Within the last 90 days there has been more convoluted messaging coming from the financial media, the main stream, as well as academia than we can remember. The more one looks or tries to find relevant, useful, actionable insights – the more they get conjecture. Personally we’ll take our chances with not gambling at all or looking to any of the so-called “experts” for clues. It keeps becoming abundantly more clear by the day: without the “Chair” behind the curtain. OZ is more attainable than following the road to financial freedom these people want to point out.
Oil is not quite as powerful a weapon against modern-day Russia as one might think.
Once again, following a strong 10 Year auction, today's 30 Year reopening of CUSIP RJ9 was an absolute stunner, and with the When Issued trading at 2.875%, the high yield was a very much scorching 2.848%, stopping through nearly 3 bps through the WI, and the lowest 30 Year auction yield since November 2012. The reason for this impressive surge in last minute interest: a record low takedown by Dealers who got just 25.9% of the auction as they were pushed out by the other two bidding groups. Sure enough, there was an absolute scramble by Indirects (49.8%) and Directs (24.3%) both of which received, logically, a record high takedown for a 30 Year. And finally with the Bid to Cover soaring to 2.762, this was the highest since January of 2013.
As the sun sets in Athens, we thought a moment of reflection was worthwhile. Greek stocks are now down 13% - the biggest single-day drop since (drum roll please) the crash of 1987... led by total carnage in Greek banks (down 15-25% on the day). Greek bond yields exploded, 3YR +183bps to a new post-bailout high at 8.32% (and inverted to 10Y).
Earlier today, just after the market open, the one company that everyone had once again piled into, and which as of September 30 was the most held company by the hedge fund community with at least 175 "smart money" institutional fans based on expectations that with every other stock and asset becoming increasingly illiquid, at least this one would preserve its liquidity come hell or high water, flash crashed. The company is Apple, So what happend? Between 9:49:54 and 9:50:43 Eastern, AAPL plunged from nearly 6%, from $117.69 to $111.27, a moved which wiped out one Transcanada (or one Travelers, or one Lukoil, or one Carnival, or one Christian Dior, or one Hyundai Motor Company, or one Takeda, or one State Street) in market cap.
"As was true at the 2000 and 2007 extremes, Wall Street is quite measurably out of its mind. There’s clear evidence that valuations have little short-term impact provided that risk-aversion is in retreat (which can be read out of market internals and credit spreads, which are now going the wrong way). There’s no evidence, however, that the historical relationship between valuations and longer-term returns has weakened at all. Yet somehow the awful completion of this cycle will be just as surprising as it was the last two times around – not to mention every other time in history that reliable valuation measures were similarly extreme. Honestly, you’ve all gone mad."
There is a saying that you don’t ring bells at the top. It’s not really true. Every time the market forms a major peak, at least in the last 15 years, there are usually a preponderance of signs of excessive speculation and leverage.
Gold spiked higher in many price feeds overnight and was $270 higher or more than 22% higher to $1,467.50/oz at one stage in what appears to have been some form of computer glitch. It was not manipulation, a short squeeze, or a modern Chinese or Russian ‘Goldfinger’ sending a pointed message to Washington.
A few points the "stocks are cheap" crowd should consider.
‘Punishment Interest,’ as Germans call it with Teutonic precision, becomes a pandemic.
The BTFDippier of the fast money is already rotating into a long-Europe mode: their entire thesis is that sooner or later the whales will have no choice but to follow the momentum chasers right back into Europe, because where else are they going to go: in the "safety" of the S&P's 19x GAAP P/E? In theory this would be a great strategy, if only in a world in which nobody actually does any fundamental homework and the only thing that matters is frontrunning the next great sucker. In practice, it is fatally wrong. As the following observation from hedge fund Lyxor shows, while CTA and momentum strats have indeed bailed on Europe in recent months, the so-called smart money, the "global macro" funds never left.
In 2013; a chain of events led to what was (at the time) the greatest stampede into gold in human history. It began with the Cyprus Steal, the West’s first “bail-in”. This led to the realization (by the Smart Money) that no paper assets were safe any longer, within any Western financial institution or market.
These people know the gravy train is about to run off the rails and they’re looking for safety. They don’t care if they miss out on another 5% gain in the stock market, they want to get out of stocks NOW.
In recent days, there has been a global scramble to acquire silver bullion coins and bars after the price falls according to Reuters. Maple Leaf silver coins are difficult to acquire according to bullion dealers, with the Royal Canadian Mint on allocation from September. There is a concern that supply times will increase and premiums are likely to jump according to Reuters. “A tumble in silver prices to four-year lows has triggered a global scramble by consumers to purchase silver coins and bars, as the spread between the price of the metal and gold reaches its widest in five years. Retailers and distributors in Asia and the United States said they were struggling to get supplies of items such as Canadian Maple Leaf silver coins. While demand for silver has been strong over the last few months, retailers say buying interest soared in recent days as the metal fell towards its lowest since 2010, along with gold.
Greenspan told the CFR that "gold is a good place to put money these days given it's value as a currency outside of the policies conducted by governments." "Gold has always been accepted without reference to any other guarantee." When asked where the price of gold was headed in the next five years he said “higher --- measurably" ...