Monetary Policy

Futures Jump After Friday Drubbing, Despite Brent Sliding To Fresh 11 Year Lows, Spanish Political Uncertainty

In a weekend of very little macro newsflow facilitated by the release of the latest Star Wars sequel, the biggest political and economic event was the Spanish general election which confirmed the end of the PP-PSOE political duopoly at national level.  As a result, there was some early underperformance in SPGBs and initial equity weakness across European stocks, which however was promptly offset and at last check the Stoxx 600 was up 0.4% to 363, with US equity futures up nearly 1% after Friday's oversold drubbing. In other key news, the commodity slide continues with Brent Oil dropping to a fresh 11-year low as futures fell as much as 2.2% in London after a 2.8% drop last week.

The Great Disconnect Is Palpable

Taken together with the rather steep drop in US industrial production, the risks of a full-blown and perhaps severe recession have undoubtedly grown. Unlike what the FOMC is trying to project via the federal funds rate, a rate that isn’t being fully complemented, either, at this point, visible economic risk is not just rising it is exploding.

The Fed Has Delivered Far More Than Just A Lump Of Coal This Time

The problem with all of this is that it’s now becoming apparent to everyone. The amount of mal-investment along with just how intertwined all the subsequent carry trades and more is becoming frightfully obvious and can no longer be hidden from view. The real problem now facing the Fed. which I believe they themselves did not fully comprehend was the extent in which all of this was: so blatantly obvious. Again: to anyone who truly wanted to look. Without the Fed’s interventionism – there is (and was) no market. And now with the raising of rates; no one will be able to miss or avoid that fact any longer. No matter how hard they try.

Market Shudders As Brazil Risks "Succumbing To Fiscal Populism" With New FinMin

Brazil has a new finance minister and the market is not happy. As BofAML puts it, "the focus turns now to the direction of the fiscal policy under the new FinMin, which should affect the recovery in confidence and thus growth. With mounting downside risks to growth that heavily weigh on the government’s revenues and the ongoing challenges in passing fiscal measures in Congress, tangible results over statements will now be needed to improve expectations over primary fiscal results ahead."

House Passes $1.15 Trillion Spending Bill: Here Is What's In It

Moments ago, the House of Representatives just passed the $1.15 trillion spending bill that includes a $680 billion package of tax-break extensions, in a 316 to 113 vote, and will now move to the Senate, where its passage is likewise assured and will be signed by the president over the next few days. For those wondering what are the main components of the spending bill, here is a quick summary.

David Stockman Warns "Dread The Fed!" - Sell The Bonds, Sell The Stocks, Sell The House

Yellen and her cohort have no clue, however, that all of their massive money printing never really left the canyons of Wall Street, but instead inflated the mother of all financial bubbles. So they are fixing to blow-up the joint for the third time this century. That was plain as day when our Keynesian school marm insisted that the Third Avenue credit fund failure this past week was a one-off event - a lone rotten apple in the barrel. Now that is the ultimate in cluelessness.

Futures Slide As Quad-Witching Has A Violently Volatile Start After Massive BOJ FX Headfake; Oil Tumbles

Following the latest BOJ statement, the market found itself wrongfooted assuming the BOJ was actually launching another episode of easing, sending the USDJPY soaring, until suddenly the realization swept the market that not only was the incremental action not really material, but even Kuroda spoke shortly after the announcement, confirming that "today's decision wasn't additional easing." The result was one of the biggest FX headfakes in recent days, perhaps on par with that from December 4 when EUR shorts were crushed, as the biggest carry pair first soared then tumbled and since the Yen correlation drives so many risk assets, also pulled down not only Japanese stocks but US equity futures.

Gold & The Federal Funds Rate

It is widely assumed that the gold price must decline when the Federal Reserve is hiking interest rates. It seems logical enough: gold has no yield, so if competing investment assets such as bonds or savings deposits do offer a yield, gold will presumably be exchanged for those. There is only a slight problem with this idea. The simple assumption “Fed rate hikes equal a falling gold price” is not supported by even a shred of empirical evidence.