On Tuesday evening, we quantified the staggering cost of China’s near daily open FX operations in support of the yuan. In short, the new currency regime has led the PBoC to dump more US paper in the past two weeks than it had YTD. In conclusion, we asked if anyone else was set to join China in liquidating US Treasurys at a never before seen pace. Here's the answer and what it means for the US economy and monetary policy going forward.
The idea of a change towards a domestic consumption-driven economy is being revealed as a woeful disaster. You can’t magically turn into a consumer-based economy by blowing bubbles first in property and then in stocks, and hope people’s profits in both will make them spend. Because the whole endeavor was based from the get-go on huge increases in debt, the just as predictable outcome is, and will be even much more, that people count their losses and spend much less in the local economy. While those with remaining spending power purchase property in the US, Britain, Australia. And go live there too, where they feel safe(r). I fear for the Chinese citizen. Not so much for Xi and Li. They will get what they deserve.
Gross: China selling long Treasuries ????
— Janus Capital (@JanusCapital) August 26, 2015
... in the past two weeks alone China has sold a gargantuan $106 (and over) billion in US paper just as a result of the change in the currency regime!
"Some Chinese agencies involved in economic affairs have begun to assume in their research that the yuan will weaken to 7 to the dollar by the end of the year, said people familiar with the matter. [Their] projections suggest a depreciation of more than 8 percent by Dec. 31 and about 20 percent by the end of 2016."
"China halts intervention in stock market so far this week as policy makers debate merits of an unprecedented government campaign to prop up share prices and what to do next, according to people familiar with situation. Some leaders support argument that stock market is too small relative to broader economy to cause crisis, says one of the people, who asked not to be identified as deliberations are private Leaders also believe intervention is too costly, person says."
The missing clue came from a report by SocGen's Wai Yao, who first summarized the total liquidity addition impact from today's rate hike as follows "the total amount of liquidity injected will be close to CNY700bn, or $106bn based on today's onshore exchange rate." And then she explained just why the PBOC was desperate to unlock this amount of liquidity: it had nothing to do with either the stock market, nor the economy, and everything to do with the PBOC's decision from two weeks ago to devalue the Yuan. To wit:" In perspective, the PBoC may have sold more official FX reserves than this amount since the currency regime change on 11 August."
Following the recent broad market selloff which has taken all US stock indices into the red for 2015 and in some cases, red for the past 52 weeks, the real question traders should be asking themselves now that the power and potentcy of central bank intervention is increasingly questioned is whether stocks are now fundamentally cheap or at least, "fairly" valued. The answer, as SocGen's Andy Lapthorne points out, is a resounding no.
Moments ago, without any specific catalyst, US equity futures just plunged when in thin, illiquid tape, a seller took out about 30 consecutive bid levels and as of last check, the ES was down as much as -48 to just 1923, or 2.5%, after being down a modest -13 minutes ago.
"Clearly, markets have lost faith in the ability of unorthodox monetary policies to kick start the economy over time. This also fits the findings of academic literature suggestion diminishing returns from subsequent rounds of QE."
“The way to wealth in a bull market is debt. The way to oblivion in a bear market is also debt, and nobody rings a bell.” – James Grant
What does China's "surprise" move to devalue the yuan mean for "broken" EM currencies? Nothing good, Morgan Stanley says. In short, the path ahead is riddled with exported deflation and decreased trade competitiveness against a backdrop of declining global growth and trade.
When China went the "nuclear" devaluation route earlier this week, everyone knew things were about to get a whole lot worse for an EM currency basket that was already reeling from plunging commodity prices, slumping Chinese demand, and the threat of an imminent Fed hike. With some Asian currencies already falling to levels last seen 17 years ago, some analysts fear that an Asian Financial Crisis 2.0 may be just around the corner. That rather dire prediction may have been validated on Friday when Malaysia’s ringgit registered its largest one-day loss in almost two decades, as stocks plunged and bond yields rose.
The last three times Asian currencies collapsed against the US Dollar at this rate, the global financial system was shaken to the core. With China piling on this time, we wonder - what happens next, as a tsunami of deflation is exported towards the shores of the "we'll hike no matter what" Fed's American shores...
In some ways the question is not whether the renminbi is competitive or uncompetitive. The problem is that the renminbi is unambiguously less competitive than it was. This comes at a time when the Chinese economy is struggling and the stock market bubble is bursting. To all but the most PollyAnna’ish of observers that means this is the start of a major renminbi devaluation forcing the US to import even more of the world’s unwanted deflation.... Prepare for sub-1% 10y Treasury yields and another financial crisis as policy impotence is soon revealed to all.