These Fake Rallies Will End In Tears: "If People Stop Believing In Central Banks, All Hell Will Break Loose"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 06/24/2014 14:11 -0500
Investors and speculators face some profound challenges today: How to deal with politicized markets, continuously “guided” by central bankers and regulators? In this environment it may ultimately pay to be a speculator rather than an investor. Speculators wait for opportunities to make money on price moves. They do not look for “income” or “yield” but for changes in prices, and some of the more interesting price swings may soon potentially come on the downside. They should know that their capital cannot be employed profitably at all times. They are happy (or should be happy) to sit on cash for a long while, and maybe let even some of the suckers’ rally pass them by. As Sir Michael at CQS said: "Maybe they [the central bankers] can keep control, but if people stop believing in them, all hell will break loose." We couldn't agree more.
Judging by the surprising reversal in futures overnight, which certainly can not be attributed to the latest data miss out of Europe in the form of the June German IFO Business Climate report (print 109.7, Exp. 110.3, Last 110.4) as it would be naive to assume that centrally-planned markets have finally started to respond as they should to macro data, it appears that algos, with their usual 24 hour delay, have finally discovered Dubai on the map. The same Dubai, which as we showed yesterday had just entered a bear market in a few short weeks after going turbo parabolic in early 2014. It is this Dubai which crashed another 8% just today, as fears that leveraged traders are liquidating positions, have surfaced and are spreading, adversely (because in the new normal this needs to be clarified) to other risk assets, while at the same time pushing gold and silver to breakout highs. Recall that it was Dubai where the global sovereign crisis started in the fall of 2009 - will Dubai also be the place where the first domino of the global credit bubble topples and takes down the best laid plans of central-planners and men?
Social Media Advertising A Dud: 62% Of Americans Say "Social" Ads Have No Impact On Purchasing DecisionsSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 06/23/2014 07:40 -0500
One of the great "paradigms" of the New Normal tech bubble that supposedly differentiated it from dot com bubble 1.0 was that this time it was different, at least when it came to advertising revenues. The mantra went that unlike traditional web-based banner advertising which has been in secular decline over the past decade, social media ad spending - which the bulk of new tech company stalwarts swear is the source of virtually unlimited upside growth - was far more engaging, and generated far greater returns and better results for those spending billions in ad bucks on the new "social-networked" generation. Sadly, this time was not different after all, and this "paradigm" has also turned out to be one big pipe dream. According to the WSJ, citing Gallup, "62% of the more than 18,000 U.S. consumers it polled said social media had no influence on their buying decisions.
With Gen-X and Gen-Y out as buyers, who's left to scoop up the tens of trillions of dollars of Boomer assets at bubblicious prices? Given that other nations face the same demographic dilemma, the answer appears to be: no one.
Currently there is a great debate within the financial media on the who’s right – who’s wrong, as both sides stare at a financial market that seems to go ever higher with every morning bell. In actuality, it’s both, and neither. Currently the macro economy is being expressed via circumstances resulting from a myopic view of participation. i.e., The financial markets. All of those fundamental based principles have been annexed to what one solitary person will do – then say. That person was Ben Bernanke. Now it’s been codified via the markets recent reactions to Janet Yellen. All of those fundamental based principles have been annexed to what one solitary person will do – then say. That person was Ben Bernanke. Now it’s been codified via the markets recent reactions to Janet Yellen.
Many market participants are scratching their head as to whether the low VIX levels are an anomaly or some kind of utopian new normal. JPMorgan's Quant Derivatives shop warns the current environment is not similar to the great moderation of 2004-2007 as volatility appears to be disconnected from fundamentals and pressured by structural effects, including central bank intervention, low trading volumes, and pressure from option hedging. Crucially, based on an examination of 'gamma imbalances', the current (low) volatility regime may change significantly after the June expiry.
We discussed earlier that China does not have the capacity to feed itself as it simply doesn’t have enough fertile land in production to support its population’s growing food demand. Theoretically this is fixable. With a bit of time, patience, and technology, barren soil can be rehabilitated In other words, China doesn’t have enough enough productive land capacity to support its population. But the far greater issue is China’s massive freshwater deficiency.
What Obama wants, he appears to get. As AP reports, the U.S. Patent Office has ruled the Washington Redskins nickname is "disparaging of Native Americans" and that the team's federal trademarks for the name must be canceled. We note that this decision is based on the fact that 30% of Native Americans believed the term 'Redskins' to be disparaging (not a majority). Which leaves us questioning when the Federal Government will see the New York Giants as disparaging of tall people and The Oakland Raiders as disaparaging of pirates... welcome to the new normal. We wonder (rhetorically of course) if this latest Redskins escalation is supposed to distract from Ukraine, Iraq, Bergdahl, IRS, Benghazi, or approval ratings?
Fresno police have arrested a 64-year-old man suspected of cooking methamphetamine in his apartment at a retirement community. KFSN-TV reports Robert Short was pulled over as part of a routine traffic stop late Saturday and officers found meth in his car. Investigators then went to Short’s apartment in the California League-Fresno Village, where they found a half pound of meth, heroin and materials for a meth lab.
IMF Slashes US Growth Expectations; Pushes Higher Minimum Wage, Removing Tax Loopholes & Fiscal StimulusSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 06/16/2014 08:43 -0500
Who could have seen that coming? The IMF has slashed US growth expectations for 2014 from 2.8% to 2.0% (with 2015 hockey-sticking back to 3.0%) due to weather. The IMF also warned the Fed should be "mindful of financial stability," but that is not the most surprising aspect of the IMF's mea culpa as they plunge head first into policy decisions...
*IMF RECOMMENDS RAISING U.S. MINIMUM WAGE, ADDITIONAL U.S. INVESTMENT IN INFRASTRUCTURE, & LIMITING OR ENDING ITEMIZED TAX DEDUCTIONS
One wonders, rhetorically of course, if the IMF also pulled a "Polish Central Bank" and suggested that the US fire all Republicans in return for this suggestion; and we wonder how El-Nino is "priced-in" to this forecast.
In Explosive Scandal, Head Of Polish Central Bank Recorded Promising Assistance To Government If Minister FiredSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 06/15/2014 15:00 -0500
Yesterday, Polish magazine Wprost released a recording of a meeting between Interior Minister Bartlomiej Sienkiewicz and central bank Governor Marek Belka which took place in a Warsaw restaurant in July 2013. In the recording, Belka told the minister he would be willing to help the government out of its economic troubles if the finance minister was fired. And there goes the myth of impartial, apolitical central banks...
Now that Q2 is not shaping up to be much better than Q1, other, mostly climatic, excuses have arisen: such as El Nino, the California drought, and even suggestions that, gasp, as a result of the Fed's endless meddling in the economy, the terminal growth rate of the world has been permanently lowered to 2% or lower. What is sadder for economists, even formerly respectable ones, is that overnight it was none other than Tyler Cowen who, writing in the New York Times, came up with yet another theory to explain the "continuing slowness of economic growth in high-income economies." In his own words: "An additional explanation of slow growth is now receiving attention, however. It is the persistence and expectation of peace." That's right - blame it on the lack of war!
First it was JPM and Bank of America, now it is Citigroup's turn to confirm that in the New Normal, and especially with no volume to speak of, banks are nothing but piggybank utilities for the government to extract cash from whenever it so desires. From Bloomberg:
- U.S. SAID TO SEEK MORE THAN $10 BLN IN CITIGROUP MORTGAGE PROBE
- U.S. PROBE RELATES TO CITIGROUP'S MORTGAGE-BOND SALES
However, Citi appears less than excited at the prospect of paying $10 billion to buy itself out of trouble. In fact, as the price of justice is being negotiated, Citi has offered only 40 cents on the dollar to tip the scales of what is right and wrong under the Eric Holder regime. Sadly for it, the government wants more.
With 10Y yields trading below those of US Treasuries, asking the question of Spain's rising default risk seems risible but as Bloomberg's Maxime Sbaihi notes, the longer the euro flirts with deflation, the higher the risk that the heavily indebted (and becoming more so) countries will be tempted to default. Of course, this 'concern' is entirely ignored by the 'market' as Draghi has promised enough liquidity to soak up every short-dated bond but as the European Union's so-called "1/20 rule" suggests - requiring states to reduce excessive (over 60% Debt/GDP) by 1/20th every year or face a fine of 0.2% of GDP - Spain, it appears has 5 options to escape this vicious circle... and one of those is restructuring...
It appears the PBOC is hell-bent on destroying any trend idea for carry traders to jump on. After 4 days of strengthening the CNY... and sell-side strategists already jumping on the new trend bandwagon with trade recommendations, the PBOC surprised last night and weakened the currency fixing. It is clear from this action that the PBOC is serious about stopping the hot flows... the problem is, it has consequences. Last night saw China unable to sell its entire 1 year bond offering (even at a rate of 3.32% - dramatically higher than European or US short-dated debt). Copper prices have stumbled, USDJPY is fading and US equities doing the same for now as carry unwind butterflies flapping their wings in onshore CNY can cause hurricanes in global liquidity fed capital markets.