The similarities between the current crisis and that which unfolded in 1997/98 were so readily apparent that many analysts began to draw comparisons and that may have added fuel to fire over the past week. Now, there seems to be a concerted effort to calm the market by explaining that while there are similarities, there are also differences. And while some of the world's imperiled EM economies may be in better shape to defend themselves this time around, when attempting to cope with a meltdown it may be more important to look at where things are similar and on that note, here’s some color from Morgan Stanley and BofAML.
These are Goldman's four reasons why the bank expects the S&P 500 will end 2015 unchanged from the current level: High starting valuation, negligible earnings growth, outflow from domestic equity mutual funds and ETFs, and modest economic growth. Offsetting these headwinds to a higher market, buybacks remain robust and serve as a pillar of support in the current environment.
... and the ECB printing presses!
Anyone with any sense for global economic trends ought to be worried. The signs are everywhere of a serious deflationary crisis.
Despite claiming yesterday's devaluation was a "one-off", The PBOC has devalued the Yuan Fix dramatically for the 2nd day in a row - now 22 handles weaker than Monday's Fix. Offshore Yuan is trading at 4 year lows against the USD. The carnage from this dramatic shift is just beginning as global equity markets (US futures to China cash) are tumbling, US Treasury bond yields are crashing, gold is up, China credit risk is at 2 year highs, and China implied vol has exploded to 4 year highs. Ironically, China's government mouthpeiece Xinhua explains "China is not waging a currency war; merely fixing a discrepancy."
Right now, Deutsche Bank's cross-asset-class research warns, all signals other than the offered equity risk premium suggest caution...
It appears that after the great collapse of 2014, oil trading "god" Andy Hall refused to learn from his mistakes, and was convinced that oil would promptly rebound up to its historic levels. He was wrong, and as Reuters reports, after two consecutive months of 3% losses in May and June at which point he was up just 2% for the year, July was by far the cruelest month in history for the oil trader, a month in which he suffered a whopping 17% loss, one which lowered his aum by $500 million to $2.8 billion.
We have lived through a credit hyper-expansion for the record books, with an unprecedented generation of excess claims to underlying real wealth. In doing so we have created the largest financial departure from reality in human history. Bubbles are not new – humanity has experienced them periodically going all the way back to antiquity – but the novel aspect of this one, apart from its scale, is its occurrence at a point when we have reached or are reaching so many limits on a global scale. The retrenchment we are about to experience as this bubble bursts is also set to be unprecedented, given that the scale of a bust is predictably proportionate to the scale of the excesses during the boom that precedes it. Deflation and depression are mutually reinforcing, meaning the downward spiral will continue for many years. China is the biggest domino about to fall, and from a great height as well, threatening to flatten everything in its path on the way down. This is the beginning of a New World Disorder…
And so the 2015 season of the Greek drama is coming to a close following last night's vote in Greek parliament to vote the country into even more austerity than was the case before Syriza was voted into power with promises of removing all austerity, even with Europe - which formally admits Greece is unsustainable in its current debt configuration - now terminally split on how to proceed, with Germany's finmin still calling for a "temporary Grexit", the IMF demanding massive debt haircuts, while the rest of Europe (and not so happy if one is Finnish or Dutch) just happy to kick the can for the third time.
ECB’S RIMSEVICS SAYS INTRODUCTION OF ANOTHER CURRENCY IN GREECE IS MOST REALISTIC SCENARIO, MAY BE ONE LESS EURO ZONE MEMBER IN FUTURE
Should markets fret, and ECB action becomes necessary then we think the markets will price ECB action well before highly stressed levels. If we for instance take it view of the monetary policy stance impact seriously then market moves that take real yields to levels that persisted before the ECB started easing policy (negative rates started in Jun 2014) may be a trigger point.
It seems Goldman Sachs' conspiracy theory was right all along...
ECB'S COEURE SAYS ECB IS EVEN READY TO USE NEW INSTRUMENTS, WITHIN ITS MANDATE
GREECE COULD EXIT EURO, COEURE SAYS IN LES ECHOS INTERVIEW
This is exactly what The ECB wanted all along (and their leaders overlords) - all they needed was an 'excuse'. Or, in the parlance of Rahm Emanuel's times, "Let no Greek default crisis go to QE waste."
"... the immediate aftermath of such a non-payment will be to push bond yields up across the periphery. This rise in the fiscal risk premium (Exhibit 3) will of course be limited, because the ECB will likely accelerate QE, including via the Bundesbank. That will push rate differentials, especially longer-dated ones, against EUR/$. We estimate that the initial fiscal risk premium effect could be three big figures, while the subsequent QE effect could be worth around seven big figures"
A Greek exit from the euro would change everything. The greatest change being simply doubt and fear regarding the outlook for other vulnerable EU nations, EU banks and the EU banking and financial system. We discuss short and long term considerations, best and case outcomes, and wealth preservation strategies.
While investor behavior hasn't sunk to the depths seen just before the crisis, Oaktree Capital's Howard marks warns, in many ways it has entered the zone of imprudence. "Today I feel it's important to pay more attention to loss prevention than to the pursuit of gain... Although I have no idea what could make the day of reckoning come sooner rather than later, I don’t think it’s too early to take today’s carefree market conditions into consideration. What I do know is that those conditions are creating a degree of risk for which there is no commensurate risk premium."