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."
While the 20-City index rose 4.9% YoY (but missed expectations by the most since July 2014), Case-Shiller's US Home Price Index dropped 0.02% in April - the first MoM drop since May 2014. Of course, all real estate is local and we note Denver and San Francisco reported the highest year-over-year gains with price increases of 10.3% and 10.0%, respectively, over the last 12 months. As S&P's David Blitzer warns, "home prices continue to rise across the country, but the pace is not accelerating."
Regardless of what the Greek people choose, at least the choice will be theirs, along with the consequences.
The next round of the great crisis is here. 2008 was just A Crisis… we've just begun THE Crisis.
It’s happening. As expected, dynastic politics is prevailing in campaign 2016. After a tease about as long as Hillary’s, Jeb Bush (aka Jeb!) officially announced his presidential bid last week. Ultimately, the two of them will fight it out for the White House, while the nation’s wealthiest influencers will back their ludicrously expensive gambit. And here’s a hint: don’t bet on Jeb not to make it through the Republican gauntlet of 12 candidates (so far). After all, the really big money’s behind him.
One of America's most notorious bank robbers, Willie Sutton (1901-80), is said to have remarked that he robbed banks "because that's where the money is." In a strange twist, the banks themselves are now beginning literally to rob their own customers.