"The new information on global slowing may be less important than the realization that policymakers have few tools to deal with any kind of slowing, let alone a major shock. G3 10yr government rates now average 1.27, within 10bps of the all-time pre-tapering low of 2013 (Figure 1). So if the last 100bps of rate reduction did not stimulate global growth, it does not seem likely that another 20-30bps or so in the presence of negative demand shocks will do the trick. The market takeaway from their comments is that the US economy is not strong enough to stand on its own, leaving little hope for the rest of the world, which is already slowing. Moreover since investors and business do not have particular confidence that the policy response will be effective, any upgrading of the risk of negative shocks raises the probability that we may be put into a zone to which there is no adequate response."
While geopolitics has largely dropped of the front news page, replaced by updates on the global Ebola epidemic (which until recently was considered nothing but fearmongering by those who prefer to avoid reality ews until it is far too late), things in the Middle East are getting worse, and while the US attack against ISIS has achieved absolutely nothing (in fact, the revelation of US strategies may have facilitated the incursion of ISIS into the town of Kobani, a mostly Kurdish city in north Syria), the latest geopolitical hotspot over the past few days has become NATO member Turkey (we provided a big picture summary in "Turkey, The Kurds And Iraq - The Prize & Peril Of Kirkuk"). It is here that violent clashes broke out across the southeast of the nation with several people reported dead and curfews imposed, as the region’s Kurdish people protested the advance of Islamic State just across the border with Syria.
Fed's Lacker Slams Fed For "Inappropriate" Bond-Buying, "Distorting Markets & Undermining Independence"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 10/08/2014 10:40 -0400
Modern central banks enjoy extraordinary independence, typically operating free from political interference. Central bank actions that alter the allocation of credit blur those boundaries and endanger the stability the Fed was designed to ensure. Such interference in the allocation of credit is an inappropriate use of the central bank’s asset portfolio. It is not necessary for conducting monetary policy, and it involves distributional choices that should be made through the democratic process and carried out by fiscal authorities, not at the discretion of an independent central bank.
Is this the beginning of the end for Eddie Lampert's exercise in financial engineering that is Sears Holdings Corp? Bloomberg reports that three of the biggest insurance firms for Sears' suppliers are seeking to reduce coverage... which has led to:
*SEARS 'MEDIUM-SIZED SUPPLIER' VENDOR SAID TO HALT SHIPMENTS AS INSURERS REDUCE COVERAGE
The stock has been halted twice on volatility limits and is down 10% for now. SRAC 5Y CDS are offered at ~39% upfront, implying around a 87% probability of default.
Today: "If the Russell were to hold today and turn higher, then we might very seriously consider covering a portion of our derivatives; otherwise, we shall sit tight, remaining market neutral and fearing that indeed the bear market has begun and that rallies henceforth are to be sold rather than weakness bought."
2 Days ago: "The well-defined upward sloping trend channel continues to remain fully intact and until that trend line is broken we have to once again err upon the side of being bullish of shares generally... Support levels have held and trends from the lower left to the upper right obtain. One may wish to join the bearish camp, but one would be wrong."
Russia Central Banks Scrambles To Halt Plunging Ruble, Spends Over $2 Billion In Last Three Days As Inflation SoarsSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 10/08/2014 09:07 -0400
After stoically ignoring the impact of its tumbling currency on the domestic economy (and as a reminder, Japan would kill for a currency collapse of this magnitude: just think of the "economic renaissance" that would result if only Abenomics was right about killing your currency leading to growth... which it isn't), the Kremlin is finally starting to feel the pinch leading to the biggest central bank intervention in FX markets since the start of the Ukraine campaign, buying Rubles for a third consecutive day at an amount of over $2 billion, with $1.75 billion purchased in the first two days of the current intervention attempt, and another $420 million in foreign currencies sold overnight according to Bank of Russia data.
US Ebola-Fighting Troops Mission Could Last A Year; Spain Quarantines 6, Euthanizes Dog; US Patients Conditions WorsenSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 10/08/2014 08:48 -0400
Africa's US commander has admitted troops will be fighting Ebola for about a year (and in direct contact with infected individuals). Both US Ebola patients conditions are worsening, as Reuters reports, Thomas Duncan is fighting for his life on a ventilator (and undergoing dialysis) and NBC cameraman Ashoka Mukpo is receiving blood from Ebola-survivor Dr. Kent Brantly. The outbreak in Spain has spread with 6 "high risk" patients under quarantine (and Excalibur the dog is set to be euthanized - raising questions about transmission mechanisms). The economic impact on West Africa continues to surge with The World Bank estimating a $32billion hit by the end of 2015.
The one market seemingly everyone "knows" is a bubble is the treasury market. That is the market that just made new low yields on the 30 year bond for the year. GTAT, which is the first true "jump to default" I have ever seen looks exactly like a "bubble" popping, is spurring the rethinking of where the risk is in high yield.
- Turkey says Syria town about to fall as Islamic State advances (Reuters)
- Only now? Growth worries grip stocks, oil (Reuters)
- Hong Kong Protest Leaders ‘Furious’ at Agenda for Talks (BBG)
- Earthquake Damages Thousands of Homes in Southern China (BBG)
- Keystone Be Darned: Canada Finds Oil Route Around Obama (BBG)
- Where Is North Korea's 31-Year-Old Leader? (BusinessWeek)
- Australia to Revise Employment Data (WSJ)
- Americans Living Longer as Fewer Die From Heart Disease, Cancer (BBG)
- A 401(k) Conundrum: Can You Make Cash Pile Last for Life? (BBG)
- China Services Sector Slows in September (WSJ)
And it all started off so promisingly, when after the biggest selloff in US stocks in two months, the BOJ and its preferred banks once again sold 6J (i.e., bought USDJPY) in the morning Japan session (while collecting CME liquidity rebates of course), sending the pair from below 108 to half the way to 109, and naturally taking global futures higher while pushing yields lower when as ITC says a "large TY seller knocked USTs to lows during the session" - hmmm, wonder who the large seller was. And then... the "rebound euphoria" fizzled a la Sodastream, sending the Nikkei sliding 1.2%, and US equity futures back to unchanged with the bond surge returning and sending German Bunds to new all time highs once again, while the Dax briefly broke below under 9000 before stabilizing at the key support level. It is unclear what caused the failure in central bank euphoria, although some suggest that the latest bevy of disappointing economic news wasn't quite bad enough.
"Common People Do Not Carry This Much Currency" – How Police Justify Stealing American Citizens' MoneySubmitted by Tyler Durden on 10/07/2014 23:45 -0400
Police confiscating Americans’ hard earned cash, as well as a wide variety of other valuables, without an arrest or conviction is a disturbing and growing practice throughput these United States. Since cops get to keep the seized funds and use the money on pretty much anything they want, the practice is becoming endemic in certain parts of the nation. The theft is often referred to simply as civil forfeiture, or civil asset forfeiture. Incredibly, under civil forfeiture laws your property is incredibly “guilty until you prove it innocent.”
We noted earlier the insider's account of the dismal protocols in place for managing Ebola in Spain's hospitals... but a picture paints a thousand highly contagious words...
The modern Turkish government is looking at Iraq and Syria in a way similar to how Damat Ferid did almost a century ago when he sought in Paris to maintain Turkish sovereignty over the region. From Ankara's point of view, the extension of a Turkish sphere of influence into neighboring Muslim lands is the antidote to weakening Iraqi and Syrian states. However, the Turkish vision of the region simply does not fit the current reality and is earning Ankara more rebuke than respect from its neighbors and the West. The Kurds, in particular, will continue to form the Achilles' heel of Turkish policymaking. This is the crowded battleground that Turkey knows well. A long and elaborate game of "keep away" will be played to prevent the Kurds from consolidating control over oil-rich territory in the Kurdish-Arab borderland, while the competition between Turkey and Iran will emerge into full view.
By way of a Public Service Announcement, we highly suggest Americans avoid the following areas of Jihadist operation...