With this year's APEC meeting in China having just barely concluded, where the biggest news was not the inability of the US to make any material headway in trans-Pacific trade (who needs trade when you have a printer?) or that China is "willing" to import even more NSA bugs courtesy of Cisco and Qualcomm, but Russia's second "western" mega gas deal with China, as well as the following photo-op of course and with the WSJ reporting that in the now year-old "nuclear"negotiations between the west and Iran, there has been no progress, it was once again Putin's turn to turn the screws on the lame duck president following a report moments ago that Russia inked a deal to build eight nuclear power units in Iran, as a new partnership agreement, guaranteed by the IAEA.
- No Sign of Thaw in Obama’s Brief Encounters With Putin (BBG)
- Japan Lawmakers Prepare for Snap Elections as Abe Mulls Tax (BBG)
- Global stocks rise, Brent crude hits four-year low (Reuters)
- U.S., China to Drop Tariffs on Range of Tech Products (WSJ)
- ‘Too-Big-to-Fail’ Rule Would Raise Bar for Bank Capital (WSJ) ... and mean even bigger taxpayer bailouts
- Pot in New York: $100 Ticket. No Charges. No Record. No Nothing (BBG)
- Microsoft unveils first Lumia smartphone without Nokia name (Reuters)
- Davos-Man Ackermann Lured to Cyprus Bank by Billionaires (BBG)
- Alibaba, Apple Talks on Payments Tie-Up Focused on China (WSJ)
With the bond market closed today due to Veteran's Day and the correlation and momentum ignition algos about to go berserk without any parental supervision, it was only a matter of time before some "stray" headline sent first the carry pair of choice, i.e., the USDJPY, and subsequently its derivative, the Emini, into the stratosphere. And sure enough, just before 3am Eastern, it was once again Reuters' turn to leak, only this time not about the ECB but Japan, as usual citing an unnamed "government official close to Abe's office", that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was likely to delay a planned sales tax increase.
- JAPAN MORE LIKELY TO DELAY SALES TAX INCREASE, REUTERS REPORTS
Which of course is a repeat of what Reuters said 2 days ago but since it came on the weekend, the momentum ignition algos didn't notice. The result was an instant surge in the USDJPY, which shortly thereafter touched on 116.00 the highest level in 7 years, and is up now 200 pips since yesterday as the obliteration of Japan's economy proceeds, in turn pushing European stocks, and shortly, the S&P, higher
There was China's president, Xi Jinping, Russia's president Vladimir Putin to his right, next to Philippine president Aquino and the uberwealthy Sultan of Brunei Hassanal Bolkiah. And then there is Barack Obama, right in the middle of the "wives club"...
The march of global de-dollarization continues. In the last few days, China has signed direct currency agreements with Canada becoming North America's first offshore RMB hub, which CBC reports analysts suggest "could double maybe even triple the level of Canadian trade between Canada and China," impacting the need for Dollars.But that is not the week's biggest Petrodollar precariousness news, as The Examiner reports, a new chink in the petrodollar system was forged as China signed an agreement with Qatar to begin direct currency swaps between the two nations using the Yuan, and establishing the foundation for new direct trade with the OPEC nation in the very heart of the petrodollar system. As Simon Black warns, "It’s happening... with increasing speed and frequency."
Following a spike in NATO-Russia "close calls," and previous rumors, The FT reports that NATO and The U.S. are to be openly identified as threats/adversaries in a new Russian military doctrine to be published next month. Furthermore, The FT reports that the Russian government believes it must tie its security interests to China since the Euro-Atlantic framework is too broken. It appears Gorbachev was right in his recent warnings that "the world is on the brink of a new Cold War. Some say it has already begun."
For the moment capital markets appear to be adapting to deflation piece-meal. The fall in the gold price is equally detached from economic reality. While it is superficially easy to link a strong dollar to a weak gold price, this line of argument ignores the inevitable systemic and currency risks that arise from an economic slump. The apparent mispricing of gold, equities, bonds and even currencies indicate they are all are ripe for a simultaneous correction, driven by what the economic establishment terms deflation, but more correctly is termed a slump.
Manipulation of markets can work effectively in the short term. However, in the long term prices will be dictated by the global supply and the global demand of 7 billion people, many in Asia who believe in gold as a store of wealth. Not to mention, sovereign central banks including the People’s Bank of China and the Russian central bank - who also believe in gold as an important monetary asset.
There's increasing risk we'll soon see a "significant paradigm shift" from China in its attitude to the strength of its currency, warns Saxobank CIO and Chief Economist Steen Jakobsen. He says we're about to see a full-scale currency war, notably between China and Japan, two of the world's greatest exporting countries.
In 2013; a chain of events led to what was (at the time) the greatest stampede into gold in human history. It began with the Cyprus Steal, the West’s first “bail-in”. This led to the realization (by the Smart Money) that no paper assets were safe any longer, within any Western financial institution or market.
Following the massacre of 43 students who were allegedly abducted by corrupt police in southwestern Mexico in September, violent anti-establishment protests have broken out across the nation. As Reuters reports, demonstrators set fire to the door of Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto's ceremonial palace in Mexico City as the Mexican people are angered at Nieto's visit to China (at a time when he should, in their eyes, be focused on domestic issues). The violence has been condemned, "You can't demand justice while acting with violence," said Nieto but it seems the people's restlessness is growing - not helped by the cancellation of a high-speed rail contract last week as opposition lawmakers accused the government of rigging the bidding.
October was a historic month for McDonalds. While the investing public was already well aware that things are bad and getting worse when it comes to demand for the iconic hamburger following MCD's 30% plunge in Q3 profit, moments ago the troubled fast-food chain reported that in the first month of the fourth quarter it celebrated a tragic anniversary: one year of US comp store sales without a single increase, following a 1% drop in US October sales! This is the first time in history when MCD has anniversaried negative same store sales in the US.
The risks unleashed by central bank funding of massive carry trades, policy-driven devaluations and currency crises have yet to manifest. When they do, we'll rediscover why traders consider the FX market the 800-pound gorilla that stomps on the stock and bond markets without even noticing the squishing sound.
"Chinese numbers came out; I was kind of amused that when they’re pretty much on expectations, nobody writes that the books are cooked and that you have to discount the exports, etc.; they came in right on expectations, and everyone high fives the science of economic forecasting. We’ve either got to seasonally adjust for book cooking or assume, like all numbers, they are an educated guess."
- Obama urges China to be partner in ensuring world order (Reuters)
- China Sees Itself at Center of New Asian Order (WSJ)
- Xi Dangles $1.25 Trillion as China Counters U.S. Refocus (BBG)
- China's Xi, Japan's Abe hold landmark meeting after awkward handshake (Reuters)
- Revenue Softness Worries Stock Investors (WSJ)
- How BOJ’s Kuroda Won the Vote for Stimulus Expansion (WSJ)
- Bonus Season Brings More Pain for Traders (WSJ)
- Russia’s Military Encounters Risk Clash in Europe (BBG)