"... When stocks are falling this much, it's hard to justify not acting"
"... Davos - where he mingled with central bankers such as ECB President Mario Draghi and leading company executives - likely prompted him to pull the trigger"
BofA Reports $21.3 Billion In Energy Exposure; Beats On EPS Despite Revenue Miss, Sliding Sales And TradingSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 01/19/2016 07:55 -0500
Here is what everyone wanted to know from BofA results: commercial net charge-offs increased $75MM compared to 3Q15, driven by losses in Energy, while the Allowance increased $144MM from 3Q15, driven by energy-related exposures and higher loan growth across the portfolio. Most importantly, BofA revealed its "Utilized Energy exposure of $21.3B ($1B traded products)", down $2.6 billion from a year ago. BofA also notes that the "higher risk sub-sectors of Oil Field Services and Exploration & Production comprise 39% of utilized energy exposure." NPLs increased $110MM from 3Q15, to $1.2 billion driven mostly by increases in Energy.
There were four things we mostly cared about in today's JPM earnings release, the first Wall Street bank to report Q4 results:i) how did the company's fixed income and equity trading revenue do; ii)what is the bank's credit exposure to energy/oil;iii) did the recent Fed hike do anything to boost the company's Net Interest Margin (this has been the primary catalyst for bank share upside), and iv) did JPM halt its practice of releasing reserves and start building reserves - a major inflection point when it comes to management expectations for future credit quality deterioration.
Just as we saw in the August collapse, US financial stocks appear to be facing the harsh reality that other markets already recognize. While US financial credit markets have been anything but exuberant for weeks, equity options markets have now turned their bullish backs on the banks as Bloomberg reports the ratio of bearish to bullish options on the S&P Financials ETF has climbed to the highest level in a year this week, reflects rising demand for protection against losses as NIM hopes collapse and Fed "error" probabilities increase.
Mario Draghi is on deck Thursday morning and market expectations could scarcely be higher. In fact, Draghi is widely expected to execute the Keynesian trifecta, i) a rate cut, ii) expansion of QE, and iii) extension of QE duration. The ECB has indeed gained a reputation for over-delivering, but as SocGen puts it, "with high expectations comes a high risk of disappointment."
Every day when you flip on the media, there is someone telling you that now is the time to "buy" into the market. Of course, if you are buying, then who is selling? The only "net buyers" of equities this year have been "individuals," while "professional" firms have been "net sellers." This is the epitome of the classic "smart money/dumb money" analysis where individuals are used by institutions to offload positions that are no longer optimal. The question is with corporate profits and earnings declining, weak economic data, and the threat of tighter monetary policy - will individuals once again be left "holding the bag" while institutions derisk portfolios in advance of the next decline?
To the extent the Federal Reserve decides to increase interest rates, it should be apparent that such a move would be inconsistent with their prior actions. In fact, it may likely be a desperate effort to re-load the monetary policy gun as opposed to a signal of domestic economic strength. Not only is this a departure from the past, this would lead many to question the Fed’s motives. It is worth keeping in mind that blind trust and confidence in the Fed has propelled many markets much higher than fundamentals justify. The bottom line is that NIM and the Taylor Rule-adjusted curve are both flashing warning signs of economic recession, while the traditional yield curve signal is waving the all clear flag.
If you thought we'd seen the depths of NIRP, think again because as Deutsche Bank notes, the ECB, Riksbank, SNB, and Nationalbank will likely dive further into the monetary Twilight Zone in the months ahead. Only when rates become negative enough to spark a depositor revolt will we have reached the "real" lower bound, but at that point, it will be far too late...
Back in February, we noted that NIRP had officially arrived in the US as JP Morgan announced it was preparing to charge some large institutional customers for deposits. This represented a kind of de facto (if not yet de jure) NIRP. Now, a combination of pinched margins and new regulations has led some of the largest financial institutions in the US to penalize corporate and institutional deposits on the way to instituting what amounts to a stealth version of negative interest rates.
While yesterday's JPM results missed from the top to the bottom, coupled with a surprising and aggressive deleveraging of the bank's balance sheet which has shrunk by over $150 billion in 2015 mostly on the back of a decline in deposits, Bank of America reported numbers which were largely the opposite when it printed a modest beat on both the top line with $20.9 billion in revenues (adjusted sales of $20.6Bn vs Exp. $20.5Bn), down $500 million from a year ago, and the bottom line: generating $0.35 in adjusted earnings in the quarter, 2 cents better than the $0.33 consensus estimate.
JPMorgan Misses Across The Board On Disappointing Earnings, Outlook; Stealthy Deleveraging ContinuesSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 10/13/2015 15:52 -0500
Maybe we now know why JPM decided to release results after market close instead of, as it always does, before the open: simply said, the results were lousy top to bottom, the company resorted to its old income-generating "gimmicks", it charged off far less in risk loans than many expected it would, and its outlook while hardly as bad as it was a quarter ago, was once again dour.
"They're Converging To Dire Levels!": SocGen's Edwards Delivers Critical Warning On Inflation ExpectationsSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 10/07/2015 17:00 -0500
"The collapse in inflation expectations tells us that the market believes the central banks, despite their monetary profligacy, are failing to prevent the western economies from turning Japanese, and thus at risk of repeating their devastating slide into outright deflation in the 1990s."
As WSJ reports, "Bank of America Corp. is expected to announce layoffs in its global banking and global markets unit as early as Tuesday, according to people familiar with the matter."
But but but... US economy is solid... curve will steepen... NIM... banks... bullish... buy... except that the market's perception of the credit risk in US financials is at 19-month wides. With counterparty risk rising, is it any wonder financial stocks are crashing?
"The risk could be that brokers may not be able to execute forced liquidations in case of sharp declines in the overall stock market. It can be positive if they are using the funds to develop new businesses but negative for China’s financial market if they keep lending out for margin financing."