RANsquawk European Morning Briefing - Stocks, Bonds, FX etc. – 14/01/11
US equity reverses gains on muni plunge, but risk overall bid as Spanish & Italian auctions follow on tail of Portuguese, while ECB & BoK focus on inflationSubmitted by naufalsanaullah on 01/14/2011 02:31 -0400
The theme of input price inflation in America seems here to stay, and the dynamics of passing on inflation through the supply chain and eventually the consumer will be vital to watch this year.
The artist said that the more complicated an idea, the more worthless. So here is a very simple bizarro world thought experiment:
- Everyone in America maxed out their credit cards (on average about 4) to pay as much of US debt as possible (link)...
- Everyone refused to pay their credit card bill when invoiced.
Net result: America pays off the debts incurred to rescue the banks?
We call it chart of the day, but it could just as easily be the chart of the century, as this one chart, presented courtesy of Sean Corrigan of Diapason Securities, captures without a shadow of doubt the revolutionary regime change that occurred in US (and global) capital markets with the advent of cheap credit policy in the aftermath of America's near brush with hyperinflation in the early 1980s. The chart demonstrates the "great regime change" that occurred some time in the 1980s-90s, and confirms that whereas inflation used to be the biggest threat to equity returns (and thus stock prices), as can be seen by the inverse correlation between the S&P and bond yields in the 1962-1974 period (note the UST10 yield is inverted for this period), this correlation flipped in the late '90s and and 2000s, and it has become a direct correlation. In other words, whereas before a surge in yields (and thus a drop in bond prices) would cause stocks to drop, now we see a stock market which correlates directly with yields (and inversely with prices). As Corrigan summarizes: "T-Bonds used to trade with, but now trade against equities. Growth, not inflation, is the limiting factor in the market's calculations."
History is littered with the carcasses of men that in their exaggerated hubris attempted to stop the forces of nature and the markets only to fall flat on their faces. We tell the stories of these men in history books and myths from prehistory, but it never stops men of successive generations from trying it all over again. What the current political class the world over (at the behest of Wall Street financial terrorists and other big corporate interests) are doing falls into the same exact formula of prior historical failures. Some of the historical figures that attempted to beat back nature were great warriors or kings that just reached too far. Some of them were evil megalomaniacs whose desire was nothing short of absolute power in their hands over any of the unfortunate human beings that happened to be in the way. Ben Bernanke is neither of these. He is a just a little dweeb with an electronic printing press. Tragically, because of modern technology and the way the monetary system works today he has the ability to cause more damage than any other one person in the history of mankind and he is doing it. I shudder to contemplate the ultimate effects of the inflationary holocaust he has unleashed on the six billion mesmerized and helpless souls present on earth at this time. The signs are starting to show up again just like in early 2008. Food is becoming scare at a “reasonable” price in many parts of the globe and the symptoms of this are starting to bubble up to the surface. For example in recent days we have witnessed food riots in Algeria and Tunisia where at least 14 people are reported to have died in each country. These types of events were easily predictable and have been predicted by people like me and many other whose views will never be seen in the mainstream media. Fortunately, the alternative media is taking over (which is why the Obama administration is certain to increase its crackdown on the internet) and people are becoming very informed and linked all over the world. The divide and conquer strategy that has worked so well for millennia will be much harder to pull off this time around.
The vast majority of Americans, including many of those who believe that they are "educated" about the Federal Reserve, do not really understand how the Federal Reserve really makes money for the international banking elite. Many of those opposed to the Federal Reserve will point to the record $80.9 billion in profits that the Federal Reserve made last year as evidence that they are robbing the American people blind. But then those defending the Federal Reserve will point out that the Fed returned $78.4 billion to the U.S. Treasury. As a result, the Fed only made a couple billion dollars last year. Pretty harmless, eh? Well, actually no. You see, the money that the Federal Reserve directly makes is not the issue. Rather, the "magic" of the Federal Reserve system is that it took the power of money creation away from the U.S. government and gave it to the bankers. Now, the only way that the U.S. government can inject more money into the economy is by going into more debt. But when new government debt is created, the amount of money to pay the interest on that debt is not also created. In this way, it was intended by the international bankers that U.S. government debt would expand indefinitely and the U.S. money supply would also expand indefinitely. In the process, the international bankers would become insanely wealthy by lending money to the U.S. government.
As the conventional and cheap oil and gas start to dry up in the Middle East… a bigger, even better opportunity seeks to replace it.
For many who aren’t familiar with the region, the Middle East comes across as an updated version of Lawrence’s Arabia, only with lots of oil. But this mosaic of cultures isn’t made up of only Arabs or Muslims, and most Middle East countries are neither awash with heavily armed, rather excitable citizenry… nor with black gold, which is what we’re interested in. Twenty-three countries comprise the Arab League, but only Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Iran are major oil producers.
It has not been a good day for New Jersey. First, governor Christie dared to tell the truth (i.e., that the state could go bankrupt on increasing... yes you read that right - INcreasing - health care costs) which pretty much cost the state a successful bond auction as we reported earlier, and now we find that one of the casualties in today's Coinstar collapse is none other than the State of New Jersey, which owns a (less than) whopping 460,000 shares. Granted the loss for NJ is only $8.2 million but it is never nice to kick a man down as he is on the very of insolvency. The table below shows all the biggest losers in today's after hours wipe out in Coinstar. Notably, at position 4, is Jim O'Neill's latest fiefdom, Goldman Sachs Asset Management, which continues to live up to its reputation of one of the worst asset managers on Wall Street.
According to a loosely-organized apocalyptic Christian movement, May 21, 2011 will be the "end of days." On or about that same date, the price of oil in the United States will begin to climb to $4 a gallon, according to two savants of the oil industry. The former is highly unlikely but the latter is very probable. The escalation in the price of oil is predicted by the legendary oil man T. Boone Pickens, known for his financial acuity as well as his oil expertise, and John Hofmeister, who retired as president of Shell Oil Company, to sound the alarm about the rate of U.S. consumption of oil. In an interview with a trade publication, Hofmeister predicted that oil would rise to $4 a gallon this year and to $5 a gallon in the election year 2012. Separately, Pickens—who has been leaning on Congress to enact an energy policy that would switch large trucks and other commercial vehicles from imported oil to domestic natural gas—predicts that oil currently selling for just over $90 a barrel will go to $120 a barrel, with a concomitant price per gallon of $4 or more.
RANsquawk Market Wrap Up - Stocks, Bonds, FX etc. – 13/01/11
Who would have thought that such things as consumer wealth and cash actually matter for companies? After CSTR enjoyed a doubling of its stock price in the past year, it now appears many of these were based on the same thing that has driven the entire economy: hopium. The company has slashed Q4 revenue guidance from $415-440 to $391, and now sees EPS of $0.65 and $0.69 compared with guidance in the range of $0.79 to $0.85. Coming to pretty much every single consumer discretionary (ahem Netflix) stock near you.
Intel reports revenues of $11.46 billion on expectations of $11.36, with EPS coming at $0.59 on expectations of $0.53 and whisper number of $0.56. After a kneejerk reaction higher, the stock has pared back gains and is now about $0.20 cents higher. Earlier, it was reported that INTC Put contracts had risen to a 10 year high of 323,825 so there likely is quite a substantial short base in the name.
I've got a bad feeling that the Great Intervention Rally of 2009 - 2011 is about to hit an iceberg. January 2011 is eerily reminiscent of January 2000. Ignoring warning signs of being overheated and overloved, the stock market rose month after month, defying doubters. With 12,000 within one good day's run, the Dow reached 11,908 in the week of January 10, 2000, and then rolled over. The next week it sprinted again for 12,000, hitting 11,834, but alas, the mighty advance was over. The S&P 500 topped out a few months later and then started down a relentless three-year slide. I sense a dislocation coming in global markets.