On the (high) heels of sanctions and oil-price-collapses, the plunge in the Russian Ruble is even impacting the oldest profession in the world as brothels begin pegging transaction fees to the dollar. As LiveLeak so eloquently reports, the cost of getting laid in Russia just became more expensive - thanks Obama!! An escort agency in the northern port of Murmansk has raised rates 30-40% (a friend told us) from the $130-per-two-hours "spending time with an employee" but it is workers in The Urals that are really suffering where sex workers have raised rates between 50 and 100%. It appears someone has crossed a red line...
All of yesterday's v-shaped recovery gains off the lows are gone as the S&P tests new lows and the Dow is down over 200 points. Treasury yields are back at the mid-October Bullard lows - due for lowest close of the year. Oil has collapsed to a $60 handle (now down opver 8% on the week), as Energy stocks have crashed, giving up all of yesterday's bounce agains. HY credit is blowing wider as HY Energy breaks above 930bps!! USDJPY is tumbling. VIX is up at 17.5. S&P 500 is at one-month lows.
Instead of beating an already dead horse so it looks like the Japanese (and soon, European) economy, and commenting even more on what the oil price collapse will mean for America's energy producers (and Investment as a component of GDP) we decided to bypass the foreplay and proceed straight to showing the 70 or so most levered publicly traded US companies, with exposure to not just crude but all aspects of energy, that have a leverage (Debt/EBITDA) over 4x, as well as LTM EBITDA and CapEx both more than $20 million.
"...What is clear is that the world has become addicted to central bank stimulus. Bank of America said 56pc of global GDP is currently supported by zero interest rates, and so are 83pc of the free-floating equities on global bourses. Half of all government bonds in the world yield less that 1pc. Roughly 1.4bn people are experiencing negative rates in one form or another. These are astonishing figures, evidence of a 1930s-style depression, albeit one that is still contained. Nobody knows what will happen as the Fed tries break out of the stimulus trap, including Fed officials themselves."
The American miracle idea of energy independence is fully reliant on a shale patch that went over $100 billion deeper into debt every year for years running just to produce that not-so-miracle. Take away 40%+ of what revenue it did take in, and there is no independence left. All that’s left is fracking fluids in your drinking water, and a few trillion in debt that the Big Kahuna lenders will seek to unload upon the real economy.
Stellar 10 Year Reopening Closes At Lowest Yield Since June 2013, Highest Indirects Since December 2011Submitted by Tyler Durden on 12/10/2014 14:12 -0400
Another 10 Year auction (or technically 9 Year, 11 Month reopening), and another round of blistering demand by the Indirects. With the When Issued trading at the lowest since the June 2013 high yield, today's 10 Year issuance did not disappoint, and at a 2.214% High Yield, the 10Y priced just through the when issued which was at 2.215% at 1 pm, making this third consecutive month of declining 10 Year yields (and the lowest in 18 months). The Bid To Cover sizzled, surging from last month's 2.52 to 2.97, the highest since March of 2013. The internals saw Indirect demand surge to 53.8%, the highest since December of 2011, however offset by Directs of just 6.9%. Dealers took the remaining 39.3%.
In a stunning rebuke of Preet Bharara's insider-trading prosecutions record, Businessweek reports a federal appeals court overturned and threw out the guilty verdicts of two hedge fund managers, Todd Newman and Anthony Chiasson, ruling jury instructions tainted their verdicts and imperiling other cases brought in his multiyear probe. In a 28-page decision that could rewrite the course of insider trading law, sharply curtailing its boundaries, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Manhattan tossed out the case on technicalities which could also lead to the release of SAC's Michael Steinberg - Bharara's signature prosecution - as Steinberg's lawyer remarked, "it sends a loud and clear message that the government will be rebuked when it tries to turn innocent conduct into a crime." So insider-trading is legal now... with the right lawyer and judge. We wonder how many shipments of Picassos to the three appeals court judges did the verdict cost Steve Cohen?
The Shale Revolution may not really end up being a revolution after all. A new study in Nature finds that the estimates for shale gas production could be vastly overblown, and production could peak within the next decade.
"... If the unemployment rate were to edge up after reaching a trough in two years and the gap between U-6 and unemployment remains as wide as it is today – in excess of historical norms – the size of the program would be expected to reach roughly $3.3 trillion in 2024, $1.7 trillion more than in the base case." - TBAC
Brent Crude crossed below $65 for the first time since 2009 this morning and WTI began to slide as inventories showed a bigger-than-expected build. But it was Saudi Arabia's oil minister al-Naimi who sparked the latest dump:
*NAIMI SAYS `WHY SHOULD I CUT PRODUCTION'?
And with that WTI plunged to a $60 handle on heavy volume...
Today things for the former Goldman banker went from bad to worse, when as the FT reports, the ECB lost its "normal political cover" to make a bold decision, in fact the boldest decision in the ECB's history: one which could lead to a political and legal retaliation by Germany itself. The reason, as FT's Peter Spiegel explains, is that unlike previously when EU summits resulted in "greenlighting" blueprints which, if only on paper, enabled Draghi to proceed unconstrained, this time there was no such blank check compact. The bottom line, as Spiegel concludes, is that "Draghi won’t have the normal political cover he needs to make a bold decision early next year – a problem only compounded by the European Commission’s decision last month to put off the day of reckoning for France and Italy over whether they will face sanctions for failing to live up to the EU’s crisis-era budget rules."
Uncertain times call for unconventional thinking...
Ukraine bond prices have crashed to new record lows this morning - with even 2015 maturing debt trading at a 25% discount to face - following calls (admissions) by Ukraine's new (Lithuanian) economy minister that the government will need more IMF help on top oif its current $17 billion package. The country may need another $19 billion next year!!!
The game has been lost, but central bankers are still on the field, wandering around in disbelief that their unspeakable powers to issue money and credit have failed. You can print all the money you want, but it will never boost wages to keep up with prices.
Remember yesterday? When talking heads proclaimed the lows were in and due to the strength of energy stocks, this must mean the worst is over? And remember we - quietly - showed the massive divergence between crashing energy credit markets and the stocks on the day...? Well guess who was right?