RBS

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Futures Tread Water As Geopolitical Fears Added To Momentum Collapse Concerns





Futures are treading water once more now that Ukraine has stormed to center stage from the backburner after everyone was convinced Putin would let the situation cool off after annexing Crimea. Guess not. Adding the renewed geopolitical jitters to what has already been a beta stock bloodbath into a holiday shortened week assures some high volatility fireworks. Cautious sentiment was observed over in Asia (Nikkei 225 -0.36%) amid renewed fears that geopolitical tensions in Ukraine will flare up again following reports of exchange gunfire with pro-Russian militants. This sentiment carried over into the European session with stocks lower across the board (Eurostoxx50 -0.71%). EUR is lower after ECB’s Draghi said any further strengthening of the EUR would warrant further action by the ECB, including non-standard measures such as quantitative easing - it is amazing how frequently and often the Virtu algos still fall for Draghi's jawboning trick which has now become all too clear will never be implemented and certainly not if he keeps talking about it daily, as he does.

 


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And The "Fake" Headline Of The Day Award Goes To...





Ahhh, the smell of "fake" headlines in the morning. It smells like victory, especially as there goes another conspiracy "theory"

 


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Frontrunning: April 10





  • J.P. Morgan's Dimon Describes Year of Pain (WSJ)
  • SAC Faces a Final Reckoning for 14 Years of Insider Scam (BBG)
  • New Standards for $693 Trillion Swaps Market Increase Risk of Blowup (BBG)
  • China says no major stimulus planned; March trade weak (Reuters)
  • As we said in 2012 would happen: Record Europe Dividends Keep $3 Trillion From Factories (BBG)
  • Blame it on the algo: Deutsche Bank Said to Find Improper Communication in FX Case (BBG)
  • Coke Sticks to Its Strategy While Soda Sales Slide (WSJ)
  • Ukraine’s Rust Belt Faces Ruin as Putin Threatens Imports (BBG)
  • RBC Joins Goldman in Suing Clients After Singapore Crash  (BBG)
  • U.S. House panel to look at aluminum prices, warehousing (Reuters)
  • Brooklyn Apartment Rents Jump to a Record as Leases Surge (BBG)
 


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ABN Amro Ex-CEO Found Dead





A mere two weeks since former JPMorgan banker, Kenneth Bellando jumped to his death, Bloomberg reports that the former CEO of Dutch Bank ABN Amro (and his wife and daughter) were found dead at their home after a possible "family tragedy." This expands the dismal list of senior financial services executive deaths to 12 in the last few months. The 57-year-old Jan Peter Schmittmann, was reportedly discovered by his other daughter when she arrived home that morning. Police declined to comment on the cirumstances of his (and his wife and daughter's) death. This is not the first C-level ABN Amro banker to be found dead. In 2009, former CFO Huibert Boumeester was discovered with (assumed self-inflicted) shotgun wounds. 

 

 


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Frontrunning: April 4





  • Nato chief defends eastern advance (FT)
  • Russia looks east as it seeks to rebalance trade interests (FT)
  • Plane from Guinea briefly quarantined in Paris after Ebola scare (AFP)
  • US attacks Japan’s stance on Trans-Pacific Partnership (FT)
  • Thank you IMF: Ukraine PM says will stick to austerity despite Moscow pressure (Reuters)
  • U.S. Army seeks motive for Fort Hood shooting rampage (Reuters)
  • China Slowdown Adds to Emerging-Market Growth Hurdles, IMF Says (BBG)
  • Top investors press Allianz to step up oversight of Pimco (Reuters)
  • U.S. to Evaluate Role in Mideast Peace Process, John Kerry Says (WSJ)
  • Scientists dismiss claims that Yellowstone volcano about to erupt (Reuters)
  • Ukraine detains 12 riot police on suspicion of 'mass murder' (Reuters) - on CIA orders?
 


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Frontrunning: April 3





  • Russia says expects answers on NATO troops in eastern Europe (Reuters)
  • Dealers say GM customer anxiety rising, sales may take hit (Reuters)
  • China Unveils Mini-Stimulus Measure (WSJ)
  • Londoners Priced Out of Housing Blame Foreigners (BBG)
  • New earthquake in Chile prompts tsunami alerts (Reuters)
  • Ukrainian Billionaire Charged by U.S. With Bribe Scheme (BBG)
  • Chinese Investments in U.S. Commercial Real Estate Surges (BBG)
  • Old Math Casts Doubt on Accuracy of Oil Reserve Estimates (BBG)
  • US secretly created 'Cuban Twitter' to stir unrest (AP)
 


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12 Largest Banks Sued By Public Retirement Funds For "Conspiring To Rig Global FX Markets"





Yesterday, we read with some amusement that Goldman has moved Guy Saidenberg, reportedly one of the greater profit centers at the firm - and how could he not be when he always traded against Tom Stolper's recommendations which led to tens of thousands of pips in losses to those who listened to him over the past five years - from head of global foreign-exchange trading to a new role, as co-head of commodities.  Why did Goldman decide to scrap its once uber-profitable FX vertical and redo it from scratch? Simple - the ability to rig and manipulate FX markets, which are now under every global regulator's microscope after the "Cartel" members so foolishly let themselves be exposed to the entire world, is no longer there, as confirmed last night by news that a dozen large investors have filed a joint lawsuit against 12 banks for "allegedly conspiring to rig global foreign-exchange prices." Allegedly? Hasn't everyone read the Cartel chatroom transcripts yet?

 


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Frontrunning: March 31





  • US, Russia talks fail to end Ukraine deadlock (AP)
  • Russian forces 'gradually withdrawing' from Ukraine border (AFP)
  • Turkish PM Erdogan tells enemies they will pay price after poll (Reuters)
  • And Goldman arrives: Credit markets open to Argentina for first time in years (Reuters)
  • Regulators Twice Failed to Open GM Probes (WSJ)
  • Bad loan writedowns soar at China banks (FT)
  • Investors Breathe Life Into European Banks' Bad Loans (WSJ)
  • Euro zone inflation drops to lowest since 2009 (Reuters)
  • Yellowstone National Park rattled by largest earthquake in 34 years (Reuters)
 


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Another Morning Futures Pump - Will There Be A Fifth Consecutive Dump?





After tumbling overnight to just around 101.80, the USDJPY managed to stage a remarkable levitating comeback, rising all the way to 102.3, which in turn succeeded in closing the Nikkei 225 at the highs, up 1% after tumbling in early trade. The Shanghai Composite was not quite as lucky and as fear continue to weigh about a collapse in China's credit pipeline, the SHCOMP was down more than 0.8% while the PBOC withdreww even more net liquidity via repos than it did last week, at CNY 98 billion vs CNY 48 billion. That said, this morning will be the fifth consecutive overnight levitation in futures, which likely will once more surge right into the US market open to intraday highs, at which point slowy at first, then rapidly, fade again as the pattern has seemingly been set into algo random access memory. Which in a market devoid of human traders is all that matters.

 


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It's Another Non-Virtual Futures Ramp In A Virtual Reality World





Another morning melt up after a less than impressive session in China which saw the SHCOMP drop again reversing the furious gains in the past few days driven by hopes of more PBOC easing (despite China's repeated warning not to expect much). A flurry of market topping activity overnight once again, with Candy Crush maker King Digital pricing at $22.50 or the projected midpoint of its price range, and with FaceBook using more of its epically overvalued stock as currency to purchase yet another company, this time virtual reality firm Oculus VR for $2 billion. Perhaps an appropriate purchase considering the entire economy is pushed higher on pro-forma, "virtual" output, and the Fed's capital markets are something straight out of the matrix. Despite today's pre-open ramp, which will be the 4th in a row, one wonders if biotechs will finally break the downward tractor beam they have been latched on to as the bubble has shown signs of cracking, or will the mad momo crowd come back with a vengeance - this too will be answered shortly.

 


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Frontrunning: March 25





  • Putin Threatened With More Sanctions as Russia Out of G-8 (BBG)
  • China Faces ‘Mini Crisis’ on Debt Defaults, Ex-PBOC Adviser Says (BBG)
  • Don't laugh too hard: Obama to propose ending NSA bulk collection of phone records (Reuters)
  • SEC Is Probing Dealings by Banks and Companies in Loan Securities (WSJ)
  • Japan GPIF asset review not aimed at supporting domestic stocks (Reuters)
  • Chinese families clash with police, slam Malaysia over lost plane (Reuters)
  • Russian Capital Flight Surges in First Quarter, Fueled by Ukraine Crisis (WSJ)
  • Democrats ditch Nate Silver after data whiz predicts dismal midterm outcome (DN)
  • China’s Urbanization Loses Momentum as Growth Slows (BBG)
 


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Frontrunning: March 21





  • Australia says nothing spotted in search for plane (AP)
  • Putin looks to Asia as West threatens to isolate Russia (Reuters)
  • China Billionaire Builds Metals With Dreyfus, Glencore Hires (BBG)
  • China Beige Book Says Economy Slowing (BBG)
  • Caterpillar Said to Be Focus of Senate Overseas Tax Probe (BBG)
  • US Cancels Summit With Divided Group of Gulf Nations (WSJ)
  • Cyprus defense minister suffers aneurysm (AP)
  • Abe to zero in on economy as tax hike looms (Nikkei)
  • Europe strikes deal to complete banking union (Reuters)
 


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Goodbye Blythe Masters: JPM Sells Its Physical Commodities Business To Mercuria For $3.5 Billion





While it has been public for a long time that i) JPM is eager to sell its physical commodities business and ii) the most likely buyer was little known Swiss-based Mercuria, there was nothing definitive released by JPM. Until moments ago, when Jamie Dimon formally announced that JPM is officially parting ways with the physical commodities business. But while contrary to previous expectations, following the sale JPM will still provide commercial gold vaulting operations around the world, it almost certainly means farewell to Blythe Masters.

 


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Frontrunning: March 17





Putin Is No Mad Man to Russians as Power Play Trumps Economy (BBG)
Alibaba picks U.S. for IPO; in talks with six banks for lead roles (Reuters)
Russia hearts selling German energy: Billionaire Fridman’s L1 Buys RWE Unit for $7.1 Billion (Bloomberg)
Malaysia plane search straddles continent as police focus on crew (Reuters)
Saudi Crown Prince’s visit to China set to bolster investment (Al-Awsat)
Bugatti-Driving 26-Year-Old Tied to Penny-Stock Website (BBG)
Vodafone agrees $10 billion deal to buy Spain's Ono (Reuters)
The Hidden Rot in the Jobs Numbers (WSJ)
SocGen Ex-Trader Kerviel Walks to Forget Loss as Judgment Looms (BBG)
U.S. Banks’ $75 Billion Payout at Stake in Fed Tests (BBG)

 


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Frontrunning: March 14





  • Ukraine anxiety triggers flight to safety, stocks tumble (Reuters)
  • Woodrow Wilson’s Ukraine Failure Foreshadows West’s Dilemmas (BBG)
  • Fortress Executives Join Peers Selling Stock After Rally (BBG)
  • 303 Deaths Seen in G.M. Cars With Failed Air Bags (NYT)
  • Putin Deports Executives for Speeding as Sanctions Loom (BBG)
  • Russia blocks internet sites of Putin critics (Reuters)
  • China Bond Risk Exceeds Ireland as Defaults Unavoidable (BBG)
  • China H-Shares Post Biggest Weekly Drop Since October (BBG)
  • Surge in Rail Shipments of Oil Sidetracks Other Industries (WSJ)
  • Blackstone’s Home Buying Binge Ends as Prices Surge (BBG)
 


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