The upcoming week comes less loaded with policy events. The only major one is the Eurogroup meeting on Monday, however EU officials have already confirmed that no decision on the next Greek aid tranche will be made before the Troika’s next report on Greece’s adherence to the bailout conditions. Greece has scheduled an auction for Tuesday in order to roll over €3.1 bn in T-bills expiring by the end of the week. Additionally, in the US, the President has invited leadership of both parties for a first round of talks on the fiscal cliff. The data calendars also look lighter, with the publication of the FOMC minutes on Wednesday, and US Philly Fed on Thursday.
Does China have what it takes to get from here (industrialized export economy) to there (sustainable growth, widespread prosperity)? The same can be asked of every nation: do they have what it takes to move beyond their current limitations to the next level? Consider corruption. Corruption isn't just a "values" issue: corrupt societies have corrupt economies, and these economies are severely limited by that corruption. A deeply, pervasively corrupt economy cannot get from here to there. Corruption acts as a "tax" on the economy, siphoning money from the productive to the parasitic unproductive Elites skimming the bribes, payoffs, protection money, unofficial "fees," etc. By definition, the money skimmed by corruption reduces the disposable income of households and enterprises, reducing their consumption and investment... Pull aside the curtain and what you find is a China crippled by corruption and debt.
If trying to explain why S&P futures are up another 9 points to 1417, and are now 25 ticks from the Monday night lows, there are so many catalysts: perhaps it was the European September unemployment rate rising to a new record of 11.6%, (Italy unemployment is now 10.8% up from 10.6% but it still has a way to go until it hits Spain's 25%) even as Consumer prices kept inflation at a steady 2.5% rate, or that French producer prices rose more than expected even as spending missed expectations, or that Spanish housing permits collapsed by 37.2% in August from July, or that Greek retail sales plunged by 7.2% Y/Y and the Greek 2013 economic outlook was cut in the latest budget with the budget deficit now seen at 5.2% from 4.2% before and that Greece now sees 189.1% debt/GDP in 2013 up from 175.6% in 2012, or that Japan just cut its economic outlook last night after its manufacturing PMI came at 46.9, the lowest since 2009 excluding Fukushima, or that UK consumer confidence printed -30, vs -28 last and the lowest since April, or that Taiwan slashed its 2012 GDP forecast from 1.66% to 1.05%, or that nothing has been resolved on the Greek labor reforms or the now two month overdue Troika bailout, or that insolvent Spain has still not requested a bailout, or that virtually every company that has reported revenues in the last two "dark days" missed expectations, or that US Mortgage applications tumbled 6% for its fourth straight weekly decline (government refi index down 5.5%, mortgage apps down 4.8%), or of course that Hurricane Sandy will cut both Q4 GDP and corporate profits (not to mention sales). Truly, there are so many reasons why the S&P has now soared since Apple announced the termination of its two key executives on Monday afternoon, one doesn't know where to start (and don't you dare say "window dressing"). Perhaps Kevin Henry would, but sadly his Bloomberg status is now "gray"...
It is cloudy out there as Sandy enters the mid-Atlantic region, although for all the pre-apocalypse preparations in New York, the Frankenstorm may just be yet another dud now that its landfall is expected to come sufficiently south of NYC to make the latest round of Zone 1 evacuations about overblown as last year's Irene hysteria (of course it will be a gift from god for each and every S&P company as it will provide a perfect excuse for everyone to miss revenues and earnings in Q4). That said, Wall Street is effectively closed today for carbon-based lifeforms if not for electron ones, and a quick look at the futures bottom line, which will be open until 9:15 am Eastern, shows a lot of red, with ES down nearly 10 ticks (Shanghai down again as the same old realization seeps day after day - no major easing from the PBOC means Bernanke and company is on their own) as the Friday overnight summary is back on again: Johnny 5 must defend 1400 in ES and 1.2900 in EURUSD at all costs for just two more hours.
UPDATE: Nigel Farage 'Must-See' rant on the' destruction of nation state democracy'
The need to convince any and all that will listen (and one's own self) that the Euro project must be preserved at all costs has never been so obviously politicized as the Nobel crony committee 'blessing' the European Union for bringing peace to a continent at war. While a laudable thing of itself, as JPMorgan's Michael Cembalest notes, by 1954, Germany had already become a stable, liberal, democratic society in one of the most amazing transformations in history given what preceded it ten years earlier. Whether the Marshall Plan helped this, it seems indisputable that conditions for a lasting peace in Europe were already in place by 1954. The notion that the Euro is needed to cement these gains appears to be more about the ambition of specific political movements in Europe/Brussels than anything else. The irony of the Nobel Peace Prize for Europe is that as shown below, it comes at a time of rising social stress, extremist politics, and a deterioration of trust in the very union that is supposed to be providing the social cement.
- Trade Slows Around World (WSJ)
- Debt limit lurks in fiscal cliff talks (FT)
- Welcome back to the eurozone crisis (FT, Wolfgang Munchau)
- Euro Leaders Face October of Unrest After September Rally (Bloomberg)
- Dad, you were right (FT)
- 25% unemployment, 25% bad loans, 5% drop in Industrial Production, and IMF finally lowers its 2013 Greek GDP forecast (WSJ)
- Global IPOs Slump to Second-Lowest Level Since Financial Crisis (Bloomberg)
- France's Hollande faces street protest over EU fiscal pact (Reuters)
- EU Working to Resolve Difference on Bank Plan, Rehn Says (Bloomberg)
- China manufacturing remains sluggish (FT)
- Samaras vows to fight Greek corruption (FT) ... and one of these days he just may do it
- Leap of Faith (Hssman)
- Germany told to 'come clean’ over Greece (AEP)
John Taylor, founder and CEO of the world's largest FX hedge fund, spoke with Bloomberg TV this morning and was his typically clarifying - if not sanguine - self when it comes to prospects in Europe and the US. Stating that he'll "probably always be a bear on the Euro", Taylor added that it is "hard to look at the European situation and see a cloudy sky become clear," and while there has been noisy swings in the movements of currencies of late, "the reason the euro is up is because the dollar is down - two guys have done this: Draghi and Bernanke." Ranging from FX to volatility, Taylor opines on the time-varying correlation of the weak euro with a strong US equity market and notes, however, that "the equity market is not showing any legs."
Scientific Paper: “The Fukushima Radioactive Plume Contaminated the Entire Northern Hemisphere During a Relatively Short PeriodSubmitted by George Washington on 09/18/2012 10:40 -0500
Nuclear News Roundup
- The bankers are coming: Banker Plan Would Fund Super-PACs to Sway U.S. Senate Elections (Bloomberg)
- Risk Increases of Prolonged World Slowdown, BOJ’s Miyao Says (Bloomberg)
- Spain Seeks to Stem Its Banking Crisis (WSJ)
- Deadly shooting mars new Quebec premier's victory rally (NBC)
- Democrats Keep Tax-Raising Focus On Top 2% Of Households (Bloomberg)
- Merkel Swings Into 2013 Election Mode Evoking Crisis, China (Bloomberg)
- Europe’s money market funds future in focus (FT)
- Pressure Mounts on ECB to Bring Down Bond Yields (Reuters)
- Swiss bank vows to hold franc down (FT)
- Australia economy still solid in Q2 despite GDP miss, but threats mount (Reuters)
- Clinton Brings to Beijing Plea for Maritime Solution (Bloomberg)
- The End of a 1,400-Year-Old Business (BusinessWeek)
The usual suspect, the all-powerful French nuclear industry?
- Romney Promises to 'Restore' U.S. (WSJ)
- Dirty Harry Makes Surprise Appearance (WSJ)
- It has always been about the gold: Time for eurozone to reach for the gold reserves? (FT)
- EU Plan Said to Give ECB Sole Power to Grant Bank Licenses (Bloomberg)
- More attempts to marginalize Germanty: Brussels pushes for wide ECB powers (FT)
- Justice may be blind but it has geographic limits: Apple Loses Patent Lawsuit Against Samsung in Japan (BBG)
- ECB Said to Use Greek Myth for Security on New Euro Banknotes (Bloomberg)
- Alberta deficit set to triple on slumping oil prices (Globe and Mail)
- Reid's ties to China-Nevada solar plan draw ire (Reuters)
- Bernanke may hint at QE without boxing Fed in (Reuters)
- Berezovsky loses against Abramovich (FT)
- Spain Considers Bankia Re-Capitalization Without EU Money (Bloomberg)
"The numbers are coming in and we are looking at them with a sense of amazement," is how the director of the Snow and Ice data center in Colorado describes the 'startlingly rapid rate' of melting at the Arctic Ice Cap this year. As Agence France Presse notes, if the melt stopped today, this would be the third lowest level of ice on record. Of course while this maybe terrible news for some; others are 'increasingly interested'. The thaw in the Arctic is rapidly transforming the geopolitics of the region, with the long-forbidding ocean looking more attractive to the shipping and energy industries. The first ship from China – the Xuelong, or Snow Dragon – recently sailed from the Pacific to the Atlantic via the Arctic Ocean, cutting the distance by more than 40%. Five nations surround the Arctic Ocean – Russia, which has about half of the coastline, along with Canada, Denmark, Norway and the United States – but the route could see a growing number of commercial players. Of course this 'benefit' of global warming appears to rely on the fact that there are people left to trade goods with.
- Australian minister says resources boom is over (Reuters)
- China dismisses reports of lost gold reserves (China Daily) - so China really did lose 80 tons of gold.
- Inconceivable: Former JPM CEO and Chairman William B Harrison Jr come out "In Defense Of Big Banks"
- Qantas Cancels 787 Order After Posting Annual Net Loss (Bloomberg)
- EU Official Says Crisis is Eroding Influence (WSJ)
- Greece Faces New Pressure on Cuts (WSJ)
- Philippines' black market is China's golden connection (Reuters)
- Hollande government responds to criticism (FT)
- LG Display Starts Touch Screens Output Before New IPhone (Bloomberg)
- Greek Crisis Evasion to Fore as Merkel Hosts Hollande in Berlin (Bloomberg)
- Stakes rise as US warned of double-dip (FT)
- Brazil’s Richest Woman Unmasked With $13 Billion Fortune (Bloomberg)
- Merkel's Dilemma: Risk Euro Zone or Her Government (WSJ)... as first suggest by ZH 2 months ago, with only one resolution: referendum
- Russia warns West over Syria after Obama threats (Reuters)
- Consider keeping Bernanke, Romney adviser Glenn Hubbard says (Reuters)... Glenn Hubbard is the star of the movie Inside Job
- Spain Deficit Goals at Risk as Cuts Consensus Fades (Bloomberg)
- Czech Austerity Revolt Threatens Cabinet as Slump Bites (Bloomberg)
- Greek cuts to be deeper than trailed (FT)
- Akin rebuffs Romney, Republican calls to quit Senate race (Reuters)
- Obama Leads Romney in Poll Showing Disdain for Congress (Bloomberg)
- Greece needs more time to reform, PM Samaras tells paper (Reuters)
- UK banks face scandal over toxic insurance products (Reuters)
- Iceland Shelves Monetary Tightening as Krona Seen Appreciating (Bloomberg)
- India Considers $35 Billion Debt Revamp After Biggest Blackout (Bloomberg)
- Oil hits 3-month high above $114 on supply concern (Reuters)
- G20 plans response to rising food prices (FT)
- First centrally planned FX, now real estate - SNB Seen Targeting Bank Capital to Curb Property Boom (Bloomberg)
- EU hedge funds face pay threat (FT)
- Euro-Area Crisis Has ‘No Obvious End in Sight,’ BOE’s King Says (Bloomberg)
- King urged to widen recovery measures (FT)
- All threats "dwarfed" by Iran nuclear work: Israel PM (Reuters)
- Obama campaign attacks Romney’s pick (FT)
- Romney, Ryan hit the road in an energized campaign (Reuters)
- Yellen Must Show How 12 Fed Opinions Become One Policy (Bloomberg)