goldman sachs

goldman sachs

Let's Hear It For The Volcker Rule: Goldman Loses Over $1 Billion In FX Trade Gone Bad In Q3

With such a spectacular source of impeccably timed, if always wrong, FX trading recommendations as Tom Stolper, who has cost his muppets clients tens of thousands of pips in currency losses in the past 5 years, and thus generated the inverse amount in profits for Goldman's trading desks, the last thing we expected to learn was that Goldman's currency traders, who by definition takes the opposite side of its Kermitted clients - because prop trading is now long forbidden, (right Volcker rule?) and any prop trading blow up in the aftermath of the London Whale fiasco is not only a humiliation but probably illegal - had lost massive amounts on an FX trade gone wrong. Which is precisely what happened.

"Overly Optimistic Earnings Estimates Are In Jeopardy"

While operating earnings are widely discussed by analysts and the general media; there are many problems with the way in which these earnings are derived due to one time charges, inclusion/exclusion of material events, and outright manipulation to "beat earnings." Therefore, from a historical valuation perspective, reported earnings are much more relevant in determining market over/under valuation levels.  In this regard reported earnings increased from $24.87 to $25.04, a 0.6% increase, per share in the third quarter. The ongoing deterioration in earnings is something worth watching closely.  The recent improvement in the economic reports is likely more ephemeral due to a very sluggish start of the year that has led to a "restocking" cycle.  This puts overly optimistic earnings estimates in jeopardy of be lowered further in the coming months ahead as stock buybacks slow and corporate cost cutting becomes less effective.

Tim Geithner, January 2013: "Extremely Unlikely Will Take A Job In The World Of Finance"

So over the weekend, the world learned that Tiny Turbo Tax Timmy Geithner had accepted a job with private equity giant firm Warburg Pincus. The news was about as much of a surprise as a lie popping out of Barack Obama’s mouth every time he opens it. Nevertheless, the move is particularly hilarious in light of a profile article of Geithner in New York magazine from January of this year, in which the king of cronyism tried to distance himself from Wall Street. Here’s the money-shot paragraph from the piece...

Big Trouble In Massive China: "The Nation Might Face Credit Losses Of As Much As $3 Trillion"

...An unidentified local bank reported a 33 percent nonperforming-loan ratio for the solar-panel industry, compared with 2 percent at the beginning of the year, with the increase due to Wuxi Suntech, China Business News reported in September.... China’s lending spree has created a debt burden similar in magnitude to the one that pushed Asian nations into crisis in the late 1990s, according to Fitch Ratings.... As companies take on more debt, the efficiency of credit use has deteriorated. Since 2009, for every yuan of credit issued, China’s GDP grew by an average 0.4 yuan, while the pre-2009 average was 0.8 yuan, according to Mike Werner, a Hong Kong-based analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co.... “The real situation is much worse than the data showed” after talking to chief financial officers at industrial manufacturers, said Wendy Tang, a Shanghai-based analyst at Northeast Securities Co., who estimates the actual nonperforming-loan ratio to be as high as 3 percent. “It will take at least one year or longer for these NPLs to appear on banks’ books, and I haven’t seen the bottom of deterioration in Jiangsu and Zhejiang yet.”

Three Post-Mortems On China's Third Plenum

China's Third Plenum has come and now truly gone, following the second, 20000 word "decision" which followed the spares initial communique, which contains much more promises and pledges about the future with a 2020 event horizon, so it is a fair bet that nothing of what was resolved will be implemented in a world that will be a vastly different from the one today, but one has to digest current news regardless. So for the sake of those who analyze such things as promises out of a centrally-planned communist nation, here are three takes on the third plenum, courtesy of SocGen, Bank of America and Goldman Sachs.

S&P 1800 Or Bust As Futures Ramp Continues

The overnight global scramble to buy stocks, any stocks, anywhere, continued, with the Nikkei soaring higher by 2% as the USDJPY rose firmly over 100, to levels not seen since May as the previously reported speculation that more QE from the BOJ is just around the corner takes a firm hold. Sentiment that the liquidity bonanza would accelerate around the world (with possibly more QE from the ECB) was undented by news of a surge in Chinese short-term money market rates or the Moody's one-notch downgrade of four TBTF banks on Federal support review. The release of more market-friendly promises from China only added fuel to the fire and as a result S&P futures are now just shy of 1800, a level which will almost certainly be taken out today as the multiple expansion ramp continues unabated. At this point absolutely nobody is even remotely considering standing in front of the centrally-planned liquidity juggernaut that has made "market" down days a thing of the past.

Frontrunning: November 14

  • Yellen to defend Fed's ultra-easy monetary policy (Reuters)
  • Japan growth slows on global weakness (WSJ)
  • Eurozone third-quarter growth falters (FT)
  • Fed Debates Its Low-Rate Peg (Hilsenrath)
  • Yellen: Economy Still Needs Fed Aid (WSJ)
  • ‘Obamacare’ launch fiasco rouses sceptics (FT)
  • DoubleLine's Gundlach says U.S. equities 'only game in town' (Reuters)
  • Indian Inflation Exceeding Estimates Adds Rate-Rise Pressure (BBG)
  • HUD Said to Fail in Bid to Sell $450 Million of Mortgages (BBG)
  • Boeing machinists reject labor deal on 777X by 67 percent (Reuters)

Something Is Very Wrong With This Picture

Just because very few actually understood the severity of the Cisco earnings guidance, in which the company forecast an 8-10% drop (let's call it 9%) in quarterly revenues when Wall Street was expecting a 4% increase, we have compiled and presented in chart form the historical and projected quarterly revenue data for CSCO to show today's preannouncement in all its gruesome context.

Equities Act Weak, Confused Following Oscar-Worthy Good Cop, Bad Cop Performance By The Fed

As DB notes, it appears that markets continue to steadily price in a greater probability of a December taper judging by the 2bp increase in 10yr UST yields, 1.2% drop in the gold price and an edging up in the USD crosses yesterday. Indeed, the Atlanta Fed’s Lockhart, who is considered a bellwether within the Fed, kept the possibility of a December tapering open in public comments yesterday. But his other comments were quite dovish, particularly when he said that he wants to see inflation accelerate toward 2% before reducing asset purchases to give him confidence that the US economy was not dealing with a “downside scenario”. Lockhart stressed that any decision by the Fed on QE would be data dependent - so his comments that the government shutdown will make coming data "less reliable" than might otherwise have been, until at least December, were also quite telling. The dovish sentiments were echoed by Kocherlakota, a FOMC voter next year. In other words, an Oscar-worthy good-cop/bad-cop performance by the Fed's henchmen, confusing algotrons for the second day in a row.

The 0.01% Have Never Had It Better

Over the years, as the WSJ notes, the only way inequality has really mattered to professional investors is 'if the rich are getting richer, companies that cater to them have better prospects'. Lately, though, some big investors have worried increasing income and wealth gaps threaten the economy's ability to expand (discussed here and here most recently.) One reason U.S. corporate profit margins are at records is the share of revenue going to wages is so low. An economy where income and wealth disparities are smaller might be healthier; but it would also leave less money flowing to the bottom line, something that is increasingly grabbing fund managers' attention.

No Open Bond Market, No Problem: Futures Rise On Another Yen-Carry Levitation To Start The Week

Bond markets may be closed today for Veterans' Day, but equities and far more importantly, FX, are certainly open and thanks to yet another overnight ramp in the ES leading EURJPY, we have seen one more levitation session to start off the week, and an implied stock market open which will be another record high. There was little overnight developed market data to digest, with just Italian Industrial Production coming in line with expectations at 0.2%, while the bulk of the attention fell on China which over the weekend reported stronger Industrial Production and retail sales, while CPI was just below expectations and additionally China new loans of CNY 506 billion (below est. of CNY 580bn) even as M2 in line, should give the Chinese government the all clear to reform absolutely nothing. That all this goldilocks and goalseeked data is taking place just as the Third Plenum picks up pace was not lost on anyone.

Guest Post: How China Can Cause The Death Of The Dollar And The Entire U.S. Financial System

The death of the dollar is coming, and it will probably be China that pulls the trigger.  What you are about to read is understood by only a very small fraction of all Americans.  Right now, the U.S. dollar is the de facto reserve currency of the planet.  Most global trade is conducted in U.S. dollars, and almost all oil is sold for U.S. dollars.  More than 60 percent of all global foreign exchange reserves are held in U.S. dollars, and far more U.S. dollars are actually used outside of the United States than inside of it.  As will be described below, this has given the United States some tremendous economic advantages, and most Americans have no idea how much their current standard of living depends on the dollar remaining the reserve currency of the world.  Unfortunately, thanks to reckless money printing by the Federal Reserve and the reckless accumulation of debt by the federal government, the status of the dollar as the reserve currency of the world is now in great jeopardy.