Sovereign Debt

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This Has Never Happened Before Without A Massive Bubble Bursting





As the chart demonstrates, there has never been a time when the all important leading indicator that is the San Fran housing market (see here for the reasons why) has posted such a steep slowdown in annual price increases without a bubble of some sort, be it the dot com, the first housing or the European sovereign debt bubble, having burst. Will this time finally be different?

 
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How China & Gold Will Shape The Future





Willem Middlekoop, author of The Big Reset – The War On Gold And The Financial Endgame, believes the current international monetary system has entered its last term and is up for a reset. Having predicted the collapse of the real estate market in 2006, (while Ben Bernanke didn't), Middlekoop asks (rhetorically) - can the global credit expansion 'experiment' from 2002 – 2008, which Bernanke completely underestimated, be compared to the global QE 'experiment' from 2008 – present? - the answer is worrisome. In the following presentation he shares his thoughts on the future of the global monetary system; and how gold, the US and China are paramount for its outcome.

 
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Frontrunning: October 24





  • Doctor with Ebola in New York hospital after return from Guinea (Reuters)
  • Ebola Puts Spotlight on Bellevue, Key NYC Trauma Center (WSJ)
  • Uber Driver Transported Ebola-Positive Doctor in New York (BBG)
  • GOP Gains in Key Senate Races as Gender Gap Narrows (WSJ)
  • ECB Tries for Third Time Lucky in European Stress Tests (BBG)
  • Security tight in Canada as police probe Parliament gunman's ties (Reuters)
  • Why Madrid's poor fear Goldman Sachs and Blackstone (Reuters)
  • Fed’s $4 Trillion Holdings Keep Boosting Growth Beyond End of QE (BBG)
 
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Overnight Futures Fail To Ramp As Algos Focus On New York's First Ever Ebola Case





And just like that, the Ebola panic is back front and center, because after one week of the west African pandemic gradually disappearing from front page coverage and dropping out of sight and out of mind, suddenly Ebola has struck at global ground zero. While the consequences are unpredictable at this point, and a "follow through" infection will only set the fear level back to orange, we applaud whichever central bank has been buying futures (and the USDJPY) because they clearly are betting that despite the first ever case of Ebola in New York, that this will not result in a surge in Ebola scare stories, which as we showed a few days ago, may well have been the primary catalyst for the market freakout in the past month.

 
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The Complete Robin Hood Conference Summary





From Tepper's "Short The Euro," call (which he hopes does better than his "bond bull is over" call) to Icahn's "HY credit is in a bubble... and I am short" warning, The 2-day Robin Hood conference in NYC had something for everyone. Paul Tudor Jones thinks US equities will outperform the rest of the world this year but "the piper will be paid one day," and Larry Fink says "equities are health" after last week's correction... and Whitney Tilson is short Lumber Liquidators (trade accordingly).

 
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Wall Street Is One Sick Puppy - Thanks To Even Sicker Central Banks





Last Wednesday the markets plunged on a vague recognition that the central bank promoted recovery story might not be on the level. But that tremor didn’t last long. Right on cue the next day, one of the very dimmest Fed heads - James Dullard of St Louis - mumbled incoherently about a possible QE extension, causing the robo-traders to erupt with buy orders. And its no different anywhere else in the central bank besotted financial markets around the world. Everywhere state action, not business enterprise, is believed to be the source of wealth creation - at least the stock market’s paper wealth version and even if for just a few more hours or days. The job of the monetary politburo is apparently to sift noise out of the in-coming data noise - even when it is a feedback loop from the Fed’s own manipulation and interventions.

 
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The ECB Changes Its Mind Which Bonds It Will Monetize, Then It Changes It Again





To get a sense of just how chaotic, unprepared, confused and in a word, clueless the ECB is about just its "private QE", aka purchases of ABS, which should begin in the "next few days" (but certainly don't hold your breath) - let alone the monetization of public sovereign debt - here is Exhibit A. Because if you were confused about what is about to happen, don't worry: it appears the ECB hardly has any idea either, because it was just on October 7 when 40 ABS bonds were dropped from the ECB's "eligible for purchasing" list. And then, just a week later, the ECB changed its mind about changing it mind, and reinstated 19 of the ineligible bonds right back!

 
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Forget Ebola - Here's Why US Banks Are Now Extremely Vulnerable





With a combined position of nearly $2 trillion in US government debt, against which they hold little or no capital buffer, US banks are now extremely vulnerable to a bond market sell-off.

 
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Monetary Policy And Impact On Assets





The last note briefly addressed the benefits associated with the reverse repurchase facility (RRF). Indeed liabilities have increasingly moved from bank balance sheets to the Fed, freeing lending capacity. One must recall reserves are not fungible outside of the banking system (but can act as collateral for margin). With flow decreasing, the opportunity for small relative volume bids spread over a large quantity of transactions (most instances per unit time) decreased with market prices in many asset markets. Is more downside coming?

 
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Ireland’s Debt-Ridden Government Is Now Being Paid To Borrow





About 36 months ago Ireland’s two-year notes were yielding 14% and its government and the Brussels apparatchiks were scrambling with tin cup in hand to stave off disaster. Now their yield is negative 0.01%.

 
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"Russia Could Ditch Dollar In 2-3 Years"; Deputy PM Warns Nuclear Subs "Could Reach Any Country On Any Continent"





"Two to three years is enough, not only to launch [settlements in rubles], but also to complete these mechanisms," says Andrey Kostin, head of Russia’s second-biggest bank VTB, noting that the possibility of the US and EU widening sanctions to exclude Russia from the SWIFT global money transfer system would become “a point of no return” making any further dialog impossible. However, as Deputy Prime Minister Dmitri Rogozin explains in this interview, how Russia's military and industrial complex is responding to a growing threat from America. Russia is not responding with any talk about the nuclear button (at least not yet); but they are preparing for such an eventuality: "we are creating a nuclear submarine fleet... capable of reaching any country on any continent, if [USA] suddenly becomes the aggressor, and our top-most national interests come under threat," adding that Obama's coup has ushered in "the complete demise of the Ukrainian State."

 
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America's "All Important" Housing Market Flashing Red After Bad Data Double Whammy





The ultra high end of US housing is now sliding fast, and that unless some other central banks steps up and resumes the injections of some $100 billion in outside money into inflating asset prices such as stocks and billionaire mansions, then all bets are soon off.

 
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Peak Debt - Why The Keynesian Money Printers Are Done





Self-evidently, all the major economies are saturated with debt. Accordingly, central bank balance sheet expansion has lost its Keynesian magic entirely. Now the great sea of freshly minted liquidity simply fuels the carry trades as gamblers everywhere load up with any asset that generates a yield or short-run capital gain, and fund these bloated positions with cheap options and repo style finance. But here’s the obvious thing. Central banks can’t normalize interest rates - that is, allow the money markets to rise off the zero-bound - without triggering a violent unwind of the carry trades on which today’s massive asset inflation is built. On the other hand, they can no longer stimulate GDP growth, either, because the credit expansion channel to the main street economy of households and business is blocked by the reality of peak debt. Yes, the era of Keynesian money printing is over and done. But don’t wait for the small lady at the Fed to sing, either.

 
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The Escape Velocity Delusion: Running Out Of "Next Year"





The bull case is not the recovery or the economy as it exists, it is the promise of one and the plausibility for that promise. Under that paradigm, the market doesn’t care whether orthodox economists are 'right', only that there is always next year. Other places in the world, however, are running out of “next year.” The greatest risk in investing under these conditions is the Greater Fool problem. Anyone using mainstream economic projections and thus expecting a bull market will be that Fool. That was what transpired in 2008 as the entire industry moved toward overdrive to convince anyone even thinking about mitigation or risk adjustments that it was 'no big deal'. Remember: "The risk that the economy has entered a substantial downturn appears to have diminished over the past month or so." - Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, June 9, 2008.

 

 
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