The below chart from SocGen demonstrates why the stock market, unlike bonds, is currently massively overpriced. The current economic surprise factor swing, from an all time record at +100 recently, down to about -100 (the third lowest in the past 5 years, and likely longer), a 200 point swing which only compares to the 2008-2009 Lehman collapse, was accompanied by just a 15% drop in stocks over the past 8 months, indicates two things: either the current "soft patch" is indeed "transitory" as the Fed would like us to believe, or that the market is pricing in QE 3. And while SocGen, which is the source of this chart, believes that the collapse is indeed "transitory" we completely fail to see what the factor will be that will push the global economy higher in Q3 and onward: Japan? Europe? Fiscal generosity in the US? China? No, no, no and no. Sorry, there is no catalyst that will provide an impetus for a hockey stick effect this time around. Except, of course, for more monetary easing, perhaps in Japan, but mostly in the US. Yet for that to happen, as we have been claiming for nearly half a year, stocks will need to plunge to their pre-QE2 levels, or about 900. Alas, the mutual funds which currently hold the lowest amount of cash in history, and are levered more than ever, are simply unable to sell without blowing themselves up. We are confident, more than ever, that an unstoppable desire for extend and pretend is about to hit an immovable force...
- US data chief warns on employment - "Probably the most notable thing about [the jobs report] is there isn’t anything notable about it,” said Keith Hall, commissioner of the Bureau of Labor Statistics (FT)
- Geithner May Support Lagarde for IMF to Keep U.S. Leadership of World Bank (Bloomberg)
- Obama Is Focusing on Tax Incentives, Subsidies to Spur Jobs, Goolsbee Says (Bloomberg)
- Socialists ousted in Portugal election (FT)
- Sino-Forest to provide details of tree ownership (Daily Mail)
- New data suggests Iran military link-UN atom chief (Reuters)
- Rain quenches thirst of areas hit by drought (China Daily)
- Obama nominee withdraws from Fed race (FT, Reuters)
- Thousands protest against Greek austerity (FT)
- Plan Focuses on Rescheduling of Greek Debt (FT)
- Iran to send caretaker oil minister to OPEC (Reuters)
For anyone who was hoping that China would be the marginal source of liquidity in QE3 absentia (or until it actually does come, which it will), manifested by a halt to monetary tightening and a relapse into that good old methadone state of loose monetary policy, it may be time to pull those SHCOMP limit bids. China Daily just announced tha "the People's Bank of China is likely to increase the interest rates banks must pay on deposits and the amount of money banks are required to hold in reserve to sop up the excess liquidity now found in the economy and slow inflation, said analysts. The changes in monetary policy may happen before the National Bureau of Statistics makes an expected announcement this week saying that the consumer price index (CPI), an indicator of inflation, hit a record high in May, they said."As a reminder, yesterday Goldman predicted a multi-year high inflation of 5.5% in May courtesy of the biggest drought in 50 years and surging food prices: it turns out that the PBoC, far more responsible that our own central planning charlatans, will not stand for that.
The week ahead brings a barrage of IP data for April from all round the world, the momentum of which will be closely examined after the sharp drops in the manufacturing business surveys last week. Expectations – both ours and the consensus – are a mixed bag, but broadly, we expect momentum to slow in April. The data will be dissected for evidence of supply chain issues – which probably should be faded given the Japanese production plans published last week – and for evidence of a broader slowdown. In addition, manufacturing orders data from Germany, Taiwan, Japan and Sweden will be watched similarly. Away from IP, the week brings a bunch of inflation prints, which are all broadly expected to show a further rise in the headline readings. Outside of the data, developments in Greece will remain on the radar screen, particularly any colour on a new package.
"Escaping The Clutches Of Financial Markets" - An Essay On Europe's Debt-For-Democracy Prepackaged BankruptcySubmitted by Tyler Durden on 06/05/2011 18:46 -0500
In today's Europe, the people are no longer in control. Instead, politicians have become slaves to financial institutions and the markets. We are partly to blame -- and changes are urgently needed to nurse European democracy back to health.We are doing well. In fact, we're doing splendidly. The economy is booming, with 1.5 percent growth in the first quarter. We are as prosperous as we were before the crisis, which has finally been overcome. Congratulations are in order for everyone. The banks, Deutsche Bank above all, deserve particular congratulations. In the first quarter, it earned €3.5 billion ($5.1 billion) in pretax profits in its core business, and by the end of the year the bank will likely report a record €10 billion in pretax profits, its best results ever. That number is expected to rise to €11 billion or even €12 billion in two or three years. Less than three years after the peak of the crisis, it seems as if it never happened. That is true of the economy, but it also true of us as economic subjects. But is that all we are? No, we are also citizens and participants in a democratic society. As such, we have no reason to be celebrating. Instead, we ought to be sad and outraged. Democracy, after all, is not doing splendidly, or even well. It is gradually becoming a casualty of the financial crisis.
Despite a well-supplied market, Henry Hub spiked to a 10-month high partly on the prospect of increasing LNG trade and export after the U.S. Energy Department authorized Cheniere Energy (Amex: LNG) to export LNG from its Sabine Pass terminal. But not everyone is sold on LNG exports yet.
Don Coxe On Everything From The Markets Rolling Over, To Persistent Food Inflation, To The Coming US Sovereign Debt CrunchSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 06/05/2011 12:52 -0500
There is a plethora of original insight in Don Coxe (BMO Capital Makets) among them observations on sovereign risk moving from east to west, state finances (or lack thereof), the ongoing correction in financial stocks which portends nothing good for the equity investors, the ongoing violence in MENA, why this inflationary spike in food may last far longer than previous ones, and naturally, some very spot on thoughts on gold, which conclude with: "The only gold bubble likely to burst is the bubbling ridicule of gold."
Housing Prices Have Already Fallen More than During the Great Depression ... How Much Lower Will They Go?Submitted by George Washington on 06/05/2011 11:09 -0500
China Car Sales Tumble For Second Month In A Row, As Goldman Sees Spike In China Inflation To Multi-Year HighsSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 06/05/2011 09:57 -0500
More bad news for China's stagflating economy: according to an industry group, China automobile sales dropped for the second month in a row in May, pointing to slowing demand after Beijing stopped offering incentives and introduced new limits on car purchases earlier this year. "Vehicle sales in China shed 13.95 percent on-month to 1.19 million last month, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) said. It was a 29.74 percent increase compared to the same month last year. Auto output fell 14.36 percent from a month earlier to about 1.31 million units in May. The industry group attributed the continued decline in May sales to the end of the tax breaks and incentive policies in the country. The Chinese government ended tax breaks for purchases of small cars at the end of 2010 and reimposed a 10 percent tax at the beginning of this year. The tax breaks, introduced in 2009 to buoy domestic demand amid the economic slowdown, had boosted China's auto market and helped it overtake the United States as the world's largest in 2009 and 2010." This is yet another piece of bad news for GM, for whom China has recently become the dominant market (even as it stuff US dealers with record amount of inventory), and since the company has been unable to take advantage of the supply disruptions that have crippled Japanese car makers, expect to see GM stock take its current post-IPO low stock price even lower. "Wang Qingtao, analyst at China's Sealand Securities Co., expected the downward trend in the Chinese auto industry would likely continue for a while, saying "the market fundamentals are not likely to change drastically." And in the meantime, Goldman now anticipates China's May inflation to hit 5.5% Y/Y, the highest such increase in years, and the Stagflationary economy continues overheating, this time due to surging food prices as a result of the record drought previously discussed.
20 Facts About US Inequality That Everyone Should Know (With An Update On The Uber-Wealthy And Global Wealth Inequality)Submitted by Tyler Durden on 06/04/2011 15:10 -0500
Courtesy of the Stanford Center for the Study of Poverty and Inequality, we bring you the "20 facts about US Inequality that Everyone Should Know". For everything one has always wanted to know about wage inequality, CEO pay, homelessness, education wage premium, gender pay gaps, occupational sex segregation, racial gaps in education, racial discrimination, child poverty, residential segregation, health insurance, inter and intragenerational income mobility, bad jobs, discouraged workers, wealth inequality, labor market deregulation, job losses, immigrants and inequality and productivity and real income, this is the definitive resource.
In the aftermath of last week's disclosure to preempt the massive hoax story sourced by one "Sorcha Faal" involving a whole lot of false allegations pertaining to DSK, Russia and gold, all of it based not one single, sourcable fact, we have now been inundated with emails directing us to a story which has appeared in CNS News (and the fact that it was carried by Drudge Report does make it any easier), titled "China Has Divested 97 Percent of Its Holdings in U.S. Treasury Bills." Once again, while most readers will see right through this superficial attempt at clickbaiting, for the benefit of everyone else, we would like to briefly respond to how this article would look like when one actually looks at the facts.
Berlin Conference 2.0: Russia To Bail Out Hyperinflationary Belarus As Colonization Scramble Heats UpSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 06/04/2011 12:01 -0500
Who said that only Germany is allowed to annex Greece (and soon Ireland and Portugal)? (and if Der Spiegel has anything to say about it, again, Bailout #2 is far from certain... more on that shortly). In a surprising move, Russia has decided to remind everyone just how irrelevant the IMF is now that Russia and China run the "sovereign rescue" show, and that it too can play the imperialist game just as well as the Troica. Following the recent hyperdevaluation of the Belarus Ruble as discussed on Zero Hedge, and the country's collapse into a hyperinflationary hell, Reuters has just reported that Putin, that "White Knight" of former USSR imperialist dominance, has decided to "bailout" Belarus. From Reuters: "Cash-strapped Belarus will receive a three-year $3 billion loan from a Russia-led regional bailout fund as it seeks to stabilize its economy, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Saturday. The former Soviet republic on Friday unveiled a series of measures to end the crisis, including a vow to cut its budget deficit in half, after its currency lost 36 percent of its value in May and inflation reached 20.2 percent." It is unclear just how many billions in funds will need to be derived from forced "privatization" of Belarus assets for the benefit of the old KGB guard, or what the interest rate on the rescue loans will be. What is more than clear is that as more and more countries fall into the toxic debt spiral, their neighbors who actually have capital and/or natural resources (ergo the irrelevance of the IMF), will "bail them out" only to remind the world that colonization is what it has always been truly about. Berlin Conference ver 2.0 - here we come.
Unemployment During the Great Depression Has Been Overstated and Current Unemployment Understated (We've Now Got Depression-Level Unemployment)Submitted by George Washington on 06/03/2011 11:47 -0500
No, QE3 is NOT the answer ...
John Paulson's worst nightmare is on the verge of coming true. As reported yesterday, JP is a holder of 34.7 million shares of Sino-Forest, which was halted yesterday after Muddy Waters came out with a report exposing the company as a fraud, and by implication, all the sellside analysts covering the company with a buy rating, not to mention all the funds who had bought into it, as diligenceless monkeys who refuse to actually do their homework and merely follow the leader in the worst example of Wall Street groupthink. Well, yesterday groupthink became gangbang, after names as varied as JP, CapRe, Bessemer, Blackrock, John Hancock, Hartford, and many more learned they all may have been fooled by the biggest ponzi fraud since Madoff. And while the funds may pretend things are good courtesy of the continued freeze of TRE.TO on the Toronto Stock exchange, where it still has to issue an announcement despite promises it would do so before market open, its sister stock, SNOFF.PK continues to trade domestically. And it's a bloodbath. After opening at $18 yesterday, the stock just touched $2.45, generating a loss of over $500 million for John Paulson, who in addition is rumored to be very heavily long the company's bonds. It will be ironic if one Chinese fraud (despite our repeated warnings) ends up being the black swan that confirms that there is no such thing as a consistently good hedge fund, and it is all merely a function of one right trade, at the right time, executed with infinite amounts of leverage (thank you CDS). In the meantime, we hope Muddy Waters is working a report exposing that biggest ponzi scheme of all: the US stock market.
- Still no go on the white smoke, a few more weeks: Hilsenrath - Dallas Fed's Fisher Says More Easing by Fed Not Needed (WSJ)
- Chinese Economic Slowdown May Lead to 75% Plunge in Commodities, S&P Says (Bloomberg)
- EU should control member states' budgets, says bank boss (Guardian)
- Syrian Violence Tests U.S. (WSJ)
- SAC Again? Probe Deepens of Alleged Inside Trades at FDA (WSJ)
- Pushing for a return to the gold standard (LATimes)
- Wheat Futures Climb for Second Day on Weather Concerns in U.S., EU, Canada (Bloomberg)
- Europe E. Coli Outbreak is Deadliest on Record (Bloomberg)
- EU, IMF Wind Up Greek Economy Review (Bloomberg)
- China Ministry: 1H Industry Output To Slow to 13.5% (Market News)