- Hillary Clinton Accepts Blame for Benghazi (WSJ)
- In Reversal, Cash Leaks Out of China (WSJ)
- Spain Considers EU Credit Line (WSJ)
- China criticizes new EU sanctions on Iran, calls for talks (Reuters)
- Portugal sees third year of recession in 2013 budget (Reuters)
- Greek PM says confident Athens will secure aid tranche (Reuters)
- Fears over US mortgages dominance (FT)
- Fed officials offer divergent views on inflation risks (Reuters)
- China Credit Card Romney Assails Gives Way to Japan (Bloomberg)
- Fed's Williams: Fed Actions Will Improve Growth (WSJ)
- Rothschild Quits Bumi to Fight Bakries’ $1.2 Billion Offer (Bloomberg)
As the Chinese transition from healthy working individuals to couch-potato-like consuming-monkeys, we wonder just what the China of tomorrow will look like. To wit, Shanghai Daily reports that the world's largest online game-maker Blizzard Entertainment (World of WarCraft and StarCraft II) just announced that the number of Chinese online game players has surged to a new high after the upgrading of China's broadband services. There are 120 million online game players in the country, up 4.6% from last year, of the 538 million internet users in mainland China. What will the marginal wage for an iPhone-maker be now that leisure time is becoming more valuable? And what will the average weight and BMI of the young Chinese male be in five years time? We suspect higher than the current 145lbs...
Spain Is Losing Its People, Catalonia Fights For Independence, And The EU Gets Pushed Into The ConflictSubmitted by testosteronepit on 10/15/2012 21:40 -0500
Catalonia’s independence “would do away with Spain” - Justice Minister
Divergence in thinking.
Let’s step away from the noise for a moment and look at the big picture. This isn’t about doom and gloom, or fear, but objective facts. Undoubtedly, the Western hierarchy dominated by the United States is in a completely unsustainable situation. Across the West, national governments have obligations they simply cannot meet—both to their citizens and their creditors. Once again, this is not the first time history has seen such conditions. In our own lifetimes, we’ve seen the collapse of the Soviet Empire, the tragi-comical hyperinflation in Zimbabwe, and the unraveling of Argentina’s millennial crisis. Plus we can study what happened when empires from the past collapsed. The conditions are nearly identical. Is our civilization so different that we are immune to the consequences?
However, one of the things that we see frequently in history is that this transition occurs gradually, then very rapidly.
European equities trying to decouple from EGBs and US equities, trying to trade “No news is good news”.
Low action day.
Short term trading strategy buy Spain on weekend bail-out hopes and resell rapidly might need to be deepened. Not much to chew on eventually.
The Japanese Yen has been one of the strongest currencies among the developed nations of the world since the end of LTRO (up 6%). This strength (repatriation flows and or carry unwind?) combined with a dismal domestic economic growth environment appears to have pushed Japanese firms to spend spend spend for growth. The latest and greatest Softbank/Sprint deal will shift this year's Japanese corporate acquisition of foreign companies to near-record levels. As Bloomberg Briefs notes, this will be the country's largest overseas acquisition on record - exceeding Japan Tobacco's $19bn acquisition of the UK's Gallaher Group in 2007. However, this growth-buying-spree does not come cheap as ratings are under pressure and while LBO-style financing might make the deal 'cheap' at first, at some point the cycle will re-emerge; but for now - it appears the BoJ (who we are sure are watching intently) should maybe leave intervention off the table until Japan owns it all again and becomes even more too-bigger-to-fail.
- Hilsenrath Humor du jour: Bernanke Advocates Stronger Currencies (WSJ)
- Auditors want two more years for Greece on deficit (Spiegel)
- More bluster: Schaeuble Rules Out Greek Default as Samaras, Troika Bargain (Bloomberg)
- And even more bluster: De Jager Says Greece Needs to Make Fiscal Reforms Immediately (Bloomberg)
- Global Economy Distress 3.0 Looms as Emerging Markets Falter (Bloomberg)
- Central bank governor stresses inflation control (China Daily)
- Greek Yields Reach Post Debt-Swap Low as Bunds Slip on Schaeuble (Bloomberg)
- Roth and Shapely win Nobel prize for economics (Reuters)
- Fed chief rounds on stimulus critics (FT)
- IMF Board Sees Biggest Power Shift Reshuffle in Two Decades (Bloomberg)
- EU Girds for Summit as Nobel’s Glow Fades on Crisis Response (Bloomberg)
- Japan security environment tougher than ever (Reuters)
On a regular basis we are placated by commercials to satisfy our craving to know which bathroom tissue is the most absorbent; debates 'infomercials' assuaging our fears over which vice-presidential candidate has the best dentist; and reality-shows that comfort our 'at least I am not as bad as...' need; there is an inescapable reality occurring right under our propagandized nose (as we noted here). Economic Reason has gathered together the Top 15 'reality' economic documentaries - so turn-on, tune-in, and drop-out of the mainstream for a few hours...
Particularly light on hard data, take away from this week’s action was reduced volatility in the EGB world (unlike rather more jumpy and eventually depressed equities).
After rainy weeks, better weeks, we pretty much had a rather sleepy week.
"The European Union is a horrible, stupid project. The idea that unification would create an economy that could compete with China and be more like the United States is pure garbage. What ruined China, throughout history, is the top-down state. What made Europe great was the diversity: political and economic. Having the same currency, the euro, was a terrible idea. It encouraged everyone to borrow to the hilt. The most stable country in the history of mankind, and probably the most boring, by the way, is Switzerland. It’s not even a city-state environment; it’s a municipal state. Most decisions are made at the local level, which allows for distributed errors that don’t adversely affect the wider system. Meanwhile, people want a united Europe, more alignment, and look at the problems. The solution is right in the middle of Europe — Switzerland. It’s not united! It doesn’t have a Brussels! It doesn’t need one."
While we already know that 59-year-old (current Vice-President) Xi Jinping will become China's next President a mere two days after the US votes; the political and economic challenges he will face makes the appointment in the midst of structural upheaval a considerable 'unknown' for the many Western investors trying to decipher the CCP/PBoC's next steps (fiscally or monetarily). Stratfor's Colin Chapman and Rodger Baker succinctly discuss what we know about Xi Jinping and what the implications are for faster reform as the nation faces the end of the current economic model. Everything you wanted to (and need to) know about China's transition but were too tired to read.
The IMF's World Economic Outlook (WEO) provided a plethora of data, trends, and extrapolations for investors to prognosticate upon. One that caught our eye is the rising trend of the 27 Developing Asian economies as a share of World GDP. Bloomberg's Chart of the Day notes that by the end of 2012, Developing Asia will account for 17.9% of World GDP - trumping, for the first time - Europe's 17-nation 16.9% share. The euro-area crisis has merely accelerated a trend that has been ongoing for several years - and we suspect, as former IMF board member Domenico Lombardi notes, makes it clear that euro-area economies need to address their structural reforms rapidly. America should not be too complacent however, as while China will top Europe by 2017 (as a share of global GDP), USA will welcome its own overlords in five short years when Developing Asia will have topped the USA for the first time ever.
Imagine if in 2007, Ben Bernanke, Mervyn King, Jean Claude Trichet et al, had actually possessed the analytical foresight to see what was coming, organised a meeting with the world's media and explained how, using their collective wisdom, they would solve the problem.
"There's going to be a massive global crisis, but there's no need to worry. We're just going to print money."
"Is that it?"
How would most people have reacted then? We think they would have laughed out loud. Why are so many of us reacting differently now? The nature of markets is that they periodically forget the lessons of history. Confidence in the status quo seems as entrenched now as it was in 2007 but Gold appears to be exhibiting 'Giffen-like' behavior where, instead of falling, demand is rising as prices rise.