While careful not to get drawn into the conspiracy-theory wonk camp, CNBC's Rick Santelli just connects the dots on last week's miraculous unemployment rate. In one of the most voluminous rants we can remember, Santelli - from a position of realist (and market whisperer) - argued with Liesman - from a position of 'but, but, the data must be true' - and summed it all perfectly "if I told you that you'd win the lottery tomorrow, and you did; wouldn't you wonder how did I know that?" With Langone also chipping in that he does not see anything in his business to suggest unemployment is improving at all - we think the bigger elephant-in-the-room is the Liesman 'comfortably-numb' line-of-questioning on "why did you think last month that this month's unemployment rate would be under 8%"; i.e., why did you think there would be manipulation? The answer is pretty obvious, especially as Santelli was proven 100% correct - "the current trend of these [jobs] numbers is so different from the current trend of any other numbers. If you were looking for conspiracies (and I'm not), you only need to change a certain number." Must Watch!
The fallout in the aftermath of last week's infamous tweet by Jack Welch in which he dares to accuse the BLS of manipulating labor data (the same BLS which has already been purposefully caught leaking data, but never actually caught red handed manipulating it: after all things like these don't happen, Liborgate notwithstanding), something which it did (although the one thing that nobody dares to say is "why" because if suddenly it becomes clear that if this most critical of economic indicators is fudged, then every other one must be) has begun. Moments ago, in response to perceived political badgering by Fortune and Reuters, Jack Welch, the CEO of Chairman of GE from 1981 to 2001, just after the company's stock peaked at $593 billion, the outspoken critic of Obama has decided to sever ties with both the CNN-controlled publication and with the Thomson Reuters organization, and instead going forward will use the WSJ as a platform. What drove Welch over the edge is the now traditional media response of attacking the person instead of the argument whenever the status quo is threatened, in this case predicated by articles by both Fortune and Reuters.
Recession drives contingent liabilities into present liabilities quickly and with force and the cattle are now out of control and the stampede has begun. For those of you perhaps wishing for and certainly waiting for some type of “Lehman Moment” to flee; you may find it soon. The danger has always been that Europe will believe its own stuff and then make judgments based upon it and if this turns out to be the case then the decisions will be wrong and the consequences horrific.
While hardly a crash, today's AAPL driven market swoon is certainly not the stuff centrally-planned market confidence is built on (not to mention yet another day of various abnormal stock trading patterns in some of the more retail-heavy held stocks which will hardly break the pattern of domestic capital flowing out of equities and into bonds). And as we have seen in the past two weeks, when even green days have resulted in the infamous "market conditions" clause being triggered for companies attempting to sell equity or raise debt, today's red day, assuming of course, the fat pipe between Citadel and the FRBNY is not unclogged for the last hour of trading ramp, may mean that a surge of "market conditional" excuses by companies and underwriters is imminent. The reason: as the WSJ reports there are no less than 10 IPOs in the next 3 days. Should today's market tone persist into the close, we would be very surprised if even half of these price in a market in which the primary market bid disappears on even a -0.01% close.
Many times what "should" happen does not happen. For example, global stock markets "should" decline as the global economy free-falls into recession, as global recession is not exactly an ideal scenario for rising corporate sales and profits or demand for commodities. Yet global markets are by and large rising significantly. Sometimes what "should" happen is simply being delayed. In other cases, some other dynamic is at work. Stock market bulls, for example, say the "other dynamic" is global money-printing by central banks, and this "easing" will power stocks higher even as sales and profits sag. Analysts who believe fundamentals eventually over-ride monetary manipulation believe the stock market decline has only been delayed, not banished. A similar tug-of-war is playing out between those who feel the U.S. dollar "should" decline in the years ahead and those who see the dollar strengthening significantly.
While the recent revelations of multi-year LIBOR manipulation (but, but how was that possible: it involved thousands of people, operating for years, manipulating numbers - all the traditional reasons presented against conspiracy theory crackpots alleging that manipulation may be going on here, or there, or at the BLS, or somewhere), which we had said had been happening for the past 3 years, confirmed that the entire rate-based derivative market was a giant scam, at least one market spared from cartel whistleblower, i.e., insider, humiliation, was the commodities market. No longer. As the FT first reported, a Swiss trading office of Total Oil Trading sent a response letter to IOSCO (the International Organization of Securities Commissions), alleging that the same kinds of market "pricing" shennanigans that have been now exposed to have taken place over bottles of Bollinger, may have been pervasive in the crude market as well.
With US Federal tax (mostly) and spending (far less) policy having become two of the key issues of the ongoing presidential debate, we wish to present to our readers 111 years of US revenue and spending data, both in absolute terms, and as a percentage of GDP.
It seems, just as everyone knew but really did not want to admit, that AAPL is the core (pun intended) of the entire risk-rally. With the re-appearance of the bond-market this morning after their long-weekend, risk-assets everywhere have caught the tech companies' cold with EURUSD at one-week lows - back under 1.2900, S&P futures tumbling back towards pre-QEternity levels and having wiped out all of last week's gains, as AAPL is down over 2% (seemingly picking up speed once we noted the 10% iCorrection earlier). Oil is holkding gains while USD strength is sapping Silver, Copper, and Gold's performance. Treasuries have snapped back to low yields of the day (down around 4-5bps). VIX has snapped back above 16% (up around 1 vol).
We have lately noticed that there is an ongoing debate on whether (or not) the world can again embrace the gold standard. We join the debate today, with an historical as well as technical perspective. The gold standard will be the last option: If adopted, it will be out of necessity and in desperation. We are not historians. In our limited knowledge, we note however that historically, the experiment of adopting a gold standard –or a currency board system- was usually preceded by extremely trying moments, including the loss by a government of its legal tender amidst hyperinflation. The change to a commodity standard has often been then out of necessity. In summary, the Argentine case and the Dutch Golden Age suggest that the elimination of the credit multiplier (i.e. extinction of shadow banking) is more important than the asset backing a currency.
At least he did not say Tungsten...
Gross: Stock and bond managers today must be alchemists: turn lead into gold. NOT likely. Too much lead (bubbled assets).
— PIMCO (@PIMCO) October 9, 2012
The pain in Spain is reaching the upper-class. Foreclosures has previously disproportionately affected lower-income immigrants but is now spreading to formerly well-to-do families, as Bloomberg Businessweek notes that they are running out of ways to pay mortgages in a deepening recession. Home price drops are re-accelerating as "repossessions are encroaching further into the city centers, like an overflowing river." The path to this end sounds very familiar as "Bank managers, who had aggressive targets to meet, did all they could to lend to those who wanted to carry on buying into the bubble" and the saddest case of all as parental guarantors were used to spread the risk as "The kids lose their homes, go live with mom and dad and then mom and dad lose the home that they worked all their lives to pay for because it backed their children’s debts."
Confirming a move that will surprise exactly no one, the firm which is best known in the world for two things: i) arbitraging the gullibility of its clients, and ii) flipflopping faster than anyone when the narrative demands it, the WSJ reports that Goldman Sachs has mutated from Obama's biggest financial backer 4 years ago on Wall Street, to one of the most stingiest firms. "Employees at Goldman donated more than $1 million to Mr. Obama when he first ran for president. This election, they have given the president's campaign $136,000—less than Mr. Obama has collected from employees of the State Department. The employees have contributed nothing to the leading Democratic super PAC supporting his re-election. By contrast, Goldman employees have given Mr. Romney's campaign $900,000, plus another $900,000 to the super PAC founded to help him." In other words Goldman has just voted with their wallets, and the bottom line is "Strong Sell" with price target One Term.
Turkey has confirmed that it is deploying at least 25 additional F-16 fighter jets at its Diyarbakir air base close to the border with Syria. Al Jazeera reports that Erdogan, Turkey's PM, noted that he does not want war but needs to prepare for anything and at the same time NATO's secretary general has "all necessary plans in place to protect and defend Turkey if necessary."