Have you ever seen a disaster movie that is so bad that it is actually good? Unfortunately, we are witnessing something just as ridiculous in the real world right now. In the United States, the mainstream media is breathlessly proclaiming that the U.S. economy is in great shape because job growth is "accelerating" (even though we actually lost 240,000 full-time jobs last month) and because the U.S. stock market set new all-time highs this week. The mainstream media seems to be absolutely oblivious to all of the financial storm clouds that are gathering on the horizon. The conditions for a "perfect storm" are rapidly developing, and by the time this is all over we may be wishing that flying sharks were all that we had to deal with.
Ethopian Airlines Releases Statement On Smoldering Dreamliner; UTX Climate System Implicated In FireSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 07/13/2013 10:54 -0400
In the aftermath of the latest humiliation for Boeing, which after getting Dreamliner clearance by absolutely every "authority" imaginable, from the NTSB to the FAA to CNBC's Phil LeBeau, that it was absolutely safe to fry, pardon, fly, just had a major meltdown, oops there we go again, on live TV in Heathrow airport, one wonders - what happens when the regulators rush to give the all clear once more, only for yet another Dreamliner to mysteriously burst in flames several months hence? Alas that would mean that the very same regulators that lifted the fry, pardon, fly ban on the plane will have to impose it all over again, thus disgracing their pre-clearance methods (likely accelerated courtesy of an occasional envelope full of cash under the door somewhere in the decision chain) even more. And how long until the damage to the brand is so great that Boeing will have no choice but to replace every 8 in its 787 nomenclature with a 9, thus pulling the brilliant GMAC->Ally Bank conversion. All these are questions that Boeing, the FAA and the NTSB will have to answer very soon, and for the benefit of BA shareholders, with a favorable resolution. Then again, in the matter of recalls, be it of cars or airplanes, the math is well-known. In the meantime, here is the latest.
In the years 2006 and 2007, the underlying stability of the global economy and the U.S. credit base in particular was experiencing intense scrutiny by alternative economic analysts. A crash was coming, it was coming soon, and most of our society was either too stupid to recognize the problem or too frightened to accept the reality they knew was just over the horizon. Why did 2008 creep up on so many people? Weren’t there plenty of economists out there “preaching to the choir” at that time? Weren’t there plenty of signals? Weren’t there plenty of practical conclusions being made about the future? And yet, the world was left stunned. The truth is, human beings have a nasty habit of ignoring the cold hard facts of the present in the hopes of using apathy as a magical elixir for future prosperity. They want to believe that disaster is a mindset, that it is a boogeyman under their bed that can be defeated through blind optimism. Collapse, from a historical perspective, seems to occur when the searchlights of the individual mind are dimmest, when the threat is the greatest, and when we are most comfortable in our ignorance.
Thanks to some algo-based low-volume jiggery-pokery Boeing's stock managed to bounce off its 50DMA and get back up to VWAP (surprise). In the meantime, the overall volume has exploded to its highest since December 1998 - when Boeing was under a probe from Europe for price-collusion with Airbus (likely will be highest ever). The Dow recovered on this bounce too - until it was confirmed that a second Boeing 787 issue was confirmed by Thomson Airways in the UK.
In what has to be the most insane level of desperation, the Spanish banking system is lobbying to turn its deferred tax 'assets' into fungible capital to meet new stricter Basel III requirements. In other words, the Spanish banks believe that capitalizing historical losses provides a fungible 'stash' of capital against future losses... Following this morning's round of incredulity from the Spaniards, we have no words...
Trading volumes for gold and silver on the Shanghai Futures Exchange (ShFE) jumped to record highs today a week after the bourse launched after-hours trading, driven by a surge in investment and hedging demand, according to Reuters.
- Summers Said to Show Interest in Fed Chairmanship After Bernanke (BBG)
- Obama Tells Chinese He’s Disappointed Over Snowden Case (BBG)
- Texas Threat to Abortion Clinics Dodged at Flea Markets (BBG)
- A Peek at Trucking Data, and Then the Stock Surged (WSJ)
- China cuts growth target… or does it? (FT) - yes, it does, net of goal seeked Random () of course
- China Official Suggests Tolerance for Lower Growth (WSJ)
- Disney Says Wristband Boosts Sales in Disney World Test (BBG) - next up: implanted RFID chips
- Spain Prepares Cuts in Renewable-Energy Subsidies (WSJ)
- Bernanke Departure With Duke Heralds Cascade of Fed Appointments (BBG)
Over the past week there has been some speculation whether the number of Americans who receive food assistance and/or are on disability, outnumber full-time employed workers in the US. Here is the answer.
Gold surged 3.3% or nearly $50 from $1,248/oz to $1,298/oz after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke admitted that the U.S. economy continues to need a highly accommodative monetary policy and will do for the “foreseeable future”.
Gold climbed for a fourth day to the highest level in more than two weeks due to safe haven buying after Bernanke also admitted, what many more realistic analysts have been saying for some time, that the 7.6% unemployment rate probably "overstates the health of the labor market."
Despite being told last week of the successful solution that the politicians of Portugal had procured - and thusly seeing Portuguese bonds and stocks surge in a renewed bluster of hope and faith that all is well again; it seems that, shocker, nothing is fixed. As Reuters reports, Portugal's political crisis re-deepened today after the President rejected a plan to heal a government rift and critics accused him of igniting a "time-bomb' by calling for early elections. Anibal Cavaco Silva rejected a cabinet re-shuffle, and proposed a coalition to guarantee support for the Troika-imposed austerity measures (which theoretically means Portugal will exit its bailout next year) to be followed by elections - implicitly showing little faith that any party can rule effectively through the middle of next year. "The announcement... comes as a surprise, ... adding anothe problem to the one that already existed," noted one analyst.
- Bernanke Supports Continuing Stimulus Amid Debate Over QE (BBG)
- Portugal president wants 'salvation' deal, including opposition (Reuters)
- Egypt has less than two months imported wheat left - ex-minister (Reuters)
- A rise in long-term interest rates is creating challenges and opportunities for the largest U.S. banks. (WSJ)
- BoJ says Japanese economy is ‘recovering’ (FT)
- More Chinese cities likely to curb auto sales (Reuters)
- PC Shipments Fall for 5th Quarter (BBG)
- Property Crushes Hedge Funds in Alternative Markets (BBG)
- New aid gives Greece summer respite before showdown (Reuters)
- Rajoy Punishes Exporters Sustaining Spain’s Economy (BBG)
Pentagon plans to send Egypt four F-16 fighter jets in the coming weeks: U.S. official #breaking
— Reuters US News (@ReutersUS) July 10, 2013
Gold is little changed near a one-week high, and is marginally higher in dollars as the dollar has retreated from a three-year high, and higher in most currencies. The gold market continues to digest the ramifications of gold borrowing costs surging to the highest since the post-Lehman Brothers scramble for gold bullion. Gold Forward Offered Rates (GOFO) or the cost to borrow gold remains negative and overnight the 1 month GOFO has gone from -0.106% to -0.11167%. Other durations eased marginally. The lack of liquidity in the the interbank London Good Delivery gold market (400 ounce gold bars) has pushed gold forward rates, known as “gofo”, into negative territory, meaning that gold for future delivery is trading at a discount to physical market prices – a rare situation that has occurred only after the Lehman Brothers collapse and near the bottom of the gold market in 1999. The last time forwards were negative was in November 2008, when a scramble for physical gold led a sharp price rally of 46% from $682/oz to over $1,000/oz between October 2008 and February 2009.
Just as California is attempting to round up the financing for its miracle-on-rails high-speed train, so Spain is finding out the reality of the over-promised and under-funded phoenix-like expectations of their own high-speed rail project. From exaggerated passenger traffic expectations 40% higher than the current slower route's traffic to the massive billion-euro debts that have already been accumulated, nothing says epic fail like the City of Villena's 4,500 square meter gleaming new train station - the only access to this building-in-the-middle-of-nowhere is a dirt track used by local farmers. The reason - simple - while the central government financed the building, the local Valencia regional government was responsible for funding the connection to the local city and freeways - it ran out of money, leaving the station high-and-dry. As Reuters adds, the disconnect says a lot about both Spain and its current finances, about a love affair with grand projects to showcase its modernity and a diminishing ability to pay for them.
- MSM discovers that soaring dollar hurts corporate profits: P&G to Apple Hurt by Strong Dollar Keep S&P 500 Profits in Check (BBG)
- China Posts Surprise Drop in Exports (WSJ) - lol: "surprise"
- Plan Reins In Biggest Banks (WSJ)
- European Commission Seeks Authority to Wind Down Banks (WSJ) - and Germany just says 9
- U.S. Banks Seen Freezing Payouts as Harsher Leverage Rules Loom (BBG)
- Brussels sets up clash with Berlin over banks (FT)
- EU to Toughen Creditor-Loss Rules at Failing Banks From August (BBG) - or September, or October, but definitely November... 2023
- China's crude, iron ore imports falter as demand cools (Reuters)
- Obama pushes economic case for immigration as House eyes next steps (Reuters)