Yesterday's epic failure of central bank intervention when both Turkey and South Africa hiked rates only to see their currency initially bounce then collapse, is long forgotten, and early today, the USDTRY once again traded to the rather unstable level of 2.30 and threatened with yet another rout, before verbal intervention out of Russia managed to soothe nerves on edge around the EM world. What followed out of Turkey, however, was an epic verbal diarrhea from both the government and the central bank, which firmly proves the nation on the Bosphorus truly has no idea what it is doing. Here is the evidence.
Don’t you just hate the smuggish guys that sit behind desks and that say ‘I told you so’? There’s probably only one thing you hate more and that’s the racers that are running to predict the end of the world. Doom and gloom.
Asset-gatherers and talking-heads are in full panic mode. Stocks tumbled ince again today and there was very little "off the lows" talk. The "turmoil" panic in the hearts and minds of every Wall Street strategist palpable as the Fed failed to save us from another down day. Trannies, Russell, and the Dow are down around 5.5% from their highs; the S&P down around 4%; and the Nasdaq around 4.5% from its multi-year highs last week. Today's plunge of over 35 points the S&P futures from the "where are all the sellers, EM is fixed" post-Turkey highs at 1801 is a very sizable outside range day. Of course it was all about the ongoing unwind of levered JPY carry trades as 102 becomes crucial to any bounce in stocks. VIX rose 1.7 vols to 17.5%; credit spreads popped notably wider post FOMC; EM FX turmoiled considerably lower and while the USD was stable (there was plenty of puking in AUD and JPY). Treasury yields tumbled to fresh 10 week lows (10Y -8bps at 2.66% at the lows). Gold and silver rallied post-FOMC and recovered yesterday's monkey-hammering losses.
"On the one hand and in a stable state, tapering should lead to a gradual ‘normalization’ of yield levels – which mean that the 10 year should (assuming no crisis) ‘gradually’ trades toward nominal GDP minus some liquidity premium. However, ... should concerns build that global growth and inflationary expectations begin to drop too much (either due to Fed Taper or Geo-events), then Treasury values will recalibrate and yields could drop precipitously to 2.5%. If things got really bad, yields could fall quite a bit further."
If the Fed doesn't "save us" this afternoon - I don't know what will.
"We take profit on our TRY/ZAR trade recommendation which we entered last night at a level of 4.92. At the time of writing, the level is 4.968 resulting in a gain of 1.0% before carry. The short-lived relief rally in the TRY was swiftly interrupted by a shift in market sentiment, with the updated policy implementation failing to deliver the intended improvements in clarity. On the other hand, an unimpressive 50bp hike from SARB on the heels of CBRT’s punchier response fell short of expectations. Overall, the market continues to trade in a panic mode, notwithstanding the monetary policy responses spreading fast across EM, as real policy rates come increasingly under scrutiny." - SocGen
Yesterday, the moment when the Turkish Central Bank intervention was jinxed was clearly marked by SocGen's fawning Benoit Anne, who said "In any case, I definitely feel much better about the TRY, at least on a tactical basis. Hence we just entered a long TRY/ZAR targeting a tactical move to 5.10. The TRY crisis is over." To which we responded: "As for the "TRY crisis being over" let's wait to see what the "popular" response is to this epic rate hike first thing tomorrow when Turkey awakes, shall we, and let's revisit the TRY crisis in 2-3 weeks when the country's housing market crumbles, when the economy grinds to a halt and the political crisis goes from worse to worse-est." We didn't have to wait more than 12 hours. As of this moment, the entire Central Bank move has been faded.
First it was Turkey defending itself tooth and nail against Bernanke's tapering, now it is South Africa, just as we predicted less than an hour ago.
- SOUTH AFRICA RAISES BENCHMARK RATE TO 5.50% FROM 5.00%; EXPECTATION WAS FOR UNCHANGED
- SOUTH AFRICA CENTRAL BANK RAISES BENCHMARK RATE
- RAND STRENGTHENS AS CENTRAL BANK UNEXPECTEDLY RAISES REPO RATE
- S. AFRICA'S MARCUS SAYS MOVE NOT INTENDED TO AFFECT RAND
- S. AFRICA'S MARCUS SAYS HAVE A FLEXIBLE EXCHANGE RATE
Naturally, the ZAR surges... for about 10 milliseconds, after which it promptly drops to a level weaker than pre-announcement!
- Obama warns divided Congress that he will act alone (Reuters)
- Fed Decision Day Guide From Emerging Markets to FOMC Voter Shift (BBG)
- Fed poised for $10 billion taper as Bernanke bids adieu (Reuters)
- Bernanke’s Unprecedented Rescue Unlikely to Be Repeated (BBG)
- Argentina Spends $115 Million to Steady Peso (WSJ)
- Billionaires Fuming Over Market Selloff That Sinks Magnit (BBG)
- SAC’s Counsel Testifies at Insider Trading Trial in Unexpected Move by the Defense (NYT)
- Automakers Fuel Japan’s Longest Profit Growth Streak Since 2007 (BBG)
- Turkey Crisis Puts Jailed Millionaire at Heart of Gold Trail (BBG)
- Ukraine expects $2 billion tranche of Russian aid soon (Reuters)
The 2008 crisis never ended as issues of excess credit and economic imbalances were never resolved. Turkey is the latest installment in the rolling crisis.
The Fed tightens by a little (sorry, tapering - flow - is and always will be tightening): markets soar; Turkey tightens by a lot: markets soar. If only it was that easy everyone would tighten. Only it never is. Which is why as we just reported, the initial euphoria in Turkey is long gone and the Turkish Lira is basically at pre-announcement levels, only now the government has a furious, and loan-challenged population to deal with, not to mention an economy which has just ground to a halt. Anyway, good luck - other EMs already faded, including the ZAR which many are speculating could be the next Turkey, and certainly the USDJPY which sent futures soaring last night, only to fade all gains as well and bring equities down with it.
So much for the credibility of the CBRT? After the Lira soared, and the USDTRY plummeted by just under 1000 pips yesterday when the Turkish Central Bank announced its "shock and awe" intervention, it has since pared back virtually all gains, and at last check was just over 2.24 having nearly roundtripped in 12 hours. Why the loss of faith? Two reasons: First, as we pointed out yesterday, suddenly the domestic situation in Turkey takes front stage again, with 4.25% added elements of instability, causing the political instability to soar, leading to an even higher probability of a social and political overhaul. Second, as Goldman pointed out overnight, "the CBRT stated that liquidity "… will be provided primarily from one-week repo rate instead of the marginal funding rate in the forthcoming period". This implies that the effective rate hike is 225bp (to 10.00%; the 1-week repo rate), as the Non-PD lending rate was 7.75% prior to the announcement." In other words, when looked at on a corridor basis, the CBRT hiked not by a shocking and awing 425 bps but by precisely the predicted 225 bps!
Beginning by disavowing Mario Gabelli of any belief that rising stock prices help 'most' people, Marc Faber discusses his increasingly imminent fears of the markets in this recent Barron's interview. Quoting Hussman as a caveat, "The problem with bubbles is that they force one to decide whether to look like an idiot before the peak, or an idiot after the peak. There's no calling the top," Faber warns there are a lot of questions about the quality of earnings but "statistics show that company insiders are selling their shares like crazy." His first recommendation - short the Russell 2000, buy 10-year US Treasuries ("there will be no magnificent US recovery"), and miners and adds "own physical gold because the old system will implode. Those who own paper assets are doomed."
Judging by the reaction from SocGen and JPY crosses (and thus global equity markets), the Turkish Central Bank's decision - to tighten aka ubertaper -has solved all the tapering, tantruming, turmoiling problems in markets. TRY obviously dumped on the news (now at 2.18 -2100 from highs). JPY crosses instantly exploded higher, automatically lifting US (Dow +60) and Japanese (NKY +110) stock futures markets before they closed. Gold fell very modestly ($1). JPY continued to weaken and when markets re-opened, gold dropped a little more but no sustained pressure; Dow is now +110 from pre-Turkey, NKY +175pts; S&P futures are up 10points on the news as stops are run to 1800 but the EEM ETF rallied around 1% (only).
SocGen's Exuberant Response To The Turkish Action: "Governor Basci, You Have Avoided A Domino Crisis In EM"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 01/28/2014 18:49 -0400
"Governor Basci, you have avoided a domino crisis in EM.... I definitely feel much better about the TRY, at least on a tactical basis. The TRY crisis is over." - SocGen