Citadel Barred From Trading In China After Regulator Accuses "Automated Trading" Unit Of ManipulationSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 08/02/2015 21:02 -0400
Define irony: for the past 7 years, Wall Street's worst kept secret is that Citadel, the world's most levered hedge fund, has been the NY Fed's just slightly more than arms-length enforcer of market stability, by which we mean spoofer, buyer and otherwise "plunge protector" in the equity and E-mini futures markets. Which is why Citadel must have been shocked to learn late last week that China had suspended trading at a brokerage account used by Citadel in China.
As China Admits It Lied About Its Local Debt Levels, Local Billionaires Are Quietly Liquidating Their AssetsSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 08/02/2015 13:26 -0400
Overnight something unexpected happened: Sheng Songcheng, the director of the statistics division of the People's Bank of China (PBOC), was quoted by the National Business Daily on Saturday whereby he essentially admitted China had been lying about not only its local debt exposure but the level of NPLs across the economy. The punchline: Sheng warned about the risks of local government debt, saying that 2 trillion yuan in bond swaps may not be able to fully cover maturing debt, according to the report. What he really said, as paraphrased by Bloomberg, is that "local govt's tended to not report all their debts when audited in June 2013, thus the 2 trillion yuan debt swap plan arranged this year may not cover all debts due, Sheng cited as saying."
A non-bombastic analysis of the events and data in the week ahead, with insulting anyone or resorting to conspiracy theories.
- U.S. stock futures slip amid lukewarm earnings, fall in commodities (Reuters)
- Stressful times for low-polling Republicans who may miss debate stage (Reuters)
- Trump shows staying power with surge ahead of first debate (Reuters)
- China Market Manipulation Probe Targets Spoofers After Crash (BBG)
- Beijing Chosen to Host 2022 Winter Olympics (WSJ)
- Obama Warns Support on Iran Deal ’Getting Squishy’ Amid Pressure (BBG)
- Pacific trade negotiators chase elusive final deal in tough talks (Reuters)
Jim Rickards, “I think it’s always very important to own gold. I’ve recommended that investors have about 10% of their portfolio in the yellow metal.” “If I’m right and some catastrophic event is on the horizon, then that 10% would be your portfolio insurance.”
Following last night's afternoon session melt-up at the hands of a $100bn injection into China's sovereign rescue fund, Chinese stocks opened higher but faded fast, with no follow-through from yesterday's farce. With Warren Buffett's favorite indicator flashing red for China (and US) stocks, and so many rural Chinese citizens "just hoping to get out at breakeven," any assistance in levitating the nation's stocks are simply being sold into as margined traders unwind their positions. One such leveraged 'citizen' is none other than State-Owned-Enterprise GM Yang Shengjun, whose firm was ironically among the most vocal in blaming the crash on "malicious foreign sellers trying tio start an economic war" and is now under investigation for dumping his own shares... do as I say Chinese people, not as I do.
Authorities pushing currency devaluation as a cure for their stagnating economies might want to study Frederic Bastiat's insight into the eventual cost and consequences: "For it almost always happens that when the immediate consequence is favorable, the later consequences are disastrous, and vice versa.”
It seems China's efforts to stabilize their economy stock market knows no bounds - nowhere better exemplified than the 5% spike in an hour last night after injecting $100bn into the sovereign (rescue) fund - and western observers applaud the efforts as if they are costlessly saving the world. However, there are costs to all this leveraged asset bubble creation (and maintenance) and, as China People's Daily reports, nowhere is that more evident than the surging price of pork (on if China's main CPI components). As Deutsche Bank warns, in the past 15 years, the PBoC has never cut interest rates when inflation was picking up (whether driven by food or more broad-based); so the fate of an 'easy money' inspired stock market bubble remains in the hands hoofs of pigs as the policy stance will be forced to turn from loosening to neutral in Q4 as inflation rises.
"The rise of China’s currency on global markets is arguably the most significant development in currency trading since the introduction of the euro in 1999."
"I have lost everything. I don't know what to do... I trusted the government too much... I won't touch stocks again, I have ruined everyone in my family." "I will sell all my shares tomorrow if there is a chance." ... "I am pretty sure that if the government does not come to rescue us, the situation will get much worse," ... "I managed to sell them all at a loss today, and so I lost 320,000 yuan in two days. I don't have confidence on the market any more. I don't want to get into the market again."
For the first half an hour after China opened, things looked bleak: after opening down 5%, the Shanghai Composite staged a quick relief rally, then tumbled again. And then, just around 10pm Eastern, we saw a coordinated central bank intervention stepping in to give the flailing PBOC a helping hand, driven by the BOJ but also involving NY Fed members, that sent the USDJPY soaring which in turn dragged ES and most risk assets up with it. And while Shanghai did end up closing down -1.7%, with Shenzhen 2.2% lower at the close, the final outcome was far better than what could have been, with the result being that S&P futures have gone back to doing their thing, and have wiped out all of yesterday's losses in the levitating, zero volume, overnight session which has long become a favorite setting for central banks buying E-Minis.
Just as Japan thought they could go back to pre-Plaza Accord growth rates by holding on to the old ways in the 1990s, the Chinese will expect the growth miracle to return in 2016 with the “right” policies. It will not. It is all a mirage though. Just as in Japan, the Chinese will not allow the market process to do its magic to get the economy back on a stable footing. Draconian measures to stop the recent stock market rout are a clear testimony of that. In other words, the Chinese economy will resemble that of Japan, and it will do so very soon, if it is not already there. China is heading straight into a zero growth environment, and will be mired there for years to come.
This was not supposed to happen.
Update: CHINA TO CONTINUE STABILIZING MARKET, SENTIMENT, PREVENT RISKS, CSRC SAYS
As Beijing pledges to remain supportive amid a harrowing decline in Chinese stocks, China may find itself with no exit strategy for its plunge protection program. As BofAML notes, "An 'indefinite' holding period is certainly possible – it’s how the government had dealt with the last round of bad debts in the banking system, i.e., by shifting them to bad banks and never crystalizing the losses. But even under such a scenario, there may be unintended consequences."
On the heels of a veritable bloodbath in Chinese equities overnight which saw the SHCOMP slide a harrowing 8.5%, the entire world is now beginning to take a hard look at the notion that dramatic bouts of selling pressure are aggravated and perhaps triggered by an unwind in the multiple backdoor margin lending channels that allowed investors to skirt official restrictions on leverage and helped to drive the market’s world-beating rally. Here is the complete guide to China's CNY4 trillion shadow margin edifice.