China overtakes Germany to become the world's third largest arms exporter just as Western military spending outside the US fails to keep pace with China and Russia.
unlike the late summer and early fall of 2014, when the rise in the Chinese stock market could be attributed to the PBOC's PSL "QE Lite", the relentless buying leg that started in mid-November has stunned most people, as nobody has been able to figure out just who is responsible for all this buying. Until now. According to Reuters, it is precisely China's trust firms, with total assets of $2.2 trillion, and who together with Banker Acceptances comrpise the bulk of China's shadow banking pipeline, are shifting more cash into frothy capital markets and over-the-counter (OTC) instruments instead of loans. In other words, instead of using their vast cash hoard of over $2 trillion to re-lend and stimulate China's economy, China's unregulated, shadow banking conduits are now directly buying stocks!
Italian Bad Debt Hits Record $197 Billion As Bank Lending Contracts For Unprecedented 33 Consecutive MonthsSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 03/16/2015 13:53 -0400
For the third largest issuer of sovereign bonds in the world, Italy - the country all eyes will focus on once Greece and/or Spain exit the Eurozone - when it comes to NPLs things are going from bad to worse because as Reuters reported earlier, citing ABI, gross bad loans at Italian lenders continued to rise, totalling 185.5 billion euros ($196.5 billion) in January from 183.7 billion euros a month earlier.As the chart below shows, Italy now has over 10% of its GDP in the form of bad debt. And just as bad, even as NPLs rose, total debt issuance contracted once more, lending to families and businesses decreased 1.4 percent year-on-year in February, the 33rd consecutive monthly fall.
- Germans Tired of Greek Demands Want Country to Exit Euro (BBG)
- Weak euro powers European stocks to new highs (Reuters)
- Siemens Cheers Euro Slump as Emerson Eases Dollar’s Sting (BBG)
- A Police Gadget Tracks Phones? Shhh! It’s Secret (NYT)
- If Economists Were Right, You Would Have a Raise by Now (BBG)
- iWatch: who’s going to pay $17K for a device that will be obsolete in two years? (Barrons)
- Ferguson Suspect Said to Claim He Wasn’t Firing at Police (BBG)
- Why Bankers Are Leaving Finance for No-Salary Tech Jobs (BBG)
It started off as the perfect storm for futures: after Sunday night's latest plunge in WTI, which saw it drop to the lowest price since Lehman, the double whammy that has now forced Deutsche Bank to become the first major institution to forecast no growth for S&P500 EPS in 2015, namely the strong dollar, reared its ugly head and the EURUSD seemed dangerouly close to breaching the all important 1.04-1.05 support level we first noted last week. However, overnight parties tasked with preserving "financial stability" appear to have once again stepped in, and not only has the EURUSD rebounded off 1.05, but crude is now just barely down from the Friday close as all firepower is put to the same use, that sent the Shanghai Composite soaring by 2.3% overnight, and which sent the Dax over 12,000 for the first time ever.
The Austrian Black Swan Claims Its First Foreign Casualty: German Duesselhyp Collapses, To Be Bailed OutSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 03/16/2015 06:13 -0400
Moments ago we got confirmation that the next domino from the appearance of the Austrian black swan has tipped over, following a Reuters report that Germany's deposit protection fund will take over the property lender Duesseldorfer Hypothekenbank AG (DuesselHyp), which has "run into problems" due to its exposure to Austrian lender Hypo Alpe Adria's "bad bank" Heta.
This anti-capitalistic mentality has brought about today’s essentially bankrupt “middle of the road” welfare state system, in which governments and big business are in a tight embrace that utterly deadens economic progress. The EU’s latest “Four Year Plan” is yet another in a long list of examples of this prototypical continental tradition (incidentally, Europe’s moribund banking system is one of the end results of these economic policies as well). What is really required is a return to free market principles, not yet another “government plan”.
Despite the endless media onslaught, which courtesy of Apple's hundreds of billions in cash is nothing but the biggest new product paid infomercial-cum-publicity stunt to roll out the latest new "revolutionary" wearable product a just released Reuters/IPSOS poll shows that the vast majority of Americans are greeting the new Apple watch with nothing but iYawns. The poll reveals that 69% of Americans are they are not interested in buying the gadget, with 47.8% responding "not at all interested."
"Race To The Bottom" In Oil Continues: ENI (Europe's "Chevron") Halts Buyback, Raises Production, Slashes CapexSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 03/13/2015 10:55 -0400
Oil prices legged lower in the last few minutes as Italy's largest energy company ENI has made a series of rather major announcements (following Chevron's decision in January). The company plans to sell EUR8bn in assets, slash capex by 17%, and suspends buybacks. But perhaps most worryingly for the oil-patch, ENI plans to increase production 3.5% each year until 2018 as the race to the bottom in energy markets continues.
Gold's up 11% against the euro this year, in addition to 12% last year. It has risen versus many major currencies and suffered only modest declines in a few currencies this year. Most central banks are involved in competitive currency devaluations.
While none of the catalysts are new (IEA warning temporary stabilization amid rising oil glut and increased US production), it appears the February bounce is done as our discussions of storage limitations gains traction among the ETF-driven knife-catchers. April WTI Crude futures have collapsed in the last few days from over $52 to a $45 handle now - the lowest since January and only marginally above cycle lows... As oil cratered so EURUSD slipped and S&P futures fell.
- Again as first reported here: Record U.S. Oil Glut May Fill Storage, Cut Prices (BBG)
- IEA sees renewed pressure on oil prices as glut worsens (Reuters)
- No EU unanimity on renewing Russia economic sanctions (Reuters)
- Tsipras says Greece doing its part in euro zone deal (Reuters)
- ECB Set to Buy Fewer Bonds as Price Gains Ease Crunch (BBG)
- These Americans Are Getting Rich Trading Derivatives Banned in the U.S. (BBG)
- U.S. 2015 profits forecast to grow 1.7 percent; oil, dollar are concerns (Reuters) - in a month this will say "decline"
- Manhunt for shooting suspects grinds on in Ferguson, Missouri (Reuters)
Following the dramatic December surge in Russian interest rates when the Bank of Russia scrambled to preserve confidence in the then-plummeting currency and sent the interest rate to a whopping 17%, now that the oil price crash has stabilized it has been walking down this dramatic move, and after reducing rates by 2% on January 30 to 15%, moments ago the Bank of Russia once again cut rates this time by the expected 100 bps to 14%. The bank also said that more rate cuts are in the pipeline.
Closing out another whirlwind week, which has seen the biggest S&P 500 intraday plunge and surge in months, futures are taking a breath (if not so much the Nikkei which closed over 19,000 for the first time since 2000 - one wonders how many direct equity interventions it took the BOJ to achieve that artificial "price discovery"). In lieu of any notable macro news, the most significant update hit less than an hour ago when Goldman piled on the EUR pressure, when it released a note in which it further revised down its EURUSD forecast.
When things are this obviously crazy, anything is possible.