Testimony

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"It's Probably Something" - Gold Surges Above $1200; USDJPY, Oil, Stocks Plunge





Hong Kong traders are back from vacation, and with few options on the table, they are buying the one asset that provides the best cover to central banks losing faith, demonstrated most vividly by the total failure of the BOJ, and as a result just as Yen soars above 113, gold has taken out the numerous $1,200 stops and is currently surging to levels not seen in almost a year.

 
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Good News: Hookers Aren't Planning To Hike Rates





"This is a very price elastic market. The only reason price hikes held last year was that all escorts raised their prices; customers had little choice. But it’s also a testimony to income growth: customers had the available disposable income."

 
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Top US Official Admits Government Will Use "Internet Of Things" To Spy On The Public





You can’t say you weren’t warned. The writing on the wall that “smart devices” would prove to be manna from heaven for spy agencies and hackers around the world has been obvious for a very long time. And now, from none other than James Clapper, we get confirmation...

 
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It Was Never About Oil





What we do know is that the eurodollar system is failing and we know how it is failing. From negative swap spreads to the shrunken, depressed money and credit curves, they all spell out the death of the current standard. The money supply, for lack of a more appropriate term in the “dollar’s” universe, is in the long run converging with the shriveled economic baseline. The immediate problem for our current circumstances is that we don’t yet have any idea what that foundation might look like even now- how far is down.

 
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Goldman's Take: "Additional Hikes Remain FOMC Baseline"





"BOTTOM LINE: Chair Yellen’s prepared remarks to the House Financial Services Committee contained little new information on the monetary policy outlook, and were roughly in line with comments made by Vice Chair Fischer and New York Fed President Dudley over the past couple weeks. She continued to highlight the FOMC’s expectation for “gradual” increases in the federal funds rate."

 
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Janet Yellen's "Humphrey-Hawkins" Testimony: Economic Strains, Tightening Pains, & No Stock Gains - Live Feed





Fed Chair Yellen will be presenting her semi-annual monetary policy testimony - sometimes called the "Humphrey-Hawkins" testimony - today (House Financial Services Committee) and tomorrow (Senate Banking Committee). Her prepared remarks offered little new information over the January FOMC Statement but the Q&A will likely be the most market-moving as politicians likely demand she "get back to work" for the good of the nation's shareholders.

 
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Fed Reveals Which "Developments To Financial Stability" It Is Most Worried About





Broad equity indexes have declined significantly since July 2015, and forward price-to-earnings ratios have fallen to a level closer to their averages of the past three decades.
Leverage [among speculative-grade and unrated firms] firms has risen to historical highs, especially among those in the oil industry, a development that points to somewhat elevated risks of distress for some business borrowers.

 
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Hilsenrath: Yellen's Comments Have A "Downbeat Undertone"





The only question that matters today: is a "downbeat undertone", aka bad news, good news for stocks once again, and will the market relapse to its old "bad news is great news" regime, or will it take advantage of today's brief European bank euphoria to sell the rally as it has throughout all of 2016?

 
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Yellen Hints At Slowing Economy, Dropping Stocks, Accommodative Fed, But Does Not Go "Full Dove"





With world markets begging for moar, Janet Yellen's prepared Humphrey-Hawkins Testimony was a disappointment:

  • *YELLEN: FED EXPECTS ECONOMY TO WARRANT ONLY GRADUAL RATE RISES (everything is fine)
  • *YELLEN: JOB, WAGE GAINS SHOULD SUPPORT INCOMES AND SPENDING (everything is awesome)
  • *FED REPORT: LEVERAGE RISKS IN FINANCIAL SECTOR `REMAIN LOW' (so don't worry about banks)
  • *YELLEN: FINANCIAL STRAINS COULD WEIGH ON OUTLOOK IF PERSISTENT (so, there's chance)

The bottom line this is simply a rerhash of the Jan FOMC Statement and does not offer enouigh dovishness for the market.

 
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European Banks Soar On Rumor ECB May Monetize Bank Stocks; Japan Crash Continues





While algos patiently await the only thing that matters for US stocks today which is Janet Yellen's testimony before Congress. expected to be released at 8:30 am (and previewed here), the rest of the world this morning is a hot mess of schizophrenic highs and lows.

 
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What Janet Yellen Could Say Tomorrow To Unleash A Market Surge





"The dovish surprise is if she explicitly removes March from the hiking calendar (which would be Draghi-esque in front running the FOMC), broadly hints at a delay or expresses concern on downside risk to long term inflation or structural stagnation. The intention would be to show US households, business and investors that the Fed has their back... It is unlikely, however, that pointing to negative rates or QE4 would work, as investors are increasingly skeptical that more of the same policy mix would be effective in hitting final goals."

 
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Australia Admits Recent Stellar Job Numbers Were Cooked





John Fraser, the nation’s top economic bureaucrat, told a parliamentary panel in Canberra Wednesday that he held discussions on the employment figures with the chief statistician this week. There were some “technical issues” in October and November that may have made the employment figures “look a little bit better than otherwise would be the case,” he said. The technical issues relate to “rolling off” of participants in the labor survey.

 

 
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Woeful 3 Year Auction: Tailing Yield, Plunging Bid To Cover, Sliding Indirects





One would imagine that in a market as skittish for risk as this one, that selling $24 billion in 3 Year paper would be if not as easy as pie, then as simple as last month's issuance, when not a cloud was visible when the Treasury sold 3 Year paper. One would be wrong, because moments ago the US Treasury managed to sell precisely that amount in February 2019 paper, however at a notable concession to the When Issued, with the high yield of 0.844% tailing the When Issued by 0.7 bps, while the Bid to Cover of 2.742 was the lowest since July of 2009.

 
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Former Fed President Demands Negative Rates To Combat "Terrible" Fiscal Policy





These are trying times. Fortunately, Narayana Kocherlakota is a "courageous" man with "daring" solutions.

 
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