Bank of America
Remember the mass layoffs of 2008-2009? The US economy shed millions of jobs quickly and relentlessly, as companies died and the rest fought for survival. Then the Fed and the US government flooded the banks and the corporate sector with bailouts and handouts. The nightmare of 2008 soon became a golden era of 'recovery'. Well, 2016 is showing us that that era is over. And as stock prices cease to rise, and in fact fall within many industries, layoffs are beginning to make a return as companies jettison costs in attempt to reduce losses.
Who said it? - "If it were positive to take interest rates into negative territory I would be voting for that."
Nonfarm Productivity collapsed by 3% QoQ, notably worse than expected as labor costs jump. Economists are gnashing their teeth to explain this "plunging productivity paradox" - we think it is rather simple...
- EU Slashes 2016 Inflation Forecast to 0.5% as Growth Seen Slower (BBG)
- Bank of England cuts UK growth forecasts (FT)
- Investors Cast Wary Eye on Fed Rate Increases (WSJ)
- U.N. halts Syria talks as government closes in on Aleppo (Reuters)
- Credit Suisse Drops as Investment Bank Slump Deepens Losses (BBG)
- Six OPEC states ready for emergency meeting with non-OPEC members — Venezuela's minister (TASS)
Beware the "catastrophic gap between optimism and reality."
With an ever-increasing horde of hedge fund "speculators" daring to confront The PBOC, here is how they are placing theirs bets on Yuan devaluation...
Today, none other than Bank of America's chief equity quant Savita Subramanian throws in the towel and admits that the best trade over the past several years has been precisely what we suggested several years ago: do the opposite of what the crowd does.
It didn't take much to fizzle Friday's Japan NIRP-driven euphoria, when first ugly Chinese manufacturing (and service) PMI data reminded the world just what the bull in the China shop is leading to a 1.8% Shanghai drop on the first day of February. Then it was about oil once more when Goldman itself said not to expect any crude production cuts in the near future. Finally throw in some very cautious words by the sellside what Japan's act of NIRP desperation means, and it becomes clear why stocks on both sides of the pond are down, why crude is not far behind, and why gold continues to rise.
"If I don’t issue more loans, then my salary isn’t enough to repay the mortgage, and car loan. It’s not difficult to issue more loans, but lets say in a years time when the loan is due, if the borrower defaults, then I wont just see a pay cut, I’ll be fired, and still be responsible for loan recovery."
While on any given day, stocks may tumble or surge as marginal buyers send increasingly illiquid indices lower or higher on ever lower volume, a more important question is what is taking place below the surface: are large holders looking to offload large exposure (by selling), or vice versa. For the answer we go to Bank of America, which has models to measure precisely this.
Here is the one chart which in our opinion virtually assures that the Fed will follow in the footsteps of Sweden, Denmark, Europe, Switzerland and now Japan.
It is safe to say that nobody expected the BOJ stunner announced last night, when Kuroda announced that Japan would become the latest country to unleash negative interest rates, for one simple reason: Kuroda himself said Japan would not adopt negative rates just one week ago! However, a few BIS conference calls since then clearly changed the Japanese central banker's mind and as we wrote, and as those who are just waking up are shocked to learn, negative rates are now a reality in Japan. The immediate reaction was to send the USDJPY surging by nearly 200 pips, back to levels seen... well, about a month ago.
After the Fed's statement, one thing was clear: the career economists at the Marriner Eccles building are very confused, admitting to hiking rates for the first time in nine years "even as economic growth slowed late last year". But more confused are the Wall Street economists who follow the Fed and are expected to interpret what the Fed says, means and hints, especially when said Fed has no clue what is going on, like right now. So while their opinions are utterly worthless, for the record, here is what the economisseds see in today's 558 words of sheer Fed confusion.
Between 1990 and 2010, eventually 37 banks would become JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Citigroup. The “Big Four” retail banks in the United States collectively hold 45% of all customer bank deposits for a total of $4.6 trillion... as the biggest got biggest-er all thanks to the very visible hand of The Fed's free money.
For those who are inching closer to the "crash is imminent" camp, we suggest taking a look at the chart below showing the stress levels, or rather lack thereof, 2 months prior to every major crash in the past decade, and extrapolating how far said "stress" may soar to in the coming 8 weeks if, as Citi, JPMorgan and Deutsche Bank today suggest, central banks are on the verge of losing control...