goldman sachs

goldman sachs

What's Wrong With The Following Chart... Or How JPM's Traders Humiliated Goldman Sachs

As we reported previously, for the third quarter in a row, Obama's favorite punching bag bank - JPMorgan - reported a statistically impossible zero trading day losses. Some suggested that since in the New Normal market in which it is virtually impossible to lose money this was to be expected; either that or just because banks work purely to satisfy client flow and have little principal risk, there is little reason for them to actually lose money trading. Both these ideas got blown out earlier today when Goldman reported that in the third quarter, the FDIC-insured hedge fund's trading loss days soared to a total of 15 days: a whopping 23.4% of the total 64 trading days in the quarter.

And The Latest Firm Under Investigation For Currency Manipulation Is... Goldman

With JPM having stolen the spotlight for every possible instance of fraud and market manipulation in the past year, it was easy to forget there are other prominent banks that engage in precisely the same deceptive practices as, well, everyone else. One such prominent bank is none other than everyone's old favorite bloodthirsty mollusc, Goldman Sachs, which in a filing reported that "currencies and commodities were added to a list of financial products and related activities that are subject to investigation. The filing also added options trading and technology systems and controls to the list." So, pretty much everything is being investigated.

Overnight JPY Momentum Ignition Leads To Equity Futures Ramp

It was the deep of illiquid night when the momentum ignition trading algos struck. Out of the blue, a liftathon in all JPY crosses without any accompanying news sent the all important ES leading EURJPY surging by 50 pips, which in turn sent both the Nikkei up over 1% in minutes, and led to an E-Mini futures melt up of just about 8 points just when everyone was going to sleep. All of this happened completely independent of the actual data, which was chiefly European retail sales which missed (-0.6%, Exp. 0.4%, prior revised lower to 0.5%), Eurozone Service PMI which dropped (from 52.2 to 51.6) but beat expectations of 50.9 (notably the Spanish Service PMI of 49.6, up from 49.0 saw its employment index drop from 46.5 to 45.3, the lowest print since June), and finally, German Factory Orders which surged from last month's -0.3% to +3.3% in September. And while all this impacted the EUR modestly stronger, it had little if any residual effect on the ES. The bigger question is whether these slightly stronger than expected data point will offset the ECB's expected dovishness when Mario takes to the mic tomorrow).

Guest Post: Congress Sells Out To Wall Street, Again

The U.S. House just passed a bill called H.R. 992 - the Swaps Regulatory Improvement Act - that was literally written by mega-bank lobbyists. It repeals the laws passed in 2010 to prevent another meltdown like the one that crashed our economy in 2008. The repeal was co-sponsored by a former Goldman Sachs executive and passed with bipartisan support from some of the House’s largest recipients of Wall Street cash. It’s so appalling... so unbelievable... so blatantly corrupt... that you’ve got to see it to believe it...

Guest Post: Why The Fed Likely Won't Taper (For Long)... Anytime Soon

As the S&P 500 continues to push to one new high after the next, the bullish arguments of valuation have quietly given way to "it's all about the Fed."  The biggest angst that weighs on professional, and retail investors alike, are not deteriorating economic strength, weak revenue growth or concerns over the next political drama - but rather when will the Fed pull its support from the financial markets. For the Federal Reserve, they are now caught in the same "liquidity trap" that has been the history of Japan for the last three decades.  Should we have an expectation that the same monetary policies employed by Japan will have a different outcome in the U.S?  More importantly, this is no longer a domestic question - but rather a global one since every major central bank is now engaged in a coordinated infusion of liquidity. Will the Federal Reserve "taper" in December or March - it's possible.  However, the revulsion by the markets, combined with the deterioration of economic growth, will likely lead to a quick reversal of any such a decision.

Goldman Forecasts Fed Will Lower Rate-Hike Threshold In December To Counter Taper Tantrum

The extreme experiment of current US monetary policy has evolved (as we noted yesterday), from explicit end-dates, to unlimited end-dates, to threshold-based end-dates. Of course, this 'threshold' was no problem for the liquidty whores when unemployment rates were extremely high themselves, but as the world awoke to what we have been pointing out - that it's all a mirage of collapsing participation rates - the FOMC (and sell-side strategists) realized that the endgame may be 'too close'. Cue Goldman's Jan Hatzius, who in today's note, citing two influential Fed staff economists, shifts the base case and forecasts that the Fed will lower its threshold for rate hikes to 6.0% (and perhaps as low as 5.5%) as early as December (as a dovish forward-guidance balance to an expected Taper announcement).

The (D)evolution Of Central Bank Communications

The goal of forward guidance is to steer market, as well as public, expectations about the future path of monetary policy. It would appear, to those without PhD.s that central banks are drifting from actions to words and the following chart shows the devolution over the past 20 years of central-banker-speak. We have come quite a way from the "never explain, never excuse" view of Montagu Norman in the early 20th century to the hope-laden promises of increasingly wordy statements today...

Goldilocks PMIs Mean Another Overnight Meltup To Start The Week

Just as Friday ended with a last minute meltup, there continues to be nothing that can stop Bernanke's runaway liquidity train, and the overnight trading session has been one of a continuing slow melt up in risk assets, which as expected merely ape the Fed's balance sheet to their implied fair year end target of roughly 1900. The data in the past 48 hours was hot but not too hot, with China Non-mfg PMI rising from 55.4 to 56.3 a 14 month high (and entirely made up as all other China data) - hot but not too hot to concern the PBOC additionally over cutting additional liquidity -  while the Eurozone Mfg PMI came as expected at 51.3 up from 51.1 prior driven by rising German PMI (up from 51.1 to 51.7 on 51.5 expected), declining French PMI (from 49.8 to 49.1, exp. 49.4), declining Italian PMI (from 50.8 to 50.7, exp. 51.0), Spain up (from 50.7 to 50.9, vs 51.0 expected), and finally the UK construction PMI up from 58.9 to 59.4.

Michael Woodford Warns "By Blinking [On Taper], [The Fed] Has Made A Negative Reaction More Likely"

Widely credited with being the seminal paper at the 2012 Jackson Hole conference and setting the scene for "threshold-based" policy, Michael Woodford discusses his views on the costs and benefits of "forward guidance" in this Goldman Sachs interview. The Columbia professor explains how he thinks about asset purchases versus forward guidance (it’s a mistake to think of asset purchases as a way to avoid having to talk about future policy intentions), and why the market and the Fed have seemed so disconnected at various points this year despite substantial attempts by the Fed to communicate more clearly (there were mistakes in communication, but that does not mean the situation would have been better if the Fed had instead kept its mouth shut, especially in such unprecedented times.) Ultimatley he warns, "by blinking when they did, I fear that they have made a negative reaction more likely in the future, because they are now back to square one, with people once again lacking a clear sense of how close the Fed is to tapering and thus vulnerable to surprise."

The Fallacies Of Forward Guidance

With the recent adoption of explicit forward guidance as a stimulative policy tool by the major European central banks, virtually every major central bank is now using the tool in some form. The potential benefits and dangers of such policies as central bank communications have evolved are unclear as "the form of guidance" matters. As Robin Brooks notes, and is so well illusrated below in the example of the Riksbank's and Norges Bank's 'failures', "[In terms of implications for rates] the jury is still out on how well forward guidance works. What is clear, though, is that markets prefer 'deeds' to 'words'."

Frontrunning: November 1

  • US admits surveillance on foreign governments ‘reached too far’ (FT)
  • He must be so proud: Obama halted NSA spying on IMF and World Bank headquarters (RTRS)
  • Obamacare website gets new tech experts; oversight pressure grows (Reuters)
  • R.B.S. to Split Off $61 Billion in Loans Into Internal ‘Bad Bank’ (NYT)
  • Draghi’s Deflation Risk Complicates Recovery (BBG)
  • Abenomics: Nissan slashes full-year profit forecast 15% (FT)
  • Credit Suisse Dismisses London Trader Over 'Unusual Trading' Losses (WSJ)
  • RBS avoids break-up with 38 billion pounds 'internal bad bank' (Reuters)
  • Twitter Said to Attract More Than Enough Interest for IPO (BBG)

Frontrunning: October 29

  • U.S. spy chiefs face Congress amid spying rift with Europe (Reuters)
  • Deutsche Bank income hit by €1.2bn of legal provisions (FT)
  • China's second tapering attempt fails: China central bank seeks to reassure money markets after rate spike (Reuters)
  • UBS Takes Action Against Staff in Foreign-Exchange Probe (WSJ)
  • Saudi Arabia frees man jailed for Mohammad tweets (Reuters)
  • Tax Revolts Hit Hollande as Farmers, Soccer Clubs Protest (BBG)
  • German parliament to meet over U.S. spying scandal (Reuters)
  • Google Nears Smartwatch Launch (WSJ)
  • How to end gridlock in DC? Pork projects (Reuters)
  • UBS ordered to increase capital reserves (FT)

Futures Flat As FOMC Begins 2-Day NOctaper Meeting

For those curious what Bernanke's market may do today, we flash back to yesterday's AM summary as follows: "Just as it is easy being a weatherman in San Diego ("the weather will be... nice. Back to you"), so the same inductive analysis can be applied to another week of stocks in Bernanke's centrally planned market: "stocks will be... up." Add to this yesterday's revelations in which "JPM Sees "Most Extreme Ever Excess Liquidity" Bubble After $3 Trillion "Created" In First 9 Months Of 2013" and the full picture is clear. So while yesterday's overnight meltup has yet to take place, there is lots of time before the 3:30 pm ramp (although today's modest POMO of $1.25-$1.75 billion may dent the frothiness). Especially once the market recalls that the NOctaper FOMC 2-day meeting starts today.

Frontrunning: October 28

  • Budget deficit priorities people: U.S. NSA spied on 60 million Spanish phone calls in a month (Reuters)
  • Stuck in countless scandals, Obama does what he does best: speak. Obama To Speak At Installation Of FBI Director James Comey (TPM)
  • Five killed as car ploughs into crowd in Beijing's Tiananmen Square (Reuters)
  • U.K. Storm Brings Power Cuts, Snarls Transport in South (BBG)
  • China Signals ‘Unprecedented’ Policy Changes on Agenda at Plenum (BBG)
  • Sandy's Legacy: Higher Home Prices (WSJ)
  • Merkel Enters Concrete SPD Talks as Finance Post Looms (BBG)
  • Keep arming those Syrian al-qaeda rebels: Car bombs kill scores in Baghdad, in sign of crisis in Iraq (WaPo)
  • J.P. Morgan's Mortgage Troubles Ran Deep (WSJ)
  • Detroit’s public library contains story of city’s decline (FT)
  • Argentina elections: President loses in Buenos Aires province (BBC)
  • Phone-hacking: trial of Andy Coulson and Rebekah Brooks to begin (Guardian)