China

China

Frontrunning: March 31

  • Iran, powers push for nuclear deal as clock ticks toward deadline (Reuters)
  • How DIY Bond Traders Displaced Wall Street’s Hot Shots (BBG)
  • MillerCoors Caught in a Downdraft (WSJ)
  • Saudi-led strikes again hit Yemen overnight (Reuters)
  • Even With Free Money, Merkel Still Reluctant to Spend (BBG)
  • Britain Uses Tax Breaks to Lure Digital-Game Developers (WSJ)
  • China to Insure Deposits in Move Toward Scrapping Rate Curbs (BBG)
  • As China Expands Its Navy, the U.S. Grows Wary (WSJ)

Futures, Oil Slide As Surging Dollar Now Takes Window Dressing Stage

Did stocks window dressing come one day early in this volatile, bipolar, stop-hunting, HFT-infested market? Looking at futures this morning, which are down about 12 points already on yet another surge in the USD which has sent the EURUSD just above 1.07, the lowest since March 20 , and the USDJPY back under 120 now that the "strong dollar is bad for stocks after all" algo seems to be back from vacation, all those hedge funds who chased risk higher yesterday because their peers did the same, may find they are all selling on the way down. It will be oddly ironic if all of yesterday's widely touted gains evaporate comparably in the first 10 minutes of trading today, and lead to an end in the longest streak of quarterly increases in two decades.

Asian Markets Mixed: China Jump, Crude Dump, Japan Slump

The exuberance of illiterate Chinese citizens knows no bounds as Shanghai Composite surges once again to record-er highs (now up over 15% in March alone) with some modest give back off the highs of the day. Japanese stocks on the other hand have folded like a cheap lawn-chair, giving up all their US session gains and down over 200 points from the US cash close. A similar pattern is seen in crude oil which has retraced most of the idiotic NYMEX close ramp.

The American Dream Part 4 - The "Deep State" Is Now In Charge

The credit-based dollar brought about a new economy. It changed the way people thought and the way their government operated. Now, deep pools of money determine which candidates are presented to voters. And there is a new branch of government: the “Deep State.” It is not mentioned in the Constitution. And it operates above and beyond the visible process of democratic government.

Meet Andorra: Europe's Next Failed State

Nestling idyllically between France and Spain in the foothills of the Pyrenees, Andorra - which has enjoyed the benefits of European borders without the restrictions of EU membership - has seen its risk "increase beyond our expectations," according to S&P. As a reminder, when Cyprus was "templated" and depositors awoke with a 47% haircut, its total financial assets to GDP was around 8x, Andorra is now at a stunning 17x. As The Telegrpah explains, in the last three weeks, the state has been gripped by a banking crisis that threatens to take it to the brink; and Andorra, which is not a member of the eurozone but uses the single currency on an informal basis, would have no way of bailing them out (with no central bank or lender of last resort). In short, the country faces a catastrophe if its banks fall apart.

$20 Oil Looms As Iran-Nuclear Deal Nears Deadline

As the deadline for Iran nuclear talks looms, the possibility of a deal which in some way lifts crude export sanctions is starting to be realized. As we warned 2 weeks ago, despite all the rhetoric, a confluence of political factors makes a deal highly likely at this point; and as The Telegraph reports, Iran is a sleeping oil giant holding 9% of the world’s proven oil reserves and with an estimated 2m barrels per day of excess supply already sloshing around international markets, any significant increase in Iranian output could easily trigger a further rout in prices. While OPEC may well clamp down on this in June, as The Telegraph concludes, by then a barrel of oil may already be selling for $20.

Frontrunning: March 30

  • Setbacks and progress as Iran, six powers meet to end nuclear impasse (Reuters)
  • Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to Leave Iran Nuclear Talks (WSJ)
  • Obama Ramps Up Lobbying on Iran as Deadline Looms (WSJ)
  • Greek yields edge up as lenders scrutinise reform pledge (Reuters)
  • Oil prices drop on possible Iran deal, dollar (Reuters)
  • Yemen’s Houthis Battle for Aden as Saudi Strikes Hit Rebels (BBG)
  • Iran nuclear deal to see $20 oil if Tehran floods crude market (Telegraph)
  • China’s Zhou Says PBOC Has Room to Act on Growth Slowdown (BBG)

Futures Jump On Chinese Easinng Speculation, False Rumor Of PBOC Rate Cut

With the rest of the developed world's central banks waiting for the Fed to admit defeat for one more year and delay its proposed rate hike (or launch NIRP/QE4 outright) it was all about China (the same China which a month ago we said would launch QE sooner or later) and hope that its central bank would boost asset prices, when over the weekend the PBoC governor hinted that more easing is imminent to offset the accelerating drag after he admitted that the nation’s growth rate has tumbled "a bit" too much and that policy makers have scope to respond. How much scope it really has now that its bad debt is rising exponentially is a different question. It got so bad, Shanghai Securities News leaked a false rumor earlier forcing many to believe China would announce an unexpected rate cut as soon as today, in the process sending the Shanghai Composite soaring by 2.6%.

Australia To Start Taxing Bank Deposits

Up until now, the world's descent into the NIRPy twilight of fiat currency was a function of failing monetary policy around the globe as central bank after desperate central bank implemented negative and even more negative (in the case of Denmark some four times rapid succession) rates, hoping to make saving so prohibitive consumers would have no choice but to spend the fruits of their labor, or better yet, take out massive loans which they would never be able to repay. However, nobody said it was only central banks who could be the executioners of the world's saver class: governments are perfectly capable too.  Such as Australia's.  According to Australia's ABC News, the "Federal Government looks set to introduce a tax on bank deposits in the May budget."

"The Risks Are Very High" Swiss Billionaire Warns "Global Financial Markets Have Never Been This Distorted Before"

"Global financial markets are more distorted than ever before and accordingly, the risks are very high... All equity and currency markets are pretty extended, at present; and many of the bond markets are as well... We know that the longer a distortion prevails, the more investors get used to it and it becomes the “new normal” to them. That’s where the problem lies! I see three potential threats..." - Felix Zulauf