Late last month, we suggested that the pressure on Chinese equities - which at that point had only begun to build - was at least partially attributable to an unwind in the country’s CNY1 trillion backdoor margin lending edifice. Precisely measuring the amount of shadow financing that helped drive Chinese stocks to nosebleed levels is virtually impossible, as is determining how much of that leverage has been unwound and how much remains or has been restored, but BofAML is out with a valiant attempt to not only identify each shadow lending channel, but to quantify just how much leverage may be built into the Chinese market. The figures will shock you.
The ongoing downshift in property construction will continue to undercut China's demand for commodities, raw materials and machinery, weigh on property as well as mining and industrial investment, and be a drag for overall GDP growth in 2016. The most direct and important channel through which this impact spreads is trade linkages, given China's role as the top exporter and second largest importer in the world.
There has been so much attention on Greece in recent weeks, but the truth is that Greece represents only a very tiny fraction of an unprecedented global debt bomb which threatens to explode at any moment. The only “solution” under our current system is to kick the can down the road for as long as we can until this colossal debt pyramid finally collapses in upon itself.
China’s central bank is officially in the business of financing leveraged stock buying and as Bloomberg reports, the country's state-run margin lender now has the capacity to pump the equivalent of five Greek bailouts into leveraged stock trades.
One of the most entertaining angles of the imperial spectacle known as the 2016 U.S. Presidential campaign, has been watching Hillary Clinton, the consummate insider, pretend to be an outsider. The fact that anyone eats this up is a testament to the epic stupidity and ignorance of the American public.
The one undeniable truth about the debt drama in Greece is that each of the conventional narratives - financial, political and historical - has some claim of legitimacy. These facts matter not only because contagion from Greek debt defaults may ripple in dangerous ways through the financial system, but because they are also true for many other members of the Eurozone. The Euro is a fatally-flawed monetary concept and what we now seeing playing out was eminently predictable from the start.
"The explosion in margin financing behind the recent astonishing run-up in Chinese A shares is a new twist on China credit concerns, a long-standing grey swan for Chinese and global growth. As of the beginning of June, the balance of margin financing outstanding was RMB2.2tn, an estimated 12% of the free float market cap of marginable stocks and 3.5% of GDP—easily the highest in the history of global equity markets."
The Chinese economy is in an obvious deepening swoon and the median company on the Shanghai exchange had a PE ratio of 60X before the recent break. But no matter. Not only does everything financial race the skyscrapers to the sky in the land of red capitalism, but valuation upside is apparently whatever the comrades in Beijing want it to be. Says Goldman’s chief stock tout for China,“It’s not in a bubble yet.”. Why? Because “China’s government has a lot of tools to support the market.”
That an ETF can satisfy redemption with underlying bonds or shares, only raises the nightmare possibility of a disillusioned and uninformed public throwing in the towel once again after they receive thousands of individual odd lot pieces under such circumstances.
China's margin loan balance sits at around CNY2.2 trillion, and while that’s certainly impressive, there’s every reason to believe that at least another CNY500 billion in margin lending has been funneled into the Chinese stock market via the country’s shadow banking complex. As regulators tighten the screws on shadow margin lending, are stocks in for a rude awakening?
China has officially doubled the quota on a critical local government bond swap program designed to help provincial authorities crawl out from beneath a debt pile that amounts to some 35% of GDP. Participating banks can pledge the newly issued muni bonds for cash, but with four policy rate cuts already on the books this year, it isn't clear that more liquidity is the answer when it comes to boosting credit creation.
"How long the bubble can continue to inflate is the key question – but necessarily unanswerable. Inherently irrational, bubbles usually last longer than expected, [but they] ultimately burst... they expand continuously, then pop."
Anxiety over financial stability and shadow banking risks appear to have force Christine Lagarde and her fellow extrapolators to hit the panic button:
IMF CUTS U.S. 2015 GROWTH FORECAST TO 2.5% FROM 3.1%, URGES FED TO DELAY FIRST RATE INCREASE UNTIL 1H 2016
Adding that they viewed the Dollar as "moderately overvalued" and any more appreciation would be "harmful," it seems global disinflationary pressures have left the IMF no choice but to say publicly what everyone has uttered under their breath. Now Yellen is really cornered.. and just exactly how are the talking heads going to spin this as positive?
Over the past several months we’ve seen at least three examples of Chinese defaults including Baoding Tianwei Group, a subsidiary of state-owned parent China South Industries. This suggests Beijing will begin to take a more hands-off approach when it comes to propping up borrowers. The latest example is a profitable duck processing company, which FT says has defaulted on its debts after banks refused to roll over its loans.