It was a quiet overnight session, in which the Nikkei was catching up to USDJPY weakness from the past two days, while China dipped once more despite the NDRC's chief economist stating China may cut RRR or conduct more reverse repos in H2 to maintain stable credit as loan growth slows down (or in other words things go back to normal). In Europe ECB's Nowotny decided to undo some of Draghi's recent work when he said that "good economic news" removes the need for a rate cut which in turn pushed the EURUSD higher (and European exports lower), even as former Cyprus central bank Orphanides said the Euro crisis may flare up after the German elections. In the UK Q2 GDP came in slightly stronger than expected at 0.7% vs 0.6% Exp. letting the GBP outperform since a need for the BOE to ease, at least in the short run, is becoming less pertinent. In amusing news, Moody’s late yesterday put six largest U.S. banks on review as it considers the effect of evolving bank resolution policies under Dodd-Frank and international regulations. As such GS, JPM, MS and WFC may be cut.
There’s always someone waiting to dethrone the one in the position at the top of the roost, isn’t there?
The world of Industrial Design is often useful to assess everything from the Federal Reserve's current monetary policy to equity market structure (particularly timely given today's total SNAFU) to the timeless debate over the real value of gold. As ConvergEx's Nick Colas reminds, good design is innovative, useful, aesthetically pleasing, honest and durable, whether those attributes relate to a new electronic gadget or any 'Product' in the world of high finance or economics. Examples of "Good design" include stocks, bonds, and options – all simple, durable constructs. "Bad design" would be the Fed’s "Taper" and current equity market structure.
The latest policy being implemented by Governments around the world consists of simply making data points up when reality doesn’t conform to their wishes.
After a self-imposed gag order by the mainstream media on any coverage of the Fukushima disaster (ostensibly the last thing the irradiated Japanese citizens needed is reading beyond the lies of their benevolent government, and TEPCO, and finding out just how bad the reality is especially since the key driver behind Abenomics is a return in confidence at all costs), the biggest nuclear catastrophe in history is once again receiving the attention it deserves. This follows the recent admission by TEPCO of the biggest leak reported at Fukushima to date, which forced the Japanese government to raise the assessment of Fukushima from Level 1 to Level 3, even though this is merely the catalyst of what has been a long and drawn out process in which Tepco has tried everything it could to contain the fallout from the exploded NPP, and failed. And today, in a startling and realistic assessment of Fukushima two and a half years after the explosion, the WSJ finally tells the truth: "Tepco Has Lost Control."
Premiums on the Shanghai Gold Exchange rose from $21 yesterday to $22.40 (0800 GMT) over London spot showing robust physical demand in China. Demand from the over 2 billion people, rich and poor, in China and India alone this year alone is set to be 1,000 metric tonnes which is worth over $87 billion or roughly what the Federal Reserve is printing every single month.
- SURPRISE - Goldman Sachs won a preliminary victory to limit losses from a wave of erroneous trades that roiled U.S. options markets (WSJ)
- HP’s Whitman abandons 2014 revenue growth target (FT) - just keep doing those buybacks and ignore CapEx: revenue growth estimated in 2022
- Republicans in Echo Before Big Burn Defy Affordable Care (BBG)
- China's banks to take next step in rate reform push (Reuters)
- Berlin’s Consistency on Greece’s Rescue (FT) and lack thereof
- Summers as Obama Voice of Authority Rides Car Rescue in Fed Race (BBG)
- Cuomo in Manure Fight as New York Promotes Yogurt (BBG)
- Yellen’s Ties From London to Shanghai Bypass White House (BBG)
- Sanctions Gap Allows China to Import Iranian Oil (WSJ)
Following the market's shocking realization that the taper is coming prompting a kneejerk to the kneejerk reaction after the FOMC minutes, and yet another painful session in Asia, stocks were desperate for some good news from somewhere, which they got thanks to a Goldilocks PMI from China printing by the smallest possible expansionary quantum, or 50.1, and well above expectations, as well as a continuation of better than expected European PMI data with the August composite rising from 50.5 to 51.7 vs. Exp. 50.9, based pm a Services PMI rising into expansion to 51.0 from 49.8, (Exp. 50.2), and Manufacturing at 51.3 vs. Exp. 50.8 up from 50.3, the highest since June 2011. It is perhaps stunning just how conflicting this "improving" data is with private sector industrial and manufacturing company metrics, but with the credit creation situation in Europe (read: all that matters) at record lows, and with banks retrenching and needing to delever by trillions, it is only a matter of time before this latest propaganda wave is exposed for what it is. The net effect of the overnight data is to push the USDJPY to nearly 99.00 which thanks to the ubiquitous correlation algos has dragged US equity futures higher, if only briefly (the 10 Year is at 2.91% - under 10bps from redline territory), while slamming the offsetting EURUSD despite the "better" than expected European data.
You know when one of the kids pilfers something out the fridge when they shouldn’t be delving in there and you catch them with the cake crumbs crumbling from the corner of their mouth?
In spite of the #winning China PMI print, the bloodbath continues in Asia. EM FX are all getting slayed against the USD with IDR -3%!! INR now -1.6% today alone, breaking above 65 to the USD - a new record low. Stock markets are a sea of red with MSCI AsiaPac (Ex-Japan) down for the 4th day in a row to one-month lows (as even the Shanghai Composite has given up its gains). Philippines caught up after being closed since Friday and is down 6%. US Treasuries continue being sold (10Y hit 2.9250%) but are seeing a small bid as India opens deep in the red (time to lease that gold it would seem). The precious metal is a little lower overnight (gapping down on the China PMI news). There is no silver lining here as tonight's action is about the worst of the last week or so...
From the lowest print in 12 months at 47.7 in July, HSBC's China Flash PMI just printed at 50.1 (massively outdoing the expected 48.2) and jumping by its most in three years month-over-month. It's a miracle, we hear you cry (especially given that CAT Asia/Pac sales collapsed 28% YoY)... In spite of new export orders dropping at a faster rate than last month and employment decreasing at a faster pace, it seems there was enough inventory decompression and 'output' to signal 'stability'. This, of course, pours cold water on those hoping for another huge stimulus plan to build more railroads (and the market's initial 3 point jump has already faded gloriously into the night).
Radiation Levels Will Concentrate in Pockets In Baja California and Other West Coast Locations
Barack Obama has been running around the country taking credit for an "economic recovery", but the truth is that things have not gotten better under Obama. Compared to when he first took office, a smaller percentage of the working age population is employed, the quality of our jobs has declined substantially and the middle class has been absolutely shredded. If we are really in the middle of an "economic recovery", why is the homeownership rate the lowest that it has been in 18 years? Why has the number of Americans on food stamps increased by nearly 50 percent while Obama has been in the White House? Why has the national debt gotten more than 6 trillion dollars larger during the Obama era? Obama should not be "taking credit" for anything when it comes to the economy. In fact, he should be deeply apologizing to the American people.
Anyone who believes the Fed can “exit” this position is delusional. The single biggest trade for the last four years has been frontrunning the Fed’s asset purchases. When the Fed reverses course and begins selling assets, everyone will dump Treasuries in anticipation.
Even after seven years of writing macroeconomic analysis and bearing witness to astonishing displays of financial and political stupidity by more “skeptics” than we can count, it never ceases to amaze us the amount of blind faith average Americans place in the strength of the U.S. dollar. One could explain in vast categorical detail the history of fiat currencies, the inevitable destruction caused by inflationary printing and the conundrum caused when any country decides to monetize its own debt just to stay afloat - often, to no avail. The dollar is no more invincible than any other fiat currency in history. In some ways, it is actually far weaker than any that came before. The dollar is entirely reliant on its own world reserve status in order to hold its value on the global market.