Real estate

China GDP Tumbles To Lowest In 6 Years Amid Quadruple Whammy Of Dismal Data

A month ago we warned "Beijing, you have a big problem," and showed 10 charts to expose the reality hiding behind a stock market rally up over 100% in the last year. Tonight we get confirmation that all is not well - China GDP fell to 7.0% (its lowest in 6 years) with QoQ GDP missing expectations at +1.3% (vs 1.4%). Then retail sales rose 10.2% YoY - the slowest pace in 9 years (missing expectations of 10.9%). Fixed Asset Investment rose 13.5% - the lowest since Dec 2000 (missing expectations). And finally Industrial Production massively disappointed, rising only 5.6% YoY (weakest since Dec 2008). Finally, as a gentle reminder to the PBOC-front-runners, a month ago Beijing said there was no such thing as China QE (and no, the weather is not to blame.. but the smog?).

Active Managers' Underperformance Is A One In 130,000 Years Event

Congratulations Active Managers: thanks to the Federal Reserve, also known as the Chief Risk Officer of the S&P 500, which has made any market risk a thing of the past, your underperformance relative to benchmarks over the past decade is now a 1 in 130,000 years event.

The Changing World Of Work 2: Financialization = Insecurity

The Millennial Generation, if we're to believe various polls, aspires to either make boatloads of money on Wall Street, or secure a can't-be-fired job in the government. Given the dominance of finance and an economic backdrop of rising insecurity, these are rational choices. But all those Millennials hoping to work for Goldman Sachs does raise a question: when did playing financial games become so much more profitable than producing goods and services?

 

Futures Slump As Asian Stock Bubble Calls A Timeout

Judging by the recent action in equity futures, the continuously rangebound US market since the end of QE may be entering its latest downphase, catalyzed to a big extent by the recent strength in the JPY (the EURJPY traded down to 2 year lows overnight), especially following yesterday's not one but two statements by Abe advisor Harada saying a USDJPY at 125 isn't "justified" and a 105 level would be appropriate. A level, incidentally, which would push the Nikkei lower by about 20% and crush Japanese pensions which are now mostly invested in stocks. Not helping matters was the pause in the Chinese and Hang Seng stock bubbles, with the former barely rising 0.3%, while the former actually seeing its first 1.6% decline after many days of torrid, relentless rises.

Citi Writes Iron Ore Price Obituary

As Wall Street struggles to explain last night’s trade data out of China which seemed to vividly illustrate the notion that the combination of the yuan’s dollar peg and generally weak demand can and will take a devastating toll on the country’s exports, and as iron ore does its best dead cat bounce impression on the “psychologically” important news that Australia’s fourth largest miner is suspending operations, Citi is out with a rather dismal take on the outlook for iron ore prices.

Wall Street Reacts To China's Shocking Trade Data

Everyone was shocked by yesterday's Chinese March trade update which showed that while imports slid largely as expected, it was the 15% drop in exports, the largest in over a year, that prompted many to wonder just how big the global trade slump really is, masked by what has now become pervasive, global QE. This was the worst performance, exports and imports combined, since late 2009.  Below is a selection of responses by Wall Street analysts trying to justify how - with global equities, if only in local currency terms, at all time highs - China can be doing so badly.

One Of These Chinese Things Is Not Like The Other

China (and Hong Kong) stock markets opened gap higher and kept going (China Merchants Bank up over 20%) as The China Securities Depositary and Clearing Co. (CSDC) announced that investors will no longer be restricted to only one stock account in China's A-share market and each can have up to 20 accounts from Monday. Which makes perfect sense because what every elementary-school-educated housewife speculator needs is 19 more places to speculate in.

UK Housing Bubble Bursts: Sales Of Luxury Homes Crash By 80% As "Waves Of Wealthy People Are Leaving"

The problem with the relentless scramble into London real-estate is that it was almost entirely driven by the high end, which as we have reported tirelessly over the past 4 years, has become - alongside the US ultra luxury real estate market - the new "Swiss bank account": a mostly anonymous place (with anonymous LLCs and Corps buying on behalf of uber-rich foreign oligarchs) where tax evaders can park their cash, with the NAR's, and the government's, blessing. And now, the party is over. As the FT reports, "sales of homes worth more than £2m have dropped by 80 per cent in the past year."... "It is like the 1970s again, when waves of wealthy people left Britain and it was a disaster.

7 Years Later The "Very Serious People" Finally Ask: Was QE Worth It?

"The policy actions that cause financial repression entail a number of unintended consequences. These include potential asset price bubbles, convergence in asset allocation strategies of otherwise heterogeneous financial market participants and an increase in economic inequality. With regards to the latter, the impact of foregone interest income for households and long-term investors is substantial. At the same time, the equity rally has predominantly benefited society’s wealthiest." The hit to US savers: nearly a half trillion.

Days Of Crony Capitalist Plunder - The Deplorable Truth About GE Capital

GE’s announcement that its getting out of the finance business should be a reminder of how crony capitalism is corrupting and debilitating the American economy. The ostensible reason the company is unceremoniously dumping its 25-year long build-up of the GE Capital mega-bank is that it doesn’t want to be regulated by Washington as a systematically important financial institution under Dodd-Frank. Oh, and that its core industrial businesses have better prospects. We will see soon enough about its oilfield equipment and wind turbine business, or indeed all of its capital goods oriented businesses in a radically deflationary world drowning in excess capacity. But at least you can say good riddance to GE Capital because it was based on a phony business model that was actually a menace to free market capitalism. Its deplorable raid on the public purse during the Lehman crisis had already demonstrated that in spades.

How GE Will Fund The Largest Stock Buyback In History

Back in April 2013, Apple shocked the world when in a dramatic U-turn to Steve Jobs beliefs, it announced what was "the largest single share repurchase authorization in history" when it boosted its share repurchase authorization to $60 billion from $10 billion. Today, GE did its best to match this number, when it reported that as part of a massive business restructuring, it announced a "new Board authorization of up to $50B buyback." This is how it will fund it.

Frontrunning: April 10

  • Nikkei tops 20,000, Europe hits 15-year high (Reuters)
  • GE to sell real estate holdings, sets $50 billion share buyback (Reuters)
  • Iran’s Middle Class Plans for Life After a Deal (BBG)
  • Walgreens to Close 200 Stores as It Expands Cost Cuts (WSJ)
  • Hillary Clinton expected to announce presidential run as soon as this weekend (Reuters)
  • It will cost $1.5 billion to keep Deutsche Bank Libor Manipulators out of prison  (USA Today)
  • Police Cameras Bring Problems of Their Own (WSJ)
  • Obama says concerned China bullying others in South China Sea (Reuters)
  • Investors Revive Appetite for Asian Junk Bonds (WSJ)