And with that we can put the highly semantic debate over which direction the European currency opened pre-market to rest. To all who were caught wrong way for the past 160 pips, better luck during the next centrally planned intervention. The next catalyst will be BTPs opening for trading in a few brief hours. We are very curious whether the ECB will more focused on preserving the Italian stability falacy or the EURUSD overvaluation myth: perhaps both? After all, "there is a (completely unfunded) EFSF for that."
For the last 45 minutes, USDJPY has been unable to shake loose of 79.2 by more than a pip or two. Following the SNB and their efforts with EURCHF, which as far as we recall is technically pegged at 1.20, is Azumi now pushing another of our freely floating foreign exchange currencies to a peg, as he soaks up any and all USDJPY offers under 79.20? Gold is down a little (in its knee-jerk response to USD strength reflecting off the JPY intervention) but one has to wonder if slowly but surely we are being reverted to the 'rigidity' of a gold standard? Lastly, we eagerly await to hear the justification for this unilateral defection by a G-X member 5 days ahead of the G-20 meeting in Cannes this Friday (and we can't wait for Schumer and Geithner to proclaim Japan a currency manipulator). Lastly, to all those who so vehemently were debating whether the EURUSD is down or not earlier (when it opened lower), feel free to take a look at the EURUSD chart right...about...now - 150 pips that worthless semantics will never get you back.
UPDATE: USDJPY now +4.5% - over 7 standard deviations - almost 400pips (and 450 pips in EURJPY). ES still hovering at Friday's lows though!
Thanks to Mr. Azumi's clearly unique (and Halloween-centric) perspective on Japanese currency fundamentals, USDJPY managed to peak with a six standard deviation move, bested only by 10/28/08 (what a weekend for a 3 year anniversary!!) before all the way back to 1995. However, as always with his unilateral decisions, the market seems to know best and we have already given back over 38% of the drop. Interestingly, broad risk markets have not enjoyed this move at all as correlations are not helping the Japanese cause and ES continues to leak lower.
Update - It's Official:
AZUMI SAYS JAPAN INTERVENED IN THE CURRENCY MARKET
AZUMI: JAPAN WILL CONTINUE TO INTERVENE UNTIL HE'S SATISFIED
AZUMI SAYS INTERVENTION WAS DUE TO STRONG SIGNS OF SPECULATION - thank god Mrs Watanabe is not speculating on the short side.
Just out from Bloomberg, citing the WSJ:
- CLEARINGHOUSES SAID TO PREPARE FOR MF BANKRUPTCY, WSJ SAYS
- US REGULATORS ALSO PREPARE FOR MF BANKRUPTCY, RESTRUCTURE: WSJ
The EURUSD has tumbled 50 pips in the aftermath of the news as risk just moved to the Off position
In an opinion piece of our own, instigated by the gentlemen at Gold Money, we were asked how we work out whether gold is over or undervalued at any given minute. What a question at the best of times, much less now! What we came up with was the following, something which encapsulates a theme about which we have written much of late: "What is ?value? in a world where the single goal of the powers that be is to deny the market the ability to have its constituents? underlying ordering of wants accurately reflected in the price structure? We have no proper market in capital; severely impaired markets in any number of basic goods; false markets in real estate; distorted markets in labour (hence why so many poor souls are still without jobs); and no certainty about anything except the awful certainty that nothing is off?limits to those who are desperately trying to put Humpty Dumpty together again in time for the next turn of the electoral cycle rather than accepting that he has shuffled off this mortal coil and that it would be better now to see whether at least we can salvage a half?decent omelette out of the remains?" And that pretty much sums up our commentary on the EFSF—the 'Excruciating Folly of Suspending Finality’ or ‘Endorsing Falsity to Succour the Few’, or perhaps just ‘Europe = Fastow, Skilling & Fuld’.
While the soap opera in Europe lurches from one extreme to another, in the process creating substantial market knee jerk reactions, even though the final outcome is quite clear to most with cognitive bias blinders, the next major catalyst in the macro spectacle will come not from across the Atlantic, but from these here United States, in the form of the Super Duper Committee tasked with finding the $1.2 trillion in deficit cuts needed in order to make the August debt ceiling hike legitimate. As a reminder the debt back then was $14.4 trillion - tomorrow it will officially surpass $15 trillion for the first time ever, meaning that even as the Super Committee squabbles, half the benefit from its "successful" conclusion has already been implemented. And here is where Morgan Stanley's David Greenlaw comes in with a piece in which he makes it all too clear that the Super Committee may be Clark Kent, but it sure is no Superman. "Press reports continue to suggest that the so-called Super Committee, established as part of the compromise agreement to hike the debt ceiling, is foundering. In recent days, Democrats and Republicans have offered competing plans that have little common ground. Republican members appear to remain committed to a no new taxes pledge, which will make it very difficult for the Committee to come anywhere close to its $1.2 trillion target." In other words, just as nothing material or actionable (suffice for some grandiose delusions) came out of Europe, precisely the same will happen in the US, after our own dire fiscal situation is exposed for the naked emperor it is.
The deadline to submit a bankruptcy filing to the Southern District of New York is around midnight, which probably explains why even as MF Global is proceeding at a feverish pace to sell parts or all of it to what appear increasingly skittish investors (who, like China will likely wait until the stalking horse auction to show their bids), it has, as the WSJ has just reported, hired bankruptcy and restructuring lawyers in the face of Weil Gotshal, best known for collecting hundreds of millions in hourly legal fees for its work on the Lehman bankruptcy case, as well as Skadden Arps. It appears that the sale process has not gone quite as well as hoped for, and now the company is bracing for the worst with just under 6 hours left to iron out a going concern solution.
The entire fractional reserve banking system rests on the premise that the short currency long assets/loans trade works, by creating a future economy that provides real greater output to sustain the circulated currency, because expunging it through deleveraging is a dangerous process for bank balance sheets and a deflationary event. The great question at the present time is: Has the recent credit expansion provided the US or Europe with an economy which can sustain the currency stock in circulation with it's accruing interest or has the malinvestment been so bad, that the currency amount in circulation is unsustainable and the resulting deflation will be met by central bank debt forgiveness to the currency shorters. When banks create currency on their balance sheet and trade it for an asset, they sell something they do not have and which they have to repurchase in the future! This mechanic in an environment of latent deleveraging, and massive policy intervention by central banks and governments generates 'Risk on, Risk off' and the banking systems gyration towards selling short currency or covering versus all possible assets is pushing all correlations to 1.
"When Money Dies" Author Adam Fergusson And James Turk Discuss (Hyper)Inflation In The Past, In The Present And In The FutureSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 10/30/2011 - 14:51
When it comes to discussing monetary history, and specifically what happens when it all goes wrong, there are two must read tomes: one is "The Dying of Money" by Jens Parsson (pdf link) and the other one is "When Money Dies" (pdf link) by Adam Fergusson. Today, we are lucky to bring to you a must watch interview between James Turk of the GoldMoney Foundation and the author of the former, Adam Fergusson. They discuss the fateful decisions that led to hyperinflation in post-First World War Germany, and how central bankers as well as ordinary members of the public today would be well advised to heed this warning from history. Fergusson discusses how the hyperinflation affected different groups in German society in different ways – with debtors benefiting and huge numbers of middle-class savers wiped out. Riots, corruption and political extremism were just some of the malignancies encouraged by the hyperinflation. He points out that those who held hard currencies as well as people who held tangible assets like gold and silver were in-large part protected from the worst economic consequences of the hyperinflation. In his words: “gold remained at all times in Germany the measure of what was important to them.”
Following another weekend of consistently disappointing news on the latest and greatest bailout front, where the #1 question of just who funds the €560 billion EFSF hole remains unanswered, it is not surprising that the EURUSD has entered the pre-market session modestly lower. If China continues to posture as it has over the last 48 hours, expect this to trend lower as Asia wakes up, with the only possible saving grace the fear that weak-hand residual EUR shorts, which as noted on Friday remain at stubbornly high levels, may cover on any slide.
"The Decade Wall Street Went Insane": A Front Row Miniseries On The 'Generation Of Excess' Alongside Trader Monthly MagazineSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 10/30/2011 - 13:37
There was a time, half a decade ago, when contrary to what they declared in polite (and not so polite) public, every young aspiring hedge fund manager on Wall Street secretly hoped to appear in Trader Monthly's Top 30 under 30. Since then Trader magazine, the symbol of all the excesses of the "zeroes" appropriately went bankrupt, then reappeared once again, though completely stripped of its cachet as the media of choice for Generation XS$. But for the sake of memory lane, and in remembrance of days when it appeared that the flow of money would never cease, and children in their late 20s were disappointed if they did not get an 8 digit bonus, below we present The Decade Wall Street Went Insane - the Zeroes, in which "we get a ringside seat alongside Trader Magazine to some of the biggest parties of the decade, including a Wall Street "Charity" boxing night held at Manhattan's lavish Hammerstein Ballroom. This 5-part web series pits the fantasy of unlimited growth against the wheeling-and-dealing of Wall Street's glitzy surface. We urge any #OWS fanatics with heart conditions to skip this if at all possible.
A few days ago China telegraphed it refuses to continue to be seen as the world's rescuer and the dumbest money in the room. Many assumed China was only kidding: after all how would China let its biggest export partner flounder? And furthermore, all China does is provide vendor financing, right? Well, as it turns out, wrong, because to China the current state of Europe is far from the terminal crisis Europe is trying to make it appear. This is happening even as a thoroughly desperate and grovelling Europe, kneepads armed and ready, has said via the EFSF's Regling that it will even consider issuing Yuan-denominated bonds. Alas, China is less than impressed. As AFP reports, "China’s state media Sunday warned that the country will not be a “savior” to Europe, as President Hu Jintao left for an official visit to the region including a G20 summit. Hu’s visit has raised hopes that cash-rich China might make a firm commitment to the European bailout fund, but in a commentary, the official Xinhua news agency said Europe must address its own financial woes. “China can neither take up the role as a savior to the Europeans, nor provide a ‘cure’ for the European malaise. “Obviously, it is up to the European countries themselves to tackle their financial problems,” it said, adding that China could only do so “within its capacity to help as a friend." A friend, who at this point is quite sensible, and realizes far better deals are to be had down the line if one merely waits. That said, we are certain China is not the only one out there with an instant notification pending the second Santorini, Ibiza or the Isle of Capri hits E-bay.
Broken Market Chronicles: Nasdaq Proposes To Make Legal What Exchanges Have Been Doing Illegally For YearsSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 10/30/2011 - 12:36
A new proposal by Nasdaq has the market purists such as our friends at Nanex and all those (very few) who still care about how broken the market is and demand something be done about it, writhing in disgust, particularly this section:
\5\ The Exchange is also changing its policies and procedures under Regulation NMS governing the data feeds used by its execution system and routing engine. Current policies state that those systems use data provided by the network processors. In the future, those systems will use data provided either by the network processors or by proprietary feeds offered by certain exchanges directly to vendors.
Nasdaq's proposal admits that exchanges are supposed to use the SIP (CQS/UQDF) data for their execution system and routing engine! They want to formally change things to match what they've been doing all along so they can avoid fines and more! Why would you submit a proposal to change something you've already been doing? In other words, what the exchange is proposing, is already common practice. If exchanges are granted this proposal, Reg NMS, for all practical purposes, is no longer relevant, and there is no point in having the SIP calculate the NBBO, because it will have no meaning. Translated: the market will be, for all intents and purposes, officially two-tiered and terminally broken.
In the big picture, the market continues to be torn between two conflicting desires. On the one hand, there is a need to remain nimble and keep any "risk-on" positioning light, given that a permanent solution for the Euro zone remains elusive and that US and global growth may remain slow as also indicated in our forecasts. On the other hand, in the wake of the risk sell-off in August and September the market, in our view, remains underweight risk, which was underscored once again this past week by the outsized rally following what was really a relatively tepid EU summit. In short, while substantial uncertainty remains, there is always a possibility this gets brushed aside into year-end. Given this uncertainty, we monitor two things. First, the European policy process obviously remains key, and we will be monitoring developments into the Nov. 3-4 G-20 Summit in Cannes and the Nov. 7 Eurogroup meeting in Brussels closely. The former will be key in fleshing out any emerging market contributions to the SPV announced in the EU summit statement from this past week. The Eurogroup has been tasked with finalizing the implementation of EFSF leveraging and the SPV in November. Second, we are closely watching cyclical data in the US and elsewhere, and whether downside risks to growth are abating. In this regard, the coming week brings the global PMIs, including the all-important ISM and October payrolls, where at 75k, we are below consensus (95k). In terms of central bank meetings, we expect the FOMC to leave policy unchanged on Nov. 2.... Mario Draghi's first policy meeting as President of the ECB will be important to watch on Thursday. We hold firm to our view that a rate cut will only come in December (50bp), and the market is pricing low odds for a cut this week.