All eyes will be on Mario Draghi on Thursday as expectations for something big from the former Goldmanite have grown over the past two weeks. More specifically, some now think the odds of QE expansion have increased considerably in light of collapsing eurozone inflation expectations, the incipient threat of some $1 trillion in QE-offsetting EM FX reserve draw downs, turmoil in China's financial markets, heightened volatility across the globe, and chaos in emerging markets from LatAm to AsiaPac.
"One of the biggest problems we face is that there is no historical template for current global market conditions so we’re all flying blind to a large degree. Never before have so many of the most important countries in the world printed so much money and left base rates at near zero for so long. Also never before has the largest economy in the world tried to start a slow process of reversing said extraordinary policy. So there is no road map for this journey, only educated (hopefully) predictions."
The discussion of why "this time is not like the last time" is largely irrelevant. Whatever gains that investors have garnered during the recent bull market advance will be wiped away in a swift and brutal downdraft. However, this is the sad history of individual investors in the financial markets as they are always "told to buy" but never "when to sell."
Just like the last time when Chinese flash PMI data came out at the lowest level since the financial crisis, so overnight when both the official Chinese manufacturing and service PMI data, as well as the Caixin final PMI,s confirmed China's economy has not only ground to a halt but is now contracting with the official manufacturing data the lowest in 3 years and the first contraction in 6 months, stocks around the globe tumbled on concerns another major devaluation round by the PBOC is just around the corner with the drop led by the Shanghai Composite which plunged as much as 4% before, the cavalry arrived and bought every piece of SSE 50 index of China's biggest companies it could find, and in a rerun of yestterday sent it to a green close, with the SHCOMP closing just -1.23% in the red. So much for the "no interventions" myth. We wonder which journalist will take the blame for today's rout.
With corporate profits falling, margin debt at all-time highs, the Fed preparing to raise rates, China’s fake economic system imploding, currency wars breaking out across the globe, emerging markets in turmoil, oil dependent countries in the Middle East seeing budgets go deeply in the red, Greece and the other insolvent southern European countries nearing collapse and tensions rising between Russia, Europe and the U.S., there is plenty to fear in this central banker created debt bubble world. History teaches us this isn’t over. It’s only just begun. The bubblevision assertions that the worst is behind us is false. They will insist all is well until you’ve lost half your net worth. When fear overtakes greed, neither monetary easing, propaganda, nor acts of desperation by politicians, government bureaucrats, or central bankers will turn the tide.
"Something happened The August turbulence in global markets has produced significant shifts, including a 6.6% fall in equity prices. The currencies of emerging market countries have depreciated substantially against the G-4, while emerging market borrowing rates for sovereigns and corporates have moved higher. Global oil prices have been whipsawed as have G-4 bond yields. The speed and magnitude of these movements is reminiscent of past episodes in which financial crises emerged or the global economy slipped into recession. However, nothing appears to be breaking."
In the latest example of Beijing attempting to deleverage and re-leverage all at once, China has lifted a cap on loan-to-deposit ratios for banks while simultaneously capping local government debt issuance for 2015. Meanwhile, bad loans are still on the rise at China's "big four" banks, underscoring the extent to which China's economy is rapidly deteriorating and drawing a line under the risk the PBoC is running by forcing banks to lend into an extraordinarily uncertain environment.
Precisely 24 hours ago, in an attempt to pre-empt the panic-selling open, the NYSE invoked the little used Rule 48, which was to be expected: the Nasdaq 100 has just tumbled limit down and the S&P and DJIA would follow shortly. Today, however, it is unclear just why the NYSE decided to once again invoke Rule 48 as futures are set to open about 3-4% higher, and yet that is precisely what the NYSE did. As a reminder, what this means is that mandatory opening indications are not required, which in theory should make it easier to open stocks.
By starving investors of safe return, activist Fed policy has promoted repeated valuation bubbles, and inevitable collapses, in risky assets. On the basis of valuation measures having the strongest correlation with actual subsequent market returns, we fully expect the S&P 500 to decline by 40-55% over the completion of the current market cycle. The only uncertainty has been the triggers.
Translation: the Fed is not data dependent, but it is, as we have said all along, entirely market dependent.
The status quo must be maintained...
NYSE granting "triple width opening quote relief in all option classes for August 24, 2015", Invokes Rule 48
The last time this was invoked was in Jan 2015 (during the blizzard), in June 2012 (amid a dramatic drop in pre-open futures) and in Sept 2011 amid the chaotic 400-point swings in The Dow. Funny they do not use this "Rule" when futures indicate massive upside opens?
“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
After a week of relentless FX volatility, spilling over out of China and into all other countries, and asset products, it was as if the market decided to take a time-out overnight, assisted by the PBOC which after three days of record devaluations finally revalued the Yuan stronger fractionally by 0.05% to 6.3975. And then, as a parting gift perhaps, just as the market was about to close again, the Chinese central bank intervened sending the Onshore Yuan, spiking to a level of 6.3912 as of this writing, notably stronger than the official fixing for the second day in a row. In fact the biggest news out of China overnight is that contrary to expectations, the PBOC once again "added" to its gold holdings, boosting its official gold by 610,000 ounces, or 19 tons, to 1,677 tones.
Housing is a very important component of any economy, and often an indicator of the well-being of a society. In the US, housing has been deteriorating since the sub-prime crisis. The changes are not only cyclical but structural. Past experiences need to yield to an objective analysis of where we are heading. Here is the way we see it...