- Gold claws back ground, European assets lose Greek tarnish (Reuters)
- Greece's Euro Exit Back on the Agenda Next Year, Economists Say (BBG)
- Greece submits bill needed to start rescue talks (Reuters)
- Wall Street Lenders Growing Impatient With U.S. Shale Revolution (BBG)
- Overtime Rules Send Bosses Scrambling (WSJ)
- As Markets Swing, Beijing Steadies Yuan (WSJ)
- Tennessee rampage suspect went to Qatar in 2014 (Reuters)
- Kathryn Dominguez to Be Nominated for Fed Governor (WSJ)
If yesterday's market action was boring, today has been a virtual carbon copy which started with the usual early Chinese selloff levitating into a mildly positive close, with the SHCOMP closing just above the psychological 4,000 level: the next big hurdle will be 4058, the 38.2% Fib correction of the recent fall. In the US equity futures are currently unchanged ahead of a day in which there is no macro economic data but lots of corporate earnings led by Microsoft, Verizon, UTX and of course Apple. Most importantly, some modest USD weakness overnight (DXY -0.1%) has helped the commodity complex, with gold rebounding from overnight lows, while crude has at least stopped the recent carnage which sent WTI below $50.
Today's action is so far an exact replica of Friday's zero-volume ES overnight levitation higher (even if Europe's derivatives market, the EUREX exchange, did break at the open for good measure leading to a delayed market open just to make sure nobody sells) with the "catalyst" today being the official Greek repayment to both the ECB and the IMF which will use up €6.8 billion of the €7.2 billion bridge loan the EU just handed over Athens so it can immediately repay its creditors. In other words, Greek creditors including the ECB, just repaid themselves once again. One thing which is not "one-time" or "non-recurring" is the total collapse in commodities, which after last night's precious metals flash crash has sent the Bloomberg commodity complex to a 13 year low.
During the Vietnam War, surveying the shelled wreckage of Ben Tre, an American officer famously remarked, “It became necessary to destroy the town to save it.” His comment came to epitomize the sort of self-defeating “victory” that undoes what it aims to achieve. Last week, China destroyed its stock market in order to save it. Faced with a crash in share prices from a bubble of its own making, the Chinese government intervened ruthlessly, and recklessly, to turn those prices around. Its heavy-handed approach seemed to work, for the moment, but only by severely damaging far more important goals and ambitions.
What have the bailouts achieved? Well, the Greek economy is doing worse than ever, and the people are poorer than ever; and both have a lot more bad ‘news’ to come. The bailouts needed to be as big as they were to 1) successfully make the international banks ‘whole’ that had lent as much as they had into the Greek economy, 2) get the IMF involved, 3) and absolve the notorious -and cooperative- domestic oligarchy from any pain. And make all the usual suspects a lot more money in the process. It therefore doesn’t look at all unlikely that Greece was saddled with an artificially raised deficit, and that the intention behind that, all along, was to get the Troika ‘inside’ for the long run. So the country could be stripped of all its assets.
"The IMF acts as a member of the Troika, yet has no elected position whatsoever. The second unelected member is Mario Draghi of the ECB. Then the head of Europe is also unelected by the people...This is authoritarian government if we have ever seen one... The Invisible Hand of Adam Smith works even in this instance – those in power are only interested in their self-interest and will risk war and civil unrest to maintain their failed dreams of power."
Just a little over a month after we learned that Jamie Dimon recently became a billionaire, Bloomberg reports that yet another TBTF CEO has joined the billionaire banker club and frankly, we’re surprised it took this long because after all, when you’re the CEO of the blood-sucking cephalopod that holds the political and financial fate of the world in its tentacles, it seems only right that you would have been a billionaire long before any other banker on the Street.
The coming few months will prove challenging for the sector, and some small and medium U.S. producers may start missing their debt repayments or even file for bankruptcy. Quicksilver Resources and American Eagle Energy are two of the six U.S. based companies that have filed for bankruptcy in 2015 so far. Sabine Oil and Gas Corp. is the latest, and the biggest, U.S. producer to file for bankruptcy so far. Even mergers and acquisitions have slowed down considerably for the U.S. oil and gas industry in 2015. If the present trend persists, companies will have no choice but to cut their workforces even further to remain competitive and reduce their rising overheads. If oil prices remain in the range of $50 per barrel for longer than expected, even big operators such as Exxon Mobil, Chevron and ConocoPhillips (who have so far not made any major layoffs) could start downsizing their workforce.
After weeks of overnight turbulence following every twist and turn in the Greek drama, this morning has seen a scarcity of mostly gap up (or NYSE-breakding "down") moves, and S&P500 futures are unchanged as of this moment however the Nasdaq is looking set for another record high at the open after last night's better than expected GOOG results which sent the stop higher by 11% of over $40 billion in market cap. We expect this not to last very long as the traditional no volume, USDJPY-levitation driven buying of ES will surely resume once US algos wake up and launch the self-trading spoof programs. More importantly: a red close on Friday is not exactly permitted by the central planners.
It wasn't just the massive litigation provision that hinted it may not be all smooth sailing for the hedge fund that has spawned more central bankers in recent years than any other: the company (which unlike all other banks on Wall Street has been adding headcount and now has 34,900 employees) took only $3.8 billion in compensation benefit accruals in the quarter, which means that its LTM comp divided by the total number of employees, or average compensation per banker, dropped once again, this time to $373,181 - the lowest number in three years.
And so the 2015 season of the Greek drama is coming to a close following last night's vote in Greek parliament to vote the country into even more austerity than was the case before Syriza was voted into power with promises of removing all austerity, even with Europe - which formally admits Greece is unsustainable in its current debt configuration - now terminally split on how to proceed, with Germany's finmin still calling for a "temporary Grexit", the IMF demanding massive debt haircuts, while the rest of Europe (and not so happy if one is Finnish or Dutch) just happy to kick the can for the third time.
“Greeks cannot withdraw cash left in safe deposit boxes at Greek banks as long as capital restrictions remain in place”, Nadia Valavani, a Deputy Finance Minister in Greece told local television station according to a Reuters report.
"In our view, there are two main factors keeping investors sidelined. One is the residual implementation risks involved in the latest arrangements... The second, of much broader importance, is the accumulated evidence of the inadequacy of the Euro area's present fiscal governance, which takes up too many resources and exposes the whole system to collapse."