly US dollar funding conditions will adjust in the event of an increase in US onshore interest rates. Similar pricing anomalies have also emerged in interest rate swap markets recently, raising related concerns."