For those to whom the recent US campaign against Syria seems a deja vu of last summer's "near-war" attempt to ouster its president Bashar al-Assad, which was stopped in the last minute due to some very forceful Russian intervention and the near breakout of war in the Mediterranean between US and Russian navies, it is because they are. And as a reminder, just like last year, the biggest wildcard in this, and that, direct intervention into sovereign Syrian territory, or as some would call it invasion or even war, was not the US but Saudi Arabia - recall from August of 2013 - "Meet Saudi Arabia's Bandar bin Sultan: The Puppetmaster Behind The Syrian War." Bin Sultan was officially let go shortly after the 2013 campaign to replace Syria's leadership with a more "amenable" regime failed if not unofficially (see below), but Saudi ambitions over Syria remained. That much is revealed by the WSJ today in a piece exposing the backdoor dealings that the US conducted with Saudi Arabia to get the "green light" to launch its airstrikes against ISIS, or rather, parts of Iraq and Syria."The process gave the Saudis leverage to extract a fresh U.S. commitment to beef up training for rebels fighting Mr. Assad, whose demise the Saudis still see as a top priority."
It appears Vladimir Putin is willing to hit'em while they're down. Early European equity weakness (and safe-haven flows) on asset-freeze threats have accelerated as Bloomberg reports, Russian energy minister Alexander Novak threatens gas supply disruptions if the EU continues to re-export Russian gas to Ukraine. 3Y German bond yields have plunged to -4.1bps, a record low close and European stocks are closing on their lows of the day.
- ISLAMIC STATE CELLS PLOTTING US, FRANCE ATTACKS, ABADI SAYS
- TARGETS VIEWED MAY INCLUDE SUBWAYS, ABADI SAYS
- IRAQI PRIME MINISTER ABADI SAYS HE GOT INFORMATION THIS MORNING
- ABADI SAYS INFO FROM CAPTURED FIGHTERS IN IRAQ SEEMS CREDIBLE
- U.S., FRANCE INFORMED BY IRAQ, ABADI SAYS
Just over a year ago, we warned on the very real concerns about corporate bond liquidity drying up and the potentially huge problems associated with that, if and when the Fed ever pulls the rug out from the one-way street of free-money injections. It appears, as Bloomberg reports, having realized, we suspect, that they can't get out of their positions, the world’s largest money manager, Blackrock, believes the corporate bond market is "broken" and in need of fixes to improve liquidity "before market stress returns." Ironically, as we have also explained in great detail, it is this 'broken' market that has enabled corporations to borrow cheap enough to buyback half a trillion dollars of their stock in 2014. As Blackrock concludes, rather ominously, "the risk posed by investors trying to dump bonds after the Federal Reserve raises interest rates is “percolating right under” the noses of regulators."
Nobel Peace Prize-winner Barack Obama became president on a platform of pacifism, and withdrawal from America's numerous conflicts. 6 years later, he is where Dubya was a decade ago, only on the other side, according to the latest Economist cover (and story).
And now, for the best news of the day, we go to NPR which reports that Eric "Too Big To Prosecute" Holder is resigning. From NPR: "Eric Holder Jr., the nation's first black U.S. attorney general, is preparing to announce his resignation Thursday after a tumultuous tenure marked by civil rights advances, national security threats, reforms to the criminal justice system and five and a half years of fights with Republicans in Congress."
A "huge" institutional sell order, covering almost 200 individual stocks, is rumored to have been responsible for getting this morning's weakness across stocks going as equity indices catch down to bonds and credit. The S&P 500 broke key support at its 50-day moving-average (for first time in 2 months) and is back at 6 week lows. The Russell 2000 is now down 4.25% from the FOMC meeting last week...
As we have reported since May 2013, when we explained the role of Commodity Funding Deals in Chinese "trade" and especially in the laundering of hot money flows, and most recently when we followed up on the first revelations that unknown amounts of physical commodities had been corizined in China's port of Qingdao, one of the key uses of monetary commodities in China is for purposes of "trade" in the form of FX loans, and especially to artificially boost exports by way of fake trade invoicing. Well, like a recovering junkie addicted to fabricated data, China finally admitted it has a problem when overnight it "uncovered almost $10 billion in fraudulent trade nationwide as part of an investigation begun in April last year, including many irregularities in the port of Qingdao, the country’s currency regulator said today." “Some companies used the trade channel to bring in hot money,” said Zhou Hao, a Shanghai-based economist at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. SAFE’s investigation “will likely further cool down hot money inflows and commodity imports could slow as banks will likely conduct more careful checks on documentation.”
Because nothing says efficient market and fiduciary duty like waiting for the US equity market to open to send a huge sell order through the silver futures market... Running the entire stack (and this all resting stops), however, silver has immediately bounced back... Gold was relatively unaffected. Copper had also got plugged early on and is now ripping higher.
As the price of precious metals that is eschewed daily by status-quo-hugging talking-heads on business media as indicative of the days of hard money being over continues to come under 'pressure', demand for physical gold remains extremely high. With India's festive season about to begin, The Hindustan Times reports a massive surge in gold smuggling in the last 10 days as heavy demand for gold during Dussehra (for which booking and supply starts today when Navratri begins) has dragged 50 tonnes of gold across the borders to avoid the government's capital controls.
What goes up must come down. The saying applies not only to aircraft, but aircraft orders. As a reminder, last month the volatile nondefense aircraft order category soared by 318%, leading to a 22.6% increase in headline Durable Goods, a record monthly swing courtesy of Boeing conducting its own "subprime for flying clunkers" program which sent airplane orders to an all time high. And now that the bumper airplane order month is over, with all orders purchased on credit gobbled up by yield-starved investors of course, the anticipated drop took place, with durable goods sliding by a record 18.2%, a fraction worse than the -18.0% expected.