New Normal

Why Oil Is Tumbling: Oil Hedges Were Just Rolled Over

Wwith oil volatility surging in recent months, oil producers needed to take advantage of a rally, technical or otherwise, and an oil vol lull to reestablish hedges, even if it meant at far lower prices than recent benchmarks.  This is precisely what happened in the past week following one of the most torrid surges in the price of oil seen in recent years.

BlackRock, The Stock Market, & The Alleged Evils Of "Volatility"

We would argue the main reason for Blackrock’s attempt to persuade the exchanges to adopt its recommendations on trading halts is that Blackrock itself is inconvenienced by downside volatility. Presumably the company is no stranger to leverage (how else can it squeeze out large returns with a portfolio this large in a ZIRP world?) and is therefore forced to exercise stop loss orders itself when the market declines fast. Such attempts to “regulate” everything, even the price swings markets are allowed to make, are attempts to stem oneself against nature.

Bernanke: The Courage To Print - Reading Between The Lies

The Fed needs to extricate itself from manipulating the financial markets. It needs to end backstopping market liquidity. It must never again print Trillions of new “money” out of thin air. Because so long as the marketplace perceives that the markets are "too big to fail", there will be speculative excess, major securities markets mispricings and Bubble fragilities. No one – average investor or sophisticated financial operator – has a clue as to the degree Fed policies have distorted asset prices.

How Much Longer Can Our Unaffordable Housing Prices Last? (Spolier Alert: Not Much)

This globalization of regional housing markets is pricing the middle class out of housing in areas that also happen to be strong job markets. Many commentators are concerned that a nation of homeowners is being transformed into a nation of renters, as housing is snapped up by hedge funds and wealthy elites fleeing China and the emerging markets. But will current conditions continue unchanged going forward?

It's Time For Negative Rates, Fed's Kocherlakota Hints

If you’re a fan of dovish policymakers who are committed to Keynesian insanity, you can always count on Minneapolis Fed chief Narayana Kocherlakota who is out today with the latest hint that NIRP is coming to America.

China Opens Weaker Than Expected After Goldman Downgrade And "Mirage Of A New Dawn" Warnings

After a "no change" statement from The BoJ, today's dismal Japanese data was terrible enough to be great news in the new normal as August machine orders drop the most in at least a decade and stocks, USDJPY dipped and ripped. However, it was the China open that investors waited for (after China shares rising 10% in US trading, and CNH strengthening on lower than expected reported outflows) as Goldman slashed its 12m target for Chinese stocks, and Bocom's chief strategist (who called the boom and the bust) says "rally is mirage of new dawn, volume is dying, sell the rallies." PBOC fixed the Yuan at its strongest in 2 months and while Chinese stocks opened up notably it was less than US ADRs suggested (CSI +4% vs ASHR +9.5%).

Q3 Earnings Bloodbath Continues With Terrible Monsanto Results: Company Fires 2,600 As It Boosts Buyback

It had been quite a downcast start to the third quarter earnings season following very disappointing earnings from Illumina, Adobe and Yum Brand. Then Moments ago agri-giant Monsanto made it four out of four when it reported absolutely terrible results, cut guidance, but at least announced a new $3 billion stock buyback, one that will soak up all the company's net cash flow. The cost of all of this: some 2,600 worker terminations.

Futures Jump Despite BOJ Disappointment, Weak Earnings Offset By Commodities Levitation

The big overnight story was certainly the BOJ's announcement at 11pm Eastern whether or not the Japanese central bank would boost QE. This is how we previewed it: "now all eyes to the BOJ when tonight around 11pm Eastern, Japan's central bank is expected do and say precisely... nothing." Sure enough, nothing is precisely what the BOJ delivered, leading to a big, if brief tumble in the USDJPY suggesting many were expecting at least a little tip from the BOJ.

"Everyone's Praying But No One's Believing" - The 'Fed Put' Is Dead

Yellen’s detailed speech initially triggered an out-sized market reaction.  Unfortunately, it was mainly due to shallow market depth and weak-hand positions. Yellen’s speech should quickly begin to hurt over-priced financial assets. Yellen’s speech was the first time I can ever remember a Federal Reserve Chairperson commenting that inappropriate risk-taking might be undermining financial stability.  This is explicit confirmation that the Fed’s aim of lifting asset prices in the hopes they bolster broader economic activity has reached the end of its useful life.  Barring a financial or economic disaster, the ‘Fed put’ has been put out to pasture.

Weekend Reading: Fed Confusion

The current surge in dis-inflationary pressures is not just due to the recent fall in oil prices, but rather a global epidemic of slowing economic growth. While Janet Yellen addressed this "disinflationary" wave during her post-meeting press conference, the Fed still maintains the illusion of confidence that economic growth will return shortly. Unfortunately, this has been the Fed's "Unicorn" since 2011 as annual hopes of economic recovery have failed to materialize. However, it is these ongoing views of optimism that have collided with economic realities.

The Worst Part Is Central Bankers Know Exactly What They Are Doing

The best position for a tyrant or tyrants to be in, at least while consolidating power, is tyranny by proxy. That is to say, the most dangerous tyrants are those the people do not recognize: the tyrants who hide behind scarecrows and puppets and faceless organizations. The worst position for the common citizen to be in is a false sense of security and understanding, operating on the assumption that tyrants do not exist or that potential tyrants are really just greedy fools acting independently from one another. Being the clever tyrants that they are, the members of the central banking cult hope you are too stupid or too biased to grasp the concept of conspiracy. If you cannot identify the agenda, you can do nothing to interfere with the agenda.

Petrobras Default Looms Under $90B Dollar-Denominated Debt

There is blood on the streets wherever you look in Brazil today, but probably of most interest to the hundreds of US asset managers (the ones managing your mutual funds) is what happens to Petrobras as it remains so widely held. As we noted below, bond prices are collapsing and default risk is soaring, and with the nation's currency collapsing amid the lower-for-longer oil prices, $90 billion of dollar-denominated debt could soon potentially be too burdensome for the company to repay.