"It's Coming To A Head In 2016" - Why Bank of America Thinks The Probability Of A Chinese Crisis Is 100%Submitted by Tyler Durden on 01/04/2016 21:46 -0500
"It seems to us that the government’s policy options are rapidly narrowing – one only needs to look at how difficult it has been for the government to hold up GDP growth since mid-2014. A slow-down in economic growth is typically a prelude to financial sector instability. Putting it all together, it seems to us that many of these conflicts may come to a head in 2016."
Important pillars of the bull case evaporated throughout 2015. Global price pressures weakened, the global Credit backdrop deteriorated and the global economy decelerated. The huge bets on central bank policies left markets at high risk for abrupt reversals and trade unwinds – 2015 The Year of the Erratic Crowded Trade. Indeed, a global bear market commenced yet most remain bullish. Serious and objective analysts would view this ominously.
Santa Claus is cutting it close: after stocks closed down yesterday, and just fractionally red for the year, the jolly old gift-giver (who now has activist investors breathing down his neck) has just three trading days to push if not stocks then the market into the green for the year. And so far, so good, with US equity futures rising by 8 points or 0.4%, on the back of some modest renewed Dollar strength but mostly on oil, which after yesterday's big slide, has managed to stem the decline and is up fractionally, just under $37, along with other commodities if not copper, which falls for second day.
Back in August, angry investors captured Shan Jiuliang, the head of Fanya Metals Exchange, in a daring predawn raid on a luxury hotel in Shanghai. The citizen's arrest came after Fanya stopped making payments on WMPs it issued. Now, it appears as though Shan has been captured again - only this time, it's not clear whether he'll be coming back.
Because when your year-end bonus depends on you not seeing it coming, you don't.
In light of surging concerns about mutual and hedge fund fixed income (and soon other asset classes) "gating", "runs" or outright liquidation, Deutsche Bank has prepared the following infographic which summarizes the main choke points which predispose both open and closed-end funds to runs or outright shutdown.
"Like most turns in the credit cycle, it is uncertain exactly when the bottom will fall out of corporate credit markets, but the catalyst is likely to be an unexpected major event, perhaps even a single company getting into trouble. While we have been bearish on high yield for over a year now, we didn't think the conditions were yet ripe for a collapse. Now they're ripe."
- Ellington Management
All great monetary fiascos are forged upon a foundation of misperceptions and flawed premises. There’s always an underlying disturbance in money and credit masked by supposed new understandings, technologies, capabilities and superior financial apparatus. The notion back in 2006 and 2007 that the world was at the brink of a major crisis was considered absolute wackoism. Incredibly – and well worth contemplating these days - virtually no one saw the deep structural impairment associated with the protracted Bubble in “Wall Street Finance.” An even more momentous monetary fiasco has been perpetrated since the 2008 crisis, constructed upon a foundation of even more outlandish misperceptions and flawed premises.
China’s producers couldn’t get the prices they wanted anymore, as early as 4 years ago, and that’s where deflationary forces came in. No matter how much extra credit/debt was injected into the money supply, the spending side started to stutter. It never recovered.
In a sign that the slowing economy, rising bank NPLs, and lackluster demand for credit from overleveraged corporates is overwhelming Beijin's easing efforts, China's October loan growth data came in far weaker than expected in yet another sign that all is most certainly not well with the world's engine of global growth and trade. Meanwhile, fiscal spending soared as it now appears Beijing may have no choice but to go the helicopter route if it hopes to reignite growth.
“Debt wasn’t a problem during the boom years because profits kept growing. But it’s not sustainable when the economy slows."
We found something unexpected when skimming through the website of China's finance ministry.
"While traditional bank loans are not Chu’s prime focus -- she looks at the wider picture, including shadow banking -- she says her work suggests that nonperforming loans may be at 20 percent to 21 percent, or even higher."
China as the global Bubble’s focal point – the weak link yet, at the same time, the key marginal source of Bubble finance. China’s policy course appears to focus on two facets: to stabilize the yuan versus the dollar and to resuscitate Credit expansion. For better than two decades, similar policy courses were followed by myriad EM policymakers in hopes of sustaining financial and economic booms. Many cases ended in abject failure – often spectacularly. Why? Because when officials resort to such measures to sustain faltering Bubbles it generally works to only exacerbate systemic fragilities. For one, late-stage reflationary measures compound Credit system vulnerability while compounding structural impairment to the real economy. Secondly, central bank and banking system Credit-bolstering measures create liquidity that invariably feeds destabilizing “capital” and “hot money” outflows.