Global Trade In Freefall: South Korea Exports Crash Most Since 2009

While the market's attention overnight was focused on China's crumbling manufacturing and service PMI, data which was already hinted in the flash PMI reports earlier in August, the real stunner came not from China but from South Korea, which last night reported an unprecedented 14.7% collapse in exports, far worse than the -5.9% consensus estimate, and more than 4 times worse than July's 3.4%. The number is critical because not only do exports account for about half of South Korea's GDP but because it also happens to be the first major exporting country to report monthly trade data. That makes it the perfect barometer of global trade flows, or as the case may be, the canary in the global trade coalmine. It also confirms what we reported just one week ago when we said that "Global Trade Is In Freefall."

China Takes "10 Steps Back," Slaps 20% Reserve Requirement On Currency Forwards

Overnight, China decided to take steps to reduce "macro financial risks." And by that they mean "do something quick to help ease pressure on the yuan" and by extension, on the PBoC’s rapidly depleting FX reserves. To that end, starting October 15 banks will have to hold the equivalent of 20% of clients' FX forward positions with the PBoC, where the money will sit, frozen, for a year, at 0% interest.

Frontrunning: September 1

  • Charting the Market: New Month, Same China (BBG)
  • China jitters send stocks tumbling (Reuters)
  • Oil falls on weak China factory data (Reuters)
  • Euro zone factory growth eases in August despite modest price rises (Reuters)
  • Euro-Area Joblessness Falls to Lowest Level Since Early 2012 (BBG)
  • Clinton friend advised on U.S. politics, foreign policy (Reuters)
  • Korea exports slump as Asia's woes deepen (Reuters)

US Futures Tumble After Latest Abysmal Chinese Economic Data, Crude Surge Stalls

Just like the last time when Chinese flash PMI data came out at the lowest level since the financial crisis, so overnight when both the official Chinese manufacturing and service PMI data, as well as the Caixin final PMI,s confirmed China's economy has not only ground to a halt but is now contracting with the official manufacturing data the lowest in 3 years and the first contraction in 6 months, stocks around the globe tumbled on concerns another major devaluation round by the PBOC is just around the corner with the drop led by the Shanghai Composite which plunged as much as 4% before, the cavalry arrived and bought every piece of SSE 50 index of China's biggest companies  it could find, and in a rerun of yestterday sent it to a green close, with the SHCOMP closing just -1.23% in the red. So much for the "no interventions" myth. We wonder which journalist will take the blame for today's rout.

The Age Of Voodoo Finance

 

The Jackson Hole gathering may end up providing at least some clarification, but not even close to the manner in which everyone seems intent on inferring. With Janet Yellen’s notable absence, there isn’t the same sort of celebrity about what would have been the media hanging upon every word; that is, after all, what the Federal Reserve has become, not an organ of stability or even expertise but a public relations effort aimed squarely at trying to convince everyone possible that it is. Given the unique circumstances at the moment, the real issue is not whether they might raise rates but just how much systemic misdirection has already been revealed even to the least attentive of people.

 

Dow Futures Plunge 240 Points As Oil Drops 4% Ahead Of China PMI

Just when you thought it was safe to listen to the stability-preaching talking heads, crude futures are sliding and US equity futures are tumbling as Asia opens. Worse still XIV (VIX inverse ETF) has tumbled to fresh lows with a 24 handle in the after-hours market, suggesting more downside for stocks. With all eyes on China PMIs - though, there is little need for a weak PMI to be present for China to unleash moar measures, and a strong PMI will be scoffed at - it seems, the end-of-month rip-fest is fading fast...

Unusually Massive Protests Erupt in Japan Against Forthcoming "War Legislation"

In case you aren’t up to speed on your Japanese history, the nation’s post WWII Constitution prohibits military action unless it’s in self-defense. Clearly a sensible approach, which is why the current Japanese government, led by the demonstrably insane and incompetent Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, wants to get rid of it. Not only will this action increase the likelihood of World War III in the Far East, but it’s another important example of a government acting against the will of the people. Democracy is dead. Globally. If we fail to bring it back, history will see us as one of the most inept and spineless generations in history.

How China Cornered The Fed With Its "Worst Case" Capital Outflow Countdown

China has just cornered the Fed: not just diplomatically, as observed when China's PBOC clearly demanded that Yellen's Fed not start a rate hiking cycle, but also mechanistically, as can be seen by the acute and sudden selloff across all asset classes in the past 3 weeks. Now Yellen has about 365 days or so to find a solution, one which works not only for the US, but also does not leave China a smoldering rubble of three concurrently burst bubbles. Good luck.

Preparing For A Potential Economic Collapse In October

There’s no question that the world economy has been shaky at best since the crash of 2008. Yet, politicians, central banks, et al., have, since then, regularly announced that “things are picking up.” One year, we hear an announcement of “green shoots.” The next year, we hear an announcement of “shovel-ready jobs.” And yet, year after year, we witness the continued economic slump. Few dare call it a depression, but, if a depression can be defined as “a period of time in which most people’s standard of living drops significantly,” a depression it is.

Recession Odds Surge To 47%, Highest Since 2011

Assuming that after being wrong for 7 years about everything, economists are actually right about the market still having some discounting abilities left, what then is the market telegraphing? The answer, according to the Bank of America: the biggest surge in recessionary odds since 2011, which over the past few days have nearly hit a 50% probability of an economic slowdown.