RBS

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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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Meet The Mysterious Firm That Is About To Leave Blythe Masters Without A Job





It was about a month ago when it was revealed that the infamous JPMorgan physical commodities group, plagued by both perpetual accusations of precious metal manipulation and legal charges most recently with FERC for $410 million that it had manipulated electricity markets, was in exclusive talks to be sold to Geneva-based Marcuria Group. It was also revealed that Blythe Masters, JPMorgan’s commodities chief, "probably won’t join Mercuria as part of the deal." Of course, we all learned the very next day that Ms. Masters - an affirmed commodities market manipulator - and soon to be out of a job, had shockingly intended to join the CFTC trading commission as an advisor, a decisions which was promptly reversed following an epic outcry on the internet. This is all great news, but one thing remained unclear: just who is this mysterious Swiss-based company that is about to leave Blythe without a job? Today, courtesy of Bloomberg we have the answer.

 
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Frontrunning: March 7





  • Putin rebuffs Obama as Ukraine crisis escalates (Reuters)
  • Behind the $100 Billion Commodity Empire That Few Know (BBG)
  • Initial Public Offerings Hit Pace Not Seen in Years (WSJ)
  • Russian Parliament Will Back Crimea Split From Ukraine (WSJ)
  • Nakamoto Named as Bitcoin Father Denies Involvement, Flees Press (BBG)
  • Chaori Can’t Make Payment in China’s First Onshore Default (BBG)
  • Zombies Spreading Shows Chaori Default Just Start (BBG)
  • Pimco's Gross declares El-Erian is 'trying to undermine me' (Reuters)
  • U.S. Fighters Circle Baltics as Putin Fans Fear of Russia (BBG)
 
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Frontrunning: March 3





  • Russian markets hit as Putin tightens grip on Crimea (Reuters)
  • Ukraine Sees More Russian Incursions as Standoff Worsens (BBG)
  • Ukraine Crisis Roils Global Markets (WSJ)
  • Cold War Ghosts Haunt East Europe in Moves for Crimea (BBG)
  • How Moscow Orchestrated Events in Crimea (WSJ)
  • Russia Gas Threat Shows Putin Using Pipes to Press Ukraine (BBG)
  • Euro-zone PMI slowed less sharply than estimated (MW)
  • Two top Microsoft execs to leave in reshuffle (Reuters)
  • Soaring Luxury-Goods Prices Test Wealthy's Will to Pay (WSJ)
  • IQ-Boosting Drugs Aim to Help Down Syndrome Kids Learn (BBG)
 
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Frontrunning: February 28





  • Yuan suffers biggest weekly loss as PBOC punishes speculators (Reuters)
  • Euro Gains as Bonds Decline With Stocks on Inflation Data (BBG)
  • Biggest Sovereign Fund Forced to Sell Stocks as Mandate Breached (BBG)
  • Because we don't already have enough fried foods.. (Reuters)
  • Putin: Russia to Consider Aid to Ukraine (AP)
  • Wall Street Hates JPMorgan Fee for $1 Trillion Junk Loans (BBG)
  • Yellen Sticks to Plan Amid Weather Doubts (WSJ)
  • U.S. Retail Chains See First Profit Decline Since Recession (BBG)
 
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Futures Tread Record Territory Water Following Overnight China, Ukraine Fireworks





In addition to the already noted fireworks out of China, where the Yuan saw the biggest daily plunge since 2008 and the ongoing and very rapid newsflow out of the Ukraine, focus this morning was very much of the latest Eurozone CPI data, which despite matching previous low levels, came in above expectations and in turn resulted in an aggressive unwind of short-EUR bets as market participants were forced to re-asses the likelihood of more easing by the ECB. Still, even though the Euribor curve bear steepened and Bunds came under significant selling pressure, the EONIA forward curve remained inverted, signifying that there is still a degree of apprehension over what is unarguably very low inflation data.

 
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Frontrunning: February 27





  • European Bonds Surge on Slowing German Inflation, Ukraine Tumult  (BBG)
  • Ukraine tensions hit shares (Reuters)
  • Debating Geithner’s Appearances in 2008 Transcripts  (Hilsenrath)
  • Tensions in Asia Stoke Rising Nationalism in Japan (WSJ)
  • GM Investigated Over Ignition Recall Linked to 13 Deaths (BBG)
  • Smartphone wars shift from gadgetry to price (Reuters)
  • Some Companies Alter the Bonus Playbook (WSJ)
  • London’s Subterranean Luxury Manors Lure New Breed of Lenders (BBG)
  • Japan No Country for Old Farmers as 7-Eleven Takes Plow (BBG)
  • Dream of U.S. Oil Independence Slams Against Shale Costs (BBG)
 
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Futures Sell Off As Ukraine Situation Re-Escalates





Three unlucky attempts in a row to retake the S&P 500 all time high may have been all we get, at least for now, because the fourth one is shaping up to be rather problematic following events out of the Crimean in the past three hours where the Ukraine situation has gone from bad to worse, and have dragged the all important risk indicator, the USDJPY, below 102.000 once again. As a result, global stock futures have fallen from the European open this morning, with the DAX future well below 9600 to mark levels not seen since last Thursday. Escalated tensions in the Ukraine have raised concerns of the spillover effects to Western Europe and Russia, as a Russian flag is lifted by occupying gunmen in the Crimean (Southern Ukrainian peninsula) parliament, prompting an emergency session of Crimean lawmakers to discuss the fate of the region. This, allied with reports of the mobilisation of Russian jets on the Western border has weighed on risk sentiment, sending the German 10yr yield to July 2013 lows.

 
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Frontrunning: February 26





  • California couple finds $10 million in buried treasure while walking dog (Reuters) ... not bitcoin?
  • Dimon Says Threats to JPMorgan Span Google to China Banks (BBG)
  • Stocks So Many Love to Hate Buoyed by Fed’s Jobs Priority (BBG)
  • White House Weighs Four Options for Revamping NSA Phone Surveillance (WSJ) ... to pick the fifth one
  • Credit Suisse Executives Weren’t Aware of U.S. Tax Dodges (BBG)
  • Militias Hunt Kiev Looters From Central Bank to Bling Palace (BBG)
  • Crisis Gauge Rises to Record High as Swaps Avoided (BBG)
  • Obama to Propose Highway-Repair Program (WSJ)
  • Ukraine Pledges to Protect Deposits as Kiev Rally Called (BBG)
 
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Frontrunning: February 25





  • Turkish PM says tapes of talk with son a fabrication (Reuters) but opposition confirms authenticity, and national TV carriers cut parliament when played live
  • Inside the Showdown Atop Pimco, the World's Biggest Bond Firm (WSJ)
  • Ex-Jefferies Trader’s Customers Say Lies Common Tactic (BBG)
  • Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox disappears in blow to virtual currency (Reuters)
  • The messenger mania is spreading: SoftBank Said to Seek Stake in Naver’s Line Messaging Unit (BBG)
  • Ukraine Replaces Central Bank Head (BBG)
  • Yup, an actual headline: Harsh weather tests optimism over U.S. economy (Reuters)
  • Hiring of Law Grads Improves for Some (BBG)
  • Easy Currency Bet Gets Harder as the Chinese Yuan Tumbles (WSJ)
  • In Ukraine turbulence, a lad from Lviv becomes the toast of Kiev (Reuters)
 
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