"The decline in asset yields especially during QE3 created large wealth effects. Since the Fed's QE started at the end of 2008 the PE multiple of the S&P500 index (12-month forward) went up by five points, from 10.5 at the end of 2008 to 15.5 currently. This PE multiple expansion is responsible for around 650 index points or 32% of the current S&P500 index level. Extending that to the total stock of US corporate equities ($29tr currently), it implies an equity wealth boost of $9tr."
On eliminating investment risk...
There are three things that are certain: death, taxes and M&A "synergies." And while the recent debt and record stock price-funded M&A bubble has been a present from god, or rather the Fed, to the activist shareholders and owners of target stocks (and acquirors, because in the New Normal M&A announcements somehow boost the price of both), it has been a scourge for everyone else: namely the employees of companies that undergo M&A as the first and foremost place where EPS "synergies" are extracted is by eliminating duplicative headcount, read mass layoffs. This is precisely what workers at Canada's Tim Hortons are about to find out first hand, because as Financial Post reports, citing a study from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, "widespread layoffs and strict cost cutting measures could befall Tim Hortons if Burger King’s parent company takes over the chain." Small correction replace "could" with "definitely will" and the sentence will be spot on.
- CDC says returning Ebola medical workers should not be quarantined (Reuters)
- Sweden’s central bank cuts rates to zero (FT)
- Hacking Trail Leads to Russia, Experts Say (WSJ)
- Discount-Hunting Shoppers Threaten Stores’ Holiday Cheer (BBG)
- Apple CEO fires back as retailers block Pay (Reuters)
- Repeat after us: all China data is fake - China Fake Invoice Evidence Mounts as HK Figures Diverge (BBG)
- FX Traders’ Facebook Chats Said to Be Sought in EU Probe (BBG)
- Euro Outflows at Record Pace as ECB Promotes Exodus (BBG)
- Apple boosts R&D spending in new product hunt (FT)
What an escort can teach you about business
- White House questions new Ebola rules, nurse plans to sue (Reuters)
- States stand firm on Ebola quarantines despite White House pressure (Reuters)
- Rousseff Naming Brazil Finance Minister Key to Regain Trust (BBG)
- Ukraine leader wins pro-West mandate but wary of Russia (Reuters)
- Single Firm Holds More Than 50% of Copper in LME Warehouses (WSJ)
- Treasury Liquidity Squeeze Seen as Dealer Shut Off Machine (BBG)
- CVS follows Rite-Aid, shuts off Apple Pay (USAToday)
- Oil Speculators Bet Wrong as Rebound Proves Fleeting (BBG)
- Draghi Sets Stimulus Pace as ECB Reveals Covered-Bond Purchases (BBG)
- German Ifo Business Confidence Drops for Sixth Month (BBG)
"While monetary weapons can be a good first step to remedying an economic crisis, they are clearly not enough on a standalone basis to return an economy to stability and growth. My concern is that there has been an almost total academic capture of the mechanism of the Fed and other central banks around the world by neo-Keynesian thinking and hence policymaking, while the executive and legislative branches of the government have turned a blind eye to the necessary reforms. So while the plan has thus far worked brilliantly for Wall Street, what central bankers have succeeded in doing is preventing, or at least postponing, the hard choices and legislative actions necessary by our politicians to fully implement a sustainable and prosperous future for our children—and theirs...Today I view the world as “risk-uncertain,” and in these instances I recommend the armored vehicle."
Having grown weary of reality in America (after becoming the biggest landlord in the land of the free to borrow cheaply), Wall Street moved into the distressed property purchase ponzi in Spain (as we noted here) and, surprise, the Spanish are not happy with their new slumlords. After Madrid's local government sold 5,000 rent-controlled apartments to Goldman and Blackstone, having told tenants their rental conditions would remain the same, dozens of people have received demands for higher rent, been told their rents will increase dramatically, been threatened with eviction or moved out to escape the insecurity as old contracts expire.
Dear NSA Employees, You Now Have a Green Light to Loot and Pillage. It’s Time to Get Paid: Are you just another one of those frustrated NSA employees who feels that unconstitutionally spying on your fellow citizenry under false pretenses isn’t giving you same thrill it once did? If so, have no fear.
America's #1 landlord may be private equity giant Blackstone, but closing in rapidly is none other than America's very own arch nemesis and ascendent superpower, China. But while until recently China's grand ambitions on US multi-family housing had largely flown under the radar, the recent sale of the Waldorf Astoria to a Chinese company has finally put the US on "China is coming" alert... and reincarnated a lot of the same jokes that swept the country by storm in the mid-80s when it appeared Japan, itself nursing a massive asset bubble, would run over Manhattan (everyone knows how that ended).
- Total CEO de Margerie killed in Moscow as jet hits snow plough (Reuters)
- China GDP Growth Rate Is Slowest in Five Years (WSJ)
- Oil at $80 a Barrel Muffles Forecasts for U.S. Shale Boom (BBG)
- Carney Faces Scrutiny on Worst Payments Outage Since 2007 (BBG)
- Ebola crisis turns a corner as U.S. issues new treatment protocols (Reuters)
- Gold Buying Rebounds in India on Diwali Jewelry Sales (BBG)
- China-backed hackers may have infiltrated Apple's iCloud (Reuters)
- Greece Said to Seek Recycling of Bank Funds for Exit (BBG)
- Stick to tapering and rates pledge, says Boston Fed chief (FT)
- Turkey to let Iraqi Kurds reinforce Kobani as U.S. drops arms to defenders (Reuters)
- Obama makes rare campaign trail appearance, some leave early (Reuters)
- Japan GPIF to Boost Share Allocation to About 25%, Nikkei Says (BBG)... or three months of POMO
- Japan Stocks Surge on Report GPIF to Boost Local Shares (BBG)
- China Growth Seen Slowing Sharply Over Decade (WSJ)
- Russia, Ukraine Edge Closer to Natural-Gas Deal (WSJ)
- Leveraged Money Spurs Selloff as Record Treasuries Trade (BBG)
- After clashes, Hong Kong students, government stand their ground before talks (Reuters)
The surge in foreigners buying up U.S. real estate has been well documented in recent years. Of all this buying, no nation has demonstrated a bigger increase in purchases than China. In fact, it is estimated that 24% of all foreign purchases of domestic real estate this year have come from China, up 72% from last year. In some California communities, 90% of real estate buyers are from China. Yes, 90%. Naturally, many of them are buying multi-million dollar homes in “all cash” transactions. Well it appears that one of those communities is the 57,000 person Los Angeles suburb known as Arcadia. The suburb had a relatively insignificant Asian population of 4% in 1980, but it is now 59%.
Mel Watt is one of the most dangerous financial oligarch puppets operating in America today. As Bloomberg reports, "a U.S. housing regulator plans new steps to encourage banks to lend to buyers with less than-perfect credit scores... Watt will also discuss an effort that would allow borrowers to put down as little as 3% of the purchase price." It’s for the good of the people right? He’s a “liberal” so he’s always working for the little guy, right? Wrong...
Theories abound why this is suddenly happening, after years of deceptive calm.