Nomura

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Meanwhile In China...





China continues to be stuck between an external hot money flows rock and a contracting economy and unstable banking sector hard place... Thanks to the G-0 central planners, the PBOC's hands are now tied: if it injects more hot money or lowers the interest rate the inflation on the margins, which it has so far been able to mask will spill over into the streets in a repeat of 2011, and force an even more epic scramble for inflation protection than the one seen two years ago, and which led to gold rising to just shy of $2000. Naturally, at a time when the central planners have gone all in on precipitating the Great Rotation out of bonds and into stocks at all costs, a re-exodus into gold might just end the Keynesian experiment. So the China central bank has that to contend with as well.Which means one thing: in reality Chinese credit and liquidity is in far worse shape than reported. And sure enough, over the past 24 hours we got news courtesy of Bloomberg that the "China Liquidity Squeeze Risks Companies’ Debt Rollover" leading to what may be the first harbinger of a Chinese bank failure which may subsequently lead to a whole lot of dominoes falling.

 
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Stephen Roach: "The American Consumer Is Not Okay"





The spin-doctors are hard at work talking up America’s subpar economic recovery. All eyes are on households. Thanks to falling unemployment, rising home values, and record stock prices, an emerging consensus of forecasters, market participants, and policymakers has now concluded that the American consumer is finally back. Don’t believe it. In short, the American consumer’s nightmare is far from over. Spin and frothy markets aside, the healing has only just begun.

 
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Japan Central Bank Admits Sending Schizophrenic Signals To Market As JGB Liquidity "Evaporates"





It doesn't take an Econ Ph.D to realize that what Japan is trying to do: which is to recreate the US monetary experiment of the past four years, which has had rising stocks and bonds at the same time, the first due to the Fed's endless monetary injections (and pent up inflation expectations) and the second due to quality collateral mismatch and scarcity and shadow bank system funding via reserve currency "deposit-like" instruments such as TSYs, is a problem. After all, those who understand that the BOJ is merely taking hints from the Fed all along the way, have been warning about just that, and also warning that once the dam breaks, and if (or when) there is a massive rotation out of bonds into stocks, it is the Japanese banks - levered to the gills with trillions of JGBs - that will crack first. Apparently, this elementary finance 101 logic has finally trickled down to the BOJ, whose minutes over the weekend revealed that members are pointing out "contradictions" in the Kuroda-stated intent of doubling the monetary base in two years, unleashing inflation, sending the stock market soaring, all the while pressuring bondholders to not sell their bonds. As the FT reports, "According to the minutes of the April 26 policy meeting, released on Monday, a “few” board members said the BoJ’s original stance “might initially have been perceived by market participants as contradictory”, causing “fluctuations in financial markets”.

 
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Frontrunning: May 28





  • ‘Cov-lite’ loans soar in dash for yield (FT)
  • Cambodian police clash with thousands of garment workers, 23 hurt (Reuters)
  • Obama Accepting Sequestration as Deficit Shrinks (BBG)
  • Having done nothing to restore confidence in a fragmented market, the SEC turns back to main street fraud (WSJ)
  • Europe's austerity-to-growth shift largely semantic (Reuters)
  • Germany thwarts EU in China solar fight (FT)
  • In EU-China dispute, Beijing warns of trade  (FT)
  • U.S. Oil Boom Divides OPEC (WSJ)
  • Record Cash Sent to Balanced Funds (BBG)
  • Hilsenrath: Fed Wrestles With Market Expectations About Pace of QE (WSJ)
  • Worse-Than-Cyprus Debt Load Means Caribbean Defaults to Moody’s (BBG)
  • States Raise College Budgets After Years of Deep Cuts (WSJ)
  • U.K. Banks Cut 189,000 With Employment at Nine-Year Low (BBG)
 
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Quiet Overnight Action On America's Day Off





With US markets taking a day off today for Memorial Day, liquidity will be even more sporadic than usual, and any sharp moves will be that much more accentuated, although such a likelihood is minimal with all US traders still in the Hamptons. In an otherwise very quiet overnight session, perhaps the most notable move was that of the USDJPY, which continues to be "strangely attracted" to the 101 line although selling pressure is certainly to the downside, with a downside breakout quite possible, however that would lead to an early and very unpleasant end to Abe's latest 'experiment' (to quote Weidmann). The Nikkei225 already closed down 470 points, or 3.22%, as Mrs. Watanabe's faith in the market, seems to be fading with every passing day.

 
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Richard Koo Warns Of "Beginning Of The End" For Japanese Economy





The surge in Japanese long-term interest rates is likely causing some lost sleep among bond market participants and policymakers (despite their ignorance of the moves in the BoJ minutes) as Nomura's Richard Koo notes, if this trend continues (now added to by the collapse in stock prices) it could well mark the “beginning of the end” for the Japanese economy. Although the stock market has (until now) welcomed the yen’s continued slide against the dollar, Koo warns that this trend needs to be carefully monitored, as simultaneous declines in JGBs and the yen can be interpreted as a loss of faith in the Japanese government and the Bank of Japan. The biggest concerns are that the extreme volatility in Japanese stocks and bonds is occurring at a time when the BOJ was buying large quantities of government bonds. It is now clear that even large-scale BOJ purchases of JGBs cannot stop yields from rising. Simply put, Koo notes, the BoJ needs to rein itself in and state it will not stand for overshooting inflation expectations or the 'bad' rise in rates could crush both the nascent recovery and the nation's banking system.

 
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Frontrunning: May 15





  • Once a beacon, Obama under fire over civil liberties (Reuters)
  • Eurozone in longest recession since birth of currency bloc (FT)
  • EU Oil Manipulation Probe Shines Light on Platts Pricing Window (BBG)
  • BMWs Cheaper Than Hyundais in Korea as Tariffs Crumble (BBG)
  • Stock Boom Isn't a Bubble, Says BOJ's Kuroda (WSJ)
  • Struggling France strives to shake off economic gloom (FT)
  • JPMorgan investors take heat off Dimon (FT)
  • Private-Equity Firms Build Instead of Buy (WSJ)
  • Bloomberg Saga Highlights Clash Between Two Worlds (WSJ)
  • Bank documents portray Cyprus as Russia's favorite haven (Reuters)
  • HSBC Signals 14,000 Jobs Cuts in $3 Billion Savings Plan (BBG)
  • Argentines Hold More Than $50 Billion in U.S. Currency (BBG)
 
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Overnight Yen Tumble Sends Asia Scrambling To Retaliate





The main story overnight is without doubt the dramatic plunge in the Yen, which following the breach and trigger of USDJPY 100 stops has been a straight diagonal line to the upper right (or lower for the Yen across all currency crosses) and at last check was approaching 101.50, in turn sending the USD higher in virtually all jurisdictions. However it is not so much the Yen weakness that was surprising - a nation hell bent on doubling its monetary base in two years will do that - but the accelerating response in neighboring countries all of which are seeing Japan as the biggest economic threat suddenly and all are scrambling to respond. Sure enough, midway through the evening session, Sri Lanka cut its reverse repo and repurchase rate to 9% and 7% respectively, promptly followed by Vietnam cutting its own refinancing rate from 8% to 7%, then moving to Thailand where the finance chief Kittiratt called for a rate cut exceeding 25 bps, and more jawboning from South Korea suggesting even more rate cuts from the export-driven country are set to come as it loses trade competitiveness to Japan. Asian financial crisis 2.0 any minute now?

 
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Frontrunning: April 29





  • Gold Bears Defy Rally as Goldman Closes Short Wager (BBG)
  • Still stuck on central-bank life support (Reuters)
  • Ebbing Inflation Means More Easy Money (BBG)
  • So much for socialist wealth redistribution then? François Hollande to woo French business with tax cut (FT)
  • Billionaires Flee Havens as Trillions Pursued Offshore (BBG)
  • Companies Feel Pinch on Sales in Europe (WSJ)
  • Brussels plan will ‘kill off’ money funds (FT)
  • Danes as Most-Indebted in World Resist Credit (BBG)
  • Syria says prime minister survives Damascus bomb attack (Reuters)
  • Syria: Al-Qaeda's battle for control of Assad's chemical weapons plant (Telegraph)
  • Nokia Betting on $20 Handset as It Loses Ground on IPhone (BBG)
  • Rapid rise of chat apps slims texting cash cow for mobile groups (FT)
  • Calgary bitcoin exchange fighting bank backlash in Canada (Calgary Herald)
 
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Frontrunning: April 25





  • UK economy shows 0.3% growth (FT)
  • Texas University Fund Sold $375 Million in Gold Bars (BBG)
  • Spain Jobless Rate Breaches 27% on Recession Woes (BBG)
  • Letta calls for easing of austerity policies (FT)
  • Italy Led by Letta Brings Berlusconi Back as Winner (BBG)
  • Fed Debate Moves From Tapering to Extending Bond Buying (BBG)
  • South Korea wants talks with North on shuttered industrial zone (Reuters)
  • Republicans advance bill to prepare for debt ceiling fight (Reuters)
  • Republicans claim White House failed to warn on severity of cuts (FT)
  • Xi meets former US heavyweights (China Daily)
  • Next BoE chief Carney says clear framework key to policy success (Reuters)
  • Chinese roll out red carpet for Hollande (FT)
 
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Italy's Monte Paschi Got A Sovereign Bailout To Avoid Being Corzined





Those who think back to November 2011 will recall that it wasn't Jon Corzine's wrong way bet on Italian bonds that ultimately led to the bankruptcy of MF Global, well it did in part, but the real Chapter 11 cause was the sudden liquidity shortage due to the way the trades were structured as a Repo To Maturity, where the bank had hoped to collect the carry from the bond coupons, thereby offsetting the nominal repo cost of funding. The kind of deal which is the very definition of collecting pennies in front of a steamroller, as while the funding cost may be tiny and the capital allocated negligible (due to the nearly infinite implied leverage involved when using repo), when the underlying instrument crashes, and the originating counterparty has to fund a massive variation margin shortfall, that is when the shadow transformation cascade triggers an immediate liquidity crisis, which can result in liquidation cascade in a few brief hours. It happened with MF Global, it happened with Lehman too. And, we now learn, it also happened with Italy's most troubled and oldest bank, Monte Paschi (BMPS), whose endless bailouts, political intrigue, depoit runs, and cooked books have all been covered extensively here previously.

 

 
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Japan's Inflation Propaganda And Why The BoJ Better Hope It's Not Successful





The existing (and ongoing) massive expansion of base money into the banking systems of the US, England, and Japan is without precedent. As Nomura's Richard Koo notes, at 16x statutory reserves, the liquidity 'should' have led to unprecedented inflation rates of 1,600% in the US, 970% in the UK, and 480% in Japan. However, it has not, yet. In short, Koo explains, businesses and households in these economies have stopped borrowing money even though interest rates have fallen to zero. There is little physical or mechanical reason for the BOJ’s easing program to work. But the program could also have a psychological impact - and Japanese media is on an 'inflation' full-court press currently. The risk here is that not only borrowers but also lenders will start to believe the lies. No financial institutions anticipating inflation could ever lend money at current interest rates. No actual damage will be done as long as the easing program remains ineffective. But once it starts to affect psychology, the BOJ needs to quickly reverse the policy and bring the monetary base back to 'normal'. If the policy reversal is delayed, the Japanese economy (and inflation) could spiral out of control.

 
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Overnight Sentiment: Attempting A Rebound





Following yesterday's most recent Europe-led rout, the market is attempting a modest rebound, driven by the usual carry funding currency pair (EURUSD and USDJPY) levitation, although so far succeeding only modestly with not nearly enough overnight ramp to offset the bulk of yesterday's losses. In a centrally-planned, currency war-waging world, it is sad that only two key FX pairs matter in setting risk levels. But it is beyond hypocritical and highly ironic that according to a draft, the G-20 will affirm a commitment to "avoid weakening their currencies to gain an advantage for their exports." So the G-20 issues a statement saying nobody is doing it, when everyone is, thus making it ok to cheapen your exports into "competitiveness"? In other words, if everyone lies, nobody lies. Of course, also when everyone eases, nobody eases, and the world is back to square one. But that will only become clear eventually.

 
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Frontrunning: April 17





  • Boston bomb probe looking at pressure cooker, backpacks (Reuters), Boston Bomb Clues Surface (WSJ) Forensic Investigators Discover Clues to Boston Bombing (BBG)
  • China local authority debt ‘out of control’ (FT)
  • Gold Wipes $560 Billion From Central Banks as Equities Rally (BBG)... or the same impact a 2% rise in rates would have on the Fed's balance sheet
  • More Wall Street leakage: Stock Surge Linked to Lobbyist (WSJ)
  • China's bird flu death toll rises to 16, government warns of spread (Reuters)
  • Chinese official endorses monetary easing (FT)
  • As global price slumps, "Abenomics" risks drive Japan gold bugs (Reuters)
  • North Korea rejects US call for talks (FT)
  • IMF Renews Push Against Austerity (WSJ)
  • India Gains as Gold Plunge Boosts Scope for Rate Cuts (BBG)
  • Germany set to approve Cyprus aid (FT)
  • Easing Is an Issue as G-20 Meets (WSJ)
 
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Frontrunning: April 16





  • Investigators hunt for clues in marathon bombing (Reuters)
  • Investigators scour video, photos for Boston Marathon bomb clues (Reuters)
  • 'Act of Terror' Kills at Least Three, Injures About 140 as Bombs Wreak Carnage on Marathon Crowd (WSJ)
  • Brent Crude Below $100 (WSJ)
  • Slower China Growth Signals Days of Miracles Are Waning (WSJ)
  • Central Banks at Ease Limit Risk Political Backlash (BBG)
  • Merkel plans to quit midterm, says author (FT)
  • Monte Paschi Prosecutors Seize $2.3 Billion of Nomura Assets (Businessweek)
  • Treasuries back on investors’ buy lists (FT)
  • J.C. Penney Said to Seek Ways to Separate Real Estate for Cash (BBG)
  • Climate scientists struggle to explain warming slowdown (Reuters)
  • Putin Calls for Stimulus Plan After Recession Alarm (BBG)
  • TIPS in Longest Selloff Since ’08 as U.S. Bancorp Cuts (BBG)
 
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