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RANsquawk US Market Wrap - 1st August 2012

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Macquarie Sees $176 Billion In Lieborgate Losses, $88 Billion Hit To Libor Panel Banks

When we discussed the next steps from the Lieborgate fallout, we made it explicitly clear that one after another experts will come to the fore with their predictions on the monetary fallout of Lieborgate, and how much various banks will be on the hook for: basically an exercise in futility as there is no way to even remotely extrapolate what the liability is to manipulating $500 trillion worth of IR-derivative notional. The bulk of these analyses have been of the lowballing variety, designed to create a "framing" limit for the Libor liability within a given mental range, when in reality the number could and likely will be orders of magnitude greater, but what bank wants ambulance chasing to go off the charts and be sued by anyone who was exposed to debt instruments in the past decade - read mortgage or credit card? One firm which dares to break away from the framing mold is Australian bank Macquarie which has thrown out the simply stunning number of $176 billion. If true: prepare for the banks' Tobacco moment as well over half of the market cap of global financial institutions who just so happens have exactly $0.00 in litigation reserves for just this contingency, is slashed.

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Citi Sounds A Warning: "The Misread Of The Fed May Also Worry Investors That They Have Misread Draghi"

The FX market remains the most anxious post-FOMC with USD strength across the board but we note that JPY crosses (e.g. EURJPY) are largely in line with equity's movements for now. Citi's FX Strategist, Steven Englander, is a little more concerned in his post-FOMC view that while "it is possible that there will be a revisionist view of the statement that puts a more positive interpretation on it", he adds that "investors may also be pulling back a bit from  ECB expectations on the view that coordinated easing is out of the picture (keeping in mind that such coordinated easing is far from common).  The misread of the fed may also worry investors that they have misread Draghi" which we explicitly said NOT to expect without Germany's buy-in - which remains absent for now.

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Prayers Denied As Fed Disappoints - Full Statement Redline

And not only did the Fed disappoint, but it didn't even extend ZIRP through 2015. Sorry Hilsenrath, better luck next time


And if markets are surprised by this goose-egg according to which the September FOMC will at best be the ZIRP extension that was supposed to take place today just so Congress can sort its own mess out with the Fed, wait until Draghi confirms what we said last week: that he was merely posturing and is totally impotent without the Buba's blessing. Then you will see pain in a market which is 5% higher than where it would be absent his headfaked posturing.

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FOMC: Goldman's Take

Our interpretation of the forward-looking language in today’s statement – especially the phrase “will provide additional accommodation as needed” – is that some form of monetary easing at the September 12-13 FOMC meeting is the current baseline. Although easing is by no means a foregone conclusion, we suspect that the incoming information needs to improve materially in order to forestall it. Most plausibly, Goldman reiterates expectations of a lengthening of the forward rate guidance as the most likely outcome for September 13, with asset purchases financed by renewed balance sheet expansion following in late 2012/early 2013.

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FOMC Market Reaction - Yields Flatten, FX Market Not Buying Equity 'Hope' Reversion

UPDATE: Energy, Tech, and Staples have reverted BUT Financials and Utilities remain near lows...

The knee-jerk reaction was very clear - selling pressure on both US equities and gold as no mention of NEW QE disappointed and no language change per se to indicate its imminent arrival. No rate extension droive the front-end of the Treasury curve higher in yield and the curve is flattening as 30s and 10s outperform and 2s underperform. EURUSD dropped 70 pips to 1.2235 as USD strength was across the board. Commodities are broadly lower as USD strengthens BUT gold and stocks are rebounding back towards unchanged from pre-FOMC now. As we post, only the USD seems to be holding its change as Gold, Stocks, and TSYs have retraced the immediate reaction - though stocks looked like a trickle up to VWAP so be careful.  FX markets remain the most 'skeptical' as the rest revert from kneejerk for now...

  • Pre: 10Y 1.4950, ES 1376, DXY 82.7, gold 1603, IG 105.75, HY 97.25, HYG 91.39, WTI 88.81
  • Post: 10Y 1.51, ES 1374, DXY 83.1, gold 1600, IG 105.4, HY 97.28, HYG 91.42, WTI 88.85
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Beyond The BLS BS: New Online Help Wanted Ads Plunge The Most Since January 2009

Just when you thought it was safe to hope that saved-or-created jobs were at least not plunging anymore, the truth is out with online job postings. As opposed to de minimus surveys, or BLShit small pool analysis, the 'fact-based' number of 'New Help Wanted' Online Ads plunged in July by its most since January 2009! The total number of Online Help Wanted Ads also fell by its most in a year and as Credit Suisse points out, in 7 of the last 8 times when we see an outlier of this magnitude it is followed by outright declines in non-farm payrolls and private payrolls.

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What The US Government Spends Its Money On

The following chart from today's TBAC presentation slidedeck should put to bed all debate of not only what the US government spends its money on (of which about half is generated through tax collection and half is borrowed), but also what the trends in current year spending are compared to 2011. In summary: of the 4 biggest categories HHS (Medicare & Madicaid), Social Security or together Welfare, Treasury and Defense, Welfare is higher, Treasury is higher, and Defense is not only lower, but has lost to Treasury as the third biggest expense category year to date.

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The PIIGS Are Rapidly Losing Their Leverage Over Germany

While everyone awaits Germany's bowing to European pressure to share in their supposed wealth, the sad truth is that the clear line between core and peripheral economies is blurring every day as the lead-boots of Portugal, Spain, and Greece, drag 'until-recently high-fliers' Germany and France down to the bottom. The release this week of European Manufacturing Confidence data shows that all the nations are now contracting as core converges DOWN to periphery in a vicious circle. This is critical as suddenly the clock for a Euro-break-up is speeding up: every day that Germany delays to intervene and acquiesce bailout the PIIGS, the PIIGS implied-leverage declines as Germany is being dragged to their level - and thus 'unable' let alone 'unwilling' to share some burden.

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Broken Market Chronicles: Algos Gone Autosell Wild - Video Explanation Of What Happened

Still scratching your head over what happened this morning (this would be everyone at the SEC but not their porn webstream vendors - even they by now realize just how broken the market is)? Don't be  - courtesy of Dennis Dick and Premarket Info, here is a 20 minute video explanation parsing the tape and showing precisely what happened that impacted nearly 150 stocks.

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Guest Post: Thoughtcrime Is Real


We already know that the National Security Agency will soon capture all communications — phone calls, search histories, web history, e-mails, passwords, etc — in their Utah data centre. In Britain, a dangerous precedent is being set. "A teenager arrested over a malicious tweet sent to Team GB diver Tom Daley has been issued with a warning. Dorset Police said the 17-year-old boy was held at a guest house in the Weymouth area on suspicion of malicious communications and later bailed. After coming fourth in the men’s synchronised 10m platform diving event on Monday, Daley, 18, from Plymouth received a message on Twitter. It told him he had let down his father Rob, who died in 2011 from cancer." Arrested and cautioned for expressing an opinion. Not for threatening violence. Not even for racial or sexual abuse — as happened in March when a student was convicted of incitement to racial hatred after he tweeted a series of racial slurs. Just for expressing an opinion that the authorities found to be distasteful.  I admit, it was a distasteful comment. But the idea that the government should arrest the person who made it is far, far, far more distasteful still. Meanwhile, the number of bankers arrested for rigging LIBOR remains at zero.

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What Does The Market 'Expect' From The Fed/ECB?

While hope remains, Citigroup's Steven Englander notes that the much stronger than expected ADP has probably shifted market expectations towards neutral, but like us he believes the market remains more hopeful of an aggressive fed than wary of disappointment.  In parentheses below, we indicate what we think will be negative, neutral and positive surprises from an investor viewpoint.

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The Dark Pool Knight Capital Plummets

Forget Bane, Knight is going dark:


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Li(e)bor: The Cartel Emerges

Just when you thought the Li(e)bor scandal had jumped the shark, Germany's Spiegel brings it back front-and-center with a detailed and critical insight into the 'organized fraud' and emergence of the cartel of 'bottom of the food chain' money market traders. "The trick is that you can't do it alone" one of the 'chosen' pointed out, but regulators have noiw spoken "mechanisms are now taking effect that I only knew of from mafia films." RICO anyone? "This is a real zinger," says an insider. In the past, bank manager lapses resulted from their stupidity for having bought securities without understanding them. "Now that was bad enough. But manipulating a market rate is criminal." A portion of the industry, adds the insider, apparently doesn't realize that the writing is on the wall.

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RANsquawk US Data Preview - FOMC Rate Decision - 1st August 2012

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