"Can Fed policy ever be local again?" asks Bloomberg's Richard Breslow ahead of this week's meeting, as there are plenty of things to focus on if you want to be worried about the world...
We are happy to report that the P&L drought may have finally ended, and we have none other than the man many have suggested could be next in line for the title of honorary "Tom Stolper" of the FX realm: BofA's technical strategist MacNeill Curry. Moments ago, Curry came out with a trade reco which is, not surprisingly, just in line with what the vast consensus, and not to mention the Bank of Japan, thinks: long USDJPY.
Just because we do not acknowledge the binds that tie us to our servitude does not invalidate their existence, but rather significantly strengthens them.
The Mystery Deepens: Dutch Central Bank Denies Reports It Bought Gold For The First Time In 17 YearsSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 01/27/2015 10:01 -0400
Overnight, there was much commotion in the precious metal space when, out of the blue, the IMF reported that months after announcing it had unexpectedly repatriated over 120 tons of gold from the NY Fed, the Netherlands had also purchased some 10 tons of gold in the open market, taking its total to 622 metric tons, the highest since 2007, a period in which it had been unchanged for 8 years. Except... Moments ago Bloomberg blasted something even more unexpected. Namely that the "Dutch Central Bank Says It Did Not Increase Gold Holdings"!
For those who slept through the recently-downgraded to junk "Snow Tempest In A Teapot Of 2005", you may want to check the stops of any open EURCHF trades, because, two weeks after the SNB shocked the world and blew up countless retail and institutional FX trading desks, as well as numerous macro hedge funds, the SNB - allegedly - tried to for round two earlier today, when just hours after SNB's Danthine - the same guy who said the EURCHF floor is the bedrock of SNB policy two days before the SNB eliminated it - said that "the SNB remains ready to intervene on foreign exchange markets" that this happened: a dramatic, 250 pips surge in the EURCHF starting at 3 am Eastern.
The Greek election result was worse than expected - the anti-austerity vote is massive, but it could be an empty gesture as Greece in reality has little choice: Comply with the Troika or leave the EUR. Saxo Bank's Steen Jakobsen doubts the latter will happen with the same vote as the Greeks are tired of austerity but not of being European. However, game theory dictates that some solution will be found which is sub-optimal for all parties, but the risk it will take longer than market have nerves for. There remains a consensus that “things will be ok...” but the early comments indicate the positioning is already starting...
This morning both the SNB stunner from two weeks ago, and the less than stunning ECB QE announcement from last Thursday are long forgotten, and the only topic on markets' minds is the startling surge of Syriza and its formation of a coalition government with another anti-bailout party - a development that many in Europe never expected could happen, and which has pushed Europe to the bring of the unexpected yet again. And while there is much speculation that this time Europe is much better positioned to "handle a Grexit", the reality is that European bank balance sheets are as bad if not worse than in 2014, 2013, 2012 or any other year for that matter, because none of ther €1+ trillion in NPLs have been addressed and the only thing that has happened is funding bank capital deficiencies with newly printed money. You know what they say about solvency and liquidity.
Even if you think you know how competitive devaluation works, this primer is worth it because parts 2-4 of this series will blow your socks off leaving you wondering, "Damn, why didn't I tink of that?"
In 55BC, Cicero stood before the Senate of Rome (warning of its looming demise), spoke of the “arrogance of officialdom” and the more one studies going ons throughout history, the clearer it becomes – the story remains the same, only the actors change - history repeats because the passions of man never change. Those who may grudgingly support the ECB stimulus in the hope that it will buy time for governments to enact structural overhauls, keep praying that politicians will push aside their own personal self-interests for once and focus of the interests of the people. Such wishful thinking is foolish since history demonstrates that only takes place when the system collapses. People who do hold to this view are also worried that looser monetary policy may work against structural measures. The European Central Bank’s stimulus diminishes any incentive for governments to reform. The policy makers and specialists at Davos were divided over the effect of even that program; but where do these people get off assuming they have the ability and right to manipulate the world?
Someday, maybe, these central banks will find that secret formula that unlocks the commanded utopia from its monetary prison, but I think it more like what led to the end of the first Gulf War, where continued air raids upon Iraqi positions amounted to destroying rubble. As Colin Powell put it, “we were bouncing rubble with billion-dollar missiles.” That seems to be a fitting, paraphrased description of the European state of monetarism, bouncing economic rubble with trillion-euro debt missiles.
No matter what the politicians say about how great America is and how we, as a people, will always triumph, the fact is that the nation seems to be imploding. Despite the dire state of our nation, however, you can rest assured that none of the problems that continue to plague our lives and undermine our freedoms will be addressed by our so-called elected representatives in any credible, helpful way, and certainly not during a State of the Union address.
"No one believes the suicide hypothesis," one of Nisman's investigative team told Reuters, adding that, "he was very convinced of his ideas and prepared to see them through. He had received threats all his life and it never intimidated him." With the news of no gunpowder residue sinking in, and protests rising, even Argentina's President is now uncomfortably admitting it, saying on Thursday that she was "convinced" Nisman's death was not a suicide, explaining that people had led him astray in his investigation in order to smear her name and then "needed him dead." However, instead of vowing to shed light on the matter, Fernandez and her government have been on the defensive, trying to refute Nisman's claims against her. Neighboring Uruguay said it felt sorry for Argentina and that its justice system needs to clear up the case to maintain "the minimal confidence our societies need." Questions abound...
Euro Crash Continues Sending Stocks Higher, Yields To Record Lows; Crude Stabilizes On New King's CommentsSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 01/23/2015 08:03 -0400
Today's market action is largely a continuation of the QE relief rally, where - at least for the time being - the market bought the rumor for over 2 years and is desperate to show it can aslo buy the news. As a result, the European multiple-expansion based stock ramp has resumed with the Eurostoxx advancing for a 7th day to extend their highest level since Dec. 2007. As we showed yesterday, none of the equity action in Europe is based on fundamentals, but is the result of multiple expansion, with the PE on European equities now approaching 20x, a surge of nearly 70% in the past 2 years. But the real story is not in equities but in bonds where the perfectly expected frontrunning of some €800 billion in European debt issuance over the next year, taking more than 100% of European net supply, has hit new record level.
The Euro Crashes To 12 Year Lows And Now The US Commerce Secretary Starts To Grumble About A Strong DollarSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 01/22/2015 13:57 -0400
A crashing Yen failed to help Japan or fix its economy, but while Japan may now be a lost cause, the Keynesian masterminds of the world will give it another try, and following today's Draghi's announcement, the EURUSD has crashed to the lowest level since 2003, tumbling over 200 pips, and printing below 1.14 moments ago. However, in a clear indication that the party for the USD-bulls may be ending, none other than the US commerce secretary moments ago said the impact of a rising dollar on exports and economic growth bears monitoring.
If speeches like the State of The Union this week, and the reactions to it, make anything clear, it’s that the PR guys won the fight against critical thinking. All you need to do is get people to believe whatever it is you got for sale. And 99.9% of people are easily fooled. That’s how you define democracy in 2015: how many people can you fool? Which is the most convincing sleight of hand?