Having learned last week that the world's central banks are their sovereign wealth proxies have secretly pumped over $29 trillion into markets in the last few years, it is not entirely surprising to hear from one of the largest - Norway $888 billion oil fund - that it is buying stocks with bond hands and feet. As The Financial Times reports, Yngve Slyngstad, chief executive of Norway's sovereign wealth fund, is hiring aggressively to manage its real estate portfolio and while the oil fund already owns 2.5% of every listed European company on average, it plans to go above 5%. Phew, bagholder found...
These Fake Rallies Will End In Tears: "If People Stop Believing In Central Banks, All Hell Will Break Loose"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 06/24/2014 15:11 -0400
Investors and speculators face some profound challenges today: How to deal with politicized markets, continuously “guided” by central bankers and regulators? In this environment it may ultimately pay to be a speculator rather than an investor. Speculators wait for opportunities to make money on price moves. They do not look for “income” or “yield” but for changes in prices, and some of the more interesting price swings may soon potentially come on the downside. They should know that their capital cannot be employed profitably at all times. They are happy (or should be happy) to sit on cash for a long while, and maybe let even some of the suckers’ rally pass them by. As Sir Michael at CQS said: "Maybe they [the central bankers] can keep control, but if people stop believing in them, all hell will break loose." We couldn't agree more.
While today's Case Shiller data was widely disappointing across the board, indicating a significant slowdown in price gains (and on a sequential seasonally adjusted basis, practically a decline), the one market we paid particular attention to was San Francisco. What we found is a red flag for everyone waiting to time the bursting of the latest housing bubble. Because after an unlucky 13 months of posting consecutive 20% Y/Y price gains, the San Francisco bubble appears to have finally burst, posting "just" an 18.2% price increase, the lowest since January of 2013.
The story of energy and the economy seems to be an obvious common sense one: some sources of energy are becoming scarce or overly polluting, so we need to develop new ones. The new ones may be more expensive, but the world will adapt. Prices will rise and people will learn to do more with less. Everything will work out in the end. It is only a matter of time and a little faith. In fact, the Financial Times published an article recently called “Looking Past the Death of Peak Oil” that pretty much followed this line of reasoning. However, energy common sense doesn’t work because the world is finite.
While the "mysterious, indiscriminate" buyer of US stocks has been fully unmasked now, what most likely do not know is that just this is happening at a comparable record pace nowhere else but the place which is mirroring and repeating every single Fed mistake tit for tit. Japan... “Share buybacks have the effect of supporting the market when it’s weak,” Daiwa Securities Group Inc. quantitative analyst Masahiro Suzuki wrote in a report on June 10.
The 'dumb' algos trading off the headlines have dragged Dean Foods stock down 7.5% as the WSJ reports that the company has in recent weeks received a subpoena from criminal authorities ordering the company to produce information, said a person familiar with the matter. Dean Foods stated it will offer "full support" and is also doing its own investigation of the matter. We suspect the stock move is a little much.
Several months after it was revealed that Germany was able to only recover a miserable 5 tons of its gold in all of 2013 (under 10% of the 84 tons it was scheduled to repatriate), Germany appears to have given up entirely in its attempt to recover gold which simply is not there, and as Michael Krieger reports, citing Bloomberg, has decided to keep "it" (by "it" we don't mean the gold since that clearly has not been at the Fed for decades, but merely the paper promises of ownership: for more see China's gold rehypothecation scandal and how the unwind works) at the NY Fed after all. That is to say, in the "safe hands" of former Goldmanite Bill Dudley.
S&P 500 futures are jumping exuberantly as Japan and China PMIs print above expectations and back in expansion territory (Japan best in 3 months, China best in 7 months). This is China's best 2-month PMI rise since Oct 2010 (which makes perfect sense amid the collapsing housing market and CCFD ponzi probe) - which provides the perfect propaganda meme that targeted RRR cuts workl. However, while stocks don't care to scratch the surface, there are 2 glaring similarities that could become a problem. Both China and Japan saw employment drop (Japan's first in 11 months) and furthermore both China and Japan saw input prices rise and output prices decline - not exactly the margin expansion dream everyone is hoping for... and all this as China's Beige Book shows the slowdown deepening on most pronounced quarter-on-quarter drop in 10 quarters of surveys.
Iraq Update: Air Force Runs Out Of Missiles, ISIS Controls The Border; Shiite Clerics Threaten US TroopsSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 06/22/2014 19:07 -0400
Now that the Iraq proxy war scene is set, and as we reported on Friday, Prime Minister Maliki has become a pawn in yet another middle-east war between the west and the petrodollar (with both Saudi Arabia and the US making it clear Maliki has to go) and Russia (with Putin expressing his full support for the prime minister), events will likely unfold at an even faster pace. Sure enough, even this otherwise quiet weekend, in which the world is supposed to put wars on the backburner and focus on the world cup, is chock-full of Iraq news upates. Let's begin.
Of course the surveillance police state is not used to control the individual, but rather the herd which in turn controls the non sovereign individual.
Until this moment, mocking the administration's imploding foreign policy was largely a domestic issue, for the simple reason that foreigners were too busy annexing Crimea, taking over Kurdish oil fields, or repelling US-trained, if divided Al-Qaeda militants to spare time to troll the first lady. That changed this past week when none other than the Al-Qaeda extremist spinoff which in recent weeks has overrun half of Iraq, ISIS, and which as we reported managed to "confiscate" an unknown number of US-made Black Hawk helicopters and Humvees, decided to use the same outlet, Twitter, to not only mock Michelle Obama, but US foreign policy in Iraq. According to Al Arabiya, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has made a mockery of the U.S. first lady Michelle Obama through series of tweets accompanied by the hashtag: #bringbackourhumvee.
Fed economists say they don’t think inflation rates are rising. They think the most recent reading is a fluke. But why does anyone take them seriously? Prakash Loungani, an economist working for the IMF, undertook a study (published in 2001 in the International Journal of Forecasting); there were no surprises in it. “The record of failure to predict recessions is virtually unblemished,” he reported. That was in 2001. Surely, by 2014, the experts had managed to stain their pathetic record with some success? Nope. Loungani and a colleague, Hites Ahir, took another look. They examined 77 different national economies, of which 49 were in recession in 2009. In 2008, how many economic forecasters saw the recessions coming a year later? Go ahead, dear reader, take a guess. The answer is zero.
In a video leaked by someone who happened to be working out at the same hotel gym as President Obama, the world got a peak into the exercise routine of the most powerful man on earth. The President is surrounded by some of the best and smartest advisors in the country, but apparently none of them is a personal trainer, as his approach and technique leave a lot to be desired. But he is in luck, we're here to help...
On the day after Chairman Yellen’s press conference, investors aggressively bid up inflation trades across numerous asset classes. Gold and silver rallied sharply, TIPS implied inflation breakevens widened (despite a new slug of 30-year supply), Treasury yields rose, and the yield curve steepened. Based on investor positioning and market sentiment (CFTC’s Commitment of Traders data show record net short positions exceeding $1.5 trillion in notional rates exposure among speculators in the eurodollar futures markets), there’s decent potential for additional gains in these inflation expressions in the days and weeks ahead.
France Arbitrarily Decides To Become Largest Stakeholder In Alstom, May Use Decree To Block Deal If GE DisagreesSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 06/20/2014 11:40 -0400
We suspect this is not exactly the great news that GE was expecting... but it looks like a win. French minister Montebourg believes none of the current offers fulfill their demands and will use a decree to block the deal:
- *MONTEBOURG SAYS FRENCH STATE TO TAKE 20% STAKE IN ALSTOM
- *MONTEBOURG SAYS FRANCE WILL BUY ALSTOM STAKE OR BLOCK GE OFFER
- *MONTEBOURG SAYS FRANCE WILL USE DECREE IN ALSTOM CASE
- *MONTEBOURG SAYS FRANCE WILL ENTER IN ALLIANCE WITH GE
- *MONTEBOURG SAYS FRANCE SEEKING ALSTOM STAKE AT MARKET PRICE
So GE forced to partner with French or no deal. Nothing like partnering with the (almost) most socialist government on the planet to make money.