It is becoming clear that the House is splitting off from the Senate negotiations (especially after Rep.Paul Ryan's comments that the "Senate Plan is not enough" and as Robert Costa reports, there is a bill emerging that has a little (maybe not enough) for everyone - "CR + DL + med device + income verification + Vitter language." Obama appears to be demanding more concessions in his "unconditional surrender or default" strategy as tells McConnell that Treasury needs flexibility (i.e. as we approach the next debt ceiling deadline - assuming this one is passed - the Treasury should be allowed to tinker with things to keep the ball rolling). Equity markets are growing more nervous - especially in light of the fact that being this close to the edge, a well-meaning politician looking to make a name for him- or her-self could filibuster the US past the X-date with nothing to be done about it. The biggest issue is that with much negotiation and debate obviously left on the table, there is a hard limit in just over 36 hours, a timeframe that is becoming increasingly unfeasible and which implies a breach of the X-Date - if even briefly - is very much possible. What is worse, is that since nothing immediately bad would happen on October 17 with no deal, that the GOP can further protract negotiations in an attempt to force Obama's hand to yield some additional compromise.
If mere hope of an "imminent" deal starting on Thursday and continuing through Monday, with no actual deal but who cares about details, was enough to push the DJIA up by 600 points, then all it would take to set a new record market high today, is for another day to pass - one day before the October 17 X-Date when one Senator can filibuster the US through the deadline on their own, and when the House still has to have a voice on what the Senate has been doing - without an actual debt deal. After all, the market is so "centrally-planned" all that is needed is knowledge that Bernanke will get to work, and is getting to work to the tune of $85 billion a month, mixed in with some hope. And with today's "market for idiots" facilitating POMO of over $5 billion which guarantees a green close, all that is needed is a complete failure in talks for the SPX to go limit up on even more hopes things will be fine any second now... if not right now.
There are two characteristics of a currency that make it useful in international trade: one, it is issued by a large trading nation itself, and, two, the currency holds its value vis-à-vis other commodities over time. These two factors create a demand for holding a currency in reserve. Of course, psychological factors entered the demand for dollars, too, since the US was seen as the military protector of all the Western nations against the communist countries for much of the post-war period. Today we are seeing the beginnings of a change. The Fed has been inflating the dollar massively, reducing its purchasing power in relation to other commodities, causing many of the world’s great trading nations to use other monies upon occasion. President Obama’s imminent appointment of career bureaucrat Janet Yellen as Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board is evidence that the US policy of continuing to cheapen the dollar via Quantitative Easing will continue. As we noted before, nothing lasts forever... (especially in light of China's earlier comments)
After a two-day, five hundred point Dow Jones rally on nothing but hope that just because politicians are talking, all shall be well, it was the weekend's turn, when the market is conveniently closed, for true Congressional colors to emerge. Sure enough, moments ago Boehner told GOP lawmakers that Obama has "rejected our deal", and that talks with the president have hit an impasse. The WSJ, whose recent poll in conjunction with NBC found Republican approval rating at an all time low (because if the debt ceiling slams shut, the machinery that funds both the "wealth effect" for the 0.01% and the 60 million on foodstamps and disability will cease: or in other words a bust for the ultra wealthy and poor, if not quite so bad for what's left of the middle class) reports that his comments, in a closed-door meeting with House Republicans, put renewed focus on a plan being developed by Senate Republicans to raise the U.S. debt ceiling and fully reopen the government. As we speculated, Obama, smelling blood, has decided to shut down the GOP on all their demands: "On Saturday, a House GOP aide said Mr. Obama had essentially rejected everything offered by House Republican leaders in their proposal." Which is hardly a negotiation. The question is will the GOP, having pushed the country so far, decide to back off now, and let Obama take all the spoils?
Pulling from an extensive record of public speeches and FOMC meeting transcripts, Goldman Sachs reviews Fed Chair-nominee Janet Yellen's views on a number of policy-relevant issues.
U.S. Debt Limit To Be Raised For 18th Time In 20 Years - Gold Vulnerable Short Term But Real Record High LikelySubmitted by GoldCore on 10/11/2013 11:05 -0500
The dangerous habit of politicians and governments continually ‘kicking the can down the road’ cannot go on indefinitely. Eventually, the ramifications of this profligacy will be clear to all.
Yet another increase in the debt ceiling and the increasingly parabolic nature of the rise in U.S. government debt will be very supportive of gold in the medium and long term.
- Dot Com part deux: Investors are showing increasing hunger for initial public offerings of unprofitable technology companies (WSJ)
- Poll Finds GOP Blamed More for Shutdown (WSJ)
- House, Senate Republicans Offer Competing Plans on Debt-Limit, Government Shutdown (WAPO)
- Obama, Republicans aim to end crisis after meeting, hurdles remain (Reuters)
- US Rethinks How to Release Sensitive Economic Data (WSJ)
- Chinese East Oil Fuels Fresh China-US Tensions (WSJ)
- ECB Agrees on Swap Line With PBOC as Trade Increases (BBG)
- China September Auto Sales Surge 21% on Japanese Rebound (BBG)
- JPMorgan Taps Taxpayer-Backed Banks for Basel Rules (BBG)
Despite stock (not bond) euphoria yesterday that a DC debt ceiling deal was sealed leading to the second largest risk ramp of 2013, last night was spent diffusing the excitement as one after another politician talked back the success of a "non-deal" that Obama rejected, at least according to the NYT. As a result, with both retail sales data and the PPI not being released (and the only data of note the always leaked UMichigan consumer confidence) markets will again be at the behest of developments on Capitol Hill, with some talk from Republicans suggesting a deal as early as today could be possible in an effort to reopen government on Monday. It is entirely possible that talks could continue over the weekend though, which would ensure a gappy open to Asian markets on Monday.
UPDATE: The Day in Washington in 2 minutes added
In what can at best be described as a "fluid" situation, one in which according to initial press reports the White House and the GOP couldn't even compromise on what had actually been said, it seems that while both sides are eager to move on with the debt ceiling extension, the GOP is still hoping in trying to preserve some political capital, of which it will be left with virtually nil if it caves to every last demand by the democrats, namely "reopen the government and then we can negotiate" losing all leverage in the process. And a loss of all capital and leverage is precisely what the GOP will "achieve" according to Politico, which clarified that "House Republicans told Obama that they could reopen the federal government by early next week if the president and Senate Democrats agree to their debt-ceiling proposal" - a proposal which Obama has already said he would accept. In other words, full capitulation by Boehner appears imminent. Politico adds: "President Barack Obama and House Republicans clashed in a meeting Thursday afternoon over how soon the government can be reopened, even as the GOP offered to lift the debt limit for six weeks, according to sources familiar with the session. Aides will continue the discussion through the night to see if they could find common ground on how to move forward on the debt limit and government funding."
It would appear that the two sides cannot even compromise of what was said the compromise talks.
- *REPUBLICAN RYAN SAYS OBAMA `DIDN'T SAY YES, DIDN'T SAY NO'
- *REPUBLICAN ROGERS SAYS OBAMA TOLD LAWMAKERS TO END SHUTDOWN
- *WHITE HOUSE STATEMENT SAYS PRESIDENT SEES `PROGRESS' ON DEBT
- *REPUBLICANS SAY NO FINAL DECISIONS MADE IN WHITE HOUSE MEETING
- *DEBT TALKS TO CONTINUE INTO THE NIGHT: REPUBLICAN STATEMENT
“Well, he didn’t say yes. He didn’t say no,” Ryan said. “We’re continuing to negotiate this eventing,” Ryan said.
UPDATE: S&P Futures recover most of their losses following new reports, denials, and clarifications that Obama did not in fact "reject" but that discussions are and will be ongoing during the night. Most importantly, the meeting was inconclusive, which however seems good enough for stocks which have rebounded to pre-drop levels.
S&P futures are now over 15 points off the day's highs, as it seems equity investors were hoping for a Cumbaya moment after the White House meeting today. However, as Bloomberg reports,
*BOEHNER, REPUBLICANS LEAVES OBAMA MEETING WITHOUT SPEAKING TO REPORTERS and *OBAMA REJECTS REPUBLICAN PROPOSAL FOR SHORT-TERM PLAN: NYT
It would seem that Obama's "unconditional surrender or default" position has merely placed the pressure to act back on Boehner's shoulders. Rep. Cantor:"we expect further talks tonight" keeps the dream alive.
- The ice breaks; fiscal talks set (The Hill); Ryan steps up to shape a deal (The Hill), as predicted here yesterday
- Republicans consider short-term U.S. debt ceiling increase (Reuters)
- Shutdown Standoff Shows Signs of a Thaw (WSJ)
- JPMorgan Clients in Cash as Schwab’s Options Hedge Default (BBG)
- Mitch McConnell, Senate GOP search for way out (Politico)
- Meredith Whitney Winds Down Brokerage Unit After Setting Up Fund (BBG)
- Washington Budget Chaos Keeps Fed Rates Low for Longer (BBG)
- Chinese Premier Outlines US Debt Concerns (FT)
- Saudis brace for 'nightmare' of U.S.-Iran rapprochement (Reuters)
- Obama Urges Action on Yellen’s Fed Nomination (Reuters)
- Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zidan Freed After Kidnap (WSJ)
Unlike her predecessors, Janet Yellen has never had a youthful dalliance with hawkish monetary ideas. Before taking charge of the Fed both Alan Greenspan, and to a lesser extent Ben Bernanke, had advocated for the benefits of a strong currency and low inflation and had warned of the dangers of overly accommodative policy and unnecessary stimulus. (Both largely abandoned these ideals once they took the reins of power, but their urge to stimulate may have been restrained by a vestigial bias against the excesses of Keynesianism). Janet Yellen, who has been on the liberal/dovish end of the monetary spectrum for her entire professional career, has no such baggage. As a result, we can expect her to never waver in her belief that stimulus is the answer to every economic question.
It would appear the US government, in all its shutdown might, has made a decision. The State Department has issued a statement that the US "wants to see Egypt succeed," via an "inclusive, democratically elected civilian government," but in the meantime will be "recalibrating assistance to Egypt to best advance US interests." A translation of the political double-speak - it's a coup and we won't be sending any military aid or cash directly to the country anymore...
As the old Mark I Bernanke rusts and loses power, President Obama has been working on the new improved Mark II version of the Fed Chair. It's older, more female, less facial hair (from what we can see), but critically more dovish in all the places the US investing public demands... Behold, Yellenomics...