Negative Convexity

RBC Explains Today's Rush To BTFD

"the missile strikes change NONE of the calculus for me...Thus, the balance of risk remains in favor of upside for now until this muscle memory above (buy risk dips, sell vol) is changed... The near-to-medium-term ‘risk downside’ story to me remains largely about the rates move as ‘reflation’ has broken trend line..."

ECB Preview: What Wall Street Thinks Mario Draghi Will Say Tomorrow

While expectations are low from Thursday's ECB meeting,  it may ultimately boil down to Draghi’s communication about asset purchases. Any hint of QE tapering would spur a large-scale sell-off in the rates market, according to most Wall Street strategists. Here is what else the sellside thinks will happen.

Goldman Expects Jump In Mortgage Refis, Blames "Burned Out" Borrowers

Due to the "new lower path for mortgage rates" Goldman is raising their estimate for 2016 MBS Issuance to $1.3 trillion from $1.2 trillion and raising their 2017 MBS issuance estimate to $1.3 trillion from $1.1 trillion. Goldman's  team cut their 10-Yr US TSY estimate to 2% from 2.4% ahead of an expected refinancing blitz.

The Last Castle To Fall: Can The Narratives Behind The S&P's Resilience Be Sustained

In the last few years, several markets/asset classes have shown signs of weakness, if not outright implosion: EU banks, EU stocks, Base Metals, Energy Commodities, Japan stocks, EM stocks and currencies. The bubble built in them by the excess liquidity provided by Central banks, as they were busy fighting structural deflationary trends (and crowding the private sector out of bonds), has deflated in most parts of the market, except two: US equity and G10 Real Estate.

As A Shocking $100 Billion In Glencore Debt Emerges, The Next Lehman Has Arrived

And now the real shocker: there is over US$100bn in gross financial exposure to Glencore. From BofA: "We estimate the financial system's exposure to Glencore at over US$100bn, and believe a significant majority is unsecured. The group's strong reputation meant that the buildup of these exposures went largely without comment. However, the recent widening in GLEN debt spreads indicates the exposure is now coming into investor focus."

Yellen Is Flat-Out Wrong: Financial Bubbles Are Caused By The Fed, Not The Market

The selloff last year was a desperate warning about the lack of resilience in credit and funding. That repo markets persist in that is, again, the opposite of the picture Janet Yellen is trying to clumsily fashion. Central banks cannot create that because their intrusion axiomatically alters the state of financial affairs, and they know this. It has always been the idea (“extend and pretend” among others) to do so with the expectation that economic growth would allow enough margin for error to go back and clean up these central bank alterations. That has never happened, and the modifications persist. Resilience is the last word we would use to describe markets right now, with very recent history declaring as much.

Kyle Bass: "The Next 18 Months Will Redefine Economic Orthodoxy For The West"

Kyle Bass covers three critical topics in this excellent in-depth interview before turning to a very wide-ranging and interesting Q&A session. The topics he focuses on are Central bank expansion (with a mind-numbing array of awe-full numbers to explain just where the $10 trillion of freshly created money has gone), Japan's near-term outlook ("the next 18 months in Japan will redefine the economic orthodoxy of the west"), and most importantly since, as he notes, "we are investing in things that are propped up and somewhat made up," the psychology of negative outcomes. The latter, Bass explains, is one of the most frequently discussed topics at his firm, as he points out that "denial" is extremely popular in the financial markets. Simply put, Bass explains, we do not want to admit that there is this serious (potentially perilous) outcome that disallows the world to continue on the way it has, and that is why so many people, whether self-preserving or self-dealing, miss all the warning signs and get this wrong - "it's really important to understand that people do not want to come to the [quantitatively correct but potentially catastrophic] conclusion; and that's why things are priced the way they are in the marketplace." Perhaps this sentence best sums up his realism and world view: "I would like to live in a world where it's all rainbows and unicorns and we can make Krugman the President - but intellectually it's simply dishonest."

Lessons Learned From The November Election

Romney's apparent victory in the first Presidential debate was the worst outcome for U.S. stocks, for it gave false hope to a Republican sweeping into the White House. A more gradual acceptance of the November result would give the market a better chance to absorb the news with minimal impact. We are presented with a similar scenario with Washington’s addressing the fiscal cliff.  Optimistic comments about resolving the crisis has spawned gains in equities that are sustainable while losses resulting from downbeat remarks have offered profitable short term buying opportunities.  While much of this price action the past few days has benefitted from typical calendar money flows that will disappear in the middle of next week, some of the positive sentiment arises from the overwhelming belief that both sides can consummate a deal on the budget ahead of the December 31 deadline. The longer investors anticipate such a compromise, the more violently shares will tumble upon recognition that assuaging the crisis with a comprehensive solution will take extra innings.

German TARGET2 Claims Soar To €729 Billion

We have some good news for our German readers: in the month of June, your implicit cost of preserving the Eurozone (read the PIIGS) via TARGET2 funding of current account and various other public sector deficits and imbalances amounted to only €1 billion/day, down from €2 billion in June. We also have some bad news, which is that Europe's negative convexity ticking inflationary timebomb (why inflationary: Why Germany's TARGET2-Based Eurozone Preservation Mechanism Is Merely A Ticking Inflationary Timebomb), which guarantees that with every month in which nothing is done to undo the Buba's onboarding of liquidity risk, the risk for an out of control implosion of German, and implicitrly all European monetary institutions, rises exponentially, and just hit an all time high of €729 billion. To everyone who naively believes that a deus ex can come out of stage left and somehow reverse this guaranteed loss to German taxpayers (sorry: no free lunch) in the form of even more guaranteed inflation down the road, we suggest you short the chart below, somehow (and when you figure out how, let us know, so we can do the opposite).