It was heinous. It was underhanded. It was beyond the bounds of international morality. It was an attack on the American way of life. It was what you might expect from unscrupulous Arabs. It was “the oil weapon” -- and back in 1973, it was directed at the United States. Skip ahead four decades and it’s smart, it’s effective, and it’s the American way. The Obama administration has appropriated it as a major tool of foreign policy, a new way to go to war with nations it considers hostile without relying on planes, missiles, and troops. It is, of course, that very same oil weapon.
Shipping freight rates for transporting containers from ports in Asia to Northern Europe - the world's busiest route - fell 10.2% to $738 per container in the week ended on Friday, according to Reuters. This is the 4th weekly drop in a row and is the lowest level since Oct 25th 2013. Confirming this global trade volume collapse, the Baltic Dry tumbled back below $1000, down 50% from a year ago, and is hovering once again at post-Lehman crisis lows. But apart from that, the global economy is doing great...
While the western world couldn't care less about the fate of some backwater town on the border between Syria and Turkey, it certainly cares about what happens to the Iraqi oilfields located south of Baghdad (which serve to determine the marginal price of oil around the world). Well, the world may not care, but crude traders certainly do, and the reason why oil appears to be rising in recent trade is due to news that ISIS militants have infiltrated one of Baghdad's outer suburbs, Abu Ghraib which is only eight miles from the runway perimeter of Baghdad's international airport.
"Financial Markets Are Artificially Priced: What Do You Do?" - Bill Gross' First Janus Capital LetterSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 10/10/2014 12:37 -0400
Financial markets are artificially priced.... We have had our Biblical seven years of fat. We must look forward, almost by mathematical necessity, to seven figurative years of leaner: Bonds – 3% to 4% at best, stocks – 5% to 6% on the outside. That may not be enough for your retirement or your kid’s college education. It certainly isn’t for many private and public pension funds that still have a fairy tale belief in an average 7% to 8% return for the next 10 to 20 years! What do you do?
With S&P futures liquidity at near record lows (but what about the HFT liquidity-providers?), it seems the major stock indices are extremely sensitive to any and every headline or JPY twitch. For the 4th time today (and Nth time this week), stocks have decoupled higher from a less exuberant bond market... every other time, stocks have recooupled lower... Fool me once, shame on you... Fool me 4 times, I am Gartman...
"The audience in the ballroom of the Hotel Derek included engineers for shale drillers such as Marathon, Continental and Rice. Pamela Allen, a senior reserves coordinator for Marathon, raised her hand and told Lee that she was worried that using outsized forecasts in public presentations would run afoul of the SEC and “come back to haunt us.” Singhania, the Marathon spokeswoman, said she was unable to comment on Allen’s remarks without seeing a transcript. “If a lot of people get burned -- and I think a lot of people can and will be burned -- by these numbers in the investor presentations, there may be a push by investors to get the SEC to do something about it,” Lee said during the workshop."
Despite claims of containment, Reuters reports seven more people turned themselves in late on Thursday to an Ebola isolation unit in Madrid; but following a visit by PM Rajoy, Spanish citizens can relax as the government is setting up a special Ebola committee. Following yesterday's scare in Paris, The Independent reports authorities are investigating a 'probable' case of a French national who may have contracted the disease in Africa. The World Health organization has warned that East Asia is at risk of becoming a "hot spot" for diseases - but is well prepared after SARS and avian flu but it is the appearance of a confirmed case in Brazil that is most concerning. A 47-year-old man, originally from Guinea, is LatAm's first case and suggests SOUTHCOM's "nightmare scenario" is closer than many would care to believe. Finally, the CDC has issued special guidance to 911 operators on dealing with suspected Ebola cases across America.
While Ebola is getting all the headlines, China is dealing with "the worst outbreak in decades" of Dengue Fever. As ITAR-TASS reports, the outbreak of the mosquito-borne disease in China has killed six people and infected more than 27,200 according to Chinese health officials. Just today, the epidemic has infected 1,826 more people in the Guangdong Province alone. But it's not just China, last month Malaysia reported that dengue fever deaths had more than tripled in 2014, while Japan recently saw its first outbreak in 70 years with many contracting the illness at Tokyo's popular Yoyogi Park.
They came, they complained about the breadsticks and water temperature, and they won.
Well that escalated quickly... high beta momo stocks are continuing to accelerate lower this morning as BTFD'ers seem absent for now. VIX topped 22 - its highest since Dec 2012. Once again, stocks tried to decouple from bonds (twice) and failed...
After two years of Abenomics, Japan officially admitted it has entered a triple-dip recession. While people with a modicum of common sense warned this would happen long ago, it actually came as a surprise to traditionally trained economists: after all, a country whose economy collapsed under piecemeal episodes of "Abenomics" over the past three decades was supposed to, if only for those trained in the Keynesian school, promptly recover (even though its fundamental problem is not economic but demographic) when that which had failed for so long was applied in one shock episode. It didn't work. So now that Abenomics has officially failed in Japan (but will remain in place until Abe is ouster, either voluntarily as the local population has had enough of Japan's record inflation imports) what comes next? It is about to be tried in Europe of course
The Swiss National Bank has lashed out at the so-called "gold initiative" efforts to "Save Our Swiss Gold" unsurprisingly proclaiming it as a bad idea. As Ron Paul previously noted, "The gold referendum, if it is successful, will be a slap in the face to those elites," and so the full-court press ahead of the Nov 30th vote has begun (a la Scotland fearmongery) as SNB Vice Chairman Jean-Pierre Danthine explains how a 'yes' vote for the initiative "would severely constrain the SNB’s room for manoeuvre in a future crisis," as it "poses danger to the conduct of a successful monetary policy." His reasoning (below) is stunning...
"We reduced our derivatives position even further, selling just-barely-out-of-the-money calls against our newly established aluminium position. Hence one half hour into the market we were marginally net long… and then panic hit! We will likely take no further action in our own account today, for we are now, as noted above, marginally net short… and we do indeed mean marginally…" - Dennis Gartman