As so often happens, whenever there is a political spat in Europe, the rating agencies are quickly involved (thing S&P and Moody's downgrades and upgrades of Greece depending on how well the vassal nation is "behaving"), and moments ago S&P downgraded Poland from A- to BBB+ outlook negative, precisely due to Poland's new media law which has been the topic of so much consternation over the past week. In other words, S&P is now nothing more than a lackey for Brussels, threatening to send Polish yields higher if Poland does not fall in line.
...the Swiss canton of Zug is asking its citizens to delay paying their taxes for as long as possible, because the cantonal government doesn’t want to take in a pile of cash, only to end up paying the bank interest on all the tax revenue.
The Hedge Fund Known As The Swiss National Bank Posts A Record $23 Billion Loss, Down 4%, On EUR, AAPL, VRXSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 01/08/2016 15:01 -0400
In a year in which the smartest money around the world failed to generate any profit, the hedge fund known as the SNB was likewise slammed, and earlier today, it announced in a preliminary report (the full results will be out on March 4) that it had suffered a CHF23 billion ($23.05 billion) loss in the past year, or about 4% of its assets under management. In retrospect, considering some of the double-digit losses recorded by the marquee hedge fund names, a 4% loss looks downright respectable by funds who "hedge" only in name.
For most investors, the major story of 2015 was the expectation and eventual fulfillment of a rate hike, signalling the start of tightening monetary policy in the United States. This policy is divergent to those of other major central banks, and this has translated into considerable strength and momentum for the U.S. dollar. Despite this strength, the best performing currency in 2015 was not the dollar. In fact, the top currency of 2015 is likely to be considered the furthest thing from the greenback.
There is a populist idea of money printing. The idea is that banks can just print what they want, enriching themselves... does it really work this way?
Happy New Year: Global Stocks Crash After China Is Halted Limit Down In Worst Start To Year In HistorySubmitted by Tyler Durden on 01/04/2016 07:46 -0400
It all started off relatively well: oil and US equity futures were buoyant on hopes Iran and Saudi Arabia would break out in a bloody conflict any minute boosting the net worth of shareholders of the military industrial complex, and then, out of nowhere, like a depressed China in a bull shop, the "mainland" crashed the party and it all well south very, very quickly...
While most hedge funds will be glad to close the books on a year in which they once again dramatically underperformed a market which hugged the flatline courtesy of just a few stocks (even as most stocks posted substantial declines) and where "hedge fund hotels" such as Valeant suffered dramatic implosions, a handful of traders generated impressive returns for their investors and made billions by going against the herd.
Most people assume that prices move as a result of changes in the money supply. Instead, let’s look at the effect of changes in interest.
"If, as seems possible, the ECB will increase, in H1 2016, the scale of its monthly asset purchases from €60bn to, say, €75bn, and if these additional purchases are concentrated on public debt, the euro area will benefit from a ‘backdoor’ helicopter money drop –something long overdue."
On Dec 16, Federal Chair Janet Yellen announced the Fed was raising the federal funds rate by 25 basis points. She will have to take it back.
Many people wonder why couldn’t we let the market set the interest rate. After all, we don’t have a Corn Control Agency or a Lumber Board. So why do we have a Federal Open Market Committee? It’s a very good question.
...and a trader who doesn’t pay attention to the modern realities of market structure and liquidity provision is not long for this world.
Scott Sumner said he had a “modest” proposal: there should be a highly liquid futures market in Nominal Gross Domestic Product. Let's look at that.
2015 ends with the market cap of Amazon & Google exceeding that of every single Chinese company in the MSCI China index… the US stock market a mere 107 trading days away from becoming the 2nd longest bull market of all-time, with equity leadership driven by “growth” (longest duration of outperformance ever) & “quality” (at all-time relative high)… and $6trn of negatively-yielding government bonds, $17trn of bonds yielding <1%, and the Fed expected to raise the Fed funds rates for the 1st time since 2006.