We previously questioned whether western sanctions imposed on Russia were being regularly breached by E.U. and Asian companies, noting that sanctions only work if all countries unite behind them. Now, only one year after being imposed, the sanctions are eroding as it seems that government and business policies are pulling in opposite directions. A U.S. State Dept. representative may have let the truth slip out recently when he noted, "if you tell us you’re going [to break a sanction], we’ll probably order you not to, but if you go and don’t tell us, we’ll probably do nothing."
In the wake of China's unprecedented attempt to rescue its collapsing equity markets, Deutsche Bank is out with a history lesson for Beijing where officials can learn some "sweet and sour" lessons from the crash of '87.
No bubble can remain aloft without a heavy dose of monetary inflation. The fact that China’s authorities, including its central bank, have been unable to stem the decline stands as a stark warning to the many Western investors who seemingly believe that central banks are nigh omnipotent entities run by magicians. This is not the case. Once an asset bubble begins to burst, there there is nothing central bankers can do to stop it – and we have plenty of bubbles awaiting their turn in the barrel.
A shocking and uncharacteristic display of common sense
There is much to enjoy and savor, but it is overwhelmed by moron madness. We’ve come to believe that Aldous Huxley’s fears have been manifested on the boardwalk of Wildwood and across our entire nation. The masses don’t read books. We are inundated with so much useless information, we have been reduced to passivity and egotism. The truth is buried in a sea of irrelevance and our culture is based upon triviality. Our almost infinite desire for distractions and pleasure have produced a profoundly abnormal society. The ignorant masses are acting normally only in the context of living in a sick, demented, abnormal society.
The impact of a full-blown financial crisis in China, if it materializes, on the economy would likely be severe. On corporate earnings, other than the drag from slower growth, many companies may have to book stock-market related losses over the next few quarters by our assessment. Stock lending related losses could run into Rmb trillions.
Over the past two weeks, China has resorted to an eye-watering array of policy maneuvers and pronouncements in a desperate attempt to resurrect the country's margin-fueled equity bubble. Amid the chaos, Morgan Stanley — whose "don't buy this dip" call might well have been the straw that broke the dragon's back, so to speak — is out with a detailed history of Beijing's plunge protection playbook.
Despite all the hopes and prayers of illiterate farmers everywhere, Chinese stocks refuse to hold a bid and down 3-4% at the open amid suspension of around 160 individual securities. In the pre-open to open, Shanghai Composite is down 3.2%, Shenzhen is off 3.5%, and China's Nasdaq - ChiNext is down 3.8%. This leaves ChiNext down over 40% from its highs as the cost of insuring downside in Chinese stocks explodes to record highs. As China goes through the 1929 playbook to save its 'market', it appears "momentum" has shifted.
As the strong dollar prices out the South American buyers who have been largely responsible for Miami's booming condo market, developers look East for a savior.
On Sunday, the China Securities Regulatory Commission announced that the PBoC is set to inject capital into China Securities Finance Corp which will use the funds to help brokerages expand their businesses and reinvigorate stocks. In other words, the PBoC is now in the business of financing leveraged stock buying.
China has moved in the direction of direct intervention in its flagging equity markets, although it appears Beijing will try to orchestrate a “private” sector (whatever that means in China) solution first before going the nuclear route with the central bank’s balance sheet. As Bloomberg reports, the country’s largest brokerages are teaming up to invest nearly $20 billion in “blue chip” Chinese equities.
America is better off when President Obama is out on the stump bloviating and boasting rather than in Washington actively doing harm. But the whoppers he just told the students at the University of Wisconsin are beyond the pale. Said our spinmeister-in-chief: "And the unemployment rate is now down to 5.3 percent. (Applause.) Keep in mind, when I came into office it was hovering around 10 percent. All told, we’ve now seen 64 straight months of private sector job growth, which is a new record — (applause) — new record — 12.8 million new jobs all told." That’s a pack of context-free factoids.
The Greece impasse set to culminate on Sunday continues to have a massive impact on at least one stock market, unfortunately it is the wrong one, located on a continent which is mostly irrelevant to the future of the Greek people (unless that whole AIIB bailout does take place of course). We are, of course, talking about China which as noted earlier, started off horribly, plunging over 7% with over 1000 stocks hitting 10% limit down, then in the afternoon session mysteriously recovering all losses and even trading slightly higher on the day, before the late selling returned once more, and the Shanghai Composite plunged to close down 5.8%: an unimaginable 20% total roundtrip move!
In the latest example of the soaring cost of living in America, Manhattan apartment prices just hit a record, with average sale prices soaring 11% to an astounding $1.87 million in Q2, the highest in the quarter or so century of record keeping.
"I think China may be more important than Greece. Stick with the drill – stay wary, alert and very, very nimble."