And why not with her on top of the heap?
Today’s AM fix was USD 1,715.00, EUR 1,347.42, and 1,075.84 GBP per ounce.
Yesterday’s AM fix was USD 1,730.50, EUR 1,345.86, and GBP 1,080.75 per ounce.
Silver is trading at $31.85/oz, €25.10/oz and £20.00/oz. Platinum is trading at $1,546.75/oz, palladium at $607.30/oz and rhodium at $1,100/oz.
Gold rose $2.10 or 0.12% in New York yesterday and closed at $1,718.30. Silver hit a low of $31.209 then recovered in late trade but still finished with a loss of 0.56%.
Hmmm… Initial rebound after yesterday’s bashing was rather modest, settling on a bit better and awaiting US input. Spain overdid its auction, which looked just good in the sense of being able to say it sold a new bond for size – to its dealers. ECB, happy to have provided the idea of OMT to save the world from simple panic, now going pessimistic (in non-panicky way). It’s just soft out there… It’s the economy, Stupid! And it is weak.
"Bop 'Til You Drop " (Bunds 1,36% -2; Spain 5,84% +16; Stoxx 2479% +0,1%; EUR 1,275)
Things are rather unsurprisingly going from worse to worserer in Europe. Perhaps it is the anecdotal evidence we see in the now weekly riot-cams from Spain and Greece but just as we warned over a year ago, the truly scariest chart in Europe remains that of youth unemployment. The correlation (and causation) that runs from extreme levels of youth unemployment to general social unrest and anarchy is stunning throughout time (as we noted here and here). With Greek 'youth' unemployment jumping to a disheartening 58% (for August) - by far its highest ever - and Spain rising inexorably at 54.2%, the under-25 populations in these nations is truly set to burst (with overall unemployment rates of 25.4% and 25.5% respectively). Euro-zone youth unemployment overall has risen to 23.3% and while Greece jumped the most, Italy was close behind with a 1.2ppt rise to 35.1%. We are sure the austerity voted for last night by the politicians will 'help' - someone...
Greek August unemployment: 25.4%, up from 24.8% in July and up from 18.4% a year earlier. Needless to say, this is a record, and at this rate will be just shy of 30% by the end of the year (sorry IMF). This is, however, good news though: the Greek unemployment is, believe it or not, the second worst in Europe, behind Spain's 25.5%. Yet a category where Greece is the indisputed champion is youth unemployment, which just hit a mindboggling 58%, up from 54.2% in July (more on that shortly).
- Obama First Since FDR Re-Elected With 7.9% Joblessness (Bloomberg)
- China Party Meets to Anoint Next Leader (WSJ)
- Hu Sets China Income Target for Xi as Communists Gather (Bloomberg)
- Hu Jintao dashes hope for political reform (FT)
- Spain Sells $6 Billion Debt, Placing Longest Bond Since 2011 (Bloomberg)
- Japanese Politicians Move to Steer Away From Fiscal Cliff (Bloomberg)
- Hu says graft threatens state, party must stay in charge (Reuters)
- Weidmann in Defeat Still Influences ECB Bond-Buying Plan (Bloomberg)
- Spain Said to Consider Palace Sales to Raise Cash (Bloomberg)
- First-term headwinds look set to turn (FT)
- Focus Shifts to 'Fiscal Cliff' (WSJ)
- Obama Victory Paves Way to Continue Fed Policies (Hilsenrath)
- Swiss, Greeks Begin Talks on Tax Deal (WSJ)
Memo to the Arab World: Good news and bad news with the re-election of Barack Obama to the White House. The good news is that a victory by the Republican candidate Mitt Romney would have given Israel and its current leadership a free hand at continuing a policy of arrogance that will lead the region towards greater mayhem. On the other hand, with Obama in the Oval Office, don’t expect anything drastically different to happen in the Middle East in so far as US involvement goes. And if Obama’s acceptance speech is anything to judge by, where his only mention of anything related to foreign affairs was a reference to "freeing ourselves from foreign oil," it seems obvious that the Obama administration will want to focus on solving domestic issues. At the end of the day these are issues that matters most to the average American who would rather not have to worry about the Middle East and terrorism – that is until they come knocking at our doors as they did on September 11, 2001.
Against the backdrop of a tepid US recovery, Eurozone recession and stuttering growth across emerging markets, investors are beginning to focus on how the 'status quo' outcome impacts the odds of cliff-avoidance; which after all, if there is one thing economists agree on, it is that a US and global recession will ensue if the legislated tax increases and spending cuts worth roughly 3.5% of US GDP take effect next year. UBS believes that if the US economy dips into recession, operating earnings -which are near peak levels - could easily plunge by a fifth. Risk premia would climb, particularly because the US and the world have run out of policies that could lift their economies out of recession. Those factors point to significant downside risk (at least 30%) for global equity markets if the US falls off the 'cliff'. Yet the S&P500 remains within a few percentage points of its cyclical highs. Accordingly, as we have previously concluded, investors assign a very low probability to the ‘cliff’ and a 2013 US recession, which UBS finds 'darn surprising' that this much faith in common sense prevailing in Washington amidst such divisive politics. But for all the attention the ‘cliff’ deserves, UBS notes the fundamental challenge for the US (and many other countries) is to address fiscal stability as a long-term necessity, not a short-term fix.
Causing “unprecedented concerns” in the industry
The U.S. Presidential race is now behind us. And this morning the world woke up and realized that all the issues the election postponed now lie before us. It's becoming increasingly clear the way our leaders will "address" these challenges will be to throw increasing gobs of our citizens' current and future wealth at them. Until, of course, that simply doesn't work anymore...
John Williams, president of the San Francisco Fed, yet another noted dove, thinks nothing can go wrong by printing gobs of money. There is no inflation, and there never will be. They have the 'tools' to avert it. Never mind the explosion of the money supply over the past four years – it is all good. Have no fear though, as Williams notes: "Once it comes time to exit its super-easy monetary policy, the Fed will target a 'soft landing,'" The hubris of these guys is jaw-dropping. We are struck by the continued refusal by Fed officials to even think for a second about the long range effects of their policies. In the meantime, money printing continues to undermine the economy. Wealth cannot be generated by increasing the money supply – all that can be achieved by this is an ephemeral improvement in the 'data' even while scarce capital continues to be malinvested and consumed.
Exuberant start (Who knows why?), flat lunch (made more sense…), dismal afternoon (to say the least). EGBs ramped up, as the reality of the last days’ figures kicked in. And suddenly everyone woke up and saw… and bonds were right. Tommy, "See Me, Feel Me".
"Pinball Wizard" (Bunds 1,38% -5; Spain 5,68% +4; Stoxx 2486 -1,8%; EUR 1,276)
Of all the hollow and uninspired elections that this country has suffered through over the past several decades, one might think that at some point long ago the American public would have finally struck a plateau of disenfranchisement; that we could sink no further into despondency, that there is a saturation limit to the corruption of our voting process. Unfortunately, there has been no such luck. We have to say that in all honesty we have never seen more people gut jumbled and disgusted with our electoral system than we have in 2012. In 2012, it will not be about voting. It will not be about “winning”. It will not even be about getting to the next election. It will be about survival. We're sorry to say that the idea that one man will do less damage than the other is a naïve sentiment. Democrat? Republican? Obama? Romney? The crimes and calamities wrought will be exactly the same. Take a look into our crystal ball and see the future. Here is how the winner will destroy America.
Forget Florida. This election it is all about Ohio: without Ohio, Romney's winning chances plummet (as can be observed at the following interactive chart), even if one ignores history which is that since 1862 no Republican has won the presidency without winning Ohio. This is a fact well-known to the Obama administration, which explains why the incumbent has spent so much time in the ravaged state, where he has spent so much time ruminating on the the Ohio "unemployment rate miracle." Sure enough, in September, the Ohio unemployment dipped to 7.0%, the lowest since September 2008! On the surface, a tremendous metric and great improvement for a state that would have certainly been firmly in the pro-GOP camp had Obama not been able to hammer on this statistic time and time again. Yet, as always, the unemployment rate is only part of the story. The bigger question is whether or not another data set is being fudged to make the Ohio jobs situation appear better than it is in real life. The answer is, predictably, yes.
Today it is all about the elections. It is not about last night's relatively surprising RBA decision to not cut rates (on an attempt to create a reflexive feedback loop when it said that China has bottomed; it hasn't, and the RBA will be forced into another "surprising" rate cut as it did previously). It is also not about Europe missing its Service PMI estimate (just like the US), with the composite printing at 45.7 on expectations of a 45.8 print (with both core countries - Germany and France - missing badly, at 48.4 and 44.6 on expectations of 49.3 and 46.2, respectively). It is not about reports that the EU believes Spain's GDP will again contract more than expected (it will, and certainly without any reports or beliefs). It is not about Greece selling €1.3 billion in 26-week bills even as, according to ANA, its striking power workers have taken 5 power plants online just as winter approaches. It is not about Jean-Claude Juncker telling the truth for once, and saying that Europe is still in crisis, and is facing the viability of the Euro (after saying weeks ago that the Euro is unshakable) and that some countries aren't facing up to their responsibilities. It most certainly isn't about German factory orders finally collapsing as the country is no longer able to delay its slide into full-blown recession, with a September decline of 3.3% on expectations of a modest drop of -0.5%, from the previous decline of 0.8% (the German ministry said that a weak Eurozone and lack of global growth are taking its toll; they will continue taking its toll for years and decades longer). No. It is all about the US elections, with the peak frenzy starting as soon as polls officially close at 8 pm. Everything else is noise.