OpEx

Options Market "Crash" Indicator Hits Peak Panic, Surpasses Record Highs

Since we first exposed (and explained) the Black-sh Swan-link nature of the options market's Skew Index, the mainstream media has lept to various conclusions (from ignore it, like everything else, to 'wow'). However, what is crucial to comprehend is that the soaring Skew is occurring at the same time as a collapsing VIX. However, what we have seen over the last two days is somewhat unprecedented - VIX has continued to collapse into option expiration (and we know the pattern that occurs after opex) as SKEW has soared to new all-time record highs.

Buying Panic Fizzles As Option Expiration Looms

In the absence of any key economic developments in the Asian trading session, Asian stocks traded mostly under the influence of the late, pre-opex US ramp momentum courtesy of another day of ugly economic data in the US (bad econ news is good news for liquidity addicts), closing solidly in the green across the board, led by China (+1.6%) and Japan (+1.1%) thanks in no small part to the latest tumble in the Yen carry trade, which mirrored a bout of USD overnight weakness. And since a major part of the risk on move yesterday was due to Ewald Nowotny's comments welcoming more QE, news from Eurostat that Eurozone CPI in September dropped -0.1% confirming Europe's deflation continues, should only be greeted with even more buying as it suggests further easing by the ECB is inevitable.

Crude Carnage Continues As Goldman Warns "Storage Is Running Out"

WTI Crude is back below $45 again this morning - pressing towards 2015 and cycle lows -after Goldman Sachs' Jeffrey Currie warns 'lower for longer' is here to stay, with price risk "substantially skewed to the downside." His reasoning are manifold, as detailed below, but overarching is oversupply (Saudi Arabia has a challenge in Asia as it battles to maintain mkt share, the Russians are coming, andother OPEC members want a bigger slice) and, even more crucially, storage is running out. As Currie concludes, this time it is different. Financial metrics for the oil industry are far worse.

And The Market Breaks (Again)...

With VIX having collapsed earlier (and its term structure inverted) ahead of this week's OPEX, as risk started to increase, BATS &NYSE just declared self-help against the CBOE...

"Calm Reigns" Everywhere As Greece Inches Closer To Default, China Crashes

European shares remain higher, close to intraday highs, with the autos and travel & leisure sectors outperforming and basic resources, utilities underperforming. Meeting of finance officials to reach a deal over Greek aid ended in frustration, forcing leaders to call for an emergency summit for Monday. ECB plans to hold an emergency session of its Governing Council on Friday to discuss a deterioration in liquidity at Greek banks, three people familiar said. German airwave auction raises $5.7b to top 2010 sale. Bank of Japan leaves monetary policy unchanged as forecast. Shanghai Composite Index capped its worst weekly decline in seven years.

Valuing (Greek) Banks: A Sum-Of-The-Parts Approach

Traditional banks were built to gather deposits. Their design and infrastructure is geared towards that; they are maladapted to today’s interest rate environment. P2P platforms and other non-bank lenders are eating their lunch. Absent some radical rethinking of their operations model, they are about to go the way of the dodo. Of course, markets are not efficient; it will take time for competitors to move in. Traditional banks, however, have few weapons to fend them off: their brands (much less valuable for loan-origination than for deposit-gather purposes) and their (hugely expensive) legacy infrastructure. It took almost a century for the dodo bird to become extinct.

Stocks Slide - Give Up "Europe Is Fixed" Gains

With OPEX out of the way, the indices are free to trade on anxiety and reality... and have now given up all the post-"Greek Talks Fail" gains... WTI Crude and Treasury yields are plunging.

Greek Deal "Unlikely" Friday Night, EU Official

While markets remain in "well it is Europe and it's OPEX so BTFD" mode, entirely ignorant of what Goldman describes as the risk of a systemic shock, the EU-Greece negotiations continue... to go badly. As Bloomberg reports:

*EU OFFICIAL SAYS GREECE DEAL FRIDAY NIGHT LOOKING UNLIKELY

In fact, the official dropped his expectations so low as to say "it is possible that they could agree on progress." Which at least is one better than the no-progress meeting last week.