"In my view, every asset allocation team in the world should have this chart hanging on their wall," - Deutsche Bank Chief Economist Torsten Sløk
Attorney General Eric Holder felt the need, following recent allegations that DEA agents had "sex parties" with prostitutes hired by local drug cartels in Colombia, to send a memo to all his staff..."I want to reiterate to all Department personnel, including attorneys and law enforcement officers, that they are prohibited from soliciting, procuring, or accepting commercial sex."
Zero rates are simply no longer needed. The Fed doesn’t need to stay ‘lower for longer’, because it has already done that. Waiting until September would mean a much greater possibility of missing their window of opportunity. Market conditions might deteriorate or geo-political tensions rise in a way that more deeply affects the US. Alternatively, market froth might grow even frothier, causing a larger market reaction than otherwise would have been the case. Lastly, it would also be prudent to hike well in advance of the $215 billion of Treasuries on the Fed’s balance sheet that matures in early 2016; which, if left un-reinvested, is a de facto-tightening.
OPEC has been in the line of fire from the western world in light of its stance of not reducing the production levels of its member nations (excluding Iran). Most view this as a strategy to squeeze the American shale production and other non OPEC nations. How much longer can it hold out?
The "ECB Taper" Twitter feed is born and SocGen says QE in Europe has a long ways to go with Mario Draghi having fulfilled only 7% of his promise to monetize the entirety of euro net issuance.
In recent weeks, Ruble appreciation against the USD has pushed it out of its traditional long term alignment with oil prices, and left it as the best-performing global currency of the year. There are several possible factor that can account for this...
If the credit market was "overheating" when only one-third of all loans had no covenants, we wonder what Stein would say now, two years later, when just one-third of all loans have covenants... if anything?
“In my 30-year career, it’s one of the most unattractive risk-return propositions that I’ve seen,” DoubleLine's Bonnie Baha says. Between abysmally low yields, heightened rate sensitivity heading into a rate hike cycle, and balance sheet re-leveraging on the part of US corporations, it’s a bad time to be betting on corporate credit.
Huxley’s words describe a psychological condition termed cognitive dissonance. According to the American Psychological Association, cognitive dissonance is induced when a person holds two contradictory beliefs, or when a belief is incongruent with an action that the person has chosen freely to perform. Cognitive dissonance is on full display today in the financial markets. The U.S. economy has been supported for seven years by a zero interest rate policy, record fiscal deficits and unprecedented surges in the money supply. Despite all of the stimuli, the economy is slogging along well below trend. The actions taken by the Federal Reserve, federal government and governments around the world are unprecedented. In a normally functioning economy such actions would generate massive growth and inflation. Since growth has been tepid and inflation benign, there is obviously something amiss.
With crude production and inventories hitting record highs this week, it is likely no surprise that rig counts continued to decline - falling 40 to 988 total rigs (and down 42 to 760 oil rigs). This is the 18th week in a row of total rig count declines - equal to the record series from 2008/9. At 48.5%, this is the biggest 18-week decline since 1986.
"A small bubble is something that can be contained. If recent stock gains are signs of a mini-bubble, this is something I would welcome," Japan's Economics Minister says, just as the Nikkei touches fresh highs. And while we thought bubbles were inherently dangerous in any size, we also mistakenly thought the BoJ's multi-trillion yen ETF portfolio could fairly be classified as "large".