- Global shares rise as Riksbank helps ease Fed wait (Reuters)
- Asian Stocks Retreat Before Fed as Material Shares Lead Losses (BBG)
- For Fed, a Rates Puzzle Looms (WSJ)
- What the Superforecasters Say About When the Fed Will Lift Rates (BBG)
- U.S. Looks at Proposals to Step Up Fight Against Islamic State (WSJ)
- China Steel Head Says Demand Slumping at Unprecedented Speed (BBG)
- VW slumps to first quarterly loss in at least 15 years (Reuters)
- Hilsenrath - The Fed Strives for a Clear Signal on Interest Rates (WSJ)
- Tentative Budget Deal Reached, Raising Debt Limit (WSJ)
- China Calls U.S. Challenge Over Island Threat to Regional Peace (BBG)
- UK economy slows more than expected in third quarter (Reuters)
- In China’s Alleyways, Underground Banks Move Money (WSJ)
- Inside the Secretive Circle That Rules a $14 Trillion Market (BBG)
- A Frustrated Koch Brother Decides It’s Time to ‘Spout Off’ (WSJ)
Accounting fraud remains at the heart of the fix instituted by Ben Bernanke and the ploy has been copied by authorities throughout the global financial system, including the central banks of China, Japan, and the European Community. That it seemed to work for the past seven years in propping up global finance has given too many people the dangerous conviction that reality is optional in economic relations. The recovery of equity markets from the disturbances of August has apparently convinced the market players that stocks are invincible. Complacency reigns at epic levels. Few are ready for what is coming.
Perhaps it was the public shaming of Iceland's diametrically opposite approach to 'dealing' with its bankers, or perhaps Janet Yellen needs a distraction from her own 'Fed Leak' problems, or finally perhaps Carmen Segarra's 2013 whistleblowing over the cozy relationship between Goldman and The New York Fed was just too conspicuous to brush under the carpet. Despite Bill Dudley's insistence that The New York Fed is not a subsidiary of Goldman, The NY Times reports, federal prosecutors are preparing to announce a criminal case this week against a former Goldman banker suspected of taking confidential documents from a source inside the government.
In reading various recent regulatory reports, it is clear that almost none of the promises that were made to the public about what was going to happen under Dodd-Frank financial reform is actually happening. Welcome to another day at the casino where the model continues to be — heads they win, tails you lose.
Doing as Yellen and her counterparts demand is the biggest risk of all. The Yellen Doctrine requires that central banks be both correct and able, abilities that have been (and can only be) in utter short supply. Her view would show more proactive and effective central bank management where only reactive and impromptu, last minute white-knuckling has abounded. Central banks have been in the past year only holding on for dear life, which is where obscurity has been their benefit. In the end, however, it will bring about their own downfall as it only serves to make matters worse. Yellen wants the central bank to be viewed as almost godlike, but they continually reveal themselves weak, deceptive and ineffectual; eschewing all long run sustainability in order to just make it through one day at a time.
...more Venzuelans than Americans believe their children's financial futures will be more secure than their own...
With a birth-rate at record-lows and death-rate at record-highs, Japanese PM Shinzo Abe unveiled a new set of 'arrows' a few weeks ago to 'fix' the demographic disaster the nation faces. At the time, Abe was long of "bold proposals" but short of actual policies to encourage the nation to make more babies (despite dwindling interest in sex). As Bloomberg reports, here are a number of options that Abe's new minister for demographics Kato could introduce to slow the downward spiral of population...
Tomorrow morning Mario Draghi is widely expected to if not announce an extension, or expansion, of the ECB's QE program, than to at least jawbone sufficiently, and push the EURUSD lower from its recently anchored level in the 1.10-1.20 range. But what are the specifics of Draghi's announcement: will he merely expand the monetization limit per security, as he did in early September, will he increase the universe of eligibile securities, or will he simply extend the maturity of the non-open ended QE from September 2016 to some indefinite date? The following list, courtesy of Bloomberg, summarizes what the sellside universe believes Draghi will unveil in just under 12 hours.
Much like the NBS will obscure any weakness below 7% in China’s GDP data, the PBoC will do “whatever it takes” (central bank pun fully intended) to make sure the market doesn’t get wind of the fact that there’s still a tremendous amount of pressure in terms of capital outflows. As Bloomberg reports, "The People’s Bank of China and local lenders increased their holdings in onshore forwards to $67.9 billion in August, positions that would boost China’s currency against the dollar. The amount is five times more than the average in the first seven months."
"Then tell me, future boy, who's President of Brazil in 2016? Then who's vice president?"
On the basis of the fundamental economic backdrop, Goldman Sachs sees VIX fair-value at least 19, with low-teens more consistent with ISM in the upper 50s (not the current sub-50 levels). However, credit (and FX) protection markets imply significantly more risk ahead with CDX HY stalled at 2month lows (while VIX hits 3 month lows). Given historical relationships, credit markets suggest a VIX of 25 is more consistent with reality (especially as Skew tail risk rolls down to normal risk).
The second tech bubble, one which has seen nearly 200 tech "unicorns" rising out of the ZIRP ashes in the past few years and promptly attaining valuations of over $1 billion, is bursting. WSJ reports that investment bankers cautioned Dropbox that the San Francisco company might be unable to go public at its latest private round "valuation" of $10 billion.
When just days after Yum! Brands saw its biggest earnings disappointment in years sending its shares cratering following Chinese results which cames orders of magnitude below expectations and leading to a major guidance cut, it appointed Icahn protege, activist investor Keith Meister to its board, many speculated that some major spin-off, or split of the company's China facing assets, was just a matter of time. And so it was, less than a week to be precise. Moments ago Yum! Brands announced its intention to split into two companies creating a publicly traded Yum! China or ("Bad Yum") which will contain the ongoing Chinese weakness, while keepping legacy Yum! Brands.