Amid the collapse in coal prices, not helped by the 'China situation' and President Obama's nudge, WSJ reports that the ailing US coal just got another black eye as Alpha Natural Resources is expected to file for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection early Monday to cut its more than $3 billion debt load. After four straight annual losses, Alpha - one of America's largest coal producers - has secured $692mm in DIP financing as it prepares its restructuring plan expected to sell some of the best mines and shutter others. It appears the Arch Coal's CEO's ominous words last week were prophetic - “Coal markets are as difficult as I’ve seen them during my 30 years in the industry."
- Deadline Draws Near for Puerto Rico (WSJ)
- U.S. to defend Syrian rebels with airpower, including from Assad (Reuters)
- Alpha Natural Resources to Seek Chapter 11 (WSJ)
- Iran’s Rouhani Says Nuclear Deal ‘More Than What Was Imagined’ (BBG)
- Cables Show Hillary Clinton's State Department Deeply Involved in Trans-Pacific Partnership (IBTimes)
- Win or Lose, U.S. Stocks Get Biggest Earnings Bang Since ’12 (BBG)
- Weaker China factories argue for more policy support as stocks swoon (Reuters)
Chinese Stocks Slide Again, Copper Tumbles To 6 Year Low; Greek Market Crashes After One Month Trading HaltSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 08/03/2015 06:57 -0400
If China had hoped it would root out intervention by eliminating Citadel's rigging algos, and unleash a buying spree it was wrong: the Shanghai Composite opened negative, and never managed to cross into the green, despite the usual last hour push higher, ending down -1.1% and down for 6 of the past 7 days. The real action, however, was not in Asia but in Europe, and specifically Greece, where the stock market finally reopened after a 1+ month "capital control" hiatus. Despite the attempt to micro manage the reopening, the result was not pretty, with stocks crashing 23% at the open and staging barely a rebound trading -17% as of this moment, even as banks promptly traded down to the -30% limit as the realization that an equity-eviscerating recapitalization (or bail-in) is now inevitable.
Yet again the endless reasurance from the talking heads of the world is proven fallacious as the crash in China's stock market has apparently crashed its economy. China's Manufacturing PMI final print for July collapsed to 47.8 - its lowest since July 2013. The reaction is not pretty. China is down 4-8% from Friday's highs (led by high beta high-flyers in ChiNext), most Asian markets are down 2-3%, and the broad MSCI Asia Ex-Japan index is once again testing the lowest levels of 2015. But apart from that, China is contained...
Citadel Barred From Trading In China After Regulator Accuses "Automated Trading" Unit Of ManipulationSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 08/02/2015 21:02 -0400
Define irony: for the past 7 years, Wall Street's worst kept secret is that Citadel, the world's most levered hedge fund, has been the NY Fed's just slightly more than arms-length enforcer of market stability, by which we mean spoofer, buyer and otherwise "plunge protector" in the equity and E-mini futures markets. Which is why Citadel must have been shocked to learn late last week that China had suspended trading at a brokerage account used by Citadel in China.
Hope, quite simply, just isn’t close to enough for a real recovery. There is an undeniable element of troubling prevarication in the whole attempt to coax unearned optimism, as taken to the extreme it means that policymakers will never quite be honest about especially realistic downsides. That may even mean, in their zeal to “fool” consumers, they fool themselves on the circular logic.
As China Admits It Lied About Its Local Debt Levels, Local Billionaires Are Quietly Liquidating Their AssetsSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 08/02/2015 13:26 -0400
Overnight something unexpected happened: Sheng Songcheng, the director of the statistics division of the People's Bank of China (PBOC), was quoted by the National Business Daily on Saturday whereby he essentially admitted China had been lying about not only its local debt exposure but the level of NPLs across the economy. The punchline: Sheng warned about the risks of local government debt, saying that 2 trillion yuan in bond swaps may not be able to fully cover maturing debt, according to the report. What he really said, as paraphrased by Bloomberg, is that "local govt's tended to not report all their debts when audited in June 2013, thus the 2 trillion yuan debt swap plan arranged this year may not cover all debts due, Sheng cited as saying."
Bubbles collapse, period; and government interventions don't stop them. Furthermore, we are beginning to see a crack widen in the foundations of China's capital markets that could end up undermining the whole economy. If Plan A fails, it is time for Plan B...
A non-bombastic analysis of the events and data in the week ahead, with insulting anyone or resorting to conspiracy theories.
Be prepared for the now imminent equity valuation reset. It is true the Fed now has the ability to manipulate the market well beyond anything we’ve ever seen before. However, it is also still true that when the bursting bubble achieves full momentum the Fed will be helpless to stop it. While the Fed feels increasingly omnipotent they will once again learn, that while natural laws can be bent, they cannot be broken.
"The robots have produced almost three times as many pieces as were produced before. According to the People's Daily, production per person has increased from 8,000 pieces to 21,000 pieces. That's a 162.5% increase."
We have argued that it is a perilous myth that central bankers these days control a general price level. They instead incentivize massive financial flows into securities markets and fashionable sectors. Over time, ramifications and consequences reach the profound. For one, excess liquidity promotes over/mal-investment. It’s only the scope and nature that remain in question. If major Bubble flows inundate new technology investment, the resulting surge in the supply of high-margin products engenders disinflationary pressures elsewhere. Policy responses to perceived heightened “deflation” risks then only work to exacerbate Bubbles, mounting imbalances and structural fragilities. This was a critical facet of “Roaring Twenties” analysis that was lost in time.
To get a sense of the complete devastation in the world of commodities, consider the curious case of Australia's Isaac Plans coking coal mine, which was valued at $630 million in 2011. It sold on Thursday for $1. it gets worse: based on data from Citi Research, 90% of all M&A that miners did since 2007 has been written off. The commodity bubble has officially burst - feel free to thank China.
Back in the 1960s, Alan Greenspan wrote a well-known essay that to this day is an essential read for anyone who wants to understand the present-day monetary and economic system (which is a kind of “fascism lite” type of statism, masquerading as capitalism) and especially the almost visceral hate etatistes harbor toward gold. Greenspan’s essay is entitled “Gold and Economic Freedom”, and as the title already suggests, the two are intimately connected.
The US has determined that the Chinese cyber attack on the databases of the Office of Personnel Management "was so vast in scope and ambition that the usual practices for dealing with traditional espionage cases [does] not apply," The New York Times reports. In short: "this agression will not stand, man."