It is truly amazing to see the contortions into which some analysts twist themselves, trying to make the historical facts fit their economic models.
Do you want to know if the stock market is going to crash next year? Just keep an eye on junk bonds. Prior to the horrific collapse of stocks in 2008, high yield debt collapsed first. And as you will see below, high yield debt is starting to crash again.
In October it was Jim Bullard's "QE4" hint that sent the stock market on an all-time record-breaking run of gains, which no lesser institution than the central banker's central bank - The BIS - lamented "the markets' buoyancy hinges on central banks' every word and deed." And then just two days ago, The Fed did it again: by the mere appearance of grandma Yellen (and the words "patient" and "considerable"), US stocks explode to their greatest back-to-back gains in almost six years. So it is perhaps ironic that no more mainstream media publication than USA Today has finally realised, there are no fundamentals anymore...
Frenzied Chinese Stock Buyers Soak Up So Much Liquidity, Central Bank Forced To Intervene, Prevent SeizureSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 12/18/2014 23:18 -0400
China's seven-day repurchase rate, a gauge of interbank funding availability in the banking system, surged 139 basis points, to a 10-month high of 5.28% in Shanghai, the biggest since Jan. 20. The reason for the sudden cash crunch, according to Bloomberg, is that subscriptions for the biggest new share sales of the year lock up funds. Twelve initial public offerings from today through Dec. 25 will draw orders of as much as 3 trillion yuan ($483 billion), Shenyin & Wanguo Securities Co. estimated. In other words, the scramble to allocate capital into China's surest way of making money, IPOs, has led to a drying out of general liquidity in the entire market. This in turn forced the PBOC to intervene and inject short-term money loans to commercial lenders in order to prevent the kind of interbank liquidity lock up that emerged in China in June 2013 in the aftermath of the first Taper Tantrum (and which before all is said and done, will likely take place again) and which sent global capital markets around the globe reeling before China resumed its massive liquidity injections which are at the heart of China's debt-fuelled bubble in the first place.
Let’s see. Between July 2007 and January 2009, the median US residential housing price plunged from $230k to $165k or by 30%. That must have been some kind of super “tax cut”.
The global oil price collapse now unfolding is not putting a single dime into the pockets of American households - the CNBC talking heads to the contrary notwithstanding. What is happening is the vast flood of mispriced debt and capital, which flowed into the energy sector owning to the Fed’s lunatic ZIRP and QE policies, is now rapidly deflating. That will reduce bubble spending and investment, not add to economic growth. It’s the housing bust all over again.
While none of the following analysis suggests that a market crash is imminent, it does imply that we are very late in the current market and economic cycle. A market melt up into 2015 would certainly be exciting, but should be used to sell overly priced assets to what will probably be a dwindling supply of "greater fools."
If China just suffered its biggest market selloff in years, when the plug was pulled on just $200 billion in "shadow banking" assets, let's all hope that Bank of New York and State Street, who among just the two of them control some $55 trillion in custodial, repoable assets, never get any ideas from Beijing...
Back in June, the world was speechless when Goldman's head of the ECB, Mario Draghi, stunned the world when he took Bernanke's ZIRP and raised him one better by announcing the ECB would send deposit rates into negative territory, in the process launching the Neutron bomb known as N(egative)IRP and pushing European monetary policy into the "twilight zone", forcing savers to pay (!) for the privilege of keeping the product of their labor in the form of fiat currency instead of invested in a global ponzi scheme built on capital market so broken even the BIS can no longer contain its shocked amazement. Well, the US economy may be "decoupling" (just as it did right before Lehman) and one pundit after another are once again (incorrectly) predicting that the Fed may raise rates, but when it comes to the true "value" of money, US banks have just shown that when it comes to spread between reality and the economic outlook, the schism has never been deeper.
Enter US NIRP.
The DJ Cyprus Total Market Index is at present down 99.71% from its all time high made in 2007, so we would say it is definitely the most oversold stock market in the world in all of history. From 100 euro invested at the peak, a mere 29 cents are left. Let us briefly ponder the mathematics of this wipe-out: when the market was down by 90%, it fell by another 50% at which point it was down 95% from the high. Thereafter, it fell by another 50%, ending down 97.5% from the high. Then it fell by another 50%, at which point it was down 98.75% from the high. Then it fell by 50% again and was down 99.375%. Surely this was bad enough? Nope…it then fell by yet another 50%, landing at 99.6875% down from its 2007 high.
"The time to liquidate a given position is now seven times as long as in 2008, reflecting much smaller trade sizes in fixed income markets. In part the current liquidity illusion is a product of the risk asymmetries implied by the zero lower bound on interest rates, excess reserves in the system, and perceived central bank reaction functions. However, interest rates in advanced economies won’t remain this low forever. Once the process of normalization begins, or perhaps if market perceptions shift, and it is expected to begin, a re-pricing can be expected. The orderliness of that transition is an open question."
"Bearish" Mark Spitznagel Profiting Strongly Since 2009, Warns "Only So Much Debt An Economy Can Take"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 11/25/2014 22:07 -0400
Mark Spitznagel, author of "Dao of Capital" and among Wall Street's most bearish investors, is (profitably) holding out for a disaster. Despite noting that "The Fed has taken it further than it has ever taken it before," NY Times reports that Spitznagel's fund Universa has profited strongly even as stocks hit record highs. Large pessimistic bets usually lose a lot of money when stocks are rising, but Universa is saying that its investment strategy has been able to produce consistent gains since then, including a 30% return last year. While ackowledging Fed policy is capable of driving stock prices higher, Spitznagel warns, it will ultimately be self-defeating, "there is only so much debt that an economy can take on."
First the Japanese central bank proceeds to monetize all new debt issuance and is on route to holding 50% of all 10 Year bond equivalents within 2 years, sending the Yen year plummeting to 7 years lows daily, and then - just like Europe - Japan gets cold feet and realizes that the next steps are USDJPY 145+, meaning a complete collapse of the Japanese economy and a full on FX, if not shooting, war in Asia. So what does Japan's finance minister Aso do? Why he talks the Yen higher, in the process completely confounding the FX algos, and risking a full blown collapse in the Nikkei just 3 weeks ahead of the Japanese snap elections.
To put the events of October 15 in context, here is a 1-minute clip courtesy of Nanex showing the daily history bond market liquidity starting with 2008 and going through November 2014.
"My personal fond hope and expectation is still for a market that runs deep into bubble territory (which starts, as mentioned earlier, at 2250 on the S&P 500 on our data) before crashing as it always does. Hopefully by then, but depending on what the rest of the world’s equities do, our holdings of global equities will be down to 20% or less. Usually the bubble excitement – which seems inevitably to be led by U.S. markets – starts about now, entering the sweet spot of the Presidential Cycle’s year three, but occasionally, as you have probably discovered the hard way already, history can be a snare and not a help." - Jeremy Grantham
The markets have been pushing new all-time highs this past week as earnings season begins to wind down. Starting next week, much of the focus will shift back to the economy and holiday retail sales. Expectations are for a robust season but the early arrival of winter could have a more negative effect on the economy than anticipated should current weather patterns persist.