Michigan

Did "Stealing From Americans" Just Stop? AG Holder Moves To End Civil Asset Forfeiture

Since 2011, we have been warning of the rise of 'civil asset forfeiture' (here) with the 'stealing of American's hard-earned assets' having been on the rise signficantly in recent months; as the apparent final stage of empire begins. However, in an odd apparent success for "safeguarding civil liberties," Reuters reports that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said today that State and local police in the United States will no longer be able to use federal laws to justify seizing property without evidence of a crime.

Market Wrap: Global Markets Weighed As Damage From SNB Evaluated, FX Brokers Carried Out

One day after the SNB stunner roiled markets, overnight global markets have seen - as expected - substanial downward pressure, with the Swiss market slide resuming post open, while European stocks have seen some pressure despite what is now an assured ECB QE announcement next week. However, the one trade that can not be mistaken is the global rush into the safety of government paper, with every single treasury yielding less today than yesterday (the Swiss 10Y was trading below 0% at last check), except for Greek 10Y which are wider on deposit run fears. That said, with capital market liquidity absolutely non-existent even the smallest trade has a disproportionate effect on futures, and expect to see much more rangebound trading until the damage report from the SNB action is fully digested, something which will take place over the weekend.

Stocks Bounce On Daily ECB QE Rumor Regurgitation, Oil Plunges On Goldman Downgrade

If you, like the BIS, are sick and tired of central bankers, and in this case the ECB's endless jawboning and now daily QE threats, determining the level of stocks, well then today is a good day as any to take your blood pressure medication. Because first it was ECB Governing Council member Ignazio Visco who told German newspaper Welt am Sonntag that the risk of deflation in the euro zone should not be underestimated and urged the bank to buy government debt, and then, yet another regurgitated story, came from CNBC whose "sources" reported that the ECB QE would be based on contributions from national central banks and paid in capital. And while otherwise the cross-correlation trades would have at least pushed the crude complex modestly higher, today it was Goldman's energy analyst Jeffrey Currie finally throwing up all over oil, with a report in which he said that "because shale can rebound quickly once capital investments return, we now believe WTI needs to trade near $40/bbl for most of 1H15 to keep capital sidelined."

Frontrunning: January 2

  • The year of dollar danger for the world (Ambrose Evans-Pritchard)
  • Draghi Says ECB Prepares Action as Deflation Risk Non-Negligible (BBG)
  • Obama Pivots to Lawmakers: New Plan to Advance Policy Goals by Working With Congress Draws Skeptics (WSJ)
  • Affordable Care Act Creates a Trickier Tax Season (WSJ)
  • Oil pares early gains, trades near $57 as supply glut prevails (Reuters)
  • Iran says Saudi Arabia should move to curb oil price fall (Reuters)
  • Pimco Fund Trails Peers in 2014 After Missing Rally (BBG)
  • Piketty rejects Légion d’Honneur award (FT)
  • UK manufacturing activity hits three-month low (BBC)

Frontrunning: December 23

  • Christmas rally enters sixth day in Europe (Reuters)
  • Downing North Korea's Internet not much of a scalp (Reuters)
  • North Korean Internet Access Restored After Hours-Long Outage (BBG)
  • At U.N. council, U.S. calls life in North Korea 'living nightmare' (Reuters)
  • Ukraine Cuts Gold Reserve to Nine-Year Low as Russia Buys (BBG)
  • De Blasio Seeks to Heal Rifts With Police After Officers Slain (BBG)
  • Oil steady around $60 on hopes of strong U.S. data (Reuters) - so it fell below $60 because...
  • Australian Dollar Hits Four and a Half Year Low on Chine Growth Worries (Reuters)

Economic Data Bonanza Set To Send Algos Spasming To Recorder Highs

With the wind down of the record 2014 trading slump now in its final days (although judging by volumes throughout the year one may have a difficult time noticing just when the holidays began and ended), the already entertaining zero-liquidity market moves are sure to provide further amusement today in the context of the US economic data bonanza on deck, which includes Durable Goods, GDP, Personal Income and Spending, Richmond Fed, UMich, and New Home Sales. Beat or miss, all of the above are guaranteed to send the S&P to higher recorder highs because in the multiple-expansion euphoria blow-off top phase nobody cares about such trivia as fundamentals or the economy, especially when Japan and Germany are about to monetize all of their gross issuance. Just remember to occasionally keep an eye on the preferred rigging correlation pairs: the USDJPY and the VIX, whose every illiquid jerk will be followed by Citadel & NYFed's algos tic for tic.

2014 Year In Review (Part 1): The Final Throes Of A Geopolitical Game Of Tetris

Every year, David Collum writes a detailed "Year in Review" synopsis full of keen perspective and plenty of wit. This year's is no exception. "I have not seen a year in which so many risks - some truly existential - piled up so quickly. Each risk has its own, often unknown, probability of morphing into a destructive force. It feels like we’re in the final throes of a geopolitical Game of Tetris as financial and political authorities race to place the pieces correctly. But the acceleration is palpable. The proximate trigger for pain and ultimately a collapse can be small, as anyone who’s ever stepped barefoot on a Lego knows..."

Sorry Folks, The North Koreans Hacked The "Global Recovery"

We are far too speechless to even comment on the latest Goldman "leading indicator" swirlogram, which we can only assume was made public after another unprecedented "North Korean hack" at US "recovery" propaganda central, so here is Goldman's own take:

Crude Continues Slide, Ruble Stabilizes, US Futures Rebound As Global Stocks Slump: All Eyes On Yellen

Previewing today's market: near record low liquidity, with chance of ridiculous volatility in the Ruble, energy and equity markets. While no doubt today's main event will be the "considerable" FOMC announcement and the Fed's downward-revised economic projections followed by Yellen's press conference, what traders will be most excited by is that, finally, Jim Bullard will no longer be bound by the blackout period surround FOMC decisions, and as such can hint of QE4 again at his leisure during key market inflection (i.e., selling) points.

Futures Rebound, Crude "Flash Smashes" Higher As Dollar Strengthens

After the worst week for stocks in years, and following a significantly oversold condition, it will hardly come as a surprise that the mean reversion algos (if only to the upside), as well as the markets themselves (derivative trading on the NYSE Euronext decided to break early this morning just to give some more comfort that excessive selling would not be tolerated)  are doing all they can to ramp equities around the globe, and futures in the US as high as possible on as little as possible volume. And sure enough, having traded with a modestly bullish bias overnight and rising back over 2000, the E-Mini has seen the now traditional low volume spike in the last few minutes, pushing it up over 15 points with the expectation being that the generic algo ramp in USDJPY ahead of the US open should allow futures to begin today's regular session solidly in the green, even if it is unclear if the modest rebound in the dollar and crude will sustain, or - like on every day in the past week - roll over quickly after the open. Also, we hope someone at Liberty 33 tells the 10Y that futures are soaring: at 2.13% the 10Y is pricing in nothing but bad economic news as far as the eye can see.