China’s producers couldn’t get the prices they wanted anymore, as early as 4 years ago, and that’s where deflationary forces came in. No matter how much extra credit/debt was injected into the money supply, the spending side started to stutter. It never recovered.
Having detailed the "perverted nonsense" that is the collapsing and negative US swap spreads (here, here, here, and here) and noted money manager's concerns that the big question remains whether there is "something bigger brewing under the surface that so far hasn’t been pinpointed yet," it appears Goldman Sachs feels the need to 'explain' the anomaly in what appears an effort to calm fears about the broken money markets. Of course, we don’t have to figure out what the “market” is saying about a negative spread because it isn’t saying anything other than “something” is wrong and even Goldman admits this signals funding and balance sheet strains are worsening since August.
The market's reaction to today's FOMC Minutes was, to some, a little odd given the "December is on" hawkish narrative being sold to the public. Stocks rallied, longer-dated bonds rallied, gold managed gains, and the US Dollar sold off... not exactly the reaction one would expect from a 'hawkish' Fed statement. But there is one thing that would explain those moves... and it appears Goldman Sachs found it buried deep inside the 12 pages of Minutes...
As we noted previously, for the first time ever, primary dealers' corporate bond inventories have turned unprecedentedly negative. While in the short-term Goldman believes this inventory drawdown is probably a by-product of strong customer demand, they are far more cautious longer-term, warning that the "usual suspects" are not sufficient to account for the striking magnitude of inventory declines... and are increasingly of the view that "the tide is going out" on corporate bond market liquidity implying wider spreads and thus higher costs of funding to compensate for the reduction is risk-taking capacity.
There was a time when there were needs, and there were wants, and we knew the difference. Now? Now, no such boundaries exist. Your 4,000 Facebook friends should know if you can’t pay for your rent - or your plastic surgery. And who knows? They may just pay up.
China's exports fell for the fourth consecutive month in October as evidence of collapsing global demand and trade continues to pile up. “A lot of Westerners think this helped us out a lot. But the 2% depreciation actually hurt us. It was in every newspaper and customers called us within hours pushing for 6% discount, so we had to give them 4%."
Following the latest hedge fund underperformance, it is no longer possible to ignore the obvious:in the year in which central banks will unleash the greatest amount of liquidity in the "markets" in history, and where we have seen at least 77 easing steps taken by global central banks, hedge funds are poised to record their worst performance since 2011, according to JPM.
While we knew the quantitative answer to the biggest conundrum stumping economists, namely that Americans bought even more gas with their gas savings, we were missing the qualitative one. Courtesy of the NYT we now learn that not only did consumers not redirect their spending to other discretionary items, but engaged in an act that has stunned economists around the globe: they don’t just buy more gasoline; they bought more expensive gasoline!
The Fed has worked overtime since the 2008 crisis to produce a stability, a sense of normalcy in the economy and markets. It is a stable equilibrium now but almost any minor shock could change that dynamic for the worse and quickly. Widening credit spreads, Treasuries and gold outperforming stocks indicate that some parts of the market are already preparing for the storm. Stocks are about the only asset yet to batten down the hatches. If this is the calm before the storm, stock investors are about to get swept overboard.