The cries for going totally crazy are growing louder... the lunatics are running the asylum. One shouldn’t underestimate what they are capable of. The only consolation is that the day will come when the monetary cranks will be discredited again (for the umpteenth time). Thereafter it will presumably take a few decades before these ideas will rear their head again (like an especially sturdy weed, the idea that inflationism can promote prosperity seems nigh ineradicable in the long term – it always rises from the ashes again). The bad news is that many of us will probably still be around when the bill for these idiocies will be presented.
Today we got yet another confirmation that China's July announcement on its gold holdings merely broke the seal of accumulation when the PBOC reported that its total gold holdings as of October 31 had risen to a record $63.3 billion, up $2.1 billion from $61.2 billion at the end of September, and an increase of 14 tons based on the month-end LBMA gold fix price. This represents the fifth consecutive month in a row in which China has added to its gold.
The Sellside Reacts: "December Liftoff Is A Lock" But "There Is No Such Thing As A Dovish Rate Hike"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 11/06/2015 09:25 -0500
"Barring disaster, this makes December liftoff a lock. It won’t stop the FOMC from being very dovish sounding and reiterating the commitment to a very slow path, as Evans did on TV a few minutes ago. The question is whether the market believes them if the numbers keep coming in on the strong side."
Much like the NBS will obscure any weakness below 7% in China’s GDP data, the PBoC will do “whatever it takes” (central bank pun fully intended) to make sure the market doesn’t get wind of the fact that there’s still a tremendous amount of pressure in terms of capital outflows. As Bloomberg reports, "The People’s Bank of China and local lenders increased their holdings in onshore forwards to $67.9 billion in August, positions that would boost China’s currency against the dollar. The amount is five times more than the average in the first seven months."
"You Never Go Full-Krugman": Insane Helicopter Money Calls Continue As Trapped Central Banks Face Keynesian EndgameSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 10/07/2015 14:31 -0500
"The helicopter. Rather than buying assets, central banks drop money on the street. Or even better, in a more modern and civilised fashion, credit our bank accounts!" Yes, "even better!"...
And just like that Weimar 2.0 is born.
Two weeks ago, Citigroup presented what it thinks is the biggest nightmare for the Fed: it said that the FOMC’s "biggest worry is not lift off and its market and economic implications, but what happens if the economic recovery dies of old age without the Fed having done anything to tighten." And, according to Citi's FX strategists, "if this were to occur, the USD would probably fall faster than it rose from July-March." A precursor to loss of faith in the Dollar's reserve currency status perhaps. Today, Citi's Steven Englander lays out what is the Fed's second biggest nightmare: a rebound which is so fast, the Fed's entire carefully planned renormalization schedule collapses.
History literally appears to be repeating. The mainstream media and our politicians are promising Americans that everything is going to be okay somehow, and that seems to be good enough for most people. But the signs that another massive financial crisis is on the horizon are everywhere.
Same slide, different day, as the crude crash continues, with both WTI and Brent tumbling to multi-year highs, below $49 and $52 respectively. This happened despite the news overnight that China is accelerating 300 infrastructure projects valued at 7 trillion yuan ($1.1 trillion) this year, suggesting that China will focus more on fiscal policy than monetary easing, which in turn led to much confusion in the SHCOMP, which fluctuated up and down for the day several times before finally closing unchanged. There was no confusion about the stops slamming USDJPY, and its Nikkei225 derivative which tumbled 3%, sending Japanese Treasury yields to fresh record lows. Record low yields were also seen in Germany, Austria, Belgium, Netherlands, Finland, France (and many other places), which in turn forced the US 10 Year to finally dip back under 2.00%. In fact, taken together, the average 10Y bond yield of the U.S., Japan and Germany has dropped below 1% for the first time ever, according to Citi.
"The new information on global slowing may be less important than the realization that policymakers have few tools to deal with any kind of slowing, let alone a major shock. G3 10yr government rates now average 1.27, within 10bps of the all-time pre-tapering low of 2013 (Figure 1). So if the last 100bps of rate reduction did not stimulate global growth, it does not seem likely that another 20-30bps or so in the presence of negative demand shocks will do the trick. The market takeaway from their comments is that the US economy is not strong enough to stand on its own, leaving little hope for the rest of the world, which is already slowing. Moreover since investors and business do not have particular confidence that the policy response will be effective, any upgrading of the risk of negative shocks raises the probability that we may be put into a zone to which there is no adequate response."
And it all started off so promisingly, when after the biggest selloff in US stocks in two months, the BOJ and its preferred banks once again sold 6J (i.e., bought USDJPY) in the morning Japan session (while collecting CME liquidity rebates of course), sending the pair from below 108 to half the way to 109, and naturally taking global futures higher while pushing yields lower when as ITC says a "large TY seller knocked USTs to lows during the session" - hmmm, wonder who the large seller was. And then... the "rebound euphoria" fizzled a la Sodastream, sending the Nikkei sliding 1.2%, and US equity futures back to unchanged with the bond surge returning and sending German Bunds to new all time highs once again, while the Dax briefly broke below under 9000 before stabilizing at the key support level. It is unclear what caused the failure in central bank euphoria, although some suggest that the latest bevy of disappointing economic news wasn't quite bad enough.
For those just catching up on the main news event of the weekend, namely the sudden surge in Scotland "Yes" vote polling surpassing 50% for the first time, here is a complete round up of the background, updates and expert reactions from RanSquawk, Bloomberg and AFP.
The consensus expectation is overwhelming that Fed Chair Yellen will deliver a dovish message at Jackson Hole. Macro investors have largely eliminated their short Treasury position and look to be long risk, particularly via equities and EM. FX positioning is long USD and long EM, the long USD largely because the euro zone economy is slipping again and the ECB is hinting at further ease. Our question is whether Yellen can be more dovish than what is now priced in, not whether she will be dovish on the Richter scale of dovishness. Full dovish, semi-dovish, or contingent dovish.
This is a tricky period for asset markets, warns Citi's Steven Englander. Positioning still reflects a risk-on view but the risk-on enthusiasm is in EM, equities and Asia rather than peripheral Europe. Investors are still long risk, despite the geopolitical tensions and Fed Chair Yellen’s modest nod to the risk of faster than expected tightening, Englander cautions, concluding that investors continue to anticipate a soft landing despite all the discussion to the contrary.
This shortened week is dominated by a veritable explosion of critical jobs market data on Thursday. As Citi's Steven Englander notes, there are five key US labor indicators - two of which will be initial asset market drivers: Citi expects disappointment; and three more that will give signals more relevant to the medium term evolution of asset markets and Citi think will give a more positive signal.