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Chinese Developer Kaisa On Verge Of $5Bn Default; Who's Next?

“You never know where the skeletons in the closet are or what company will be next," warns one Chinese credit analyst and as the CNY30 billion indebted Chinese developer Kaisa Group (that we initially discussed here) admits it can’t say if it plans to meet a bond deadline today as a local news website said lenders took steps to preserve assets. The builder of residential communities and shopping centers must pay about $26 million in interest on its 10.25 percent 2020 debentures today (which appears unlikely) and its bonds have crashed to below 30c. The big question, as Bloomberg notes, is who's next?

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Frontrunning: January 8

  • French policewoman killed in shoot-out, hunt deepens for militant killers (Reuters)
  • The Bold Charlie Hebdo Covers the Satirical Magazine Was Not Afraid to Run (BBG)
  • Evans Says Fed Shouldn’t Rush Rate Rise as Inflation Undershoots (BBG)
  • Oil holds above $51 as traders search for floor (Reuters)
  • Gross Helps Fuel New Fund With His Own Cash (WSJ)
  • ECB warns Greek funding access hinges on keeping bailout (Reuters)
  • Greece Jolts QE Juggernaut as ECB Gauges Deflation Risk (BBG)
  • Analysts Say There's No Telling How Low Oil Prices Could Go (BBG)
  • Scientists find antibiotic that kills bugs without resistance (Reuters)
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Frontrunning: January 7

  • Twelve shot dead in Paris (Reuters)
  • Eurozone Consumer Prices Fall for First Time Since 2009 (NYT)
  • Euro's Drop is a Turning Point for Central Banks Reserves (BBG)
  • How $50 Oil Changes Almost Everything (BBG)
  • Mercedes-Benz Moving U.S. Headquarters to Atlanta (WSJ)
  • Greek 10-Year Bond Yields Exceed 10% for First Time Since 2013 (BBG)
  • How Even Dairy Farmers Get Squeezed by Rigging in the $5.3 Trillion Currency Market (BBG)
  • AirAsia jet tail found underwater, black box may be close (Reuters)
  • Italy Unemployment Rises to New High (Bloomberg)
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Frontrunning: January 6

  • Average 10-year yield of U.S., Japan and Germany dropped below 1% for the first time ever: Free Money in Bond Markets Shows Global Economy Still Struggling (BBG)
  • Brent falls below $52 as oil hits new five and a half year lows (Reuters)
  • China Fast-Tracks $1 Trillion in Projects to Spur Growth (BBG)
  • Saudi Arabia Raises Price of Main Oil Grade for Asian Buyers (BBG)
  • Oilfield Writedowns Loom as Crude Slump Guts Drilling Values (BBG)
  • Biggest Oil-Rig Drop Since 2009 Spells Tough Year Ahead (BBG)
  • CIA says its inspector general is resigning at end of month (Reuters)
  • Pipeline IPOs Climb on Demand for Returns Immune to Oil (BBG)
  • Natural Gas No Savior for Investors Seeking Oil Refuge (BBG)
  • Euro zone economy ended 2014 in poor shape (Reuters)
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Frontrunning: January 5

  • Economists sceptical ECB bond-buying would revive eurozone (FT)
  • Indonesia naval captain says may have located missing plane's tail section (Reuters)
  • Oil hits five and a half year low under $55 (Reuters)
  • Samaras Warns of Euro Exit Risk as Greek Campaign Starts (BBG)
  • The death of active investing: Vanguard Sets Record Funds Inflow (WSJ) - thank you Fed
  • Oil Downturn Has Many Wondering How Lone Star State Will Weather a Bust (WSJ)
  • Hollande Says France Must Exceed 1% Economic Growth to Spur Jobs (BBG)
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David Rosenberg Has A Question For His Clients

David Rosenberg, formerly of Merrill Lynch and currently of Gluskin Sheff, who famously flip-flopped from being a self-described permabear to uber-bull last summer for the one reason that has yet to manifest itself in any way, shape or form, namely declaring that wage inflation as imminent (it wasn't, but perhaps Mr. Rosenberg was merely forecasting the trajectory of his own wages) and generally an end to deflation, has a rhetorical question for his paying clients, as asked in his letter to investors from January 2. To wit: "THIS IS WHAT PASSES FOR ANALYSIS?" We too follow up with an identical question not only for Mr. Rosenberg's clients, but for our own readers.

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Babson Capital 1987 Redux: "What Goes Up Must Come Down"

"most investors take a relatively short-term view and assume that what has happened most recently will continue. They fail to recognize that economic and market forces are always working to press companies (and whole industries) back toward their respective grooves... companies rarely perform way above the industry average or way below it indefinitely. There is a constant tendency to regress toward the mean..."

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Drilling Our Way Into Oblivion: Shale Was About Land Gambling With Cheap Debt, Not Technological Miracles

The shale patch can exist in its present form only if it has access to nigh limitless credit, and only if prices are in the $100 or up range. Wells in the patch deplete faster than you can say POOF, and drilling new wells costs $10 million or more a piece. Without access to credit, that’s simply not going to happen. That’s about all we need to know. Shale was never a viable industry, it was all about gambling on land prices from the start. And now that wager is over, even if the players don’t get it yet. So strictly speaking my title is a tad off: we’re not drilling our way into oblivion, the drilling is about to grind to a halt. But it will still end in oblivion.

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Frontrunning: December 19

  • Icahn, Paulson Suffer Large Losses as Energy-Related Bets Sour (WSJ)
  • Oil Investors Keep Betting Wrong on When Market Will Bottom (BBG)
  • U.S. to sell final $1.25 billion shares of Ally Financial from bailout (Reuters)
  • Ally Financial Gets Subpoena Related to Subprime Automotive Finance (WSJ)
  • Russia's parliament rushes through bill boosting banking capital (Reuters)
  • How a Memo Cost Big Banks $37 Billion (WSJ)
  • ECB considers making weaker euro zone states bear more quantitative easing risk (Reuters)
  • How the U.S. Could Retaliate Against North Korea (BBG)
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Frontrunning: December 18

  • Swiss National Bank Starts Negative Interest Rate of 0.25% to Stave Off Inflows (BBG)
  • Putin Strikes Uncompromising Stance Over Crisis Gripping Russia (BBG)
  • Sony cancels North Korea movie in apparent win for Pyongyang hackers (Reuters)
  • U.S. Said Set to Blame North Korea for Sony Cyber Attack (BBG)
  • China’s Short-Term Borrowing Costs Surge as Demand for Money Grows (WSJ)
  • Russia Currency Market Bends But Doesn’t Break (BBG)
  • Jeb Bush Puts Pressure on Chris Christie for 2016 (WSJ)
  • From joy to outrage, Florida's Cuban-Americans greet new U.S. policy (Reuters)
  • Russians Quit London Luxury Homes as Only Super-Rich Stay (BBG)
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Frontrunning: December 16

  • Ruble Sinks to 80 a Dollar Defying Surprise Russia Rate Increase (BBG)
  • Oil slumps near $59 for first time since 2009 on oversupply (Reuters)
  • Oil sinks, Russian moves fail to quell nerves (Reuters)
  • Fed Seen Looking Past Low Inflation to Drop ‘Considerable Time (BBG)
  • Students Among Dead as Pakistan Gunmen Kill 126 at Army School (BBG)
  • Repsol to buy Talisman Energy for $13 billion (Reuters)
  • Indonesia’s Rupiah Erases Decline After Central Bank Intervenes (BBG)
  • Anti-Islam Rally Grows as Immigrant Backlash Hits Europe (BBG)
  • Saudi Arabia is playing chicken with its oil (Reuters)
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Frontrunning: December 15

  • Sydney Siege Sparks Muslim Call for Calm Amid Backlash Fear (BBG)
  • Oil Spilling Over Into Central Bank Policy as Fed Enters Fray (BBG)
  • Biggest LBO of 2014: BC Partners to acquire PetSmart for $8.7 billion (Reuters)
  • Tremble algos: the SEC has hired... "QUANTS" (WSJ)
  • When the bubble just isn't bubbly enough: There’s $1.7 Trillion Locked Out of China’s Stock Rally (BBG)
  • Oil price slide roils emerging markets, yen rises (Reuters) - may want to hit F5 on that
  • Libya Imposes Force Majeure on 2 Oil Ports After Clashes (BBG) ... and will resume production in days
  • Amid Crisis, Pimco Steadies Itself (WSJ)
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Will Oil Kill The Zombies?

If prices fall any further (and what’s going to stop them?), it would seem that most of the entire shale edifice must of necessity crumble to the ground. And that will cause an absolute earthquake in the financial world, because someone supplied the loans the whole thing leans on. An enormous amount of investors have been chasing high yield, including many institutional investors, and they’re about to get burned something bad. We might well be looking at the development of a story much bigger than just oil.

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Duck And Cover - The Lull Is Breaking, The Storm Is Nigh

The central banks are now out of dry powder - impaled on the zero-bound. That means any resort to a massive new round of money printing can not be disguised as an effort to “stimulate” the macro-economy by temporarily driving interest rates to “extraordinarily” low levels. They are already there. Instead, a Bernanke style balance sheet explosion like that which stopped the financial meltdown in the fall and winter of 2008-2009 will be seen for exactly what it is—-an exercise in pure monetary desperation and quackery. So duck and cover. This storm could be a monster.

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Frontrunning: December 11

  • Shale operaters Goodrich, Oasis Petroleum cut spending for 2015 as oil slides (Reuters)
  • Greece to hold elections in January if president vote fails (Reuters)
  • Norway’s Shock Rate Cut Drives Krone to Lowest Since 2009 (BBG)
  • ‘Severe Downturn’ Threatening Norway, Central Bank Governor Says (BBG)
  • Russia’s Fifth Rate Increase Fails to Halt Ruble Slide to Record (BBG)
  • SNB Says Deflation Risks Increased as Franc Cap Maintained (BBG)
  • China eases bank lending restrictions, PBOC targets 10 trillion yuan in loans for 2014 (Reuters)
  • Mobius Says China’s Bull Market Is Just Getting Started (BBG)
  • How Wal-Mart Made Its Crumbling China Business Look So Good for So Long (BBG)
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